Over the past year or two, fitness wearables have made their way into the mainstream, with products from Fitbit, Nike and Jawbone. Quite a few of my friends wear their fitness tracker covertly clipped to their bras. They track their every move, from work, to the gym, to running errands, and even to bed. They challenged themselves to get in their 10,000 steps daily, and many of them saw results on the scale or in the doctor’s office.
Last summer I finally broke down and purchased a tracker for myself, eager to learn more about my daily fitness and sleep routines. Not one to hide things in my bra, I wore my tracker on my wrist and checked it frequently throughout the day. That is, until I started to break into hives on my wrist. The times I was most curious about my fitness was during exercise, but the sweat made my wrist itchy underneath the tracker. So much for that idea.
Overall I still love the concept of these new trackers, for people who are regularly active and for motivating those who should be moving more for better health. In the future these devices should also be able to help those with medical conditions and even the elderly. It will be really neat, at least in this fitness geek’s opinion, to see where we go from here.
For example, it looks like soon we will be seeing wireless earbuds hit the marketplace. What makes these new earbuds special is not just the ability to listen to music wirelessly, but that they can track your heart rate during fitness activities.
Your target heart rate during high intensity activities should be about 70% to 85% of her maximum heart rate. (Maximum rate typically varies by age.) So some people might want to wear these earbuds to ensure that they are maximizing their workouts in terms of intensity. Yet other people, such as those who are under a doctor’s care, might want to continue exercise while ensuring that their heart rate stays outside of a danger zone. As someone who had what doctors considered a high-risk pregnancy, I wanted to stay active without putting myself or my unborn child at risk. My doctor wanted the same, so she gave me a limit as to how high my heart rate could go during activity. Being able to pop these earbuds in and go would have made it a whole lot easier for me to monitor my heart rate during exercise.
And yes, these new earbuds do have the cool factor too, connecting to your music on your phone or player via Bluetooth so those pesky wires will annoy you no more. Let’s hope the sound quality is worth the investment. If so, I hope to be sporting a pair as soon as they hit the market. What about you?
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Photo credit: EatSleepBe.com.