State-Of-the-art fit­neSS tech

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Brunch - - INDULGE -

Wel­come to the world of fit­ness gad­gets that prom­ise func­tion­al­ity and style

CAN TECH re­ally make you fit­ter? Are all th­ese met­rics that you get from a fit­ness band like steps, calo­ries burnt or dis­tance cov­ered make you a bet­ter ath­lete? Do body hack­ing de­vices that claim to take you on a jour­ney to a new healthy you ac­tu­ally work?

The de­bate be­tween pure fit­ness ver­sus tech-assisted fit­ness is at an all-time high and it’s time to sep­a­rate the wheat from the chaff and the hype from reality. Too many de­vices mas­quer­ade as real fit­ness gad­gets, but many of them are com­pletely use­less and not worth the pa­per box they come pack­aged in. Here are some work­out de­vices I’ve dis­cov­ered that work, are fan­tas­tic mo­ti­va­tional tools and will turn you into a lean fight­ing ma­chine.

THE ROLLS OF SPORTS WATCHES

For many, this would be overkill, but look closely and you’ll dis­cover that this is noth­ing short of a mir­a­cle. The Garmin Fenix 3 HR is a pure breed run­ner’s watch, be­sides track­ing a dozen other sports such as swim­ming, bik­ing, triath­lete and ski­ing. It’s also an ac­tiv­ity recorder, a GPS tracker, a fit­ness band and a smart­watch. It looks stun­ning, has mul­ti­ple watch faces that con­vert it from a geeky sports data ma­chine to a lux­ury evening watch, is laden with mul­ti­ple sen­sors like heart rate and body tem­per­a­ture and has op­tions hands and feet are, how bal­anced you are and what amount of pres­sure is be­ing ex­erted for each pose. It ob­vi­ously comes with a con­nected app that will teach you proper yoga vis­ually, and can be pro­grammed on your own for a cus­tom class. You may just be able to re­place your ex­pen­sive yoga in­struc­tor with a mat.

DOC­TOR ON CALL

GOQii rev­o­lu­tionised the fit­ness band busi­ness by mar­ry­ing all your ac­tiv­ity data to a real-time coach who gets all those num­bers and then sug­gests, ca­joles, threat­ens and guides you on what to do next. But with the GOQii 2.0, it’s taken things to a new level. Now all that data also flows to a pro­fes­sion­ally qual­i­fied doc­tor. If you’re not feel­ing well or not sure what’s up with you, the GOQii band gets you on­line with a real doc­tor who you can talk to, and who, on the ba­sis of all your data can guide you on what to do next. Also con­nected into the ecosys­tem are hospi­tals, test­ing labs and a plethora of other health pro­fes­sion­als. Your coach then does fol­low-ups to make sure your fit­ness and health are in top form. GOQii 2.0 also al­lows for pay­ments, with a NFC chip in­side that can be used to make pay­ments at thou­sands of out­lets. Ap­par­ently an­other huge an­nounce­ment is about to be made that may shake up the en­tire world of fit­ness bands glob­ally. Can’t wait!

SUPER-SMART DUMB­BELLS

Dumb­bells! To many in a gym, they are the holy grail. By us­ing a set of dumb­bells you force your body to not only work out but also sta­bilise the weight. But what if your dumb­bells could be­come smart? Super-smart! The Bowflex dumb­bells are mo­du­lar (just choose the weight you want to lift on a dial), move­ment aware (they will count your reps for you as well as check your form and style), and con­nected (the dumb­bells con­nect to an app on your phone where you can choose your work­outs and chal­lenges while the dumb­bells track your progress).

In real life, I found that th­ese ac­tu­ally lived up to the ex­pec­ta­tions, the reps counted were al­ways ac­cu­rate and the fact that I could change the weight I was lift­ing at any point to be a real boon. The only down­side: al­most im­pos­si­ble to get them in In­dia and get­ting them from abroad means that you can carry only them (they ob­vi­ously weigh a lot) and no other lug­gage!

It seems that the world of fit­ness is fi­nally learn­ing its most im­por­tant les­son. Just putting a sen­sor in a de­vice and call­ing it the next big thing in health or fit­ness isn’t go­ing to cut it. Func­tion­al­ity that wasn’t pos­si­ble be­fore, fea­tures that re­ally help and also mo­ti­vate you to take things to the next level are the real deal. Th­ese four are a good start and also show that the fu­ture of fit­ness looks very healthy.

FOR A HEALTHY YOU

In case of a health is­sue, the GOQii 2.0 con­nects you to a doc­tor on­line

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