Technology has the power to help us improve our health. For example, a recent survey of 5,000 fitness app users found 60 percent were able to lose more weight as a result of using an activity tracker. And as technology continues to progress and research continues to advance, the possibilities and potential for new gadgets to seriously impact our health, wellness and athletic performance in a positive way is seemingly infinite. Oh yeah, and then there are those tried and true items, like sneakers and essential accessories, that continue to help propel us towards our goals. It's funny to think that even something as simple as the construction of a sneaker has been greatly impacted by advances in technology, too. Here are just a few of the gadgets, gizmos, apparel and accessories—all designed not only to make your life a little bit easier, but a whole lot healthier—that are shaking up the health and fitness game in a seriously great way.
Available in a running, biking and multi-sport edition, this ultra high-tech calf sleeve features groundbreaking technology that offers everyday athletes the chance to look inside their muscles. The device measures your lactate threshold and when paired with your mobile device, the data is used to provide personalized training zones so you can let science determine exactly what level of intensity to perform at.
The IRONMAN ONE GPS+ serves to simplify your workouts by combining music, messaging and activity-tracking capabilities all in one device. Essentially, you can run “with” your phone without actually having to carry your phone. Features include, phone-free mobile messaging, GPS functions for tracking distance and pace, a built-in, Bluetooth-enabled music player, and 50 meters of water resistance.
When we calculated race data to find out which shoes are most worn by top marathon runners, the adizero Adios Boost 2.0 came out on top. This lightweight minimalist shoe features Adidas’ signature BOOST ™ technology in the cushioning, which not only provides support and comfort, but also maximum energy return with every stride.
This wearable device is the first of its kind that will track your UV exposure and measure sun-generated vitamin D. To maintain a healthy level of vitamin D, doctors recommend about 15 minutes of unprotected exposure to the sun daily. But depending on your skin type, the amount of time you need may vary. This handy little clip-on will tell you how much vitamin D you’re body naturally generates from the sunlight and when it’s time to cover up with more protection.
liveultrahealthy.com; pre-order for $99
The iHealth scale was designed to help hold you accountable to your weight loss goals. When paired with your mobile device, the scale will record your weight each time you step on. Even more impressive, you can set a weight loss goal and the iHealth app will provide stats to help you monitor your progress and keep you on track.
Spend less time carefully cultivating playlists and more time rocking out while you’re working out. FitRadio provides, endless high-energy music from almost any genre you can think of all with the purpose of keeping your workout motivation in full throttle. Mashable dubbed FitRadio “Pandora for gym rats,” except there’s no ads, so you can press play feeling confident that your workout flow won’t ever be interrupted.
fitradio.com; free and premium memberships available
No time for a shower after the gym? No worries. Perfect for busy days when you’re not quite sure how you’ll fit a workout in, Action Wipes reduce transition time by allowing you to work out, wipe down and get on with your day.
These buds feature a wireless design so that when you want to exercise with music, you can actually spend more time exercising than trying to de-tangle a pair of old-fashioned earphones that actually have to be plugged in. Plus, not only do they eliminate the most irritating part of going to the gym, but the Dash headphones boast a pretty impressive list of additional features including the ability to store up to 1,000 songs (which means you won’t need to carry any extra accessories), a waterproof design and a fitness tracker that records heart rate, speed, workout time and distance, and even your cadence and oxygen saturation.
bragi.com; pre-order for $299.00
Several studies have shown that the blue light emitted from devices like laptops, smartphones, TVs and tablets may negatively affect our sleeping habits and overall health. Most experts recommend shutting down and disconnecting at least an hour before bedtime, but for times when you can’t avoid technology late at night, the SleepShield was designed to help reduce the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes.
amazon.com; $19.95 - $29.95
The Run X2 are durable and lightweight, making them the perfect fit for runners of all levels. Plus, their interchangeable lenses—which are designed to protect your eyes against everything from water to sand—provide an adjustable fit at the nose and the temples and feature grips to help them stay put in both spots.
nikevision.com; from $156.00
This miniature, portable foot massager is especially helpful for those of us who don’t have a significant other or friend willing enough to regularly massage our feet. And even for athlete’s and everyday exercisers who (luckily) aren’t suffering from plantar fasciitis, the Moji Foot Massager can help to relieve general pain and soreness, increase circulation and break up scar tissue.
Fooducate makes learning how to eat healthy easy. This app goes beyond calorie counting by helping you analyze the nutritional value of different foods. Use it to scan product barcodes and it will reveal a nutrition grade from A to D. “Minimally processed, real foods with intrinsic nutrients will score better than processed foods that are poor in built-in nutrients,” the app's website says. The app will also explain the product’s pros and cons and offer ideas for healthier alternatives. And in addition to analyzing foods, you can also use Fooducate to track your food intake by both quantity and quality.
Let’s be honest, girls: sometimes, a cute outfit can instantly take a workout from “Ugh” to “Awesome!” No apparel brand knows this better than Betty Designs, and their “Bad Ass” tank serves as a perfect example. Who said you can’t kick butt and look beautiful while you’re at it?
These comfy, chic capris feature a yoga-style waistband and are perfect for almost any kind of workout, including water sports like SUP and surfing. And of course, they’ll perfectly complete your cute, kick-butt workout outfit.
Light plays a significant role in our natural sleep habits. The Rise & Shine sleep system is designed to align with your natural circadian rhythm by simulating the natural light of the sunrise and sunset. The light will gradually lessen as you fall asleep and then incrementally increase as you wake naturally. Plus, the device also features built-in spa soundscapes (like morning birds, oceans and streams), which can also be set to decrease and increase progressively if desired.
LED and “electro-optical cell” technology on the back of this watch read blood flow volume to detect your heart rate, eliminating the need for a chest strap. While working out the display reads your heart rate stats continuously and in real time for a constant assessment of your training intensity. Although much simpler than many of the other watches on the market—there are no GPS, calorie burn or multi-sport features—the device’s Bluetooth capabilities allow you to connect to apps like MapMyRun and Stava for a more detailed report of your workouts.
Best for: Cross training, everyday exercise
We’ve tested countless pairs of sports and fitness earbuds (including these) and have yet to find a traditional pair of buds that stay put as well as these. No matter how jerky or intense your workout may be, they’re guaranteed not budge. Plus they’re durable and even with constant use continue to produce crisp, clear audio.