Geekly Get Fit: Workout Tech

By Matt Ortiz on

 

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One of the things I have been getting a bit nerdy about lately is smartwatches. Despite not using my current watch very much beyond sitting on my wrist slowly ticking time away, I like having the option to use it during a workout.

During my training in Tae Kwon Do, our instructor highly recommended that we remove all jewelry since it can very easily get snagged on clothing or be broken if hit too hard. So as such, I removed my wedding ring, necklace and watch if I wore one.

However, there is no doubt that a smartwatch is an incredibly helpful aid in getting fit. They count your steps, track your heart rate, /evil watch you while you sleep and can help you track how much water your drink during the day. During your workout, you can set timers if you’re working on some interval training, set a target heart rate, track your speed, listen to music, etc. There are a myriad of apps for both Apple and Android (not sure about compatibility with Windows, however) that can help you to either lose weight or get buff.

If a watch isn’t what you’re looking at for a workout your phone may work better for you. From apps like Couch to 5k or PokemonGo, if you just look under health and fitness you’ll find something that will work for you. I’ve gone through many apps myself and while some work better than others, there are two that I keep going back to. Namely MyFitnessPal and Bodyweight Fitness. One to track my food and the other for my workouts. If you enjoy music, you probably already have an app of choice. Amazon Music has been pretty stellar for me lately, while Pandora and Spotify are excellent as well.

For home use, there are three types of cardio machines that, depending upon your needs of cardio, work rather well: treadmills, rowing machines, or stationary bikes. On these, I don’t have too much experience other than using the bikes or rowing machines at the gym. I have a rowing machine at home that I like and a recumbent stationary bike I like to use as well. The calorie tracking on both tend to be sub par but that’s not my needs. Do your research and take a couple for a spin at a local equipment store if you can. If you’re looking for a gym at home, consider asking what your local gym uses and get a home model version.

I am currently into a bodyweight fitness routine I found on Reddit that I can’t stop recommending. In the beginning, it’s low impact on the joints and you progress in difficulty as you become more proficient at the exercises and techniques. Consider it a fitness RPG if you will. I bought myself a set of olympic rings and am currently doing rows, pull ups and push ups on them. I bought some padded mats for my garage and, for maybe less than $200, I have a home gym that will progress with me as I get better.

So if you are looking to get some tech for your workout:

Smartwatches – yes (do not get a dedicated workout watch)

Phone – yes

Apps – yes (test before you buy)

Exercise equipment – maybe

Here are some links to help you decide on your devices:

https://www.reddit.com/r/AndroidWear/

https://play.google.com/store/apps/category/HEALTH_AND_FITNESS

https://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/ios-health-fitness/id6013?mt=8

http://www.businessinsider.com/best-fitness-equipment-for-home-gym-2016-1

Links for my equipment:

Bodyweight Routine appOlympic Rings, and Floor mats.

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