Not that long ago, getting fit involved writing down how many miles you walked or jogged in a day, trying to figure out out how many calories you ate at lunch, and holding your finger to your carotid artery to try to measure your heart beat while jogging.
Now, thanks to the proliferation of a variety technological gadgets, it’s easier than ever to keep track of how often and how well you are exercising, how many calories you are burning, and if your heart rate is chugging along fast enough during a workout to make a real difference. For example, check out how the following trio of tech tools that can help you reach your fitness goals during three types of exercise:
Zumba: MyZone Heart Rate Sensor
To say that Zumba has taken the world by storm is putting it lightly—thousands of people around the country have signed up for the dance classes at gyms, which involve lively and loud music combined with energetic dance moves. To be sure that you are getting your heart rate up as high as you would like during Zumba class, consider getting a MyZone wearable belt. After placing the comfortable strap right below your chest and starting your Zumba class, the heart rate sensor will send real-time data and calorie burn info to your smartphone.
The longer you stay in higher intensity zones during your Zumba class, the more MyZone Effort Points you can earn—you can use the points to compete with a friend in class, or to help set your fitness goals. If you have always wanted to try Zumba but aren’t sure what the classes are like, check out the 24 Hour Fitness website; there, you can find a variety of helpful videos of all of the gym’s Zumba classes, including a low-impact version called Zumba Gold.
Walking: Smartphone Pedometer
If you are trying to increase the number of steps that you are walking every day, but you don’t have the money to purchase a fancier tech tool like a FitBit, your smartphone can also help you reach your walking goal. Download a free app like the Steps Pedometer and Step Counter Activity Tracker and easily track how many steps you take daily. As a bonus, the colors on the screen change to show your progress as you walk along, and the app is noise-free, easy to use and does not require you to wear or keep track of another gadget. You can easily set and adjust your walking goals on the app, keep track of your activity history and it will work no matter where you are holding or storing your phone on your body.
Weight Lifting: GymWatch
One of the hardest things about lifting weights is wondering if you are doing it correctly. If your form is off, your workout may be ineffective and you will be at risk for injury. To avoid having to pay for a personal trainer or convince a buddy to watch your form at the gym, treat yourself to a GymWatch wearable fitness tracker. You can wear the sensor on your arm or leg while working out, and it will transmit your repetitions, speed and intensity to your phone.
The innovative GymWatch will also sense when your movements or execution are off, and will give you immediate audio feedback through headphones; this will help you adjust your posture or grip right away to prevent you from getting hurt. You can use GymWatch while lifting free weights, your own body weight or working on machines at the gym and as a bonus, the sensor comes with a mobile app that includes 900-plus exercises.