Bring your workout into the 21st century (and beyond) with one of these souped-up fitness toolsBy: Mary Squillace
This isn’t your grandmother’s bathroom scale. The handy device gives you a readout of not only your weight, but your body fat and BMI as well. (Search: Calculate BMI) The information is then transmitted wirelessly to your computer, where you can track your weight, set calorie goals, and connect with other dieters. Each member of your family can track his or her stats on separate Fitbit accounts. The product is available for pre-order and will ship in April.
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Where the original Nike+ worked exclusively for runners, Nike’s latest gadget allows sporty types to capture data on all of their athletic endeavors, whether it’s tossing a Frisbee or shooting hoops or just walking. The wristband collects information on time, calories burned, steps taken, and overall movement. All of the data captured is transferred to the Nike+ website via USB or wirelessly to your iPhone. Wearers earn “Nike fuel” the more they move, and then can compete with their friends online.
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Giving new meaning to “wearable technology,” this gizmo consists of an Under Armour compression shirt that’s been outfitted with electronic sensors used for tracking biometrics. As the athlete competes, the device captures his or her heart and breathing rate, acceleration, body positioning and motion. The item isn’t available for purchase yet, but you may have caught it in action during the NFL combine, where it will be used to measure football players’ acceleration and power during the broad jump, vertical jump, and 40-yard dash.
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As you wear this tool around your upper arm, four sensors track your motion, the rate at which heat leaves your body, your galvanic skin response and skin temperature. Together these four metrics allow the device it to calculate the calories you burn throughout the day. It also gathers information on your sleeping patterns, like how long it takes you to fall asleep. Use the armband in conjunction with an online activity monitor, where you can log your meals, to determine your progress toward your weight loss goals.
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You don’t have to enter an athletic competition to feel like a champion. This pocket-sized pedometer-cum-gaming platform allows you to score points in a series of challenges as you walk and climb throughout your busy day. It also has a walkathon feature, where Striiv will donate money on behalf of its users’ movement. Users get feedback on the number of steps taken, stairs climbed, miles walked and minutes spent being active.
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This wristwatch-like device measures, among other metrics, your heart rate, temperature, and galvanic skin response. The Band uses cloud technology to upload the information collected to a computer program where you can compare your actual calories burned, hours slept, and steps taken to goals you set. You’ll also be able to see how your heart rate changed throughout the day. The Basis Band should launch sometime in 2012, and is available for pre-order. (Related: Top Workout Gear for Unpredictable Weather)
In addition to pumping your ears full of your favorite songs, Valencell’s earbuds can measure real-time biometric and physiological data—including heart rate, respiration rate, energy expenditure, speed, distance, and more—which users can view on their smart phones. However, the gadget is not yet available to consumers. (Related: The Best Songs to Fire Up Your Workout)
This stereo headset doubles as a personal trainer. As you exercise, the Bluetooth-enabled earphones track your heart rate, distance and calorie consumption, and give you audio feedback in real time. Your stats are sent to the related smart phone app, which then allows you to share workouts with your friends. The gizmo should be available to buy starting in May.
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