Fitness Gadgets

Ive been thinking about fitness a lot recently and all the gadgets you can get to help with your workouts.

I like having equipment and gadgets, especially for swimming. But I like them to be useful and actually benefit my technique as well as performance and fitness levels.

For example for swimming I have various floats, a set of paddles, a set of fins, ear plugs, hats, goggles, nose clip. All of which have their own use during swimming.

However I like numbers and all I get from swimming at the moment is the number of lengths and the time it takes for the session. I do break it down further but this normally done on the spot for sprints or stroke counts. I’m not able to remember everything to reflect on after.

I’ve been looking at swimming watches for a while and now I’ve finally decided to get one. Well asked for it for Christmas from my parents. I have a Poolmate coming which records, lengths, strokes, efficiency, sets, calories and more. I can’t wait to try it out. It will be great to take away with mon my trip as I am rubbish at counting lengths on my own and I don’t plan to do any set schedules while I’m away, but I would like to record my sessions. Once I have used it for a while I’ll let you know how it goes!

Last year while training for Kilimanjaro I had a personal trainer for a few months and he using the Ki Fit system (I think it is the Body Fit in the US). It’s an arm band you wear all the time, except while swimming or showering, which was the main downside for me. It recorded calories burned, steps taken and sleep. They describe it as having a personal trainer on your arm as you can see what you are doing and make decisions based on information, rather than feelings and thoughts. It was a real eye-opening and I seriously considered getting one of my own. I still do, but the that puts me off is the subscription you have to take out to use the data recording.

It’s the black armband in the photo of me and Helen in front of Kilimanjaro!

I also got a Heart rate monitor last year. I got the Polar FT7 as I like the features. However I hardly use it now. While I was training with Gary it was great and helped so much with running, but I really don’t enjoy running. I’ve read blogs where people where it to the gym so maybe I should start doing that.

I really like the data that gadgets record so have been looking around at new ones that have come out recently. There is the Jawbone Up and the Fit Bit. These both record very similar data to the Ki Fit but are one-off payments, rather than subscription services, which makes them quite appealing.

I’m thinking about investing in something when I return from my trip as I really want to start training better for my open water swims in 2012 and begin to progress towards a 10km swim. I think something like this will help me progress as its a bout having a balanced lifestyle and something like this focuses on food, exercise and sleep. I am usually good with one or two but the other gets left behind and forgotten about and recently that has been food for me. For me it’s about having a bit of help.

What do you think? Do you like fitness gadgets or are they too much information? Have you used any of these? If so let me know how you’ve got on!

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