You only need to pop open Instagram, do a little search for #gymbuddy and have a look at the 150,000 posts to know that working out alone is firmly a thing of the past. But your workout pal doesn’t have to be your skinnier, fitter, all-round-better-at-life, “do you even lift, bro?” gym-addict colleague; instead you can opt for one of the little pieces of techy heaven set to hit the shelves this year.
Health apps, wearable gadgets, smart shoes and smart watches have exploded onto the market in the past two years and, in the 12 months leading up to August 2015 alone, 11% of adults monitored their exercise and food intake with a mobile app and 7% monitored their workouts with a wearable fitness tracker. By 2022 the market is expected to be in excess of $12.44 Billion, according to MarketsandMarkets, so if you’re not already in ownership of one of them then now is the time.
If you’re ready to jump on the bandwagon but not sure which side to sit on, we’ve got the lowdown on the best gadgets you should be considering:
THE ALL OVER
The latest from homeware brand Terraillon is the ‘Web Coach Easy View’ connected body composition analyser. This streamline set of scales allows for easy reading of your weight, body fat, body water, muscle mass and bone mass all in one place through a portable Easy View screen. Automatically syncing with the brilliant Wellness Coach app on your smartphone (see below), this is an all rounder in every way. You can even measure the room temperature – just in case you want to put your case forward for whether or not shivering really does burn off fat!
Other features: up to 8 smartphones connected at one time; speedy data transfer; automatic sync.
THE LOAD – BUT NOT WALLET – LIGHTENER
To use with their newest technological releases, Terraillon have developed this easy to use fitness app; the Wellness Coach. Using connectable kitchen scales, the coach counts your daily fat, sugar, protein and salt intake to keep an eye on your nutritional wellbeing – like a friendlier Big Brother! It also keeps track of your weight, health and happiness using the body composition analyser, above, and an in-app sleep tracker. With all of this it also counts your daily exercise including step count, pace and distance travelled. Best of all, it’s free. Sorted.
Other features: over 60 trophies to collect; set your own goals; share results fast
THE KITCHEN GURU
This essential kitchen addition, the Drop Scale, is a set of scales that connects wirelessly to an app on your tablet. Accurate to a single gram, it’s easy to swap between units mid-weigh and the App allows you to browse recipes at the same time. Included in the thousands of recipes is a screen to tell you all the ingredients, tools, prep time etc that you’ll need. Once you’ve selected the ingredient and poured it into the bowl, you’ll be shown how much more/less is required for your current serving or it will scale up/down the rest of the ingredients to match, therefore adjusting the number of servings the recipe provides. Perfect for making your healthy snacks on the go!
Other features: heat resistant silicone top; no cables; social sharing.
Available from: www.getdrop.com; Amazon; Apple; Harrods; Lakeland
THE TRUSTY BEDFELLOW
Any avid workout warrior will know that sleep equals gains. Your muscles need rest and recuperation and yet, unsurprisingly, humans are the only mammals to willingly delay sleep, so make like your puppy and curl up! Unlike other sleep trackers, the S+ is the world’s first non-contact system to accurately track every stage of the sleep cycle. No need to wear a gadget or sleep on top of your brand new 6s, the S+ will pinpoint the exact point you fall asleep; tracking your light, deep and REM cycles to give you an accurate report of the quality and quantity of your sleep. Another handy app with this one where you can see daily sleep scores, charts and coaching advice from the S+ Mentor calculated through data from over 2 million nights of sleep.
Other features: Mind Clear; Relax to Sleep; Smart Alarm
RRP £129.95 at mySleep.resmed.com, ResMed clinics, Amazon and John Lewis.
THE 21ST CENTURY HIPPY
Buddhify, from UK-based company Mindfulness Everywhere, is a meditation app designed for the new wave of mind-conscious-but-modern. A perfect blend of mindfulness and modern technology, Buddhify has different sections to relieve stress, take yourself offline, break fro m work or meditate on the go. This one’s golden for those who struggle to sleep, either away or at home. The app also comes highly recommended and was named Mobile App of 2014 at the Scottish Digital Business Awards.
Other features: personal stats; social sharing; meditation guides
RRP: £3.99 (iOS) or £1.99 (Android)
MisFit Wearables’ newest addition is the MisFit Shine: a wireless activity tracker that can be worn anywhere on the body – wave goodbye to an odd looking watch; this one can tuck neatly under your socks! A sleek metal disk, the MisFit Shine tracks points towards your daily goal with a halo of lights throughout the day and collects data on step count, calorie burn etc on the MisFit Shine app. Top feature on this is the Shine’s ability to recognise activities performed e.g swimming, basketball, tennis and football.
Other features: battery lasts up to four months; waterproof disc; durably made from aircraft-grade aluminium
Available from the apple iTunes Store