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It’s no secret that keeping fit over winter is a bit of a chore. From the endless roast dinners and Christmas parties that act as gateways to gluttony, to those dark and dreary mornings when your bed seems like a much more welcoming place than your frosty running route, there are tough days to come.
But don’t let your body take the brunt of the bad weather. Instead of hibernating, shying away from the cold and shirking your usual exercise, dive into the chill armed with some of the best wearable workout tech you can buy – and keep in shape this winter.
With live GPS mapping, a heart rate monitor, workout data report and offline music, the Huawei Watch 2 burst onto the wearable tech scene earlier this year and put both Samsung’s Gear S3 and Apple’s latest Watch to shame. It connectivity and Smart Assistant capabilities are impressive, but the workout arena is where this handy piece of wearable tech really comes into its own – eliminating the burden of a phone and pushing you harder and faster during your workout.
The persistent heart rate monitor works continuously with high precision, and allows you to see your heart rate graph for the last 6 hours. A push of the lower crown starts your workout app instantly and goal achieving progress and lap/time/distance reminders pair with a real-time map display to really push you on your way. And, despite the option for striking colourful sports bands, the leather straps and ceramic bezel give this the feel of a real timepiece – an endeavour in which many smartwatches fall short.
Cord-free, stripped back and effortlessly cool, Urbanears’ sports offering – the on-ear Hellas – stay in place and out of the way whether you’re running laps or doing an upside-down crunch. Developed to put up with any exercise short of swimming, you can keep motivated all day – something an enviable 14 hours wireless play time per charge will no doubt help with.
Featuring a built in swipe interface on the side of your headphone, a flexible 3D Hinge, collapsible structure, and built-in mic, these are adaptable and easy to use. But that’s not even the best bit. To take themselves to the next level of wearable workout tech, the Hellas are designed to be washable. That’s right. When it comes to cleaning up, simply detach the headband and ear cushions and toss them in with the wash. Simple.
Before you scoff at the thought, and say that the world’s gone wearable tech-mad, bear with us. Smart shoes – yeah, we don’t love the name either – calls to mind the futuristic footwear of Marty McFly, but rather than lacing themselves or lighting up, Under Armour’s offering to the wearable tech market connect to your smartphone and measures your running style.
Technology hidden in the soles tracks, analyses and stores virtually every running metric so you know exactly what to do to get better. And it’s not just the digital side of things. Physically, the shoes are designed to have a supportive structure developed specifically to enhance stability, while providing premier cushioning and fit. And buy from certain outlets and you’ll even get a 1-year membership to UnderArmour’s MapMyRun service thrown in for free.
The Chinese tech giants may have the smartwatch market all wrapped – or should that be strapped? – up, but sometimes you want something a little smaller on your wrist as you run or exercise. Like the Watch 2, the Band has built-in GPS, which allows you to get more precise data about how far you’ve run – with the added bonuses of speed, movement and distance tracking covered too.
Seamlessly comfortable, the Band 2 tracks your heartbeat, alerts you of your alarms and messages and also incorporates a professional motion analysis algorithm to give you helpful and applicable feedback on your workout. And, in a welcome development for any divers out there, the Band 2 is able to withstand water pressure of 5 ATM – which means it’s not only safe on a rainy commute, but also during your morning laps of the pool.
Bose don’t do things by half. So, while you can’t put these in-ear headphones through the wash like the Urbanears above, you can be safe in the knowledge that they’re among the best wireless workout tech on the market. Six hours of battery life will keep you going through even the most intensive workout, and the EQ enhances clarity so your entire sound spectrum has a crisp, lifelike reproduction.
But the real selling point is sure the StayHear tips – innovative earbuds in different sizes that ensure that your headphones never fall out of your ears. And, although not completely waterproof, the SoundSports are designed and finished with hydrophobic speaker elements – which will ensure that no sweat or rain will get in to damage anything.
Find out more here about the mistakes men make in the gym.