Happy May Heart Zones, Inc fans! This month we are looking to share with you more about wearable fitness technology and help you improve your workouts by finding the right formula for you. With so many different wearable devices out there today, we are excited to help you better understand what is important & what isn’t. Also tell you a little bit about what Heart Zones has to offer for you 😉
Wanted to spend our first post of the month talking about Old School vs New School, which in many regards is basic pedometers vs smart activity trackers. Pedometers used to be a pretty good solution to help us count steps & evaluate our workout. Originally that was all that we had to capture and display active steps and distance. Like any technology, at that time it was great and helpful, but today we are in the new world of Activity Trackers. These new devices, such as the new wrist bands, necklaces, and foot pods are capable of recording & displaying more feedback data to the user.
Wearable fitness activity trackers do much more than pedometers, and they do it better. As we mentioned, Wearables can be a wristband, a watch, necklace, or clip-on device. They sense more things about their wearer and do so more accurately. And, they are almost always connected to the internet, because they are “smart” devices. Smart devices being defined as anything that has a sensor or is connected to the internet, such as smart phones, smart appliances, smart fabrics, and now, smart trackers.
Different smart activity trackers have different ways to display and access data. Wearables can send data to a number of different places: a dedicated mobile app, a laptop, or even a “bridge” that can collect from dozens of sensors and send it somewhere – to a group display, a tablet, or to the cloud. When you open the app on the companion device or computer, you are then presented with a dashboard of the stored or live data. Depending on the tracker, the dashboard may maintain graphs of the user’s activity for weeks or even months.Some wearables’ apps even allow you to aggregate data, so that a workout today can be compared to another one months ago.
We get excited about Smart Activity Trackers because we believe this data is important information in terms of helping you better understand your habits and behaviors, as well as motivating you to change those habits. The more feedback you get the easier it is to have a “Heart-2-Heart” with yourself or your trainer about how you are doing. Many times that feedback can provide the perfect push to work just a little harder or a definitive message of good job, when you see your improvements!
Smart Technology Compatibility
Most modern wearable devices are able to link directly to a smartphone or other mobile device via Bluetooth smart. That allows for your workout data to be accessible from anywhere, anytime. While many of them offer a connection to smart tech, getting the right connection can be tricky, and we want to make sure that you do that. The connection via ANT+ or Bluetooth smart low power can be notoriously finicky. And, if you are training with other individuals using a wearable, it can be nearly impossible to determine one device from another. When that is the case proximity enablement can be used to distinguish who is using which device and which radio signal belongs to which device.
Overall our message to start our May is this: Ditch the pedometer – it is tired – and start to wear a smart activity tracker. With compatibility and accuracy in mind we love the Garmin Foot Pod, but their VivoFit is even a better solution if you are looking for more information. It includes a Heart Rate Monitor as part of the activity tracking. We are happy to supply both of these items in the Wearables section of our store.
As part of many things that Heart Zones does, we offer our own Heart Zones Training iPhone app that supports the use of the Heart Zone Training methodology. It is available free from the iTunes App Store, for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. The app tracks your data and stores it in on your device. You can download the app for free by searching on the iTunes App Store or from this link: http://tinyurl.com/HZTiPhoneApp
Stay tuned for our next Heart-2-Heart on Wearable Fitness Technology as we share more Heart Zones insights about how to use it to improve your workouts going forward!