For the (Fitness) Record
If better fitness is one of your resolutions for 2016, these gadgets make it a cinch to keep track of the hard data behind all of your hard work.
The popular adage “You can’t improve what you don’t measure” was originally espoused in management circles, but it also applies to your health. These gadgets make it a cinch to keep track of the hard data behind all of your hard work.
A regular scale weighs your entire body. Boring. The Withings Smart Body Analyzer records weight changes, body fat, BMI and heart rate and synchs via Bluetooth with your smartphone, giving you intimate knowledge of your body composition that previously only a mortician could know. Unimpressed? This scale also measures CO2 emissions in your room and lets you know when to crack open a window. US$150, www.withings.com
If you sleep more than seven hours but suffer from daytime fatigue, you might be getting low-quality ZZZs. The Beddit attaches to your mattress and tracks how long you’re actually asleep, minus the time your brain wakes or you restlessly roll around thinking about doughnuts, taxes or Game of Thrones. It also measures heart rate, respiration (snoring) and sleep cycles, slaps the data together into pretty charts and graphs and scores you out of 100. US$149, www.beddit.com
Ironically, fighting traffic to get to a drug store to use its free blood pressure monitor probably raises your blood pressure. Toss the iHealth Wireless Blood Pressure Wrist Monitor into your bag and check your blood pressure without a trek to the strip mall. This Health Canada-approved device measures your systolic, diastolic and pulse rate and sends the data to your doctor or caregiver at the push of a button. US$80, www.ihealthlabs.com (available at store.apple.com/ca)
From a company that’s been making wearable tech before it was trendy, the Polar M400 Sports Watch suits the active boomer who needs exact numbers and stats to log their performance. GPS measures the speed and distance of your run, while the heart rate monitor tracks your ticker to calculate calories burned and keeps you training at the right intensity. Its Polar Flow app and web service pushes you to hit milestones without the whip-cracking or name-calling. $270 with heart rate sensor, www.polar.com
Tech upstart Fitbit and fashion house Tory Burch combine forces to bring you the Tory Burch for Fitbit Flex Activity and Sleep Wristband to keep you fashionable while you keep fit. This device tracks your steps, calories burned, hours slept and the total active minutes and wirelessly syncs the data to your computer or smartphone. The Fitbit app lets you set goals and shows your progress while also recording blood pressure and glucose levels. US$120 for Fitbit Flex Activity & Sleep Wristband, www.fit bit.com; US$195 for Tory Burch Fitbit metal bracelet, www.toryburch.com
No hardware is going to count your calories for you, so use the MyFitnessPal app to do it yourself. With a database of more than 5,000,000 foods, this app makes it quick and easy to log what you ingest by searching for the dish or scanning a product bar code, thereby taking the tedium out of calorie counting. Free from www.myfitnesspal.com