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Inspect a gadget

Fitness gadgets, trackers and apps have never been more popular. We ask the experts which they use and why

‘I love fitness apps on my phone’

Natalie Lennon is fitness expert and an ambassador for the Irish Dairy Council

The level of accuracy of fitness gadgets has improved ten fold in the last five years. They are fantastic for motivating the majority of the population to get more active. They can become obsessive however, and I took five months off wearing my fitness watch at the beginning of this year to ensure that I was able to control my activity and sleep without relying on technology.

The running apps can really help you feel like you are part of a community, the home workout apps provide so much material for those who can't make the gym.

I first began my fitness journey using a workout guide on an app named Sweat. My favourite gadgets are My Polar Vantage M fitness watch. It tracks my steps, workouts, performance, sleep and recovery. It also tracks calories and will tell you whether you are over-training. My Polar H10 heart rate Monitor gives me greater accuracy during a workout.

I like apps too – I use Interval Timer for home workouts. It's great for helping you get through timed circuits. It signals and sounds when to stop and start. YouTube is my go-to for yoga flows and you can find plenty of cardio type resistance classes to join in on. Elite HRV is an app I use occasionally when I wake up to see whether my body has recovered enough for a workout.

www.nathalielennon.ie

‘Smart watches can give you great data’

Marvin Burton is head of fitness at Anytime Fitness

Gadgets are becoming smarter and more user friendly. This means they can be adjusted to you and your requirements.

Pedometers were in some respects the catalyst for what we have now. They have been replaced with apps and smart watches which provide us with increased quantities of data.

My top three fitness gadgets are:

  • Smart watches that give me live data, and both multiple and interactive functions such as challenge friends, log workouts, training zones and music uploading.
  • Oura Ring or Chilipad – the Oura Ring is a ring that tracks sleep and lifestyle factors such as intensity, temperatures and movement, the Chilipad regulates the temperature of your mattress to allow you undisturbed sleep.
  • The Evolt body scanner which gives you an internal and external view of your body’s health. A stand on platform and hand sensors send a bioelectrical signal through your body and provide you with a comprehensive report of your health in 60 seconds.

Anytime Fitness has gyms in Heuston Soutb Quarter, Kilmainham, Dublin 8; Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire; The Mill Centre, Clondalkin. Visit www.anytimefitness.co.uk/2019 to claim a free day pass.

‘Podcasts really help with my training’

Alan Williams of Alan Williams Coaching

I’m a big fan of pedometers. I think they’re a great way of creating accountability if you’re on a fat loss journey. It almost becomes a little game, seeing if you’re hitting your daily steps target. Of course you can compete with friends too, which adds to the fun. An aspect of fat loss which is often overlooked is Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT), effectively all energy output which is not training, sleeping or eating. Training is only one hour of your day, and if the other hours are not given consideration it can frustrate your fat loss journey. Daily steps is a fantastic way to increase your NEAT and this is why I’m a fan of pedometers.

I use an app called Mapmyrun. I’m a recreational runner so I’m not overly concerned about times, but I find it useful as an accountability tool. I think you’re likely to run further, or maybe faster, if you’re tracking the run.

In general I’m not massive on fitness gadgets or apps. I think sometimes people can get too caught up in technology and having all the latest gadgets, at the expense of human effort. No matter how much technology you have your outcomes will be determined by the level of effort, work and commitment you give to the task.

A good podcast can take your mind off the training and make your training time very enjoyable where you are learning something too.

www.alanwilliamscoaching.com

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