You can slip on a pair of £200 running shoes, sure. You can pull a tactical, nanotechnological, microfibre, sweat-wicking workout T-shirt over your head. You can even slide a pair of high-optic, shock-resistance sports sunglasses in front of your eyes before you start to exercise. And they’ll all do nothing but help you look good.
Thankfully, given the digital dawn of wearable tech, there are now a whole host of garments and accessories that will make a difference. There are watches and bands to push you to a new PB — while monitoring your heart. There are shoes with trail trackers in them, to help map your routes. And some of the sweat-proof, heavy-bass headphones on offer these days will thump and thud you to levels of self-motivation you never thought you had.
Here, we’ve rounded up the best pieces of wearable tech to actually improve your workout — not that you don’t look great in those £350 shorts…
Get yourself a connected smartwatch to keep track
Gone are the days when smartwatches were big lumps of ugly plastic — flaunted in the gym for being the cutting edge, but hidden away swiftly in more stylish circles. Today, these smartwatches are worn as part of our daily lives, and can track everything from our heart rates to our step counts. The Apple Watch may be the most popular piece of tech in this sector, but we’ve found some more strapping timepieces worth checking out.
Look at TAG Heuer’s Connected Modular 45, for instance. A heritage watchmaker taking on tech is big news in and of itself, but even more so when the results are this good. Among the sensors in that handsome case: an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a tilt detection sensor and haptics engine. Samsung’s offering, for a fraction of the price, is almost as impressive — boasting features from waterproofness to Spotify compatibility. Meanwhile Montblanc’s Summit 2 is surely the coolest offering in the sector, a 42mm unisex masterpiece to guide you through the toughest workout.
TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45
Samsung Galaxy Watch
Montblanc Summit 2
A fitness band is ideal for watch enthusiasts
Of course, if you’re mad about watches, the likelihood is you won’t want to replace your Rolex with a connected smartwatch. Thankfully, a tech compromise exists in the form of a fitness band. These slimmer options feature small screens, long battery life and will tell you everything a smartwatch can — without upstaging your expensive Swiss timepiece.
Fitbit is the gold standard here, and its Charge 3 has bells, whistles, contactless payment, water resistance, sleep tracking, smartphone notifications and 24/7 heart rate tracking. Garmin’s Vivosport is similarly impressive, and includes fitness monitoring tools such as VO2 max and fitness age estimates. Or, if you’re looking for a slightly cheaper option, Huawei’s Band 3 Pro is a good bet — with colour touchscreen and TruSeen 3.0 heart monitoring technology.
These connected sneakers will keep you on the right path
It’s not all about accessories; some of this new tech upgrades our existing fitness kit. Take the latest step in footwear, for example. These smart, connected sneakers pair with your phone or smartwatch via Bluetooth to measure your athletic performance (literally) from the ground up. And they look pretty good doing it, too…
Under Armour was one of the first brands to champion the technology. The US sports giant’s offering is compatible with your Map My Run app, and the chip doesn’t even need powering — meaning you’ll never run out of charge. Altra’s Torin IQ shoes have dual footbed sensors that provide you with real-time feedback in four critical areas: impact rate, landing zone, contact time and cadence. And Chinese brand Xiaomi has created sneakers with built-in MI smart chips to detect movement and store data including distance covered, speed and calories burned.
Under Armour UA HOVR Running Shoes
Altra Torin IQ
Xiaomi Miiia Sneakers
Invest in the right headphones to properly motivate yourself
Studies have shown that listening to music makes us 28 percent more likely to enjoy our exercise, and thus 28 percent more likely to slip on our sportswear and workout. It pays, then, to buy the best headphones to help you melodically along your way. With sweat-proof technology, deep bass and designs to ensure they’ll stay in your ears through even the most vigorous treadmill runs, here are the best.
First off, Bose’s SoundSport Free have the most reliable wireless signal of all workout headphones, five hours of battery life and ergonomically designed StayHear+ Sport tips. Sennheiser’s CX Sport headset is also mightily impressive; with a proprietary speaker system to deliver a clear, detailed sound with a satisfying bass response. And Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay E6 earphones not only look the part, they’re also crafted from aluminium so as not to weigh you down.
Bose SoundSport Free
Sennheiser CX Sport
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay E6
Looking for some extra motivation? These are the fitness gurus to follow on Instagram…
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