As athletes, we strive to get better each and every day. However it’s not always how hard you train—sometimes it’s more about how smart you train.
Getting the most out of your training means more than just maxing out on reps, it means using every available resource that can potentially help you progress. Fortunately, these days, there’s no shortage of tools designed specifically for athletes. These tech-enabled gadgets range in everything from do-it-all performance tracking watches, to water bottles that track your hydration levels, and they all share one common goal: to make your life as an athlete easier.
Whether you’re looking for some self-improvement this holiday season, or just a gift idea gift for the athlete in your life, this following round-up of 10 tech devices to make you a better athlete should help.
Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Scale
More than just a tool for keeping tabs on your weight, the Fitbit Aria is an advanced scale that calculates things like body fat percentage and Body Mass Index (BMI), which it then it shares digitally via a Wi-Fi connection straight to your computer or smart phone. Use the data to gain insight on your personal progress in the form of easy-to-understand graphs and charts. As the brand puts it: you’ll go from “fearing the unknown to feeling empowered.”
Digital Cordless Jump Rope
The traditional jump rope will never go out of style—we know this. But imagine the following scenario: you live in a cramped, shoe box-sized studio in the city. Forget jumping rope, you barely have room for the essentials. Enter, the digital cordless jump rope. Sure, it may look a set of bootleg nunchucks, but it is essentially just as effective as a traditional jump rope, yet allows athletes to do their thing in confined indoor spaces. It keeps track of total jump count, calories burned, and, oh yea, the innovative cordless design means tripping over the rope and busting your chin is one less thing you have to worry about.
Pear Mobile Training Intelligence System
There are countless do-it-all training systems available to athletes in this ongoing tech-driven era of performance gear, but the Pro Mobile Training Intelligence System continues to rank atop the list due to its sleek and modern design, precise functionality and attractive price point. The kit uses an advanced Bluetooth heart rate monitor to measure your body’s response to a workout and provides real-time audio coaching through the included Pear Stride earphones to ensure that you train at the right intensity. Best of all, unlike many other comparable products, the Pear Pro Intelligence is compatible with both Android and iOS.
Forget spin class—the state-of-the-art Peloton Cycle lets you turn your own home into a gym. The innovative stationary bike comes complete with a Full HD 1080 LED panel with an all glass multi-touch surface that is completely sweat resistant. Behind the screen, a Texas Instruments 1.5 GHz dual-core processor provides fast HD video streaming, while the Wi-Fi feature lets users connect to the internet wirelessly. A front facing camera and microphone let you take studio-style classes from top instructors and allow you to interact and ride with friends who also have a Peloton Cycle.
HydraCoach Intelligent Water Bottle
Can your water bottle calculate things like average fluid consumption and personal hydration needs? Unless you have a HydraCoach Intelligent Water Bottle, the answer is no. As the world’s first interactive water bottle, the Hydracoach is putting the power of hydration directly into the hands of the consumers. The digital bottle allows users to keep tabs on the amount of water they drink on a daily basis to ensure proper hydration. Genius.
Unlike many of the other tech devices on this list, the Puma Soundchuck won’t directly make you a better athlete. BUT, we all know music can be a solid form of motivation to get us out there to put in work. The only problem is either you don’t have a decent portable speaker, or you can’t seem to find earbuds that will actually stay in your ear—even if you taped them down like some sort of maniac. The solution: the Puma Soundchuck. This versatile wireless speaker system is weatherproof, adjustable and portable—making it the ideal took for users with active lifestyles looking to pump up to some good tunes. The unit is Bluetooth enabled for wireless, hands-free pairing, and it features a flexible cord design that allows it to be hooked up to or wrapped around just about anything.
adidas miCoach Smart Run
Remember the days when the only number athletes had to keep track of was the number of reps they put in? Well those days are long gone. The modern-day athlete wants to keep tabs on virtually every important aspect of training, including tracking heart rate, calories burned, and much, much more--hence why countless new all-purpose performance tracking devices have littered the market in recent years. Among them, the adidas miCoach Smart Run watch. Released in Fall 2013, the Smart Run is a state-of-the-art touch screen watch that features advanced functions like GPS mapping and strapless heart rate monitoring. A built-in accelerometer allows runners keep track of things like distance and pace, while the Bluetooth feature lets users listen to their favorite tunes wire-free.
Not even a classic sport like golf is immune to the on-going tech takeover in the active industry. Take for example the SwingTIP golf swing analyzer and mobile app. With its award-winning design, the SwingTIP clips onto the shaft of a golf club and analyzes and reproduces your swing in a 3-D model. Within just seconds after striking the ball, SwingTIP uses Bluetooth to wirelessly transmit the data to your smart phone and table so you can then adjust your game accordingly.
Where as SwingTIP helps golfers identify things like the velocity and trajectory of their swing, the SensoGlove takes it back to basics by serving as a tool that helps ensure proper form. The soft leather golf glove is integrated with sensors in the fingertips and a tiny computer unit clipped on the back, both of which combine to detect the firmness by which you grip the club. As since having a solid golf swing is more about form than brute force, the SensoGlove is the perfect tech tool for golfers looking to move up in the ranks.
Nike FuelBand SE
The new and improved Nike FuelBand SE has some key features that set it apart from previous models, and also make it more athlete-friendly in terms of performance potential. It’s still not waterproof, meaning you can’t go swimming with it on, but it is more water resistant than ever before so users can go for a run in the rain or even shower with it on. Another significant upgrade is the switch to Bluetooth 4.0, which allows the device to be continuously connected without having to press a single button. Lastly, while Nike’s Fuel Points continue to confuse consumers, the FuelBand SE is more detailed in terms of analyzing and tracking data.