Life & Style | Health

Gadgets that can help keep you fit

From food processors to smartphones, it’s time you made use of technology to battle the bulge

  • By Nathan Brown
  • Published: 07:00 November 7, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit:

Food processors, smartphones, 24-hour connectivity, tablets, there are so many gizmos out there that are aimed at making our lives easier.

We have come to a point where we take these things for granted. It is no surprise that the fitness industry is not to be left behind.

For many years now equipment like the pedometer, heart rate monitors, handheld GPS for those long runs, and sports watches that track your pace, distance and calories burnt, have been aiding us in getting fitter and more toned.

With the advent of modern day metric measurement tools and apps, the role of technology in the field of fitness has stepped up. Technology is no longer limited to measuring our heartbeats and our calorie but now it extends its role into motivating us as we get through a long run or tough set. It also provides one with sufficient information to chart the future course of action.

This week we take a look at how technology and social media can be utilised for something other than killing time.

Fact Box

Use the Tube

So you could be a fitness fiend or an amateur who is trying to figure out the best way to do a hammer curl or a burpee. Or you could be trying to learn a new ab exercise. You no longer need to struggle all alone to figure out the best way to do any of these exercises. All you need to do is log onto YouTube and it is almost like having your personal trainer at home. Almost, but not quite, as the correctness of your posture will be entirely dependent on how good an observer you are. However, there is no denying that YouTube is a great instructional and inspirational source. To top it off, quite a few exercise machines come with QR codes which can be scanned using your smartphone. These codes then enable you to access the machines specific instruction video demo so that you can learn how to use it safely and effectively.

Facebook Fitness

Fitness clubs, fitness gurus, inspirational health mavens –- all of them have Facebook accounts. Log in and follow them. While you are at it follow a few pages that encourage healthy eating and update healthy recipes on a regular basis. The constant deluge of their updates will encourage you to regret unhealthy choices and lead a healthier life.

Twitter Fit

As on Facebook, Twitter is also awash with fitness and health content updated on a daily and even hourly basis by experts out there. Needless to say you will also come across the latest fitness news, fads, trends, health tips and diet ideas out there. It is also a great place to get your queries answered. However, you need to exercise discretion as to who you do follow, be it on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

Pinterest

It is easy to brush this site aside as something that is of interest only to suburban housewives. You would however, be very wrong. It is a great site to collate inspirational images and messages, workouts, recipes and health tips.

Instagram

This is not just about posting a photograph of you working out on to the world-wide web and sharing it with the world. It is about charting your progress, highlighting your achievements, successes and making yourself accountable to continue on the healthy path. And who knows, you just may end up motivating someone else through your journey.

App Power

Be it Cross Trainer, My Fitness Pal, 5K Runner, Pumping Weight or Map My Tracks, fitness apps are the greatest technological development as far as most of us are concerned. These apps bring expert knowledge, constant motivation and a charting device together to create a handy fitness tool that can guide us whether we are in the gym or running around Safa Park.

iPods

Music makes us forget the worst of the grind and helps us get through an hour of exercise. It also prevents boredom while aiding us in maintaining our rhythm. You can listen to the news or sports commentary, and if you are a student you can even listen to your lessons-– anything that will help you get through your fitness routine without experiencing boredom.

Make the Movement

A new fitness product that has been making huge waves, in Dubai and the rest of the world, in the field of fitness technology is MYZONE. Its tagline says ‘Making Movement Measureable’. However, it does do a bit more than that. It helps improve performance and results by providing an accurate report of the progress achieved during the workout or any other physical activity.

It also enables you to track your progress after every workout and helps you see what your strengths are what your weakness are, thus helping you improve. The biggest plus point is that it not only measure your progress in just any one particular activity but also measures your movement across all ranges of physical activity that you may undertake for improving your fitness.

Using it is simple – you just strap it on (it resembles a heart rate monitor) attached to a belt around your chest. After registering your belt to the MYZONE cloud from which information relevant to you is uploaded. The data is collected whether you are at the gym or away and then wirelessly loaded to your registered facility in the cloud. You will get regular email summaries about your progress and can track your fitness chart according to your own convenience, irrespective of where you are.

The belt must be worn by the user while exercising for recording real-time measurements of indicators such as the effort applied. Effort is measured in MYZONE Effort Points (MEPs). You can accumulate MEPs for every minute of activity that you spend in the five effort zones (based on intensity and an individual’s maximum heart rate). The device also calculates calories burned and the duration of the workout. With the help of bio-impedance scales, MYZONE can additionally track values such as body water and fat percentages, as well as weight, muscle mass and metabolic age.

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