Ground-breaking fitness tech to unleash an all-round better you.
It’s easy to think that your workouts are the most important part of fitness, but if you’re not putting as much effort into your all-round health, chances are you’re undermining at least some of that sweat and toil.
Nutrition, sleep, recovery, stress – even how you breath – can impact your fitness goals, so it’s time to upgrade your all-round game with cutting-edge tech to help you boss your health.
BEST FOR SLEEP:
Muse S Headband
Meditation helps you focus and stress less. It can also help you sleep better, and improved sleep means quicker recovery.
But let’s be honest, unless you’ve relocated to a Tibetan yoga retreat, 2020 hasn’t made it easy to drop into a zen state before bed. That’s where the Muse S comes in.
A sleep-focussed spin on the original brain-sensing meditation headset, the head-worn Muse S aims to send you into the land of nod with a stronger sense of inner calm.
It features research-grade EEG technology that passively senses brain activity, along with a suite of sensors that monitor other physiological markers including posture and movement, breathing and heart rate. These insights power simple coached meditation sessions that are ideal if you struggle to master the art of mindfulness.
Real-time feedback helps you spot when you’re shifting into the right relaxed state. In the right zone, soothing sounds like rain and birdsong reward your state of mindfulness. When your mind races, heart rate rises or movement stirs, the soundtrack changes to heavy rain or loud parrot chatter to signal the need to readjust and refocus.
There’s a selection of sleep-focused meditations designed to put you in a state where sleep comes faster and you get a better quality nightly reboot. The comfortable fabric headband also makes it practical for night-time wind-downs.
The ten-hour battery life powers well over a week of mindfulness training, and the partner app is excellent at holding your hand through the early stages of meditation.
BEST FOR BREATHING:
The power of your lungs and diaphragm limits your cardio fitness potential. But breathing efficiency is easily overlooked. We all know how to breathe, right?
The makers of Airofit think we’re missing a trick. Just like your other major muscle groups, you can strengthen your breathing. This simple-to-use respiratory training system is like a dumbbell for the lungs.
The snorkel-style mouthpiece comes with two toggles that change the resistance of each breath, and sensors that track every inhale and exhale. It reveals insights like inspiratory and expiratory pressure, as well as lung capacity.
The partner app offers goal-based guided drills that test and work the main inhale-exhale muscles, with real-time feedback so you know if you’re puffing and blowing with the correct depth and power, and to the right rhythms.
The kit is brilliantly portable, so you can do the easy-to-follow workouts anywhere. Just 15 minutes a day can help you improve lung capacity, respiratory strength and anaerobic threshold.
BEST FOR RECOVERY:
Therabody Wave Roller
A favourite hurts-so-good recovery option, the foam roller is a great tool to have in your locker for working on tight muscles and enhancing mobility.
This Bluetooth vibrating roller has five intensity settings and connects with your phone so you can follow app-guide roll routines, making it easier to iron out your kinks.
It packs a three-hour battery life that will see you through a week of essential muscle maintenance.
BEST FOR BALANCE:
Working on your balance can provide an injury-prevention boost.
This sensor-packed smartboard and balance pad combo syncs with your smartphone to turn balance training drills into fun – but challenging – coached games in which you earn points by nailing the different moves.
You get 12 hours training time on a single charge, and the board is compact enough to stash away when not in use.
BEST TO DE-STRESS:
It sounds and looks like something in Star Trek, and fittingly this tech is literally mind-bending.
The Rhythm headset uses pulsed electromagnetic therapy to power seven brain stimulation programmes, with scientifically determined frequencies that work with your natural brainwaves to improve sleep, focus and calm.
BEST FOR YOUR BRAIN:
Halo Sport 2
They might look like they belong on the head of an EDM DJ, but pop these on for 20 minutes before your workout and you can accelerate gains in strength, explosiveness, endurance and muscle memory.
The grey nodules use transcranial direct current stimulation to put your brain into a state of ‘hyperlearning’: increasing its ability to adapt to training, enabling you to adopt skills and achieve results faster.
BEST FOR HYDRATION:
Hidrate Spark Steel
Improving hydration is the easiest health upgrade in the world: it’s fast, free and you don’t have to give up anything you love – you just have to remember to drink.
The Hidrate Spark Steel smart water bottle takes the guess work out of your guzzling, recording every sip and lighting up to remind you to take on water. Your drinking habits are tracked in an app and you can set your own reminders.
BEST FOR NUTRITION:
Knowing if you’re fuelling your body optimally to meet your fitness needs can be tricky.
This breathalyser lets you see what’s happening under the hood, revealing your body’s metabolic response to your diet by measuring the CO2 concentration in your breath.
It shows if you’re burning carbs (high CO2) or fats (low CO2) and builds daily plans based on your results, recommending low-, medium- or high-carb foods for the day.
BEST FOR BODY CHECKS:
Withings Body Cardio
The naughty-step scales have earned a bit of a bad rep, but the Body Cardio goes beyond the blunt instrument of weight.
You can sync other more useful measurements – including body fat, muscle mass, bone mass and body water – to an app where, over time, charts reveal patterns and fluctuations that help you understand how training and lifestyle affects you long-term.
BEST FOR FITNESS TRACKING:
Fitbit’s first dedicated health watch, the Sense goes beyond what your regular fitness tracker can do.
ECG readings monitor heart health and signal alerts for abnormal BPMs, a skin temperature sensor lets you spot trends and potential illness, and an electrodermal scanner tracks your body’s response to stress.
You also get deep-level sleep insights, plus all the familiar fitness and activity tools.
Words: Kieran Alger