Looking for that perfect gift for someone or yourself? It’s that time of the year. We’ve rounded up some great ideas for health and fitness wearable tech lovers. Now that holiday sales have begun, many of these can be picked up with great discounts.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Read on for our selection.
- Fitbit Charge 5/Versa
- Omron EVOLV
- Withings Scanwatch
- Garmin Vivoactive 4
- Form Swim Goggles
- Withings Sleep Analyzer
- Muse S
If you are looking for a fitness tracker, you won’t go wrong with a Fitbit. The company is a best selling brand for a reason.
Charge 5 is a recent addition to Fitbit’s crop of wearables. It represents a great choice for the average person who does the occasional run here and there and is not looking for a fully fledged smartwatch.
The band comes with a decent sized AMOLED display, water-resistance and 7 day battery life. You’ll find everything you need for 24/7 activity tracking including a heart rate monitor and some more advanced health tracking technology. This includes an ECG sensor, along with an EDA sensor for stress readings. The thing even has built-in GPS which ensures the data on pace and distance is accurate when you’re running.
If you are looking for a smartwatch, one of the devices in the Versa range is the way to go. This is Fitbit’s second smartwatch and its first proper one. The benefit of buying a Versa is that you’ll get something with a bigger display, hundreds of apps you can install, Alexa control, music streaming, smartphone notifications and Fitbit pay. If, on the other hand, you want absolutely everything the company has on offer as far as health and activity tracking, check out Fitbit Sense.
This is a portable, bottle sized device that differs from the competition in that it doesn’t purify all air, just the air around you. The medical-grade filter removes particulates, cat dander, mould, bacteria and pollution in a matter of minutes.
But there is more. Wynd Plus also has a detachable tracker that serves as an intelligent personal air quality system that alerts you when the air around you is unhealthy. The company says this is the smallest particulate matter sensor on the market.
Something like this is ideal for those on the go. The device is portable so you can easily carry it around in your bag or rucksack.
In our hands-on review we found Wynd to be a really well thought out product. A lot of work has clearly gone into packing lots of great functionality into a small package.
One in three adults are affected by high blood pressure, but as many as a third of these can be unaware of a problem. Its no wonder hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer”.
Essential reading: Top smart blood pressure monitors
Omron EVOLV is a sleek looking one-piece monitor which has no tabletop unit, no tubes and no wires. Because of this the product is highly portable and easy to operate. You’ll get a complete view of your blood pressure both on the device and accompanying smartphone app, along with alerts for irregular heartbeats. For some customers, particularly the older generation, one of its strengths is that you can use it without your smartphone. All you are required to do to take a reading is press one button.
There may be lots of gimmicks or unnecessary bits of equipment for your health, but rest assured that a connected home monitor for blood pressure is highly useful. Fitness trackers still can’t measure blood pressure, so a smart blood pressure monitor is the next best thing.
It took a while but in November Scanwatch was finally made available for purchase in the US. The device had been available in Europe for over a year but the wait in America was for the French outfit to secure FDA approval for the device.
This is the most advanced hybrid you can buy today. Its headline feature is the ability to spot a serious form of irregular heart rhythm that can lead to heart failure and is a major risk for stroke. Scanwatch has a PPG sensor that is capable of spotting the condition plus you can take an ECG. The wearable also has a blood oxygen monitor and has Sleep Apnea detection, alongside the usual sensors to help users track their activity day and night.
For those that prefer something that looks like a smartwatch and tracks fitness, the Vivoactive 4 is a good candidate. It looks great and comes jam-packed with features.
You can choose from on of two sizes, a 45mm stainless steel model and a 40mm model for small wrists (4S). The larger one comes with up to eight days of battery life in smartwatch mode and six hours in GPS and music mode. The 4S has room for a smaller battery so keeps going slightly less. That’s not bad considering the Vivoactive 4 has an always-on transflective display.
In addition to fitness tracking basics and built-in GPS, there are numerous built-in sports profiles. Other changes over the predecessor include pulse oxygen readings, along with estimated respiration. This will insure you get very advanced sleep analytics. There’s also the Body Battery function, abnormal heart rate alerts, female health tracking, yoga and pilates workouts and much more.
Those that want to spend a bit more can opt for the classy Venu 2. That one sports an AMOLED screen but is more pricey. Or you could go the other way and pick up the budget version of the same called Venu SQ.
Your mom or dad might be one of the 80% statistic that don’t make use of their gym memberships. However, there’s a great alternative. Blazepod is an innovative system allowing anyone, from fitness enthusiasts to elite athletes, to improve their fitness level.
The wireless, portable system uses lights and sensors with pre-programmed exercises to help you increase agility, reaction time and more. You essentially get a Flash Reflex Training system designed to supercharge your workouts.
We really enjoyed our time with Blazepod. The best part about the product is that it makes exercise fun!
For the latest and greatest in swimming technology, we have Form Swim Goggles. The Heads-Up display recently benefitted from a structured workouts feature. This lets you pick from a library of workouts and follow your progress in real-time.
Beyond that, this is as good as it gets as far as tracking your activity in the water. The augmented reality specs track a wealth of info including time, split time, stroke rate, stroke count, distance per stroke and much more. You can even connect the Polar OH1+ for heart rate information from the temple. Best of all, all of this is displayed in your line of vision so you can focus on swimming.
Check out my review a couple of months ago of the new Guided Workouts feature. Or have a read through my detailed review of Form Swim Goggles.
Lumen is a breath analyzer that wants to reinvent weight management by monitoring your metabolism and providing a customized nutrition plan. It really is a one-of-a-kind device.
You might think your metabolism is the same each day, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. It all depends on what and when you eat, how much you exercise, how much you sleep and other factors.
Our bodies tap into two main sources of energy: carbohydrates and fat. Knowing the ratio at which these two are being used at any point in time is important to achieving your health, weight and exercise goals. With each use, Lumen tells you what you’re using for energy. Having this type of data at your fingertips will help you learn how your body processes food, and fine tune your metabolism for the better.
The personal nutritionist in your pocket can be picked up on Lumen’s website. You can get 10% off by clicking on this link. Just make sure to use the code Gadgets10 at checkout. A further $25 off is available for the holidays. Our full hands-on review can be found on this link.
Withings Sleep Analyzer
The problem with most sleep trackers is that you have to wear then to bed. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a non-wearable, simple solution? Well there is. It comes in the form of the Withings Sleep Analyzer.
A favorite of ours, the gadget slips under the mattress from where it tracks all aspects of your nightly rest. The promise is that it can even detect sleep apnea and snoring. Absolutely no buttons to push or need to charge. Jump into bed, and go to sleep – that’s it.
In our hands-on review we found it to be an excellent tracking device. The range of data it looks out for includes everything from sleep cycles, to interruptions, sleep heart rate, snoring, breathing disturbances and more. You’ll get info on naps, too. Best of all, it does this accurately even though it lies under a thick mattress.
Rounding off our ten health tech gift ideas is Muse S. This is a a meditation and sleep combination gadget.
Use it during the day to help you focus. There are EEG sensors in the headband, a heart rate monitor, along with an accelerometer and gyroscope to monitor body movement and breath. You can choose from a range of meditation experiences and all of this will be tracked for you in real-time. It definitely makes meditation more interesting.
At night Muse S can be used as a sleep wearable. Choose from a range of meditation experiences to help you fall asleep. Or opt for sleep stories, ambient sleep soundscapes and biofeedback sound soundscapes.
The latest update is something called a “Digital Sleeping Pill”. It plays sounds and knows when to tune them out thanks to Smart Fade technology. If you wake up during the night it will kick into gear once again until you fall back into slumber. The gadget works great – check out our full hands-on review on this link.
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