Are you still taking your pulse to estimate how many calories you just burned on the treadmill? Not only are older methods usually inaccurate, they can be dangerous if you take heart rate medication. Here are a variety of easy to use tools that will tell you exactly what you need to do to burn off this morning’s doughnut.
Runners love the Nike + family of products, which tracks personal records, distance, speed, heart rate, calories burned and more. Nike + makes sneakers, watches, bands, devices and apps that work seamlessly with Apple iPhones and iPods. Wireless chips even connect users to popular cardio equipment made by top brands such as LifeFitness, Precor, Free Motion and others. Simply put, if you work out, Nike + can help improve your performance.
Fitness professionals recognize the VO2max calculation as the most accurate assessment of an individual’s capacity for aerobic work. Endurance athletes rely on it for performance statistics and although it’s best measured in a lab, you can estimate your VO2max using resting heart rate and age. Endurance athletes usually have high VO2max rates. As you gain more fitness experience, your VO2max – and your endurance capability – will increase.
If you spend several minutes preparing the perfect playlist before you hop on the Stepmill, then the Philips Activa is for you. The “TempoMusic” feature automatically adjusts your songs to your exercise intensity. Plus, it shouts feedback and puts on a motivating tune or two when you’re dragging on that last mile.
Are you convinced that your sister the waitress is healthier than you because she spends all day walking? Find out for certain with the Fitbit, an activity tracking device that monitors all of your activities as long as you wear it. When combined with a calorie counting regimen, you will soon find out why you are (or are not) gaining weight.
BodyMedia Fit Link Armband
One company sponsored study found that people who wore the Fit Link lost three times more weight than those who didn’t. While company-sponsored studies admittedly aren’t always the most reliable source, the Fit Link Armband is an amazing piece of technology. It tracks calories in and out. It monitors how much you exercise and how much you sleep. Then, once you’re satisfied, it loads its data into your smartphone, computer or tablet. What could be easier?
While devices in and of themselves won’t make you more fit, tracking the information you get from the devices can help you stay motivated. So if your training includes making a certain time for that sprint triathlon coming up this summer, tracking your progress helps figure out what you need to improve. While we all want to imagine ourselves breaking through the finish line and running past the Vispronet flag to victory, unless you measure your fitness progress that won’t happen.
Well…what are you still sitting there for? Get moving!