Give your progress a smart boost with this kit list.
Achieving your health and fitness goals is simple enough. Eat well, train clever and you’ll be moving in the right direction. But that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from a helping hand, buzz, beep or push notification. Let tech compliment your training, rather than become an obsession, and it can give you an effective edge. Here are the smartest investments.
THE SOLID STARTS
The latest iteration of the go-to fitness watch is smarter than ever. It can track 80 different types of exercises, from walking, running, cycling and swimming to boxing and strength training. For the first time, this watch can also measure your SP02 level. (It’s as nerdy as it sounds.) This measures how well your red blood cells are carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, and helps you to keep track of your overall fitness – not just individual workouts. Another plus is that you’ll no longer need a third-party app to track your sleep. But the most important feature is that it’ll be the best connected tracker for Apple Fitness +, the new workout platform from the tech giant.
Wrist trackers are good but not infallible. The Myzone belt tracks your heart rate with 99.4% accuracy, and splits your exertion into colour-coded effort levels depending on your max heart rate. Blue is steady-state cardio. Red is treadmill sprints. The best part is that it’s all about effort, not about times or weights lifted. It removes the ego and just tracks hard work – and rewards you with Myzone Effort Points (or MEPs). Working in 60-69% of your max heart rate earns you 2 MEPs per minute while 80-100% of your max heart rate takes this up to 4 MEPs per minute. So, no matter your fitness levels, you can track your progress clearly.
Tracking is about much more than calories burned, these days. Now recovery is of equal importance to activity. The Whoop clocks your heart beat 100 times a second, 24/7, to measure your Heart Rate Variability (HRV) – the miniscule variations in your heart beat. Simply put, more variability means your nervous system is better primed to take on strenuous activities. By tracking how much effort you put in the previous day, and how well you sleep, every morning you get a recovery percentage and a suggested level of exertion for the day to come. Bad sleep? Go for a jog. 8 hours and plenty of protein and carbs the previous day – you can take on a HIIT class, and go all-in.
THE EXTRA MILES
The Airofit promises to breathe fresh life into your workouts. Inserted into the mouth post-workout, this bite-sized bit of tech boosts your vital lung capacity, respiratory strength and anaerobic threshold. It generates resistance to your respiratory muscles, which stimulates muscle tissue growth, making your breathing muscles faster, stronger and more efficient. Powered by a connected app, it also tracks every HIIT-induced gasp for air and produces customisable training programmes to help you inflate the efficacy of every workout.
To the untrained eye the Halo Sport Headphones just look like a pair of regular noise-cancelling cans. But they also turbocharge the brain with waves of electricity. Rows of silicone electrodes that look like teeth – known as primers – have been built into the headband to release electrical pulses into the motor cortex, the area of your brain that sends signals to your muscles. This puts the body in a state of “hyperplasticity” – boosting co-ordination, endurance and strength by getting more muscle fibres to fire at the same time. It’s the fastest way to achieve muscle memory and can quickly help you to get more out of every training session.
Metabolism is the key to healthy weight loss, and one of the emerging factors in determining how effectively you can lose weight is understanding whether you’re using fat or carbs for fuel. Lumen tracks the CO2 concentration of your breath to help you determine just that – you inhale a fixed volume of air, hold it for 10 seconds, and exhale fully. It will then tell you what your body’s preferred fuel source is that day. Then, with Lumen’s daily insights, you will improve your metabolism by improving metabolic flexibility: your body’s ability to shift efficiently between using fats or carbs as a source of energy. Plus, it then provides personalised nutrition recommendations to maximise your metabolism and support healthy weight loss.