Top 10 fitness gadgets to help you get fit in 2014
Now that the festivities are over and lives are returning to normal, many people will be looking to shed those extra pounds gained over the Christmas and New Year period.
All that turkey, trimmings, alcohol and confectionary really does broaden the waistline at this time of year.
So it’s no surprise that January and the first half of February are the most popular time to lose weight.
Going on a diet is an obvious choice, but whilst you might lose weight, that in itself won’t make you any fitter. Joining a gym can be an expensive way to shed those pounds (and they are usually very crowded at this time of year).
It’s usually much better to try to lose weight and get in trim under your own steam. There are a whole range of gadgets out there to assist you in the process.
Cycling computers and fitness watches can help with motivation. A good pair of headphones can help you last that extra kilometre or so. Bathroom scales can be your best friend – showing you are actually losing weight even if you think you’re not.
We’ve checked out a range of our 10 favourite fitness gadgets, from inexpensive to a little more costly, to help you on your way.
1. Polar FT60M training computer
The POLAR FT60 Training Computer is a watch-like way to better fitness - thanks to its personalised training programme.
An adaptive training programme features weekly targets, feedback and guidance to help you achieve your training targets more efficiently and effectively.
It’s also an excellent way of staying motivated – which is one of the single most important drivers of fitness and weight loss.
It’s fantastic for beginners and advanced users too thanks to its array of features from a programme that shows calories burnt per exercise to another that measures your fitness level in five minutes to a complete V02 Max readout.
2. RSP Pro Cycle computer
This nifty little wireless accessory could make all the difference to those big rides.
Multi functional and compact, some of its most useful readouts include the detailed assessments of your speed: current, average and maximum and its various altitude readings could be really handy for discovering how many feet you have dropped on the downhill trail etc.
Being backlit, you won’t need a torch to make out the results of your latest endeavour and with the stopwatch facility you can time yourself on those laps and not have any arguments about who was the fastest on the route.
3. Fitbug Orb
The Fitbug Orb is a small device which uses an “advanced 3-axis accelerometer” to accurately measure your every step.
It is small and discreet and can be used to monitor your waking and sleeping activity 24/7 via Bluetooth connection to smartphone-type devices.
You can clip it to your clothes – including underwear – for discreet and continual performance checking.
The button-sized Orb collects and keeps steps walked, hours slept, calories burned, etc) for up to 14-days
The Orb help can manage your nutrition and monitor your activity – thereby helping you attain your own personal goals.
It can connect to your PC and laptop where you can connect to an online programme and receive personalized weekly step goals and healthy eating targets.
4. Bose SIE2i sports headphones
It’s well known that music is a brilliant motivator for any exercise, from walking to marathon running. But cheap, tinny headphones that keep falling out are worse than useless.
These Bose sports headphones aren’t cheap but you do get Bose’s renowned quality sound and design.
The special tips have been designed to keep them secure in your ears while you move.
They’re also weather and sweat resistant - handy if you are exercising outside in bad weather. And shorter chords mean you won't get tangled up in them as you move.
The SIE2i features an inline remote control and also an inline microphone for taking calls and switching between calls and music.
A quality armband is included to hold you phone or MP3 player in place when you're exercising, and stores the headphones when you're not (it even has a separate pocket for your keys).
5. Kinect Disneyland Adventures (Xbox 360)
If you’ve got an Xbox 360 at home it can help get you fit from the comfort of your living room.
And now you can exercise along with the kids to raise all the families’ fitness levels.
Kinect Disneyland Adventures harnesses the controller-free magic of Kinect for Xbox 360.
It allows kids, mums and Disney fans of all ages to explore a Disneyland leisure/fantasy park and enjoy immersive adventures based on popular attractions.
There are challenging quests to take part in and users can interact with beloved Disney characters using their full bodies and voices, no controller required.
6. Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Bathroom Scale
OK, so you’re doing your exercises, but as well as keeping fit are those dreaded pounds coming off your middle or thighs?
The Fitbit Aria smart scale tracks your weight, body fat percentage and BMI. It can sync with smartphones or computers to enable the use to stay motivated and get long-term progress reports.
It’s more sophisticated than wrist monitors thanks to body fat percentage and BMI measurements, which can give you a more accurate representation of your weight in relation to your height.
It can track 8 people and you can use initials or a user-name if you don’t others to know your details. It syncs only to your account and no-one else’s. There are apps and online programmes for added versatility.
7. 66fit Exercise Ball
Gym balls are an excellent way to stay in trim and not just in small space areas like bedrooms.
A very large number of stretches, sit-ups, press-ups and much more can be accomplished – with the all-important core exercises getting a great work-out along the way.
The 66fit Gym Ball (65cm) is one of the larger in a series of exercise balls from this well-known manufacturer and we’ve chosen this size so it can fit all family members and now just the smaller figure.
This excellent exercise ball is burst-resistant and very tough. Commonly known as an Exercise Ball, Gym Ball, Swiss Ball, Fitness Ball or Birthing Ball, each ball is individually boxed with instructions, valve plug and plug removal tool.
Price: from £17.50, depending on size.
8. Kettler Rower FOR220
If you want to step up into larger gadgets without breaking the bank, check out the Kettler Rower FOR220.
This clever little bit of kit has a special folding mechanism that reduces the rowers size by over 60%, making it ideal if space is tight.
The pull rope system gives a good rowing experience and the 8-stage magnetic resistance is smooth throughout the full range of motion, unlike some similar-priced hydraulic systems.
The console has a 5-function LCD display, a sweat resistant key pad and an alarm if your heart rate gets too fast.
The size when in use is L x 210cm W x 56cm H x 90cm. However, it also folds for storage, which is a neat trick as many rowing machines are massively inconvenient where space is at a premium.
The readouts are: time, distance, strokes, calories and pulse. It features a three-year warranty on parts and labour.
9. Adidas Media Arm Pocket
It is hard to leave the house these days without your phone especially as for many of us it also doubles up as a music source and a means of tracking your activity.
Therefore an armband to hold your device securely is a must.
This particular one is not product-specific, meaning that it could accommodate a range of different devices and therefore could be used by several members of the family whilst working out.
Having a phone strapped to your arm enables you to see the screen, change songs or check your exercise statistics without fumbling in your pocket (also contains a key pouch as well).
10. Omron Walking Style III Pedometer
They say 10,000 steps a day is a healthy goal to aim for. And with this pedometer you will be able to measure that and more besides.
The built-in clock enables you to time your walks and the memory function allows a review of your activity over the last seven days.
How far did your steps take you? This neat little pedometer will measure the distance travelled in kilometres as well as showing how many calories and grams of fat are burned each day.
9,989 steps ...... once more round the kitchen and you are done!