5 Ways Tech Can Improve Your Fitness
And we're not talking those weird abs electrocution machines.
It’s 2018 and there’s now an app for everything. From booking dinner to organising your schedule and even tracking your periods, there’s nothing you can’t do with a simple touch of a button. Techwise, every element of your performance can now be monitored and analysed to help you improve and push your limits. So before we go all Black Mirror and start worrying about the ways technology will ultimately destroy mankind, let’s take a look at the top five ways you can use tech to boost your workout:
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1. Smart watch
The ultimate wearable-tech accessory, smart watches are smarter than ever before. Lightweight, durable and flexible, you’ll barely notice it on your wrist, and most of them have changeable straps, so you can switch to a rose gold or leather strap when you’ve finished your workout. Not only do these watches give you an accurate reading of your speed, endurance and step-count, they also monitor your sleep, ensuring you’re recovering sufficiently as well as working hard. Smart watches also keep you in the loop – texts and emails pop up as notifications so you can stay on top of your life even while you’re training. We love the Nokia Steel HR smart watch. It links up to your phone, tracks your steps and is even water-resistant up to 50 metres - plus its battery life is a hefty 25 days!
2. Heart-rate monitor
This is a small device you wear on a strap around your chest. One benefit is that it’s great for sports that don’t allow watches and visible straps – like netball. Sync your monitor up with the correlating app and you’ll see exactly how hard you were working based on your heart rate. Some classes now include these monitors – participants’ heart rates will be shown on a screen during the class and the instructor will push you into your ‘training zone’. The great thing about this is that your optimal maximum heart rate is completely personal to you – depending on your size, age and fitness level. This makes it much easier to tailor workouts to suit a variety of fitness needs. MyZone heart rate monitors are a great shout - they're super comfy and pair with an app to track your workouts. You can even unleash your competitive side by adding your friends on it and comparing how hard you worked!
3. Smart shoes
That’s right – all the latest fitness technology built directly into your trainers. The latest in fitness tech, these Altra Torin IQ smart shoes provide gait tracking and real-time audio coaching. As well as all that, they’re actually pretty comfortable to run in too. Simply link your new shoes up to your app to collect your data and get running. The best feature of these shoes is step cadence tracking – this means measuring exactly how many steps you take per minute. This can help improve your energy efficiency as a runner and even minimise your risk of injury.
4. Wireless headphones
For many of us, that perfect playlist is crucial for a successful workout. But earbuds that constantly fall out or wires that threaten to strangle you mid-session can be incredibly frustrating. The latest wireless headphones provide a cable-free experience, letting you listen to you tunes in peace, and fully charged, they last for around six hours. The AfterShokz Trekz Air are our favourite new designs – the open-ear feature improves awareness so you’ll have a better idea of what’s going on around you – perfect for a safer run, particularly if you run at night or early mornings. They’re also sweat-resistant and incredibly light, because every gram counts when you’re charging towards the finish line.
5. Electric foam roller
Up your recovery game with the latest foam roller – complete with high-tech specifications. Foam rolling is a fantastic way to relieve soreness, break down knots and keep your muscles supple to help reduce your risk of injury. This genius foam roller from Pulseroll vibrates to give you more effective relief and help increase your blood circulation. With four powerful vibration settings (seriously), the Pulseroll makes foam rolling less of a chore and will help get you back to peak performance quicker.
Words by Natalie Morris