February is all about spreading the love and I’m not just talking about Valentine’s Day. February is also American Heart Month, beauties. Every year about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. And if that is not alarming enough, about 600,000 people die from heart disease every year in the United States. That’s 1 out of every 4 deaths. (Source: CDC) Clearly heart disease is a major problem.
Don’t fret just yet. A few minor lifestyle changes, a little cardiovascular pumping fun and a gadget or two can steer your ticker in the right direction. That’s right, a gadget just may be what your heart needs! Not sure what healthy heart inspired tech toy is right for you? I’ve rocked and sweated in this year’s top three and can help you hunt down the perfect one!
If you were wondering what health driven piece of arm candy is “it” right now, then look no further…it is the Fitbit. This aesthetically appeasing wristband makes it easy to track activity, sync stats, see trends and reach goals. Everyday steps count, add up and can make a big impact. So if you’re trying to squeeze in some physical activity (sans a gym membership) then you are going to love this tracker. The FitBit tracks not only your steps, but your distance, calories burned, active minutes and stairs climbed as well. Hello no more elevators.
But wait, there’s more: the Fitbit also tracks your sleeping pattern! This is my favorite feature. Many of us “think” we are sleeping deeply at night, but truth be told we are tossing and turning. But have no fear better sleep is here. The Fitbit can monitor how long you sleep, how well you sleep and can even wake you with a silent alarm if needed. And yep, there’s an app for that- it also syncs wirelessly to leading mobile devices as well as your PC/Mac. Tracking your weight, personal goals and food log on one easy to follow dashboard is super RAD, so get you one already! There is an online community where you can set goals and compete with friends waiting just for you. Fitbit Force™ retails at $129.95 and the Fitbit Flex™ retails at $99.95 and can be found at either a RadioShack near you or on RadioShack.com
The engineers and designers at Jawbone are surely perfectionist – which is a quality worth being grateful for. They pulled the plug on their original 2011 UP model, improved the battery and the stability for a 2012 release yet still took another full year to settle on a wireless implementation they were happy with in 2013. The Jawbone UP24 is the product of these efforts and is the super duper improved amped “up” version of the UP.
So what should you expect from this healthy wrist device? Well first and foremost it is designed to be worn all day as the battery life lasts up to 10 hours. In that time you can track your activity level, calories burned and the time you are idle (which can be alerted by a little reminder to get your rear in gear…love this). The design is sleek and looks great next to an assortment of bangles. P.S. That’s how I rock mine on a night on the town. Plus your sleep will be in check with this baby too since there is a tracker for the quality of your zzz’s built in too. And of course there’s an app for this tracker- go wireless with the UP24 (IOS devices only..sorry), or plug your UP directly into your mobile device thanks to the headphone jack connection. This jack is discreetly covered with nickel plated hardware on the tips – which I find quite brilliant. And last but certainly not least, the material that surrounds this RAD device is also hypoallergenic – which is a huge plus for sensitive skin beauties like myself.
#3 Mio Alpha
Heart rate monitors will never be the same thanks to the Mio Alpha. Athletic beauties like me will love the fact that they can finally ditch those annoying chest strap operated monitors once and for all! Unmatched technology coupled with unmatched comfort makes this wrist worthy gadget a total game changer.
The design is sleek and stylish so you can definitely catch me rocking mine even in spaces where sweats not involved. However when I am getting my sweat on I love how simple and user friendly the Mio Alpha is. The two button navigation makes my workouts fuss free. I can simply set my desired heart rate zones and truly appreciate the visual and audible alerts my wrist’s new BFF provides when I drop below or even too high. Speaking of too high, the accuracy of this device is on point. Say you run up to 14.4 mph (not me..yet) – well fret not, the Mio Alpha can keep up with this kind of speed. Hello professional athletes!
Stay on track and connected to your goals thanks to the Bluetooth® Smart (4.0) technology. By joining forces with your compatible device you can also leverage the power of several Mio Alpha friendly apps. Think GPS routing, calorie, pace and workout tracking. Some popular apps that allow this kind of fun are MapMyFitness, miCoach, Endomondo, Strava, Runtastic, RunKeeper, Wahoo Fitness, Tactio and Digitfit.
Robbie Ann Darby (RAD Experience) is a professional FitGirl, Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer in NYC. Follow her sweaty life on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more fun health and fitness tips!
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