You rocked that hard-earned bikini bod all summer long, so don’t let the chilly fall wind slow your roll and throw a wrench in your fitness routine now. Consider the change of seasons the perfect opportunity to fall into fitness with a little help from the latest in tech-y workout tools.
Grokker is one of my new favorite go-tos for online video workouts and overall inspiration. It’s a personal wellness app and fitness feed filled with some of the best and most carefully curated yoga, workout, healthy cooking and meditation videos on the planet.
I use it at home or on the road, and with it I have access to more than 3,500 videos in full HD. I can watch them anytime, anywhere, to fit fitness into my insane schedule. I’m really into the cardio kickboxing and the high intensity interval training, but there’s plenty for both hardcore and casual fitness fans alike.
Typically, if I have a choice between forcing myself to exercise or to just chill on my couch, my couch wins, which is why in the past paying for an exercise class and committing to it, online or off, has really helped. That’s another good part of Grokker. When I pull the site up on my computer, it shows a really clean calendar and dashboard of the classes I’ve scheduled, completed or missed — which makes me feel more accountable. There’s also a social media feed to share progress, ask questions, and interact with a community of like-minded people. It’s kind of like Facebook for fitness.
You can join for free and get two videos a week, or sign up for a premium membership starting at $10 a month. With the premium membership, you create individual wellness routines tailored to your interest and experience. The more you use it, the more it gets to know you and will recommend videos tailored to you to expand your regimen and keep growing.
Still, my favorite workout of all is running outside on trails. For that, I’ve been reviewing a different kind of new workout gadget — Sony’s Smart B-Trainer ($249). It’s an interesting wearable fitness tracker that also functions as a durable music player and on-the-go-coach and cheerleader. It comes stuffed with a variety of sensors that track your heart rate, steps, and stride, shouts out stats such as distance, time, and heart-rate, and stores up to 16GB of music, so you don’t always need to be tethered to your smartphone.
One of my favorite features with the Smart B-trainer is that it can scan your songs and play them based on your specific tempo. Run faster, the music matches your pace. Cooling down, it finds tracks to help chill you out too. Basically, the B-Trainer is able to ‘listen’ to different training plans and based on your speed and heart rate, guide you to either slow down or speed up, providing real time feedback during your runs. Granted, this really isn’t all that new. The Adidas MiCoach has been doing this for quite a while now but it’s cool to see the B-Trainer packaging it all into one tidy hands-free headphone device.
I’ve had some trouble getting the earbuds to sit comfortably in my ears, even though I’ve tried every size it comes with. The rectangle parts that rest on the outer ear that house all of the sensors and electronic bits are also big for my small-ish ears. I hope that overtime, Sony can refine the size and shape to be a more comfortable, natural fit. It’s also having some trouble syncing to iOS 9, Apple’s latest software upgrade, so the compatible app is a bit glitchy using it with the app dashboard that gives you all the stats and information you need to monitor your progress over time. The company tells me they’re working on a fix, which should only take a few more days.
When it comes time to refuel, the SITU smart scale ($120) sheds some serious light on what you’re eating. It weighs your food not just in terms of mass, but also in calories and overall nutritional value. It sends all its valuable data straight to your iPad, giving you an easily digestible rundown of just how much you’re eating, or in some cases, overeating.
You can even craft entire meals right within the app and discover just how much salt, sugar, and other dietary staples you’re consuming. It’s like a ‘Nutrition Facts’ sheet for all the things you eat that don’t already come with super detailed labels, and it’s a serious ally in the battle against the bulge.
KEEP YOUR PET ALIVE
Remember Tamagotchi pets? The Tep motivational fitness tracker ($Free, Android, iOS, Windows) is that little electronic pet that you can only keep alive by exercising. Every time you work out, be it a quick walk, spirited run, or visit to the bike trail, the app tracks your progress and you earn virtual coins in return. You can spend those coins on foot and other presents for your adorable little fitness pet. Skip too many workouts and you’ll find yourself broke, and with a very sad little giraffe on your hands. It’s a cute way to get yourself up and moving, and it just might charm you right into a smaller size of clothes.
But what if you’re already super motivated and you just want to measure your results? The Skulpt Aim ($149) is one of the most hardcore fitness gadgets I’ve ever seen. It’s a standalone gadget packed with sensors and a color touchscreen, and it’s designed to measure your body fat percentage and muscle quality.
First you spray the back of the device with water and then press it against whatever muscle area you want to measure. The Aim tracks even the most minute changes in your muscle composition and tells you whether you’re making progress or moving backwards, and it only takes a few seconds to work its magic.
What are some of your go-to’s to stay fit and healthy throughout the fall and winter? Be sure to share them with us in the comments section below. See you on the trails!
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