- CRITTER TALK
Just like other scales, smart scales measure your weight. However, they can also measure your body fat percentage and body mass index. Fitbit’s smart scale, the Aria, syncs up with other Fitbit devices and apps to give you a full picture of your fitness progress. The Withings Smart Body Analyzer is another smart scale that can measure the heart rate of the person it’s weighing, as well as the air quality of the room it’s in. These scales each cost between $120 and $150.
Image via Flickr by USCPSC
These simple electronic wristbands track your fitness by measuring the amount of steps you’ve taken, your heart rate during exercise, and your sleep efficiency. Wearables like those made by Fitbit, Polar, Jawbone, and Bowflex sync to your new iPhone to transfer fitness data. Just make sure you are on a reliable 4G LTE network so you don’t lose any data. After your data transfers, you can then view it on a companion app.
Pictured above is the Fitbit Force, a popular fitness wristband that was recalled due to minor allergic reactions in some users. Since then, Fitbit has released the Flex, a very similar wearable with a simple design. The display lights on the front show how close you are to your fitness goal.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each brand of wearable. The Polar Loop wristband is waterproof and can store up to 12 days of data, but a heart rate sensor doesn’t come standard and costs an extra $70 to $80. The Bowflex Boost is the least expensive wearable on the market at just $50. Jawbone’s UP24 doesn’t have any display or lights, but can vibrate to let you know you’ve been inactive for too long.
An interval timer is a device or app for a device that times intervals for a workout. You can find interval timers for free online or download them as apps on a mobile device, but the most convenient option is a wearable interval timer that is always within reach. One inventive interval timer is the Set Starter, a wearable so small it can fit on your thumb. Due to popular demand and the independent nature of Set Starter’s production, it is currently sold out with no sign of a release date for the Set Starter 2.0.
Most fitness apps focus on running. As long as you carry your mobile device with you (or wear a wearable) while running, these apps will keep track of your distance, pace, and calories burned. Some popular examples include Nike+Running, RunKeeper, and Endomondo.
Some apps turn fitness into a game. If running is your exercise of choice, try Zombies, Run!, an app that matches your real-life running speed to that of virtual zombies. Completing missions, collecting supplies, and outrunning zombies earns you rewards in the game. Another fitness game called Fitocracy rewards you with experience points and level ups when you complete exercises. This app offers detailed explanations of various exercises making it useful to beginners.
There are other apps that focus specifically on tracking the calories you take in at every meal. Apps like MyFitnessPal make it easy by allowing you to choose foods from a database or scan a food’s barcode rather than manually entering the caloric content. Other apps that count calories for you include Lose It, MyPlate, and Noom Coach.
With these helpful apps and devices, you can finally focus on improving your lifestyle and making the right choices for your health. Instead of relying on your conscience to push you in the right direction, get an app that will do it for you. Being able to see your progress unfold in front of you is sure to keep you on a healthy workout schedule and diet.
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