Denver Heart Specialists’ Five Favorite Exercise Gadgets

Sticking to an exercise plan isn’t easy, South Denver Cardiology recommends these great gadgets to help make it fun and keep you on track.

If you’ve been advised to adopt a daily exercise regime but are having trouble sticking to it, you are not alone.  While we are surrounded by images of super-jocks performing unbelievable feats of athleticism, most of us have trouble finding the time and motivation to just get the right amount of movement into our daily lives.

Often the right tools can help.  Here are five exercise gadgets to help make tracking your physical activity fun which could give you the boost you need to stay on track.

Fitbit

If you are on the hunt for a gadget that doesn’t just track your activity, but can also even help you get a more restful night’s sleep, the FitBit might be exactly what you’re looking for!  Priced at about $100, the FitBit tracks your steps, stairs climbed, calories burned and more – even how much sleep you get.  Both versions of the Fitbit sync wirelessly with your computer or smartphone to provide you with reports on your activity level. The FitBit collects all of this information and then uploads it to the FitBit web app so you can track your progress over time. Then, you can share as many or as few details as you like with friends, who can support you. You can even use the FitBit’s webapp to track your meals and diet, offering a truly complete tool to manage and improve your health.

 

UWaterG4

Music helps you take your mind off the strain of exercise.  Select upbeat tunes that map to the pace of your activity or audio books that transport you to another place and make you forget you’re working out at all.  Now the benefits of music can be transported to the pool.  If your preferred workout is in the water, the UWaterG4, a walnut-sized waterproof MP3 player, can make it more fun. It’s so tiny, you can clip it onto your goggles with the elastic headband (or fasten it to your suit). It’s even got a flotation device so you don’t need to go deep sea diving if your UWaterG4 comes loose. Just press play and let the upbeat grooves of your favorite artists motivate you through that last set of laps (MSRP, $59.95)

 

Your SmartPhone

Some of you probably don’t even need an extra gadget to track your activity and stay in shape! With the help of a smartphone and a few well-chosen apps, you may have all the tools you need.  Check out Fitness Buddy, Sports Tracker, Accupedo, Fitocracy, and the Daily Burn Tracker—all top rated apps to track activity, diet and overall fitness.  Some allow you to share your progress with their own active communities who will encourage you to push harder towards your goals, cheer you on, and offer instant feedback either on the device or on the web.

Pedometer

Simply Google “pedometer” and you’ll find hundreds of options for brands at a variety of price ranges. A pedometer is a portable device you wear on your body. It accurately measures your physical movement throughout the day. Pedometers are reliable, affordable and can be a great motivational tool. The average person walks 3-4,000 steps a day.  Most Denver cardiologists recommend at least 10,000 steps a day.  A great first step down the road to cardiac health is to start monitoring how many steps you’re taking doing simple, everyday activities.  Once you know your number, perhaps you’ll park your car a bit farther from the door or take the stairs instead of the elevator.  These small steps can add up to big impact over time.  Friends and family members can all adopt pedometers creating a friendly competition to help motivate, encourage and support each other to increase physical activity levels.

Heart Rate Monitors

Heart rate monitors usually come in two parts: a chest strap transmitter and a wrist receiver (built into a watch) or mobile phone. Strapless heart rate monitors now allow the user to just touch two sensors on a wristwatch display for a few seconds to view their heart rate. These are popular for their comfort and ease of use though they don’t give as much detail as monitors that use a chest strap.

More innovative models offer measurements of heart rate variability, activity, and breathing rate. Sensor fusion algorithms allow these monitors to identify core dehydration and temperature.  Another style of heart rate monitor for women is built into a sports bra which includes sensors in the fabric.

No matter which model you choose, a heart rate monitor is a great way to make sure your exercise routine pushing you to the right level, but not beyond.  The South Denver Cardiology health coaches can advise you on the target rates before, during and after your workout.

How to Use this Information

Whether you have a heart condition or are just trying to avoid one in the future, adopting and staying with the right exercise program is critical.  If you’re having difficulty starting or sticking with your exercise routine, consider trying one or more of these tools to track and your progress, share it with friends and keep you motivated.  If you have any questions on what exercise program makes sense for you, contact the experts at South Denver Cardiology at 303-744-1065.