The best health monitoring tech you can use at home

However you like to keep fit, smart tech can make it a lot easier to keep track of your progress. Here’s how…

08 Apr 2020

Now that we’re all at home for much more of the time, it’s a little trickier to work out.

Without the luxury of your local gym, it’s easy to fall off the wagon and keep putting off exercise. That’s partially because we don’t have all the machines available to use, but also because we don’t have the displays on treadmills and cross-trainers giving us stats like heart rate and calories burned.

However, it’s still possible to exercise regularly at home. We’ve heard of several people running long distances in their gardens for charity, and of course, there are plenty of gym-like exercises you can do at home too. As for motivating stats, there’s loads of great tech that makes it a whole lot simpler to monitor your progress. Here’s a few that’ll help you hit your fitness goals at home:

 

Activity tracker

Having an activity tracker is the ideal way to keep that motivation going strong, even when you can’t get to the gym. Many activity trackers will actually remind you to move throughout the day, and automatically recognise the kind of activity you’re doing.

You can enter the goals you want to achieve and not just check your general fitness level, but your progress towards your targets. Fitness trackers deliver accurate health data personalised for you, as they also have a heart rate monitor, just like a treadmill in the gym. That way, it can work out the intensity of your exercise based on your resting heart rate.

Whether you’re jogging through the park or setting up a makeshift circuit to train at home, Activity Trackers give you all the vital stats you need right there on your wrist.

The Fitbit Charge 4 is up there with the most comprehensive trackers. If there’s a route you regularly like to take for your morning run, it’ll track your heart rate throughout the exercise to see which parts of the route are the most intense. That’s pretty handy for checking your progress when running up steep inclines or changing terrains.

It’s not just about dedicated workouts, either. The Fitbit tracks activity all day long and tells you distance travelled, floors climbed, calories burned and much more. And it makes a great looking sports watch too.

 

Smartwatch

If you like the idea of an activity tracker but want something that looks equally good with smart casual clothing as well as your gym gear, consider a smartwatch.

Smartwatches do everything activity trackers can do and loads more. Many offer full connectivity with your phone, so you can reply to texts and WhatsApp messages right there on your wrist. You can even pay for items with a smartwatch just like a credit or debit card, so it’s like having a super-portable wallet without any jangling change to slow down your exercise.

And if you don’t want your phone holding you back on your morning run, plenty of smartwatches have built-in storage to save your motivational Spotify playlist.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 Under Armour Edition helps you track your progress in more ways than one. If you’re into high intensity interval training, the accelerometer will accurately tell you how quickly you’re moving. Or, if you’re more passionate about cross-country running, the heart rate monitor will motivate you to move beyond your comfort zone.

A good smartwatch doesn’t just track your fitness in the moment, it sparks your motivation and reminds you to start pushing towards your targets. You can set reminders to move, goals to smash,  a certain distance to jog and much more. It adapts to your fitness regime and breaks that big goal down into smaller, achievable targets.

 

Abdominal toner

Even when you’ve finished training for the day, you can still tone up. Ab toners are great because they use gel pads that use electricity to trigger your abdominal muscles into working, even when the rest of you isn’t.

The best ab toners have a range of intensity settings to choose from and are discreet enough to be placed under a t-shirt. So, you can even use them as part of your training session. It’s not a one size fits all solution, so abdominal toners have a choice of workout programs to suit your particular goal, whether it’s boosting core muscle strength or just gaining some definition.

The Slendertone Connect Smart Ab Toner goes a little further, with an app that helps you set up your sessions and track your progress as you go. That way, you can keep all your fitness data in one place and stay on top of those stats.

 

Smart scales

Smart scales are a useful way to keep monitoring your weight loss, as they connect to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to send your data to an app on your smartphone. However, unlike regular analogue and digital scales, smart scales also record stats like your body mass index (BMI), muscle mass and bone mass to give you a more comprehensive insight into your health.

Some are designed to work with your activity tracker, too. Smart scales like the Fitbit Aria and Garmin Index use the same app that their smartwatches and trackers use, so your fitness data is made even more accurate. And because they’re designed to work for several people and connect to everyone’s device, the whole family can get involved and get fit.

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