A walk-in wardrobe filled with fitness gear to rival that of Khloe Kardashian’s; an unlimited supply of MAC lipsticks; and the ability to eat all the carbs in the world without putting on a single pound – that’s every girl’s Christmas wish list for 2015. But let’s get realistic. If there’s one thing that you should add onto this year’s wish list it’s a fitness gadget.
Whether it’s something to count calories, monitor your heartbeats or track your workouts, fitness gadgets are the next big thing. With so many varieties to choose from, they can really help to keep you focused, motivated and on track, especially if you’re new to fitness and are in need of a little extra drive. I’ve tried and tested three of the must-have gadgets out at the moment, and here are my thoughts.
Jawbone UP Fitness Tracker | RRP. £99
The Jawbone UP is a personal favourite of mine. I received this for Christmas last year and have worn it pretty much every day since. Through using a wristband gadget with world class sensors and connecting the wristband to an app on your phone, you can monitor your sleep, steps, distance walked and workouts; it really is your very own personal trainer.
The Jawbone has two settings – day and night – which both monitor completely different things. In the day it monitors your steps and movement, calculating how many calories you burn through moving and resting. If you workout within this time, such as go to the gym and lift weights or go for a run or swim, you can add this to your movements of the day via the app by selecting “Add Workout”.
From there you can choose what sport you did (there are so many to choose from), for how long and for what intensity (ranging from Easy to GUT BUSTER!). This then estimates how many calories you would have burned in that time based on your weight and height, and adds it to your total for the day. I will emphasise though that this is an estimate. I wouldn’t say that it’s completely accurate, though it is really great to see how hard you’re working. It has even motivated me to go running or walking in order to reach my daily steps target!
As for the night setting, all you have to do is sleep. The wristband will monitor how well you snooze throughout the night and you can check the next morning via syncing it to the app. After all, sleep is key to a healthy body and mind.
WELSH GIRL FIT STAR RATING: ★★★★
Great for every day use and really motivational as you can track your progress as it happens. The only downfall would be that it’s not completely accurate when counting calories from your workouts and you have to check the app for stats.
MyZone Physical Activity Belt | RRP – £100 (approx.)
This is possibly the best fitness gadget I’ve bought this year and one that I couldn’t be without! My local gym signed up to MyZone a few years ago, which meant members of the gym to buy a MyZone Effort Monitor Belt to wear during workouts. You register the belt online and it works as a heart monitor and calorie counter in the same way that any other heart monitors do. The belt is worn just under your chest with an adjustable strap to cater it to your size. It is really tight and secure so stays for the duration of your workout.
The gym then provides a MyZone Facility. You sync your belt to the Facility via Bluetooth and the Facility then displays and stores the data so you can see how hard you’re working both during and after a workout. For example, in my gym there are big screens that show how hard people are working (as shown in the picture below) and as it is tailored individually to a person’s height, weight, gender and resting heart rate you get an accurate, real-life interpretation. This is a great way to push yourself and to have a little healthy competition between your friends and fellow fitness lovers!
The MyZone Fitness Board displays how hard you’re working out.
After your workout MyZone will send you an email with a full breakdown of how hard you worked. From there you can log into the MyZone centre online and see how hard other members of the gym are working, and even compete in challenges both within the gym and against other MyZone gyms across the country!
I’ve found that having a MyZone belt has really motivated and inspired me. Whilst working out I can look at the screen and if I see that I’m only working at 80% then I push myself to work harder and to get into that red 90% effort zone! It also has made me realise what exercises work best for me and what machines I should use/classes I should attend in order to burn the most calories and to really work up a sweat.
The only downfall was that this was only available to gyms that are signed up to MyZone. I believe my gym at the Carmarthen Leisure Centre is the only fitness facility in the whole of Wales to offer it, but now there is a new Physical Activity belt so you can use it and sync to your account online anywhere and at any time! I’m yet to use this one, but it’s on my Christmas wish list. This means you don’t have to be bound to a fitness club and can upload anywhere and at any time via your smartphone, and can monitor your workout as it happens too.
WELSH GIRL FIT STAR RATING: ★★★★★
I would have given the MyZone Effort Monitor a 4-star, just because it was only available to those at participating gyms. However, as it is now available to anyone anywhere, I have no option but to give it a 5-star rating. An absolute must-have for all gym-goers and something I could not live without!
Fit Bit Charge | RRP – £92.99
The FitBit Charge works in a similar way to the Jawbone UP, by tracking your activity and sleep, but it also tracks the floors climbed (i.e. how many stairs you walk up in a day) and your active minutes. You can even set it to notify you when you have incoming phone calls and set alarms throughout the day, and it has a screen to display your stats whenever you want them. I really like this as you have an instant result and don’t have to use your phone to check each time you want an update.
One problem though is that these don’t seem to be as durable as the other gadgets in today’s post. My boyfriend, Dan, has actually gone through two of these wristbands in the past year. However, when he emailed FitBit their customer service team were extremely competent and sent over new wristbands immediately. I think with a lot of TLC, and perhaps not wearing it to bed, they should last longer.
WELSH GIRL FIT STAR RATING: ★★★★
With instant display, increased battery life and the ability to track all activity throughout the day, this is a great gadget gift. Just be careful when wearing to ensure its longevity.
Admittedly, these gadgets are a little pricey, but a one off purchase can help you keep motivated, be inspired and whip yourself into shape! Plus, it’s a great way to spend your Christmas money on. Let’s be honest, whilst an unlimited supply of MAC lipsticks would be delightful, these are far more practical and durable and gifts that you won’t end up losing on a night out with friends!
What are your favourite fitness gadgets?
Let me know in the comments below!