5 Fitness Gadgets Actually Worth the Money

By Claire Millard on 3 June 2016 0 comments

It's no secret that some exercise routines are costly, and without complete commitment, the benefits might be minimal. You could spend a fortune on a gym membership and personal trainers, but certain small, clever fitness investments can do the same (or more) for a much lower cost.

Here are a few fitness tech gadgets that really pay off.

Fitness Trackers

Fitness trackers have been hot for a couple of years now, and they are certainly a smart way for those of use with a sedentary lifestyle to gently increase exercise and improve overall wellness. As a bonus, they're cheaper than a gym membership and can help you incorporate more movement in your real life, rather than trying to make huge — and ultimately unsustainable — lifestyle changes.

If you're in the market for a fitness tracker, Fitbit Blaze could be the thing for you. At around $200, it is more expensive than bracelet style trackers, but makes up for that in both form and function.

Aside from the aesthetics (this is a watch design), the tracker includes all you would expect — step count, activity and sleep trackers, and so on — and more. The gadget has a heart rate monitor built in and even allows you to monitor your calls and texts on the go. The main bonus is the ability to access workouts on your device, which might make this a worthwhile investment if it means you can drop that costly gym subscription.

Smart Shorts

Lumo products are perfect for runners seeking to improve performance. The tracker clips onto your clothing, or can be inserted into a specially designed pocket in Lumo's own range of smart apparel, and measures your running style like no other. This gadget is more like having your own running coach in your pocket than an average fitness tracker, providing lab-standard biometric data all the way through your training. Get details about your stride pattern, bounce, and cadence, which can then be converted by the app into drills and exercises for improvement.

Use the sensor with headphones to get live, on-the-go coaching based on the measurements being taken, or simply download the data after your run for some analysis and action planning. Even better, the gear is available for preorder at a discount, starting from under $80 for the tracker and clip.

Fitness, Diet, and Goal Tracking Apps

The world of apps and gadgets has exploded in recent years. The theory goes that by monitoring as much as you can, you have a better opportunity to understand and ultimately improve your health and wellness. Over time you build a data set which allows you to see the progress, either through getting more active, eating better, improving metrics like your weight or heart rate, or cutting back on bad habits.

If you go out running or cycling regularly, try Strava, which is designed to track and share your training, and can help you share your progress by linking to your social media accounts. For an all round support system covering nutrition, stress, sleep and exercise, try Noom, a smart app that allows you to track your progress and receive expert advice.

Finally, if you're in the UK, check out Sweatcoin, the app that makes your exercise pay you. Track your steps and swap them for "sweatcoins" you can cash in for real rewards. Going global soon, so get ready!

Digital Coaching

Digital coaching is a great halfway house if you want some human input into your training but can't afford the time or money for a personal trainer. Apps such as coach.me are designed to allow you to track your progress against a goal, and enlist the support of a remote trainer.

If the midriff is looking a little wobbly, and the prospect of summer on the beach is sending a shiver up your spine, then don't be tempted to throw money at the problem. Instead, do a bit of research into the tech products and services that can help you get in shape without breaking the bank. The range on offer is developing every day, leaving very little room for excuses when it is time to bust out that bikini.

What fitness tech products are working for you? Tell us in the comments.

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