Fitness devices let you keep track of body fat, muscle mass and sleep quality. Ellie McInerney reports on the tech spearheading the fitness and health tracking revolution.
Our bodies are constantly growing and changing, so using devices to keep them changing in the right direction is a smart move — and one no longer just for the pros. And seeing as our health goals are about improving, it makes sense that fitness devices are constantly improving too.
To keep you in the know while your body’s on the go, here are the latest and greatest improvements and brand new devices that can now do pretty much anything — except train for you.
Probably one of the most exciting releases on the market is the TomTom Touch activity tracker. This touchscreen wristband tracker boasts the new Touch Body Composition Analysis, which monitors your body fat and muscle mass percentage with one simple touch. This awesome little device is a pioneering product making waves on the market and on the wrists of the serious fitness lovers. It also tracks the other good stuff we have come to expect from a fitness tracker, including steps, calories, heart rate and sleep. The TomTom Touch is an extremely cool little gadget for those of us seeking serious insights into our insides.
- Accurate body fat percentage analysis.
- Accurate lean muscle mass percentage analysis and tracking.
- Activity, body and sports goal setting.
Fitbit Alta HR
The Fitbit Alta has returned to the market with impressive accuracy improvements with its heart rate monitoring due to the latest PurePulse technology. For those unfamiliar with the original Fitbit Alta, it’s a device that monitors steps, distance, active time, calories burned and sleep. The shiny new updated version also includes advanced sleep pattern analysis. The Sleep Stages system of the Alta HR is paired with Sleep Insights in the Fitbit app to give you more accurate information about how your body is tracking while you’re dreaming. Other improvements include a smaller chip, a new sensor, larger battery and a slightly snugger wristband which gives great heart rate accuracy.
- Advanced Sleep Stages paired with Sleep Insights in the Fitbit app.
- PurePulse improved heart rate tracking and accuracy.
- New band with buckle – straps are interchangeable so you can even put the new band on the old Alta.
Garmin Vivosmart HR +
Garmin has listened to its running fan customers and have added the most important thing it seemingly forgot with the Vivosmart HR – a GPS system. It’s the perfect device for those of us who love to get lost on long runs, without the getting lost part.
The screen is small at just 160×68 pixels and the band is chunky — but not a bad compromise considering that this wearable is loaded with all the data you’ll need to improve your knowledge about your health stats to step up your fitness game.
The HR + is swim friendly and tracks sleep, daily steps, stairs climbed, active minutes, calories burned and distance travelled. It’s also smart enough to automatically sync to your smartphone throughout the day, where you can share data, fitness challenges and goals with the free online community Garmin Connect.
- GPS run tracking.
- Smartphone notifications.
- Daily activity tracking with goals.
Step on it
Withings Body Cardio
The Withings Body Cardio is the kind of cardio machine we’d be happy step on. This impressive state-of-the-art machine tracks some serious data and gives heart health the attention it deserves. The Body Cardio tracks weight, BMI, body composition including fat, muscle, water and bone density, and also provides standing heart rate information. Unlike the older Smart Body Analyser from Withings, this improved body composition scale works on any surface, including carpet.
It also includes a stand-out feature in the Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV) tracking. PWV tracking is an upgrade like no other; tracking heartbeat-generated vibrations, the scales can detect hardened arteries and high blood pressure which can lead to heart attack, kidney failure and stroke. The data is sent to the Health Mate App where you can see real-time stats on how healthy your heart is. Connect it with MyFitnessPal for food tracking, weight management and goal setting. The Body Cardio is a device the whole family can benefit from, with the ability to store data for multiple users.
- Works on any surface.
- Pulse Wave Velocity tracking.
- Connects to MyFitnessPal for nutrition tracking and goal setting.
Garmin Index Scale
This is definitely one of the top products on the market when it comes to measuring your body composition. These Wi-Fi-connected scales measure all the things you want and more when it comes to your health, including weight, BMI, body fat and water percentage, bone mass and skeletal muscle mass. Automatically detecting up to 16 different users, this impressive body composition scale automatically sends data to your individual Garmin Connect account so you can process your stats in detail and review your progress easily.
- 9 months battery life.
- Wi-Fi connected.
- Access to the free online fitness community, Garmin Connect.
The Fitbit Aria is a fantastic companion to the Fitbit trackers. These Wi-Fi-connected scales sync your data to your Fitbit so you can set your goals and track your progress. Displaying weight stats including BMI, lean muscle mass and body fat percentage, these scales come equipped with automatic recognition of up to eight users. Body composition stats are kept private and your personal progress trends are displayed in easy-to-read graphs. Designed with a polished glass surface, these sleek scales fit easily into any home or work environment. With access to Calorie Coaching to help you stay on track, it’s a stand-out product from a brand that’s renowned for its fitness tracking abilities.
- Wi-Fi connected data syncing to your Fitbit tracking device.
- Easy to read graphs.
- Sleek design.
- Water resistant.
Tanita RD-953 Body Composition Monitor
Tanita is a world leader in body composition scales with over 70 years experience; the brand lends its name to some very impressive fitness devices, with the RD-953 being its standout product. This next level body composition monitor is Android and Apple compatible with long-term tracking. Instant auto-recognition means you save time and the new muscle quality score reading gives you results within a 50g accuracy. Using transparent electrodes this impressive scale measures body fat percentage, visceral fat rating, total body water percentage, muscle mass, muscle quality score, bone mineral mass, basal metabolic range (BMR), metabolic age (up to 99), physique rating and features a normal and athlete mode. Whoa.
- Wireless technology.
- Track your progress with the Tanita Health Planet App.
- Comprehensive analysis of body composition to a 50g accuracy.
Omron Fat Loss Monitor
Now we’re getting fancy. The Omron Fat Loss Monitor is a hand-held device that uses gentle micro-electrical currents to analyse your weight and body fat percentage with clinically proven accuracy. Simply hold the monitor between the palms of your hands and around seven seconds later you have all the data on your health stats. You can even give yourself a serious advantage with the athlete and non-athlete mode to ensure your results are in line with your lifestyle and goals. Suitable for up to nine different users, this monitor tracks body fat throughout extended periods of time and can be set for metric or US measurements.
- Highly accurate body fat and BMI measurements.
- Athlete and non-athlete mode.
- Hand-held and easy to use.
- Great price.