I remember a time in America’s history where if you wanted to get fit, you had to do it the old school way—punch dead meat carcasses, run up and down museum steps, jog through the whole city in freezing weather wearing nothing but a potato sack, bench press old sedan bumpers… I remember when working out took balls!
I’m just kidding, I don’t remember any of that shit. In fact, I think like, half those ideas are from Rocky I.
In actuality, our generation has grown up with high-tech gear that revolutionized everything from the way we run to the way we diet, and even the way we sleep. Never before have we had so many tools available to help us manage our health and fitness, yet so rarely do we take advantage of it.
If “Stop being such a fatty” is one of your New Year’s resolutions this year, there’s a plethora of gear available to help you make it happen. Here are ten of the best:
Samsung Gear IconX
Working out without good tunes is like eating turkey without gravy—that shit just don’t make sense. Selecting the right headphones for a rigorous workout takes time, patience and a little know-how. Traditional over-ear headphones offer superior sound quality, but tend to slip off. Wired ear buds can get drenched with sweat and fall out, or get tangled up in the mess.
The Gear IconX by Samsung is the best of both worlds—earbuds that won’t fall out, offer superior sound quality, and best of all, have zero cords.
The IconXs also come with a built-in fitness tracker that’s intuitive enough to let you know crucial info as you work out, like heart rate, speed, distance and duration—all without the need for a phone. There’s also the S Health app, that’ll help you log your stats and monitor your progress.
Another big win for Samsung, the Gear Fit2 is one of the best and most intuitive fitness bands on the market right now.
The Gear Fit2 boasts a painfully accurate heart rate monitor that’ll let you know when you’re in your “vigorous intensity” zone to help you keep optimal pace. It’s also smart enough to know whether you’re running, on a bike or even on a stationary machine like a rower or the elliptical.
Best of all, it’s AMOLED display will display all your stats on-screen, so there’s no need to bring your phone along if you don’t want to.
Under Armour HealthBox
You know Under Armour for their quality workout gear, but if you’ve been sleeping on their other products—particularly their HealthBox—you’re blowing it. The HealthBox features a high-tech band that measures your sleep, resting heart rate and even workout intensity (when worn with the Heart Rate, also included in the package). Wear it all the time and it’ll help you stay up to date on your overall fitness and general health.
The HealthBox also includes a top-tier scale that’ll help you not only keep track of your weight, but also your body fat percentage and overall progress toward your goal. And finally, the Heart Rate chest strap helps monitor your ideal heart rate and workout intensity during your workout sessions. It’s literally everything you need, all in one box.
Oh! And, every HealthBox automatically includes a free one-year membership to MyFitnessPal Premium and MapMyFitness MVP. Not bad, eh?
Withings Body Cardio
There are two key pieces of information you’ll need in order to gauge your fitness level and reach your goal in the new year: body composition and heart rate.
The Body Cardio scale by Withings is one of—if not the—best scales on the market. Not only does the scale measure your body weight, it’ll also tell you valuable statistics like your fat and muscle mass, water percentage and even your bone mass. But, most importantly, it’ll give you valuable insights about your heart health, using quantifiable statistics like Pulse Wave Velocity which, by itself, is the best stand-alone indicator of heart and arterial health.
It’s also WiFi-enabled and works perfectly with the Health Mate App, which means it’ll give you daily updates to let you know how much progress you’ve made (or how big a bag of dicks you’re being to your body—your pick!).
Skybuds are another popular wireless alternative to traditional headphones, designed specifically to take whatever abuse you serve up. If you’re concerned only with sound quality, these in-ear headphones probably offer the best in the industry right now, while offering passive noise cancellation to keep you focused.
It won’t tell you how long you’ve been running for or what your heart rate is, but they’ll get four hours of listening time per charge, work seamlessly with Bluetooth-enabled devices, and are super easy to use. Oh, and they’re sweatproof—so no matter what you throw at ‘em, they won’t fall out.
The Skulpt Chisel
The Chisel by Skulpt really is one of those new-age devices that blows my mind. This thing doesn’t just measure body fat or water percentage, it’ll literally measure muscle quality and help identify your body’s strong and weak points.
You just hold the scanner up to different muscles, and it’ll not only analyze that muscle’s strength, but will actually put together a personalized workout plan to help burn fat and strengthen that individual muscle group.
Hello Sense Sleep Tracker
Sleep has more to do with overall fitness than you think. If you’re working out but not getting the right amount of sleep, all your exercise could wind up being for naught.
Sense sits on your bedside table and essentially monitors everything about your sleeping experience. A small sensor clips to your pillow and provides insights to your actual sleeping patterns (length, sleep cycle analysis and overall quality), and the Sense ball provides insights like air quality, CO2 levels, temperature, UV light, noise and even humidity.
That information is extrapolated and analyzed, and the Sense will even issue a detailed sleep score. Once it learns more about your sleep patterns, Sense will actually begin providing you with detailed suggestions to improve your sleep, get the most rest and thus, make the most out of your workouts.
BodyBoss 2.0 isn’t a fancy piece of technology that’ll make working out or dieting easier. It’s a piece of gear that’ll give you all the tools you need to get a rigorous full-body workout without the hassle, expense and bulk of weights.
BodyBoss 2.0 uses a simple system of bars and resistance bands to create a very compact, very effective workout experience. It was launched on Kickstarter earlier this year, and it received nearly 38 times it’s original funding goal. In short, it’s the real deal.
FitBit Charge 2
The FitBit has long been a preferred fitness band by everyone from hardcore athletes to casual weekend warriors, and in a sea of trackers, sensors, bands, watches and whatever the hell else people are using to map their runs with these days, the FitBit Charge 2 continues to thrive because it’s sleek, simple and mated to a beautifully-designed app that’s equally functional.
Its modern and minimal design features an OLED display that can show time and fitness data on-screen, as well as an always-on heart rate monitor, a five-day battery life and interchangeable bands. If you’re looking for an affordable and functional way to track your progress and hammer down on your fitness goals, the FitBit Charge 2 should be an obvious choice.
Apple Watch 2
Apple just released its second generation Apple Watch back in October and, so far, it’s gaining a lot of traction. The 2 is similar to the 1, with the additions of both waterproofing (the first-gens are only water resistant, not waterproof) and GPS tracking.
The Apple Watch 2 is brighter and faster than its predecessor, and for running, it’s pretty great. With GPS activated full bore, you’ll get about 4.5 hours out of it, and it’s about as accurate as consumer-grade GPS gets. The watch doesn’t just use its own proprietary workout app (which admittedly kind of sucks); it’s compatible with third-party apps like Nike+.
Basically, if you want a fitness band that can also do a lot of the other stuff—browse social media, take phone calls, receive and respond to messages, listen to music, etc.—the Apple Watch 2 is your huckleberry.
Now check out our round up of the best iOS apps of 2016.
- Lead image: The Verge