If you need an extra boost to stay in shape this year, here are Geektime’s favorite up and coming fitness gadgets to check out in 2015.
Are you one of the millions of people who made a New Year’s resolution to get fit? As is the case every year, it is easy to make such resolutions, but hard to keep them.
If you need an extra boost to stay on course, here are Geektime‘s favorite up and coming fitness gadgets to check out in 2015. And for those of you staying in shape in Austria, Italy, the UK, Canada, Switzerland, Finland, and Hong Kong, here are some good excuses to buy local.
Body weight training is the No. 1 fitness trend for 2015, according to this worldwide survey. Board the bandwagon with Beast, a wearable magnetic sensor developed in Milan that can be attached to barbells, gym machines – or your body, if you are performing body weight exercises that don’t require equipment, like sit-ups and push-ups.
The sensor, which links to a smartphone app to record the data, shows you in real time just how much of a workout you are getting. Beast has been beta-tested by professional athletes and trainers, and is scheduled to be available for sale on the company’s website as of the end of January.
Ever wish your soccer ball could tell you what exactly you need to do to get it between the goalposts? Now it can, thanks to a sensor inside the regulation-size ball that detects speed, spin, strike and flight path data. The sensor sends the data to the miCoach smart ball app, which only works on Apple devices running iOS 7 or higher. The app gives you instant feedback about your ball skills, as well as drills, coaching tips and guidance to help you improve. One hour of charging gives you approximately 2,000 kicks per week.
This training app for Android and iOS by an Austrian fitness app maker may sound like it’s just for runners, but Runtastic is also for body weight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups and squats, as well as activities like hiking and biking.
To get started, you sign in with Facebook. The apps let you follow your performance and set goals and – where relevant – plan routes and track times and calories, in a free or pro version. You can watch your workout in 3D via Google Earth, stay motivated with an integrated music player and share your achievements on Runtastic.com, Facebook or Twitter (which just might help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions). A TalkAndroid.com review described the simple-to-use Runtastic as the best application for runners on Android. You can also track your activities with the Orbit armband fitness tracker.
Fitness trackers like Fitbit, Jawbone UP, Fitbug and Mio Fuse measure what your body does when you’re active, but a good night’s sleep can be just as important as working out if you want to stay healthy. The Beddit sleep monitor measures what your body does when you’re unconscious, including your heart rate, respiration, sleep cycles and sleep time. It’s a long strip that goes underneath your sheets and sends the data to your phone via a Bluetooth wireless connection. You get a daily report and a score between 0 and 110 that’s affected by how close you were to reaching the goal you set for hours of sleep.
Data from Beddit is good enough that it can enable doctors to identify whether you have sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing problems can disrupt sleep, the Finnish company of the same name told CNET.
The first touchscreen GPS-equipped cycling computer, designed both to withstand tough weather conditions (after all, the company’s headquarters are in Switzerland) and respond to the tap of a gloved hand, has built-in maps to help you navigate. It also tracks your distance, speed, location and elevation and is compatible with heart rate monitors, cadence sensors and power monitors.
But maybe you don’t want to look down to check your stats while cycling. That’s okay, it can be distracting and dangerous. Instead, you can mount the Sportiiii head-up display – made by Canadian company 4iiii Innovations – on your sunglasses and monitor your speed, heart rate, cadence and power by listening to voice prompts.
Many people eat too fast, and since it takes about 20 minutes from the time you start eating to the time you feel full, eating too fast can mean taking in too many calories before realizing you’ve had enough. If you find yourself devouring your dinner too fast and you want to stay fit without running off those unnecessary calories, you can use the HAPIfork to help reduce your eating pace. You are advised to chew about 10-20 times, with sensors sending tiny vibrations to let you know it’s time to slow down.
Persist in eating too fast and the fork, produced by the Hong Kong-based HAPILABS, will sound an alarm. That’s your signal to put it down and wait until the light turns green. The fork can also track how long it takes you to eat, how many times you bring the fork to your mouth per minute, and how long you wait between what the company calls your “fork servings.”