5 things you never knew you could do with a fitness tracker
Last updated: 3 January 2017
You probably already own a fitness tracker to justify those nightly Ben & Jerry’s binges (anyone who’s walked 10,000 steps deserves a scoop – or 7 – of Cookie Dough Ice Cream). But guess what: these nifty trackers do so much more than just track sleep, exercise and calories burned…
We live in the age of the fitness tracker. They are an indispensable accessory: lots of us strap 1 onto our wrist and then proceed to sprint wherever possible to try to rack up steps and beat the 10,000 mark.
Trackers also come in useful when testing whether chewing HobNobs at breakneck speeds counts as calorie burning or gaining (Or is that just us?).
In fact, fitness trackers are now so ubiquitous that we often ask ourselves the question: if we ran 10K and weren’t wearing our trackers at the time, did it even happen? Did it even count?!
No wonder fitness trackers currently account for 85% of the growing wearable tech market.
1 of the most popular trackers out there is the Samsung Gear Fit2, which merges fashion and function, tracking your heart rate when you’re cycling, counting up your daily steps and giving you all of your key health, fitness and sleep stats at a glance.
And we just can’t stop staring at the 1.5” screen with curved AMOLED display. So pretty...
Great news for fitness fans (and couch potatoes just looking for a stylish new piece of wrist candy): we’re giving away a Gear Fit2 to all customers (whether we’ve been friends for years or haven’t even met yet), for FREE, with the purchase of a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S7 edge handset
You know, that awesome phone with the professional-grade dual-pixel 12MP camera for crisper-than-ever photos, a dedicated game control centre for gaming, gaming and more gaming potential, long-lasting battery life and super-powerful processors? Not to mention all those apps, shortcuts and free Galaxy gifts.
Plus, 3 words: Samsung Connected Living. Share music, vids, photos and more, and use your smartphone like a remote to control your world and make everything easier.
And, that brand-new Gear Fit2 might be just what you need to make that “I will work out this year” resolution become a reality. For once.
But sprint quickly, because this offer is only available from 12th January to 28th February 2017.
Now that trackers are on our minds, here are some pretty cool things fitness trackers can do that you probably didn’t know about them…
1. Count your crunches
And lunges, squats and star jumps. Who needs a trainer when you’ve got a Gear Fit2? In its most recent update, the Samsung Gear Fit2 was kitted out with some pretty fantastic enhancements, including a Streamlined Sets for Indoor Activities mode, which is a long way of saying it will count your sit-ups for you. This way, each rep really counts (and is accounted for), to help optimise your training regime.
Handily, the Gear Fit2 also recognises when you’ve stopped in the middle of training - say you were running and had to pause to wait for a traffic light to change. There’s an Auto Pause feature that automatically stops tracking when you’ve stopped, and then resumes tracking once you get moving again. Sweet.
And dancing, in case you’re wondering, counts as a real activity, according to the Gear Fit2’s Automated Dynamic Workout Tracking. Which means it’s the best accessory on your next night out.
2. Get pregnant
Forget about those expensive pee-on-a-stick ovulation tracker tests. All you need to tell you if your fertile days are approaching – or if you’ve got a bun in the oven – is a fitness tracker. Yes, seriously.
Women’s health startup Clue conducted an internal pilot study using the Fitbit Charge HR http://blog.helloclue.com/post/146939456931/clue-pilot-study-results-resting-heart-rate) and found that you can tell what stage of her menstrual cycle a woman is in based on her resting heart rate. The Fitbit also detects a rise in resting heart rate after ovulation, so the director of the study was able to determine that one of the participants, Clue’s director of marketing, was pregnant - all thanks to her Fitbit data.
That’s not the only pregnancy-reveal story the Fitbit Charge HR has been a part of: In February 2016, Reddit user David Trinidad posted his concerns about his wife Ivonne’s higher-than-normal heart rate on the site, wondering if he needed to reset the device or even return it. A fellow Reddit user asked if perhaps David’s wife was feeling stressed… or might be pregnant? Baby Valerie has arrived and appropriately already has her own Insta account @babyfitbit.
3. Find out your heart’s been broken
Turns out, reaching for the pint of ice cream and playing the Titanic theme song on repeat isn’t the only telltale sign you’ve just been dumped. Why not just ask your fitness tracker?
Buzzfeed reports on the story of Koby Soto a law student in Tel Aviv, who got broken up with by his boyfriend via phone call (way harsh, right?).
The news left Soto in a state where he could neither sleep nor study, and when he checked the data on his Fitbit Charge HR, he found something rather surprising: his heart rate had gone from a calm 72 beats per minute to an elevated 88+ after receiving the breakup call.
At 1 point, Soto’s heart rate soared up to 118 beats per minute, before normalising again. Considering he hadn’t gone to the gym, exercised, or done anything other than pine for his lost BF, all signs point to 1 thing: Fitbit’s probably better at relationships than most of us.
4. Track your GPS
Real-time location data without connecting to a smartphone? Yes, please. Conveniently, the Gear Fit2 has an onboard GPS built in, which maps your route when you hike, bike, walk or run. It’ll track speed and distance, as well as monitor your heart rate, presenting your tracking data as a map. Other fitness trackers with built-in GPS to look out for? The Fitbit Charge 2 and Jawbone UP3 are popular models.
5. Fix your posture
Can’t seem to stop slouching and slumping? You don’t need to practice walking around with a book on your head to sort out your posture – just invest in the right fitness tracker, instead. The Lumo Lift is ideal if you need a bit of posture coaching: just stick the sensor inside your shirt and it will gently vibrate to remind you to straighten up. The tracker also works to measure steps, distance and cals burned.