Fitness trackers have come and gone since the rage began a few years ago. But what has changed is that beyond the basic functions such as tracking steps, runs or your sleep and heart rate, gadgets have incorporated state of the art technology and can even be used in a gym, for example, to count reps or keep a check on your posture when weight lifting. With so many wearables in the market, it’s rather difficult to find the right fit for your fitness goals, especially since each one promises to revolutionise your fitness.
The first rule is to study the market thoroughly. And so we’ve compiled a list of ten fitness wearables that we think will make all the difference to your workout or running session. Of course, we see new ones come out every day, so if you spot a brand new wearable, that deserves a mention, drop us a line below. Here’s our top-7 list:
Samsung Gear Fit2
The Gear Fit2 is Samsung’s premier fitness tracker and features many smartwatch features, making it a bit of a hybrid. It features built-in GPS chip which lets you track your route without a smartphone’s GPS chip tethered to the tracker. In additions, there’s an on-board music player, an optical heart rate monitor, and syncing to most Android phones, it can also stream notifications. A recent software update called Automated Dynamic Workout Tracking now makes it more useful at gyms and fitness studios. It can automatically recognise a range of new exercises, and features rep counting to keep track of crunches, lunges, squats and jumping jacks.
Atlas Wristband 2
The Atlas wristband is the first wearable tracker that natively detects your workout using sensors such as the three-axis gyroscope and measures it against so-called “exercise fingerprints” which help the device determine what type of activity you’re performing.
It knows that you’re doing push-ups or planks, and also has the ability to learn new exercises by analysing your motion. It’ll count your reps, measure your heart rate and won’t let you get away without pushing yourself.
With its second generation version, Atlas has expanded the memory, and the exercise library database, which lets you do more freestyle exercises. Thanks to its waterproof feature, you can now also take it for a swim, which vastly expands its use-cases.
Halo Sport headphones are just pure genius! Using something called neurostimulation, these claim to help you train more effectively and with Olympian gold medalist Michael Johnson and many NFL stars vouching for it, Halo Sport also looks the real deal. Also, it does play music.
The basic principle these headphones are designed on is that the brain learns from repetition, the Halo Sport’s tech stimulates the motor cortex for a good period of 20 minutes during athletic training (neuropriming) and increases the excitability of the motor neurons. This puts your brain into a state of heightened plasticity known as “hyper plasticity” or ‘hyperlearning’, for up to an hour. The company says it’s most effective when worn during your toughest, highest quality workouts because it has the potential to maximize your gains in terms of strength, explosiveness, endurance, and muscle memory.
This is a must have if you are serious about your gym gains and endurance training, and features an Android and iOS app to sync and track your data.
Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition
The Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition earphones have built a tracker into a pair of buds. If earphones are your must have gym accessory then these should be on top of your list. The carbon-encased Jabra Sport Pulse Special Edition earphones place a heart rate tracker right in the inner-ear, which is supposed to be a lot more effective that sensors that track your heart rate through your wrists.
The Jabra headphones can also be teamed up with a companion app to offer voice guided zone and interval training. With the upgraded Pulse you can effectively add automatic and continuous VO2 Max level monitoring
The GymWatch can be worn as an armband or on the upper leg and is one of the few wearables designed to measure strength that you gain from the workout. The user adds inputs of the activity using the smartphone app, while the gadget measures motion. The resulting calculation shows strength data, whether it’s using free weights, pulley’s or lifting the wearer’s own body weight.
The GymWatch with its special formula is able to calculate explosive strength, speed strength and muscle strength in real time. It also determines half/full reps and gives users advice on posture.
Athos combines snug-fitting, biosignal monitoring sensor-loaded sports apparel, and a Bluetooth enabled wearable core chip, which gives athletes specialised data about their training. This allows elite athletes to gain the edge that can be all the difference between gold and silver. It lets them harness some of the most precise and in-depth workout data imaginable, tracking motion of the entire body through motion detection, sensory inputs and muscle movement and transmits it back to an app in real time. The company claims the device can record every movement, muscle exertion, breath and heartbeat/pulse, which naturally arms athletes with a ton of data about how they should be training.
The Actofit is a gym tracker that is not just another fitness tracker. With a 0.91-inch OLED touchscreen display, it uses a 9-axis motion sensor setup (gyroscope, magnetometer and accelerometer) that come together to track movement in a 3D space. It’s able to identify different activities and can recognise 75+ gym exercises counting sets and reps and correcting posture at the same time. It can additionally monitor heart rate continuously due to the built-in optical sensor as well as estimate velocity, force and power.
It also does the basics like tracking steps and sleep. With features like text and call notification support, a smart auto alarm mode, calendar reminders and NFC payments, this wearable comes close to being a full-fledged internet device.