Items like Fitbits and Apple Watches— although they’ve been on the market for years now—are still booming in popularity. While these types of products have their perks, each has their own set of challenges as well.
Haley Stadnikia, 24, lives in Ventura, California where her boyfriend and dog are quite active. She received a 1st generation Apple Watch as a college graduation gift, and as an ex-collegiate athlete and fit person, she uses it often.
“It’s stylish and easy to wear in a professional setting,” said Stadnikia, explaining that the interchangeable bands can transform the look of the watch for any occasion.
Stadnikia said that in terms of tracking steps and exercise, the watch holds up quite well. Another perk of the watch, aside from fitness tracking, is its ability to receive notifications that would normally be received on an iPhone. Her favorite tool on the watch is the iPhone tracker which allows her to find her phone if she loses it, by way of a “ping” noise. While these extra features are nice, she did note that there are two big problems that she has with her Apple Watch: its range and its battery life.
“Like all electronics it seems, you have to charge it every night,” Stadnikia said, noting that sometimes it “dies on me in the middle of the day if it’s been used quite a bit.”
It also needs to be within a few feet of her iPhone to track her fitness.
Because her boyfriend, Tyler Meinke, owns a Garmin watch, Stadnikia has had the opportunity to compare the two sideby-side. She said if she had to choose between what she has and a Garmin watch, she would choose Garmin because of its range and because it is waterproof.
But watches aren’t the only way to aid fitness goals. High-tech running shoes are gaining popularity too. Some can send information apps on a smart phone and have memory foam in the soles that can help runners get the perfect spring in their step. High-tech shirts and shorts are performing in similar ways. Some are designed for running and others for activities like spinning, biking or hiking. Even high-tech yoga mats have made a debut on the fitness-tech market.
Another difference in the high-tech fitness gadgets of today versus even five years ago, is the diversity of activities that technology is entering into. Now, these technological applications to fitness don’t stop at personal fitness goals or even single-person activities like running, spinning and hiking. Now, team sports like basketball are utilizing hightech balls to track mistakes, pass speed and more.
If people are interested in monitoring their fitness at any level, it’s likely that technology has played a role in it. Trends only seem to point to more technological involvement in fitness tracking, an exciting evolution to watch.