Counting Calories? Strap-on Device Monitors Your Burn Rate
Jesse Emspak, TechNewsDaily Contributor
February 10 2012 08:00 AM ET
CREDIT: Apex Fitness
You can measure how many calories you eat, but you can't always tell how many you burn, as it depends on several factors that differ with each person. But the bodybugg from Apex Fitness can measure just how fast you burn calories.
It straps onto your arm, and sensors touching the skin measure the amount of heat energy your body is generating, the skin's electrical conductivity (which changes with how much you sweat) and skin temperature. It also uses an accelerometer to measure how may steps you take.
The bodybugg uploads its measurements to a Web service through a USB link to a PC, or wirelessly with an iPhone, Android or iPod Touch. (When you register you even get a call from a coach to help you set up your workout program.) The Web app is key: It allows you to see not only approximately how many calories you burn during a given workout but also to track your progress over time.
It isn't perfect — Apex claims 90 percent accuracy, according to its own studies. But since the errors tend to be consistent, it will, if used regularly, give a good average of calories burned —revealing if your 10-minute run is doing any good, or if you ought to be pushing harder.
The basic model costs $125. The smartphone-compatible version is $149. You'll spend $183 if you want the wrist display for looking at your results in real-time. It also involves subscribing to the Web app at $10 month-to-month, $50 for six months, or $80 for a year, so the recurring cost is a consideration. The Web app does have recipes, though, and it's cheaper than a personal trainer.
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