Fitness wearables, high-tech spas, meditation apps, smart home gyms: there is no shortage of technologies promising to improve our health and fitness. At the touch of a button you can see a detailed graph of your sleep stages or stream a full-body pilates class; there’s even a tool to digitise your digestion.
Words by Imogen Smith
This might all sound like new-fangled nonsense but these gadgets are designed to help us to shake off hesitations we have around exercise and wellbeing, nudging us into healthier habits for body and mind. Of course, there are many ways digital technology can be harmful for us, it’s been engineered to monetise our attention spans and shift our behaviours. But if your Apple Watch beeps to remind you “it’s time to stand”, when you’ve been slumped at a desk with a sagging spine and strained eyes from staring at a screen for hours, where’s the harm in that?
It’s big business with tech giants too, such as Apple, Amazon and even Meta – the Facebook parent invested a whopping $400 million into the fitness app Supernatural in 2021 – all vying for first place. There’s also a whole world of connected fitness – a category of wellness tech that combines fitness trackers with a workout app – the likes of Peloton, Hydrow, FightCamp and Tonal, which all offer on-demand classes designed to recreate the look and feel of an in-studio experience. This type of virtual exercise topped the podium during the pandemic when it was recorded by GlobalData that half of UK consumers purchased home workout products.
The choice of health-enhancing apps and wearable tech is infinite, like the continual loop of a treadmill track, and it is tiring work trying to keep up with all the latest gizmos. Ultimately, the choice is up to you and the way you want to stay physically and mentally primed, whether it’s tracking your BMP after a daily run, setting step-count goals, zenning out in a 10-minute meditation or running wild, free of any device.
‘Offline’ modes of exercise are out there too and Bromley has several places that are ideal for working up a sweat, such as the Bromley Tennis Centre. Here, you can sign up for coaching to help polish your back-hand or drop-in to one of the regular Cardio Tennis sessions. Elsewhere, there’s Orange Theory Fitness, a full-body group workout combining science, coaching and technology to give optimum results from the inside out. Located in The Glades, we have The Pavillion where you can try your hand at everything from aqua zumba to table tennis. Track your progress with an app or simply bask in the post-workout buzz.
Apple Watch comes with an impressive amount of in built fitness technology, making it the ultimate device for a healthy life. The latest version has an always-on display so you can keep track of your heart rate, blood oxygen levels and sleep stages, all while you check the time. Find out more here.
The Nike Run Club App has everything to get you up and running. More than that though, it promises to motivate you to keep running and actually enjoy running. Whether you’re new to the sport or a seasoned athlete there’s a wealth of wellness tips to help you find your stride. Find out more here.
If you’ve pushed yourself during a workout, you’re going to feel the burn. This device eases deep muscle pains and relieves aching in your bones from your shoulders down to your thighs. It’s also designed to help you relax before you nod off in bed. Find out more here.
FitBit’s Charge 5 really gets into the nitty gritty. The vibrant display gives you stats at a glance, such as your heart-rate and sleep score, while diving deeper into how your body reacts to stress on a daily basis. It’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices, with up to seven days of battery life per charge. Find out more here.