January means hitting the gym.
Your list of new year resolutions inevitably involves notes to lose a few pounds and raise your fitness levels: the marathon is only four months away and that new bike isn’t going to ride itself.
It can feel daunting but there is an upside: new year means new gear. Those miles will go more quickly when you’ve got a personal trainer in your ear and a new pair of smart scales is the incentive you need to push a little harder in the spinning studio.
From jackets that heat up for cold runs to water bottles that glow to remind you to drink, here’s the smartest fitness tech you need in 2019.
Fitness gadgets: The wearables
There’s no point going the distance if you can’t track your results and feel smug. Fitbit’s Charge 3 (£129.99, johnlewis.com) is a neat, lightweight option that’ll record all your major fitness stats, monitor your heart-rate and sleep.
It offers seven-day battery life, is water resistant to 50m, and has over 15 goal-based exercise modes.
If you’re happy to pay more, Fitbit’s Ionic smartwatch has a bigger screen and offers more: it’ll track your GPS, offer personalised workouts and let you make payments, as well as acting like a more general assistant doing things like controlling your smart lights at home (from £240, johnlewis.com).
The Apple Watch Series 4 (£399, apple.co.uk) offers many of the same tools but has an enhanced focus on your heart, plotting your pulse readings on handy graphs.
If you’d rather not wear something on your wrist, the Myzone heart-rate belt (£111, buy.myzone.org) sits around your chest and links to your smartphone, and the Moov Now (£60, amazon.co.uk) is a lightweight fitness monitor you can wear on your wrist or ankle.
Fitness gadgets: The soundtrack
Miles pass more quickly with music. Denon’s wireless sport earphones (£149, denon.co.uk) feature special ear-hook technology so they’ll stay secure when you’re on the move. For something more sturdy, the Beats by Dr Dre Mixr On-Ear Headphones have a lightweight, flexible headband that folds away when not in use.
If you’d rather not take your phone running, Samsung’s Gear IconX earbuds (£199, Samsung.com) let you upload music from your phone so they work as standalone media players.
Sometimes even Dua Lipa isn’t enough of a motivator, so LifeBEAM’s Vi earphones (£118, getvi.com) speak to you during your workout, acting as a personal trainer in your ear. She’ll train you on your time, breathing, step count and heart rate as you go, while still playing your music.
Fitness gadgets: The look
If you want to take your wearables even further, Athos’s Compression Capri Tights (£257, liveathos.com) have embedded sensors which offer real-time biometric tracking, from muscle activity to calorie expenditure. These sync with an app, telling you which muscles are firing and how much they’re being exerted.
When it’s dark, Proviz’s Nightrider LED jacket (£125, provizsports.com) and Metier’s Beacon Jacket (£250, metiercycling.com) feature LED lights so you’ll stand out on the roads. For cold days, Blaze’s Explorer Jacket (from £200, blazewear.com) incorporates TriZone technology to keep you warm at the touch of a button.
Fitness gadgets: The accessories
Now even your water bottle is smart: the Hidrate Spark 2.0 (£37, hidratespark.com) tracks your water intake and glows to remind you to drink. It’ll tell you when you’ve met your daily goal and syncs with your Fitbit or Apple Watch to monitor your hydration.
Release your knots and tension after your workout with the Pulseball (£90, pulseroll.com), which vibrates and feels like a sports massage, then use Fitbit’s Aria 2 smart scales (£125, fitbit.com), which sync with your smartphone to track your weight, body fat percentage and BMI.
Finally, Sony’s latest wireless speaker, the SRS-XB501G, is the ultimate two-in-one gadget (£267.99, down from £300, amazon.co.uk. It soundtracks your workout and doubles up as a portable weight. To prove its capabilities, Sony teamed up with Made in Chelsea star and personal trainer, Lonan O’Herlihy, to create a 20-minute HIIT workout, using the speaker.
Get fit and sound good at the same time.