We’re in the 21st century and live very different lives to our ancestors. It’s understandable that our new more sedentary lives and less natural food habits are affecting our health. Generally you can either go back to living a caveman like lifestyle, being active all day and eating the paleo diet. Or you can adopt the latest gadgets and products that help us live our new age lives whilst also remaining healthy.
Here are the top 10 products we believe keep you motivated, active and achieving your fitness and health goals. And NO you will not be seeing ANY supplements or medications here, they’re not the way to go.
1) Fitbit Charge HR
We’ve already done a review of the Fitbit Charge HR and it’s our favourite product for tracking of your fitness and overall activity levels. The sleep tracking and heart rate monitor are features that allow you to see how your body is changing over days and weeks, and is that constant reminder to get up, do a little more and even challenge your friends.
2) Kettle Bell
You don’t need expensive gym equipment or fancy machines. A kettlebell is a core tool in most fitness regimes and many pro athletes go-to workout weight. Its versatility allows it to be used in literally hundreds of workouts, from HIIT sessions, weight lifting, all the way down to stretching and yoga. A quick 30 seconds of kettlebell swings in the morning and again the afternoon can easily start to drop lb’s of fat off the body if combined with a healthy diet, along with keeping your heart in shape.
A good pair of headphones combined with a killer music playlist ensures your workout is on pace. Don’t settle for headphones that lack bass, or constantly fall out of your ears. Generally for sports you have a few options, wireless buds, wireless headband style or wired. Personally for jogging/running we use wired headphones, however in the gym or bike riding bluetooth buds tend to work best.
There’s this good review of sports headphones, but there’s a lot of personal opinion and fitting styles, so have a shop around, but don’t be sucked in by marketing. You shouldn’t need to pay more then £25.
4) Body Tape Measurer
In conjunction with our number 10 item, the fat callipers. A body tape measurer can give a much better indication of your health and weight. Actual body weight can fluctuate hugely — however measurements of your chest/stomach/hips/torso/legs and arms will generally be a much better long term measurement to see exactly how your body shape is changing. You can even manually log these measurements at the Fitbit website so you can see it plotted out on a graph over time.
5) Fitbit Aria Scales
These scales go hand-in-hand with the Fitbit app, having all your data in one place really starts to paint a picture. Using your Fitbit Charge HR you will see your daily steps/activity and then correlate it to weight loss and even a body fat percentage. The main selling point of these scales is the automatic logging via WIFI. Over days/week/months and even years you can see how your weight is going up and down and even spot trends. A very common problem is people get “fat” slowly over time, and they don’t necessarily notice it. These kind of scales help you spot these trends before they become a problem.
6) Good pair of trainers
There’s nothing more soul destroying than getting yourself pumped up for a nice summer’s run/jog/walk and 10 minutes in you’ve got blisters and your feet are cramping. A good pair of trainers can make a world of difference and can change your gruelling jog into a pleasurable evening run. A very good tip is try not to choose by design or appearance, usually the ugliest of trainers (Eg: Asics) are actually the best ergonomically.
7) Skipping Rope
Along with the kettlebell’s, skipping ropes are a very cheap but hugely useful way of getting a 30 second to 1 minute workout in. In less than 1 minute you can break a sweat and get your heart rate up to at least 160, ensuring your body is entering the anaerobic process. Skipping a few times a week for even 1 or 2 minutes can ensure your heart is healthy and your metabolism is engaged.
8) Stretch / Resistance band
If you work in an office environment, or even if you don’t — the majority of full time jobs nowadays usually revolve around very little movement, or if there is movement it is typically the same limited motions. Just because you’re a painter/decorator by trade doesn’t mean you’re necessarily fully active, you’ll be doing the same arm/leg motions day-in-day out and most muscles will only be activated in certain motions. With a stretch/resistance band you can do multiple movements and stretches. These kind of stretches, every day ideally, can ensure that as you get older you’re as mobile as you always were.
These bands roll up so small you can keep them in a coat pocket or desk drawer.
9) Hand strengthener
Another great accessory to keep in your desk drawer or in the car. Many people find these hand strengthens stress relieving, however there are benefits from increased hand/forearm strength. If you can keep it up for a solid 1 or 2 minutes you’ll increase your heart rate and help to burn fat.
10) Fat callipers
Body weight as mentioned, is a pretty poor measurement of health and actual weight. It can vary hugely by time of day, hydration levels, when you last ate, stress.. the list goes on. Using fat callipers, you can get a fairly accurate estimate of the actual body fat you have. Especially useful if you keep a log of all your body fat readings you will see trends. What is great about these devices is so many people go on fat loss regimes/diets and exercise, but lose no “weight”, however if they had measured their body fat they would potentially have noticed they’d actually lost fat.