There’s certainly a lot of information out there today about technology that can help you lose weight (and plenty of fake quick-fixes to muddle through, too, like the Kim K waist trainer…). Although I am skeptical about a lot of it, or at least skeptical about whether it’s worth paying $720 for self-lacing, battery-powered sneakers (answer: no), I also think some of the gadgets out there are legitimately useful when you’re trying to get into shape. In this article I’ve strayed away from the Apple watches and Fitbits of the world, because I know we’ve all heard enough about them already. Here, I’ve compiled a list of 7 trendy and cutting-edge gadgets to improve your workout (or to track your results).
Gadget #1 For Tracking Results Post-Workout: Fitbit Aria 2 Smart Scale
This scale can track your weight, body fat, and BMI…Which, as Trainer Andrew told me in college, is more imperative than anything else–being able to compare your fat percentage to muscle percentage is more important than your overall weight, because what if the scale says you gained 5 pounds, but you don’t know whether those 5 pounds are fat or pure muscle? (Ha. I know. Yeah right.) For this reason alone, I’m game. The scale can also connect to your WiFi network to send your data straight to your fitness tracking apps–so next time MyFitnessPal tells you you’ve lost weight, you can believe it.
Gadget #2 For Tracking Results Mid-Workout: The Moov HR Burn
This chest strap partners wirelessly with a free app that guides you through different indoor and outdoor workouts. To me, the coolest part about this app is it essentially works as a fitness trainer: when your heart-rate is optimal level, the app congratulates you on doing such a great job; but when your heart-rate indicates you aren’t working hard enough, the app pushes you to try harder. It’s a bit like the mindset behind OrangeTheory, except you can do these workouts in the privacy of your bedroom or on the backroads behind your house (and for hundreds of dollars less).
Gadget #3 For Tracking Results Mid-and-Post-Workout: Runkeeper
An app that even Mark Zucherberg has praised, Runkeeper has 50 million users (I didn’t even realize that many people run), and tracks your fitness activity while helping you reach your fitness goals. The app can integrate with your iTunes music library or your Spotify account, so you can play your music in the app, track the miles you’ve run, calories you’ve burned, and how you’re comparing to your friends. You can also choose a training preparation plan based on your goals, whether your goal is “run a marathon” or “run a mile.” If you work harder with friendly competition (i.e. peer pressure), download this and create a personalized preparation plan to get yourself moving.
Gadget #4 For Keeping You Accountable: GymPact
This seems like the toughest form of love I’ve ever heard, but for those of you not as self-motivated to hit the gym (or just super-rich, which would somewhat relieve the threat of the app), GymPact is a pretty good way to find incentive to work out. Essentially, you create a “Pact” for how many times you’ll go to the gym over the course of a week, and if you meet your goal, you get paid (easy money for some of you!), and if you don’t, you have to pay the app–double incentive, in my mind, to stay true to your fitness goals. The app allows users to check-in to any gym via GPS verification (so you can’t cheat, FYI). Personally, I’d probably end up losing out on money through this app, but for those of you who are die-hard about hitting the gym at all costs anyway–well, why not do it at the cost of someone else’s dollar?
Gadget #5 For Tracking Calories: Vessyl Smart Cup
Essentially, you can pour anything into this cup and figure out all nutritional info for any beverage you’re drinking, including calorie count, grams of sugar, fat, protein, sodium, and caffeine. For those of you who are thinking, But I can get that info from the back of the bottle, hang on a sec… the cup can then connect to an app on your phone to give you healthier recommendations and keep track of your goals, whether that be keeping your sugar or caffeine at a lower level, or raising the amount of protein in your drinks.
Gadget #6 For Changing Your Workout: 1Voice Bluetooth 100% Wirefree Earbuds
One of the most annoying aspects of working out, to me, is running and holding your headphones in your ear because for whatever reason, they fall out otherwise (I know, I know… #firstworldproblems, I get it). That’s the part that appeals so strongly to me about this gadget: they are completely wireless. You can play music through them for up to 4 hours while running around, lifting, cycling, sitting and working up the incentive to get up–whatever.
Gadget #7 For Changing Your Workout: Physiclo Resistence Pants
This seems a bit… I don’t know, crazy, considering I already find running plenty difficult, thankyouverymuch. But these pants are designed to act like resistance bands around your legs–and, from my experience with resistance bands, will definitely make you feel more productive much, much faster. It targets your quadriceps, hamstrings, abductors, and glutes. Allegedly, the pants increase muscle activation by 23% and calorie burn by 14%. For this reason, I’d certainly be interested in giving it a go–it might be harder, but I’d probably feel less guilty going for only a 10-minute run if I was wearing these.
Not sure where to do your workouts? If you live in or near Boston, check this out.