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Is your fitness on track?

There’s no denying it – exercise is one of the best stress busters out there, but our busy schedules can make it tough to stick to a regular routine. Here’s why it’s more important than ever to get moving, and how to track your progress.

Ten hours a day. That’s how long Australians are spending, on average, sitting at their desks. If you work in an office, I’m sure you’re all too aware of what that feels like – but are you quite so aware of the effect it’s having on your body?

Not to alarm you or anything, but some major international research has revealed some compelling evidence to suggest that sitting for more than four hours a day can lead to:

  • Enzymes responsible for burning harmful blood fats shutting down
  • Reduced calorie burning (metabolic rate)
  • Disrupted blood sugar levels
  • Increased insulin and blood pressure levels
  • Leg muscles switch off

Wake-up call

So, maybe it’s time we set our morning alarms a bit earlier, drag ourselves away from the desk faster, and find time wherever possible to hit the gym, the pavement, the pool, the courts or the pitch – whatever floats your boat and gets you moving.

As for how you track your newfound fitness, well, there’s a mind blowing number of options to choose from. Fitness trackers today are far from your standard pedometer, instead focusing on heart rate monitoring, sports tracking, sleep statistics and even help you to feel less stressed during the day. The latest Apple Watch actually saved a man’s life by alerting him to his elevated resting heart rate at 1am… he was experiencing a heart attack and would have died in his sleep had he not been woken up (#truestory). 

But how to choose the tracker that’s right for you? Check out our top three picks to help get you off to a flying start…

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The Fitbit Charge 3

This bad boy won Fitness Tracker of the Year at the 2018 Wareable Tech Awards – it's waterproof, boasts a touchscreen display and seven days battery life and proudly debut’s Fitbit’s new fitness tracking operating system. Its major selling point is it’s the best option for sleep tracking, blowing rivals out of the water when it comes to heart rate technology that can track your deep, light and REM sleep – three things you need a good balance of to feel truly rested, and that’s what Charge 3 does best.

In a nutshell…

  • Sleep Stages via heart rate
  • Swim tracking
  • 24/7 heart rate
  • VO2 Max data and step tracking
  • SpO2 sensor
  • Guided breathing exercises
  • iOS and Android

Moov Now

If swimming’s your thing – you can’t go past the Moov Now. It’s waterproof to 30m with a major focus on coaching, dishing up feedback on your stroke type, rate, distance and efficiency. You’ll also be notified of track times and get an overall understanding of your pool stamina. The downside? There’s no built-in screen to view performances in the pool in real-time – but the stats you read back in the locker room will be bang on when it comes to accuracy.

In a nutshell…

  • 3 ATM (30m)
  • Stroke detection
  • Distance and efficiency in pool
  • Run and cycling coaching
  • All day step and sleep tracking
  • iOS and Android

Garmin Vivosmart 4

We can thank our time-poor lives for the rise of HiiT training, the theory being that people can get fit in a very short amount of time. But, don’t jump in all guns blazing, just because it’s a short-burst workout doesn’t mean it’s easy, quite the reverse. If you’re planning on giving it a go, the Garmin Vivosmart 4 is your new best friend.

The slim design somehow miraculously incorporates an onboard heart rate monitor for 24/7 bpm data, VO2 Max testing and automatic exercise detection – so you won’t miss a thing if you forget to start tracking a session. If weight lifting becomes part of your routine, this is one of the few trackers to include Move IQ software and rep counting keeping you bang on target, every time.

In a nutshell…

  • Automatic exercise detection
  • VO2 Max
  • Rep counting for gym exercises
  • Heart rate variability based on stress scores
  • iOS and Android

So… what are you waiting for?

 

 

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