Fitness Tech: How to Use Apps and Gadgets to Enhance Your Routine


At the most basic level, setting fitness goals isn’t difficult. Whether you’re aiming to lose weight, gain muscle, or just improve your overall fitness, having a target in mind makes the journey theoretically straightforward. However, enhancing your routine with tech can make a massive difference. The fitness tech market can be pretty overwhelming though, especially if you’re new to it.

So, to get you started, here’s our roundup of the best apps and gadgets to help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

The Best Apps and Gadgets to Enhance Your Routine

1. Smart Wearables

Let’s start with an obvious, but vital, fitness gadget: smart wearables. Loads of people have smartwatches, and the tracking and monitoring they offer is an ideal starting point for enhancing your fitness journey.

There are too many on the market to delve into specific reviews. A good starting point is to match the brand of your smartphone (particularly if you have an iPhone). Android users, of course, have a bit more flexibility.

Either way, a smartwatch is generally better than a dedicated fitness tracker. Most track your basic vitals – heart rate, calories burnt, and workout time and distance. Advanced ones can monitor blood pressure, but this isn’t always necessary.

So, why does this help? Put simply, a smart wearable provides useful data for tracking fitness progress and does so with high accuracy. This data allows you to plan routines and meals, giving you a far clearer progression plan.

2. Headphones

This isn’t necessarily a fitness-specific gadget, but get yourself some good headphones. They’re invaluable for long workouts, and playing music or a podcast can help keep you motivated.

Again, the market is too saturated to provide specific reviews. A set of wireless buds will probably be best because they’re lightweight and low profile. Avoid overhead headphones as they’ll be more of a hindrance than a help.

3. Fitness App

A good fitness app will integrate into your smart wearable, giving you actions for all that data you’re collecting. Most smartphone brands come with a basic option included, but there are far better ones out there.

Some of the best include:

  • Nike Training App
  • Strava
  • 8fit
  • Aaptive

The specific app you use will depend on your goals. For example, Nike Training Club is good for a long-term overall plan. On the other hand, Strava is best for runners and cyclists.

Apps might include training plans, or they might simply be a place for you to record and track your data. Why is this helpful? Having plans is good for newbies because they can give you structure in what can be an otherwise overwhelming topic. Tracking apps, such as Strava, can be helpful for visualizing your workouts if you already know what you’re doing.

However, be mindful of how you use fitness tracking apps. They’re generally helpful, but they’ll never be as effective as a real-life personal trainer. If you just want a bit of guidance, go for it. But if you want a dedicated workout plan to help you achieve specific goals, an industry expert will be the way forward.

4. Nutrition Tracking Apps

Knowing about nutrition and your food intake is just as important as the exercise you do. Make sure you have a decent nutrition tracking app and that it aligns with your overall goals.

You might not think there’s that much variation in the market, but there is. Apps can be as simple as a food journal and macro tracker, or they can be far more complex. Be conscious of your goals when choosing the right one.

We’ve previously reviewed a range of macro tracking apps, so check out that article for our top recommendations.

The reason why nutrition tracking is helpful is fairly obvious. Knowing your calorie and macro intake can help you tailor your workouts to lose weight, gain muscle, or whatever else you have in mind.

Similarly, there aren’t many downsides to using a nutrition tracking app. Just make sure it doesn’t end up ruling your food intake because that’ll take all the fun out of eating!

5. Recovery Tech

Anyone who’s done a hardcore workout will be all too familiar with aches and pains. Recovery time is vital for effective exercise, as it allows our muscles to repair the tears we create by working them.

It’s possible to avoid recovery tech if you want to keep your routine simple, but it can definitely enhance an otherwise uncomfortable experience. But where do you start?

You can easily spend thousands on recovery tech, ranging from compression boots to recovery pods. But the best (and most cost-effective) starting point is a massage gun. You’ve probably seen these before – they look like power tools with rubber balls on the end.

Massage guns help reduce lactic acid buildup, which leads to muscle soreness. It’s advised to use them for around 15 minutes post workout to alleviate discomfort before it begins.

A basic massage gun won’t set you back much. As you move up the market, you’ll find speed settings and battery life will increase, while noise will decrease. How much these factors matter is a personal choice, so consider buying an inexpensive one to see how you get on with it.

Fitness Tech You Can Probably Avoid

So, we’ve briefly covered tech that can enhance your fitness goals. But what about all the fancy gadgets and smart tech that you might have seen trending in fitness spaces? Well, unsurprisingly, most of it is unnecessary.

Here are a few that you likely won’t need for a straightforward fitness journey.

1. Smart Water Bottles

Did you know smart bottles exist? Well, you do now. Bluetooth capability tracks your water intake and even reminds you to drink. However, you can do this with a timer on your phone and a bottle with a measuring gauge on it. The future might involve smart hydration, but we’re not there yet.

2. Smart Gym Tech

Peloton is famous for its big screens on at-home fitness tech. While it might look nice, it’s nothing a TV or tablet can’t provide. The extra money it costs (not to mention the subscription) is very rarely justified by the added benefit.

3. Smart Jump Ropes

Again, a jump rope with Bluetooth connectivity is a fascinating use of technology. Brands state their jump ropes can track calories burnt and workout time. To do so, you’ll need an app and your smartphone. However, just buy a normal jump rope (which costs next to nothing) and use your smart wearable instead!

Final Thoughts

Picking the best fitness apps and gadgets can take a while, but it’s worth the investment. The 5 categories we’ve mentioned above should cover you for pretty much any health and fitness goals you might have. Of course, if you’re aiming for something more complex, you probably already know what you need.

So, spend some time researching, and use our suggestions as jumping-off points. Get yourself a pick from each category and you’ll enhance your workout plan in no time at all!

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