Guest post by Sara Upton.
Getting fit is hard.
Staying fit is harder.
It is commonly known that keeping up the level of fitness that you’ve attained can only be done by doing high-intensity workouts about three times a week. But it’s hard to keep track of what you’re doing unless you submit yourself to constant time-keeping during your workout, which can cause more stress and fatigue than a relaxed mind and careful breathing.
There has been an unprecedented push for fitness technology associated with new smartphone and app developments in the past 10 years. We can cite Samsung’s S Health Partner and Heart Rate Monitor (available on the Galaxy S5) as major players in this arena, though peripheral devices since the flagship’s release are gaining more and more attention with the passing months in 2014.
According to Verizon Wireless, wearable devices do almost everything for fitness, as they “…sync to smartphone apps so users can track everything from activity level and calorie intake to sleep patterns.” However, the devices would be nothing without the operating systems that power their information feed, the most prevalent and recent being TIZEN and Google’s Android Wear.
But what are these devices and how do we get them? The answer is as easy as a Google search–they’re all over the place these days. The most popular and all-around best statistically are worn on the wrist, and these two wristwear items are sure to change your fitness tracking ways.
Few devices are as good-looking as the Gear Fit. With a curved screen and excellent wrist contour design, it’s comfortable and lightweight. One can change the screen’s orientation to be horizontal (the default), or vertical. As a water-resistant device, it’s definitely attractive to swimmers and those who live in, say, Seattle.
But that’s not all that’s neat about this device. It has an on board pulse monitor that keeps track of your heart rate and connects directly with your smartphone and the fitness app of your choice. Don’t forget to track your sleep behavior every night; that could make all the difference in your workout routine!
Motorola Moto 360
As an actual smartwatch whose release is speculated to be sometime in July of this year, the Moto 360 is an attractive piece of tech powered by Android Wear that is appealing for multiple reasons. Because Android Wear makes the watch tick, you’ll be able to access the voice control with a simple “OK Google,” as Google Now is to be among the most prominent features available to the device. But this isn’t the fitness focus.
The fitness focus of the device comes in the form of dual-purpose app technology. Because the device has an onboard gyroscope and accelerometer and supports app development for the watch itself (thanks to Android Wear’s adaptability for app developers), we can expect that fitness apps are to take up a considerable swathe of the new apps we’ll see available for the device.
Whatever Your Fitness Style, There’s an App for That!
For example, Zombies, Run! is a great app to link your warm up to your workout. Imagine the fun of joining 800,000+ runners on a ‘scary’ adventure that motivates you to run further and faster than ever before.
Your Mission: Get Fit. Escape Zombies. Become a Hero.
*If you can hear the zombies, you’re not keeping up the pace!
*Pick your playlist and hear an epic story unfold between tracks
*Use for constant or interval training with dually-applicable “game” modes
*View graphs and stats of your progress – and the songs you listen to most!
Get Started or Keep Moving
Here are two simple apps that will either help get you started or help to keep you going at your workout’s current pace:
*Use GPS to map your run, using pace and elevation statistic
*Train for weight loss, 5k, half-marathon, and full marathon with built-in audio training
*Share your successes on social media sites to keep up with your friends!
*Find routes of your own or those found by others using your phone’s GPS technology
*See how you stack up on leaderboards filtered by age and weight
*Create a Strava profile and share your Instagram photos – so find the best, most beautiful routes you can!
In the coming months we’ll see a lot of news in the peripheral arena as it relates to fitness. With multiple devices pitted for summer release, the specs and updates will be coming in each and every day, so be sure to keep your eye on fitness app developers and their savvy new ideas for keeping your workout on track!
Do you use fitness tech?
Which fitness apps do you use?
Have you found them helpful?
Share your thoughts and experiences with us.
About Sara Upton
Sara Upton is a freelance fitness writer and personal trainer whose recent focus has been on the intersection between fitness technology and daily workout routines.