The holidays are here and — along with good tidings of comfort and joy, of course — they bring stressful shopping trips, overeating, late-night Elf on the Shelf antics, and a general abandonment of usual fitness routines.
But as you button up the year’s end, you don’t need to fall apart. These five connected fitness devices can help you stay on track before you get sidelined by the season’s trappings:
Fitness bands and smart watches are on everyone’s list this year, but you might be better served to pick this one up early, rather than letting it sit all wrapped up for a month. The $199 fitness and sleep tracking watch has a few sensors that will not only help you survive the holiday, but be able to view the month-long flurry as a time to thrive.
In addition to the usual step and calorie counting, Peak also monitors body heat, sweat dissipation, and heart rate (take that, shopping stress!) without a chest strap. So when you’re running from store to store looking for that Snow Glow Elsa doll, you can honestly declare it a workout.
And then a month from now, when life gets back to normal, this Android and iOS-compatible watch can also automatically track your sleep (without having to tell the device you’re down for the night) and set gradually increasing fitness goals, so you can make next year your best one yet.
Tiny wearables like Fitbug Orb are great for tracking motion, but it’s up to you to actually do something with that information. This $49 sensor not only keeps an eye on steps taken, calories burned, and sleep logged (and syncs this data with an iOS app), it also integrates with KiQplans, which are weight loss programs that combine your movement data with fitness activities and nutrition tips to help you actually slim down.
With 12-week, $19 regimens like Beer Belly Blaster and Goodbye Baby Bump, KiQplans are a good way to turn the most wonderful time of the year into an end-of-the-year, data-driven boot camp. Just make sure to stay away from the figgy pudding.
If you’re the kind of fitness freak who won’t get shaken out of his or her routine, then this is the wearable for you. The first fitness tracker aimed at measuring strength, this $189 arm band links with an accompanying Android or iOS app to monitor not just your activity but your output. Pairing with your smartphone via Bluetooth, the app and device lets gym rats set strength, power, speed, and muscular endurance goals. Then, within the app, the user selects from a list of pre-programmed exercises, sets a weight load, presses a button on the armband and starts pumping.
After each set the app reviews velocity and power of each rep, as well as the resting time between, and can even recommend to going up or down in weight the next time you do that exercise. And when the workout is over, a progress tracker gives a session summary in full detail. It’s about working out smarter, not necessarily harder.
Just like Santa, Sense sees you when you’re sleeping, and knows when you’re awake. And it knows if you slept bad or good, with proximity, ambient light, particulate, temperature and humidity sensors, so you’ll learn to sleep good for goodness’ sake.
This $129 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT-connected bedside and pillow-mounting combination sensor can help you to learn about your sleep, from patterns that you go through naturally, to disruptions in your environment that might be interrupting your shuteye. Its microphone detects your snoring and a small speaker wakes you up with gentle, gradual sounds.
But most importantly, the sleep sensor’s Android and iOS app learns your sleep cycles, so it can wake you up when you’re in a light level of sleep near to when you wanted to be awake, rather than at a specific time when you might be off in Never-Neverland.
It doesn’t take much to use this Internet-connected scale — literally, you just have to stand there. But by tracking weight as well as body composition data like fat mass and body mass index, this app-synced device can be more helpful than even the most sophisticated fitness trackers.
Still, loaded with sensors, it’s not like this smart scale isn’t trying. Able to automatically recognize up to eight individual users, track heart rates, and even monitor indoor air quality, it can give you a well-rounded picture of your overall health. And paired with Withings’ Health Mate app (and more than 100 other partner apps), it can help you gradually meet weight-related goals — so you won’t have to ask for elastic-waist lounge pants for Christmas this year.