Wearable technology is on the rise, piggybacking consumers’ thirst for anything fitness-related. The trend began with a surge in heart rate monitors and fitness trackers, but that is only the tip of the activewear-clad iceberg.
So what is wearable technology, exactly? We’re not talking about strap-on iPads – wearables are quite simply electronic devices that can be worn and the possibilities are endless.
We’ve put together our wearable frontrunners so you can plug into this year’s fitness trend.
Walk, sleep, eat, repeat
Tackling the scope of running wearables on offer is almost as daunting as hill sprints after leg day. You can find a device to track almost anything, and our favourite all-rounder ranks in almost every category.
Considered the Usain Bolt of the tracking world, the Fitbit Charge HR ticks all the boxes. From monitoring heart rate and calories to steps and sleep patterns, this Fitbit is ideal for both day-to-day activities and high-intensity training. But our favourite feature would have to be the constant heart rate monitoring without having to wear a constricting chest strap. This provides an accurate calorie count during workouts, meaning you’ll know exactly when you’ve burned off that guilty pleasure.
Take the plunge
Water and electronics don’t usually play nice, but this paddle-worthy tracker will help keep your fitness goals afloat. Instabeat may sound like photo-themed headphones, but don’t be fooled. This all-in-one swimming monitor mounts on the straps of all types of goggles, tracking not only your calories, heart rhythm and breathing patterns, but your laps, strokes and flip-turns. The real kicker? It has a heads-up monitor, so you can track your swim in real-time without disrupting your stroke.
Music to your ears
It’s easy to feel lonely with your head underwater. Swimmers, leave the solitary confinement to your Speedos and give Sony’s Waterproof Walkman a try. Wireless and waterproof, this snug-fitting headset is designed to stay out of your way.
Simply dock, drag and drop up to 4GB of music and dive right in! There’s an easy-to-use control station in close reach, adjacent to the earbuds. Plus, ZAPPIN technology even allows for eyes-free music browsing, playing the chorus of your favourite workout songs to match the intensity of your workout.
How many times have you grabbed your iPod only to find it’s out of battery? Sony has your back on this one. Their three-minute Quick Charge will quell your excuses and have you moving again in a flash.
Don't fear the D (Vitamin D, that is)
Do you burn faster than caramel in a frying pan? Are you forever slathering on sunscreen and burdened with hat hair? Then the Ultra Violet is for you.
The fine line between a healthy dose of vitamin D and sun damage is forever blurred for those of us melanin-deprived, but the Violet was made with all skin variety in mind. With in-built skin type personalisation, the Violet tracks your real-time UV exposure, sending live updates alerting you to reapply sunscreen, put on a hat, or take shady cover, straight to your phone. The days of fearing the sun are behind you, so let the Violet do the burn math for you.
Next level activewear
Smart clothing is a force not for the faint-hearted. Fitness technology at its finest, this compression clothing is fitted with sensors and provides the most accurate tracking on offer.
Athos has brought this technology, once reserved for elite athletes, to the mainstream market. Their range of apparel monitors your body’s vitals and translates the data in simple, actionable advice. And best of all, their 'Muscle Effort technology measures exactly how hard your muscles are working, allowing you to determine if you’re using the correct muscle groups for your heavy weight exercises.
We predict this is only the beginning for wearable technology, as the marriage of wearables and activewear will soon be as common place as unracked free weights. One thing is for sure – fitness technology is evolving at a rapid rate, and improving our training with every development. Maybe this time next year we’ll be bringing you our favourite self-running shoes… a girl can dream!
But until then, our guess is that we’ll be seeing you around our venues, all technology’d up!