Fresh Finds: Fitness Tech
It’s spring in Ohio. Oval beach will soon be packed, runners will abandon their treadmills for the Olentangy Trail, and the tennis courts will fill up. Warmer weather means more opportunities and options to get out and exercise, and the new fitness tech items coming out this spring may just add to your excitement.
Whether you are looking for something like shoes that are easy to integrate into your life, or a high tech monitor that goes beyond most of what’s on the market, there is something coming out for every fitness goal or need. Below we have pulled some of the most interesting new options:
Altra IQ Smart Shoe
Altra IQ promises to take your run beyond the traditional ‘how far, how fast’ metrics of most fitness trackers, and give you a more nuanced understanding of your run. Designed to feel just like your favorite running shoes, these new kicks feature a multi sensor system that runs along the foot bed and connect wirelessly to your smartphone. They track things like foot strike zone (where your feet hit when they come down as you run) and could help you determine why you are sore after a run, or if your gait needs to be adjusted. The smart shoes are slated to come out at some point later this spring(link is external), pre-order here(link is external).
Shoes and watches aren’t the only option when it comes to fitness tracking wearables. A whole host of new clothing additions are entering the market, allowing you more easily streamline your tracking experience. OMbra(link is external) is a novel bra that tracks heart rate, distance, cadence and many other factors of interest to runners. It will be coming out later in the spring, and should run (pun not intended) around $149(link is external). The Hexoskin Smart Shirt(link is external), while pricey ($400), offers a litany of features that can best even a high-end fitbit. Beyond heart rate and steps, it also tracks sleep, breathing rate, and volume.
Masimo Mightysat Fingertip Pulse Oximeter
If you are looking to get a more precise view into your heart rate than your (now possibly inaccurate(link is external)) Fitbit, the Masimo Mightysat(link is external) may be a great new option. Created by a company that primarily supplies monitors to the healthcare field, this device was created after they saw a spike in use of their products by professional athletes. While this device is not created for all-day wear, it can be used to spot-check your information during a workout. It provides accurate heart rate tracking, as well as blood oxygenation levels, and more. You can get it here(link is external).
Fitbit has taken its first step away from wearables, and introduced Aria, a smart scale. This Wi-Fi enabled scale not only displays weight; it tracks BMI (body mass index), lean mass, and body fat percentage. It provides graphs and charts on your desktop, and wirelessly connects to your Fitbit to enable calorie estimation and goal setting. While more expensive than traditional scales, coming in at $129(link is external), the data it produces can be useful for anyone trying to accurately track weight.
The elephant in the room among the wearable trackers is the Apple Watch(link is external). Released last April, it offers a whole host of price points (starting at $350(link is external)) and functions. Its fitness software tracks how often you stand, walk, or vigorously exercise through a series of icons it calls rings. When these rings are completed you have reached your daily goals. A specific type of exercise can also be selected, and the watch activates the appropriate sensors to allow you to track your full fitness regimen.
Let us know what you think of the new offerings in the comments, and if you will be adding any of these to your schedule of summer bike rides and visits to the pool.