This past February, elite athletes from around the world showcased their best in Sochi, inspiring those of all athletic abilities to take their own fitness up a notch. Now that the Olympics are over, it can be easy to forget about exercise and settle into our old routines.
If you’ve made it your goal to run your first marathon or to finally take up cross country skiing next winter, don’t let that initial enthusiasm fade away. You can re-inspire that Olympic spirit with nifty tech tools and gadgets that will help you achieve world-class results.
Using a high tech device or even a simple app on your phone can give you precise information about how you’re doing in your training and how you can improve over time. They can track your heart rate, your sleep, predict your fitness level, or even let you compete with others for your own “gold medal”. There are many apps and devices out there, depending on your goal or your comfort level with technology.
Before downloading any apps or purchasing any high tech gear, you first need to set a realistic goal for yourself. Choose a sport or activity you enjoy and a manageable distance and also check in with your Copeman Healthcare team – and particularly your kinesiologist – to ensure your goal is suitable for your current fitness level and health status. If you’re not sure what will work for you, your kinesiologist can direct you to the most appropriate gear to take your training to the next level.
Kinesiologist Patrick May’s Top 5 High Tech Fitness Picks:
MyFitnessPal: The easy-to-use calorie counter app tracks diet as well as energy expenditure. You can enter your own values for exercise or sync it with other fitness apps automatically. it’s perfect for creating goals and keeping yourself on track, with the added ability to connect and share with friends who also use the application.
MapMyRun: This application uses the GPS in your phone to track your run. You can sync this app with MyFitnessPal to keep track of activity and nutrition! This application also allows you to connect a Bluetooth heart rate monitor or Pebble Smartwatch for improved health monitoring.
Polar Loop Activity Monitor: Track your activity and energy expenditure 24/7. Worn on the wrist, it accurately measures caloric needs and analyzes your weekly activities. You can also connect a heart rate monitor to display heart rate during workouts.
Polar H7 Bluetooth Heart Rate Sensor: This heart rate monitor can pair with your phone (check compatibility). It can be used with many fitness apps to track heart rate. Use this with the Polar app, Polar Beat, and try out their 5 minute Fitness Test!
Pebble Smartwatch: If you’re a person who uses their phone for exercise, then this is a cool addition. Pebble watch connects to your phone via Bluetooth. Once connected, your watch displays notifications from apps (be it e-mail, texts or 3rd party apps such as MapMyRun or RunKeeper) on your wrist.