Tech This Week: Wearable technology helps you keep aware of your fitness goals

Wearable Technology

Heading to the gym, or for a workout at home, has always been a struggle for anyone trying to keep track of fitness progress being made.

Until now.

Keeping fit and knowing how well you are doing with your fitness goals are now directly connected to, and measurable through, your smartphone, tablet or PC untethered by wearable technology.

Whether you are counting steps, burning calories or measuring heartbeats and sleep patterns, wearable fitness trackers are the latest fashion craze for your athletic self.

FitBit, Misfit, Garmin and Jawbone are the best fitness trackers for 2015. They are available at local retailers Best Buy, Canadian Tire, Staples and Walmart with knowledgeable staff on hand to demonstrate the variety of fitness trackers available to meet your well-being and lifestyle needs.

“FitBit is affordable and quite functional for maintaining health statistics,” says Christopher Smith, general manager of the Fleming Student Administrative Council.

“Awareness of physical health is the first step to prevention and lifestyle change. FitBit creates that awareness.”

“Since I got my Apple Watch, I have lost almost 20 pounds,” adds Steve Higgs, Information Technology Services, Fleming College. “It has a great fitness tracker feature that monitors my sitting time at my desk to alert me when I have sat for too long and need to stand up and move around. Four weeks after getting it, I noticed I had lost weight.”

The buzz around the Apple Watch proves that consumers are learning more and more about themselves, their habits and their lifestyles by strapping technologies to their bodies to record health care attributes. While Apple Watch is the latest entry in the smartwatch world, Samsung Gear, Pebble Watch and more are available locally at Bell, Rogers, Telus, Sport Chek and other stores.

One of the coolest and most innovative wearable technologies we have seen comes from local Peterborough entrepreneur Michael Zinn, creator of TAPS Wearable.

TAPS gives a voice to people who have limited mobility or difficulty speaking, including those with ALS, cerebral palsy or a brain injury. Users simply tap wearable Bluetooth triggers to speak customizable phrases through an app on their phone.

If you want, wearable technology can be closer to your heart than hand.

Connected T-shirts from Canadian-based OMsignal and Hexoskin tethered to your smartphone give you access to biometric information such as heart rate, breathing and sleep monitoring.

No one is claiming that weight loss and healthy living are solely tied to the wearable technology revolution. However, it is safe to say people are buying these digital trackers, smartwatches and gear to become more tuned in to their bodies and healthy living aspirations.

For more information on Michael J. O’Farrell, follow him @MobileInstitute on Twitter or connect with him at [email protected]

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