Dogs and People who are physically active live longer and have a lower risk for obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, and some cancers.
The recent International CES 2014 (Consumer Electronics Show ) was full of news of health and fitness wearables and gadgets, from smart watches, glasses, sensors and jewellery, to wristband fitness trackers and sleep aids.
While many of these offer similar features (step tracking, distance, calories, time, online apps/links, GPS), new features like long battery life, waterproof designs, heart rate monitoring and more are starting to emerge. Many of the fitness trackers appear to retail for around US $100.
US company Fitbit’s diverse line of award-winning products includes the Fitbit Flex wristband, the Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale, the Zip, a wireless activity tracker that can clip onto anything, and the One, a wireless activity tracker that also tracks your sleeping pattern.
They also offer a free app and an online community to help you get and stay on track. Every Monday for six weeks starting January 6, the Fitbit Blog will be launching a new weekly challenge for #Fitbit2014.
The new Nike+ FuelBand SE can now track not only how much but also how often and how intensely you move. It can also give you real-time feedback, move reminders and insights to help you move better.
The new Garmin VivoFit has an accelerometer inside it, which tracks steps and uses that data to estimate calories burned and distance travelled. But unlike some competitors, the Vivofit is compatible with ANT+ heart-rate sensors, so the Vivofit will have a more accurate idea of calories burned. The Vivofit has Bluetooth 4.0.
LG announced a new fitness tracker, the Lifeband Touch. Looking very similar to the Nike+ FuelBand SE, the Lifeband is a wrist-based activity tracker. It’s equipped with an accelerometer that will track steps taken, calories burned and distance.
There was also buzz about Polar Loop, the wrist band “activity tracker that makes you move”. It tracks movement like walking or biking as well as heart rate, and calculates calories.
At CES 2014 Polar announced its new flagship sports watch full of features like on-board GPS so it can track your running, cycling and swimming with complete accuracy when you’re outdoors. Polar has also equipped the new watch with the same accelerometer that powers the Polar Loop fitness tracker. So, if you’re wearing the V800 it’s tracking every step you take, every hour of the day.
The iFit offers comprehensive training systems and are now launching a fitness tracker to integrate with their online portal and mobile apps. The iFit Active uses an accelerometer to track steps and estimate calories burned and can calculate net calories. iFit Active isn’t a sealed unit wristband, which means you can swap it between bands – there are six colours available. The device charges via USB and iFit estimates that you’ll get seven days of use out of a full charge.
At slightly lower prices, there are brands like LifeTrak band at $60. A simple band that tracks steps.
For more, Misfit’s $120 Shine is a little metal button, a nice decorative clip on tracker and for $200 Reign band from JayBird, is a touch sensor for spot checks of heart rate, and can tell the difference between running, swimming, and walking. There are also other smart watch brands launching.
The Sony Core is a tiny activity sensor that can be slipped into a wristband or simply carried around in your pocket. The Core will log steps, distance calories burned and the rest, and connect with Sony’s Lifelog app, which is only available on Android. Core will send all its activity data to Lifelog. It can also log what music you’re listening to, when you’re listening to it, what the weather was like when you were listening to a particular song and whether you were being active at the time. The Lumo Lift is another small sensor device that clips to your shirt via a strong magnet. There are both accelerometer and gyroscopic sensors inside the Lift, allowing the device to measure the number of steps you take as well as the state of your posture.
For our four-legged friends, our friends at SlimDoggy have a great mobile app and PetsMove.org offers great challenges and a community of dog lovers getting active.
Setting goals and joining a group on or offline are great ways to start getting active with your pet and the progress you will see if you keep track should help keep you motivated.