Getting in shape requires dedication and motivation - but some help from the latest fitness trackers and smartwatches doesn’t hurt either…
A smartwatch or fitness tracker won’t actually force you to get off the lounge and get moving, but it can encourage you to take the first step. “Wearable tech and apps are a fantastic way to stay motivated and to provide some accountability,” explains CEO and celebrity coach at Transformation Coach, Chief Brabon.
“They’re also a great way to actually monitor your exercise and fitness levels. Not so long ago if you went for a run you had to guess the pace you were running at and how hard you were working. This made it easy to think you were working hard enough – when really you weren’t!”
“Now you can track the speed you’re travelling and the level of intensity you’re working at. The other great thing about wearable tech is that you can record your workouts so you can see where you’re improving, which is great for motivation,” says Brabon.
Celebrity coach Chief Brabon wears a smartwatch to track the intensity of his training sessions…
What to look for in wearables
“The must-haves of any wearable device are a GPS so you can track speed, distance and the route you took if you’re running,” says Brabon. “You also need a heart rate monitor so you know how hard you’re working. An interval timer allows you to set different work/recovery ratios, which is great for HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and Tabata-style workouts.”
“On high-end devices, you can even access instructional videos and images to ensure you’re doing things correctly and making the most of your hard work.”
“Wearable tech can be a great way to boost your general wellbeing as well as your fitness,” says health, food and fitness motivator Dani Stevens
“Having a device that tracks your sleep patterns and daily steps allows you to be more aware of – and consequently more in control of – your wellbeing. It’s like walking around with a personal motivator on hand all the time.”
Wearable tech helps fitness motivator Dani Stevens keep track of her exercise and wellbeing…
What fitness apps to download?
“There are thousands of apps designed to support wearable technology,” says Brabon. “Apps such as MapMyRun are fantastic for keeping track of your workouts, and even sharing them with others.”
Stevens believes it’s the collaborative aspect of these apps that make them so successful. “It’s a great way to encourage one another and motivate those that need that extra push,” she says. “These apps can help us connect with like-minded people all over the world. Technology can help us set scores and beat our personal best.”
They’re also a great way to keep exercising if you travel a lot for work or want to maintain your fitness while on holiday.
“People all around the world can upload runs, rides, hikes or swims via these apps that you can then try yourself,” says Brabon. “It’s a good way to experience some local culture, explore your surroundings and still get in a workout.”
Dani Stevens loves fitness apps as a great way to connect with like-minded people. She uses fitness tech to encourage herself and others to go that extra mile in exercising
What to remember with wearable tech
While wearable tech can help you achieve your fitness goals, “it’s essential you seek advice from a qualified fitness professional in order to find the right training programme for your ability,” says Brabon.
“Most of these professionals will be able to show you how to get the most out of your health and fitness tech.” He also advises vigilance regarding data availability and privacy: “Depending on what software your tech is linked to, people can track your movements. So if you post the exact same run every Monday at 7pm, people will know exactly where you’re going to be at that time.”
Using wearable tech along with advice from fitness professionals will ensure that you're getting the most out of your health and fitness, says Chief Brabon
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