It’s early in the year and many of us are still trying to keep our New Year resolution to be fit and healthy. So without further ado here’s a list of some of the best value for money fitness-related technology products and apps, for those of you who haven’t already given up on your resolutions!
The hardest part of staying fit and healthy is maintaining a healthy balanced diet, which is unfortunately a vital cog in the “being fit and healthy” machine that will be your life for at least the next few weeks until Easter when various giant Easter eggs make their way into your life.
MyFitnessPal – iOS & Android app (free/paid)
This is where our first app, MyFitnessPal, comes into play. You might of heard of the app in question and presume it’s just a calorie counting app. Well, you’d be right; but it does so much more than that.
By inputting various information about your weight, height, how much weight you’d like to lose, and also how active you are each week, the app will work out a very precise amount of calories, protein, carbohydrates and fats that you should be consuming each day.
The app tracks everything you eat throughout the day in a “food diary.” The app has access to a gigantic database containing thousands of brands and products, meaning that you simply need to search for the foods you’re eating and the app will, 9 times out of 10, find the correct version of your product. The barcode scanner is also available to help input meals when you’re short of time, which works extremely well for even the most random of items.
A progress tab is available to show you how well, or bad, you’re doing, and the app will also predict what weight you’ll be in a certain number of weeks based on your current food diary.
All in all an extremely handy free app (a paid version is also available) for both Android and iOS to keep track of your diet as a whole, and also the various levels of fat, protein and carbohydrates in the food you’re eating.
Razer Nabu X Smart Band – £44.99
You might be thinking, “Razer? They make PC gaming peripherals, don’t they?” Well, yes, and to be honest a fitness tracker is the last thing you’d expect a gaming company to release, but they’ve done it and the Nabu X has proven to be hugely popular amongst gamers and even your regular average Joe.
From a design point of view, it’s an incredibly simple-looking product. There’s no screen, and no sound, just a few LEDs in red, green or blue, and a “gentle vibration” for your phone’s notifications.
The Nabu X connects to your Android or iOS device via Bluetooth and will require the help of the companion application to send you your notifications, but once you’ve downloaded the app everything will start working more or less straight away.
The Nabu X has a battery life of around 5-7 days with use, and up to 30 days when not in use. Couple this with an IP67 water resistance rating of up to 1metre and you’ve got a you can wear anywhere, whether that’s in the office or even whilst you’re on holiday.
Jawbone UP2 Activity Tracker – £39.99
The Jawbone UP2, for £39.99, is a fitness tracker from Jawbone – a company who were primarily an audio company up until a couple of years ago. However, Jawbone are now one of the leading companies when it comes to fitness bands.
The UP2, just like the Nabu X, does not feature a display. Instead we have three single colour LEDs. Blue for sleep, orange for activity, and white for notifications. With a 10 day battery life, and only a 60-minute charge time, the UP2 will basically never need to be powered down.
Again, an application on your smartphone is what powers the fitness band. As well as tracking all of your fitness-related activities, the application can also track your sleeping pattern to ensure you get a decent night’s rest.
Charity Miles – Android / iOS app (Free)
The thought of going for a 10-mile run is not something many of us look forward to, however if you were able to somehow raise money for charity every time you run, walk or cycle that would be brilliant, right?! Well you can do exactly that by using the app, available on both Android and iOS.
The idea behind the app is that a corporate sponsor will agree to donate a few cents for each mile you run, walk or cycle. Fair enough this isn’t a great deal of money, but over time, and depending on how many people use the application, those few dollars could easily turn in to hundreds for whichever charity you choose!
Misfit Flash Activity Tracker – £24.95
Our last item is the Misfit Flash, an activity tracker that definitely won’t break the bank but still has the ability to measure your fitness and track your sleeping patterns whilst looking rather sleek with its watch-like design.
The face of the tracker features 12 LEDs, so that you can tell the time easily at any time of the day or night. And with the inclusion of both a wristband and an alternative clip accessory, you can choose whether you want to just keep the Misfit Flash in your pocket or on your wrist.
You might be thinking that a lack of GPS is a bad thing, but this just means that the Flash can actually track activities such as cycling in the gym, or running on a treadmill, much more efficiently than devices with GPS (GPS-enabled devices can often get confused about what you’re actually doing).
Once again an app is required to use the Misfit Flash, along with a Bluetooth 4.0 enabled device. Various features are available within the app, and it can even attempt to guess when you’re working out just in case you forget to let the app know you’re in the gym.
A handy feature of the Misfit Flash to take note of is that the app has the ability to work in conjunction with MyFitnessPal (mentioned at the top of our article). This enables you to keep an even closer eye on your weight each day and how much weight you’re losing each week.
In a nutshell, there’s a whole range of different apps and products available to help you in your journey of becoming fit and healthy. These are a few of the cheaper alternatives that won’t break the bank if you decide that after a week of exercise you’ve had enough of it all until next January!
Author: Matthew Scott – Senior Editor & Co-Founder of .
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