Shape up with the latest gadgets.
GARMIN ANT+ ADAPTER
Garmin, $ 55 garmin. com. au
★ ★ ★ ★
Jennifer Dudley- Nicholson This unusual piece of fitness equipment turns your iphone into a running buddy. Developed by GPS aficionado Garmin – better known for its jog- tracking watches – the ANT+ Adapter is a dongle that connects to the base of your iphone. It powers the 99¢ Garmin Fit app that can track your walking, running or cycling workouts. Your progress can be mapped by GPS and the app will also log the exercise time, distance covered, pace and calories burned. While handy, this device is infinitely more useful when paired with another of Garmin’s sensors, like its $ 69 Heart Rate Monitor. The ANT+ Adapter can connect wirelessly to these sensors, adding vital extra information.
tests gadgets to boost your fitness campaign
Jawbone, $ US99 jawbone. com/ up
★ ★ ★ ★
■ Jawbone’s latest creation knows every move you make. The Up wristband is designed to be worn 24/ 7 and its waterproof rubber exterior hides a motion sensor, vibration monitor and battery. It records your movements and delivers details to an iphone app that shows how many steps you’ve taken and how much sleep you’ve had daily. The app also shows how many calories you’ve burned and how much of your bedtime was spent in a deep sleep. However, hardware problems have dampened its reception and forced refunds, and the band does struggle to reliably synchronise with the iphone. But persistence pays dividends – when it works, the Up is a great coach.
YOUR SHAPE: FITNESS EVOLVED 2012
Ubisoft, $ 89.95 ubi. com
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
■ Video games are no longer a sedentary activity and this title proves it. Ubisoft’s Your Shape games use the Xbox 360’ s Kinect accessory to track your limbs and the latest edition even scans your form and adds it to the game. Many activities have been added since its debut, with dance, yoga, boxing and boot camp represented, and the game gives users feedback for safe training. Kinect does a surprisingly good job at tracking movements, though users need to practise getting the timing just right. Participants can create individual workout schedules and can now expand their training regimes with downloadable exercise packs, including a Back In Shape pack out this month.
ADIDAS MICOACH SPEED CELL
Adidas, $ 100 micoach. com
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
■ Adidas not only provides sports shoes but now offers sports coaching, too. The Micoach Speed Cell is a battery- powered gadget roughly the size of a 50¢ piece that attaches to your shoelaces. With help from an accompanying iphone dongle and app, it tracks your movements with great detail. Workout modes are available for running, walking, cycling and even Nordic skiing, and the Micoach can list details, including stride rate, incline, distance travelled and calories burned. It can even plot your course on a map with alarming accuracy. Choose a preset workout, and a virtual coach will put you through your paces, talking over the top of your chosen exercise playlist. Workouts can be shared via your online Micoach account.