Technology is increasingly available and has become a minute-by-minute necessity. We carry cell phones, PDA’s, MP3 players and an array of gadgets with us at all times. It is fitting that the technology world would offer a few devices to assist us in keeping us up-to-date with our own fitness and health.
A new technology, the SMHEART LINK wireless bridge from TMP Technology, Inc., is a device that can integrate data from various wireless devices to the Apple iPhone. It uses data from a variety of brands of heart rate sensors and bicycle computers to display heart rate, calories burned, speed, power and more, directly onto the iPhone. A variety of applications can be downloaded for use with this versatile device.
One application, Make Every Workout Count, works with the iPhone and New Leaf fitness, which is a metabolic profile site that personalizes workouts based on users’ height, weight, age, etc. This application helps you exercise at the right intensity and target heart rate zone while tracking the calories you have burned. There are other applications, such as iSpinning, that are specialized for bicycle enthusiasts.
The SMHEART LINK can be purchased for $154.95 online at www.smheartlink.com. To use the SMHEART link, one must also purchase a heart rate sensor like one from Garmin, which is listed on the site for $39.95. An iPhone is also required for use of this product.
Another piece of technology that is less expensive and still user-friendly is the Nike+iPod sport pack. It is specifically designed for runners and walkers as it tracks distance, pace and calories burned while giving you feedback throughout the workout.
The device consists of two sensors: one that attaches to the iPod and one that goes underneath the insole of certain Nike+ compatible shoes. The sensor can track distance by using the foot strike and calibrated stride length to calculate how far you’ve gone. After working out, you can sync your iPod and upload all of your workout data to the Nike+ Web site where you can track your progress, enlist in a Nike+ training program or set specific goals for yourself.
Nike+ compatible shoes range from approximately $80-$120 and the sport pack, which does not include an iPod, can be purchased for $29.99. For those who already own an iPod, this is a worthwhile investment.
If you are looking for something to boost your motivation, if you are particularly tech-savvy or if you simply desire to keep detailed information about your workouts, both the SMHEART LINK and Nike+ technology are great additions to your workout routine.