4 Tech Helpers to Train Like an Olympian
Eamon Sullivan, US Olympic Team swimmer works out before games begin.
CREDIT: Instagram: Eamon Sullivan
Watching the Olympics may motivate you to pump up your own fitness routine — whether that means just getting off the couch or adding an extra mile to your daily run. Here are four hi-tech ways to track your progress and keep you motivated:
FitBitUltra is one of the smallest wearable gadgets — tiny enough to clip on a bra strap. It measures how many steps you've taken in a day, how many stairs you've climbed, calories you've burned and how much actual sleep you've gotten by deducting the times you woke up during the night. The Wi-Fi enabled device sends information to your computer as soon as you're within 15 feet of its base station and wirelesly syncs with iPhones and Android phones.
2. Nike Fuelband
You wear the $150 Fuelband as a bracelet to track your exercise. As you approach your goal for the day, LED lights on the bracelet will move from red to green. The device plugs directly into your computer for syncing with your Nike fitness account online. And if you're an iPhone user, you can pair it using Bluetooth with a free Nike+ Fuelband app to chart progress.
3. Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale
Fitness trackers can't measure your weight, but the $160 Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale can. Step on it and your weight, body mass index, fat and lean muscle mass counts will be sent to your phone via Wi-Fi to connect with WiScale's mobile app available for iPhone, iPad and Android, as well as Mac and PC computers. Further, you can set the scale to automatically post to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
If your friends' support isn't enough to keep you going, maybe a fine will. When you sign up for GymPact, you'll pay a self-imposed penalty of at least $5 if you miss a visit to the gym — or the pool, a yoga class, etc. And no honor system here — you must check-in at the gym and your location is verified by using your phone's GPS coordinates.
But there's also a reward for sticking to your workout commitment. GymPact pays out money to those who make it to the gym from the fines paid by no-shows. So far, users have received about $1 for each workout. GymPact is available for iPhone, and an Android app is in testing and should be available soon.