It’s that time of year again, as soon as the nation has finished over-indulging on New Year’s Eve everyone’s thinking about, talking about and trying to stick to their resolutions for the new year.
We’ve collected together ten gadgets that’ll help you keep up with your resolutions in the long run, whether you want to work out more, lose some of that Christmas weight or wake up with more energy even when it’s dark and gloomy outside.
If you want to be more active
Judging from the sudden influx of new faces at gyms up and down the country every January, one of the most popular resolutions every new year is to get out, be more active and stop making excuses.
However, you don’t need a pricey gym membership to get your heart pumping and your body moving. There’s nothing better than a long open road to run down, so invest in a good pair of trainers from a specialist running store and get yourself a Nike+ account. You can then simply download the Nike+ GPS app to your phone and get out running. It’ll then track where you go and how fast you run before sending all your data to Nike+ online where you can set challenges, manage your runs and track your progress. However, there are a number of special gadgets available too if you don’t fancy taking your phone out running with you, as that can be annoying and a bit dangerous too. The most convenient is the Nike+ Sports Watch (available from John Lewis for £180). It tracks your run as well as your heart rate, so not only can you keep track of your runs, but you can see how your body is responding to your work out too.
If you don’t fancy going outside to get your body into shape, then there are lots of great video games available for consoles like the Kinect and the Wii which get you dancing, boxing, moving and even skiing! Our favourite at the moment is Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 (available from Amazon for £31.99) for the Kinect. The original version of Your Shape is the number one fitness and exercise game for the Kinect and the newest reincarnation now contains more than 90 hours of improved content covering everything from slow dance to extreme martial arts. You can also tailor your work out to your specific needs, keep track of your achievements and unlock new challenges along the way.
If you want to lose some weight
Although many people want to be more active and get moving in January, one of the main aims for the new fitness regime is to lose a bit of weight. We recently came across a US gadget called Gruve (available from MUVE for $179.95), which is a small device you wear to track exactly how many calories you’re burning, whether you’re working out or just doing the dishes. You can then synchronise the data with the Gruve website to learn more about how your body is burning up calories. Although this isn’t a quick fix solution (you can’t attach the Gruve, eat cake and expect results), it is a great way of learning more about your body and making lasting results to your health and fitness in the long run.
To keep track of your weight as you’re dieting and working out, you should invest in a good pair of scales that are guaranteed to not give you a false reading. The WiFi Body Scales from Withings (available from Apple for £129.95) may be a little pricey, but they give you an accurate reading of your weight, your BMI and your muscle mass, which you can then send to your Apple device to track your progress.
If you want to get a better night’s sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is the key to feeling good, having more energy and staying fit and healthy. If you struggle to get to sleep at night or stay asleep once you’ve dozed off there are plenty of traditional remedies and medicinal options that you could try. However, Zeo’s Sleep Manager (available from Zeo for £139) enables you to not only see how much sleep you get a night, but find out how deep it is so you can learn from the statistics and make improvements.
The Fitbit (available from Firebox for £79.99), a device we’ve written about a few times here on Connected Health, tracks your steps, calories and movements throughout the day. However, it also monitors your sleep and although it’s not as accurate as Zeo’s gadget, it’s a good option if you’re looking to monitor all areas of your life and not just the amount of sleep you get.
If you want to feel more energised during the winter months
If the winter months tend to get you down because you suffer from SAD or you just feel a bit rubbish when it’s so dark and cold, then you should try investing in one of Philip’s light therapy gadgets, specially designed to help you wake up naturally and feel more energetic throughout the year.
The Philips goLITE BLU (available from Philips for £255.32) is rather expensive for something that just looks like a futuristic lamp, but it produces a special blue light to mimic a summer sky, which is known to increase energy levels, fight the winter blues and even help people recover from jet lag. According to Philips you only need to use it for between 15 and 45 minutes a day to feel the full effects and its portable size means you can use it whenever you need to.
If it’s not energy you need but a soothing and natural way to get up in the morning, then try one of Philips’ popular lights made specially for that purpose. The Wake Up Light (available from Philips for £132.77) gradually wakes you up with natural-looking light, even if it’s dark and gloomy outside. You can also add sounds to the light so you can wake up to your favourite soothing music.
If you want to keep a close eye on your health
If you’ve been battling with a serious illness or health complication recently then your resolution might just be to keep a really close eye on your body this year, so you can pre-empt any problems before they strike. The Withings Smart Blood Pressure Monitor (available from gizoo.co.uk for £114.95) allows you to quickly and easily keep track of your blood pressure using nothing but the special sleeve and your mobile phone. All of the data can then be saved within an app or online, so you can monitor how your blood pressure changes in certain situations or as you introduce a new health and fitness regime.
If you’ve been ill over the past few months or have small kids who are prone to illnesses then it might be worth investing in the Mediana ThermoDock (available from Apple for £69.95), a thermometer that works through your mobile phone enabling you to check your temperature on the go.
Filed under: Featured, Features, Fitness Gadgets, Health Gadgets · Tags: apps, fitbit, fitness gadgets, gadgets, gruve, Health gadgets, Medisana, new year resolutions, nike+, philips, philips light, withing, zeo