I was recently contacted by Andrea Powers of Oscar Insurance who inspired me to post about my favorite fitness technology.
The health and fitness industry has greatly benefited from the new technology that’s emerging daily. It has become easier than ever to monitor and record food and workouts, assess health and fitness, and challenge ourselves with games targeting those looking to get in shape. There are a plethora of applications, health trackers, and gadgets to choose from, which can be exciting and even overwhelming to choose from.
When choosing a new fitness gadget or application, I base my decision on the following factors: ease of wear, capability to integrate with other technology I own, accuracy, and affordability. I’m a simple woman when it comes to fitness, and only use a few things to assist in reaching my goals. See below for my top fitness apps and gadgets!
Heart Rate Monitor
When I decided to get focused on fat loss, one of the first things I incorporated into my regimen was a heart rate monitor (HRM). My HRM helps me by showing me my heart rate and calories burned, as well as estimating what percentage burned was fat. I am able to train with different intensities when needed, using heart rate as the guide. Since my key goal when losing fat is to burn more calories through the day than I consume, I will often use the HRM to challenge myself with a certain calorie goal. Without a heart rate monitor it’s difficult to know how much I’m burning, as I don’t use cardio machines often and online calorie burn estimators have been shown to be off by as much as hundreds of calories.
Waterlogged is an app that is used to track water consumption throughout the day. Drinking enough water is one major key to being healthy. Water has been found to contribute to metabolism, vitamin absorption, energy levels, digestion, and can even be used to prevent overeating if drunken before or with meals. As important as water is, I am guilty of not always committing to drinking enough. The Waterlogged app is great for helping out with water consumption because it not only allows me to track how much water I’ve had, but also allows me to set reminders within the app to tell me when to drink more water. By only taking pictures of my water container it can estimate how much water I’ve had. What’s more, I can also enter water amounts in any unit of measurement. This is nice because sometimes I’m drinking out of a gallon, sometimes out of a 20 oz bottle, and sometimes out of regular glass cups, and I definitely don’t feel like doing a bunch of unit conversions!
“Gym Hero” App
I absolutely love the Gym Hero app because it allows me to track my workout routines without ever using another pen and pad (who doesn’t want to save trees?). I really like that once I’ve created and named a workout routine, I can pull that same routine up the next time I do it and it auto-fills all the exercises, sets, repetitions, and weights that I last performed in that routine. After that it’s easy to just update the weight if necessary. This app makes it very easy to track my improvement over time. No more misplacing workout logs – it’s all in one place!
I use the Seconds app to time my intervals for high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is a form of training where one exercises at a high intensity for a short amount of time (often anywhere from 15 seconds to 1 minute), then alternates with a lower intensity exercise or rest for enough time to lower the heart rate slightly (often anywhere from 10 seconds to 2 minutes). The interval then repeats for a certain number of times. HIIT can also be done with the same high intensity exercise for each interval, or different high intensity exercises mixed in throughout. I love HIIT because it allows me to burn fat while maintaining muscle, and burn a good amount of calories in a short amount of time. It’s important for me to be able to know when to move from one exercise to the next without distracting myself from the workout by checking my phone or a clock. Seconds is great for this because before I complete the workout I can write which exercises I’ll be performing and how much time I’ll spend on higher intensity exercises and lower intensity exercises and/or rest. I can also program how many sets I’ll perform of each interval. Once it’s programmed, I simply start it and it can indicate when another exercise is coming up and speak out the exercises for me. It even allows me to play music while in the app, which can really help push me through the workout.
“Calorie Count” website and app
Caloriecount.com is a website that allows me to track calories, macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, protein, fiber, and water), vitamins and minerals, as well as log my exercises and calories burned. It also doubles as a social network, allowing me to connect with other fitness minded people. We share information such as tips and recipes, encouragement, and entertainment. There is also an app for the site that can be downloaded to my smartphone. This tool is great because it has shown me not only how to balance calories to lose weight, but also has helped me become more aware of how healthy my food habits are, grading foods from A to F in terms of nutrition. With the ability to write on message boards, write in a public journal, and gain “supporters”, I’ve also made some great connections with others who have supported me through the years!
Those are my favorite tools, and each has helped me in different ways to become more successful in reaching my goals. What technology has helped you along your fitness journey?