Fitness Tech...More Active Lifestyle

On Saturday, October 8, 2011 2 comments

Who would have thought I would be talking about fitness? But there has been some amazing bits of technology and very innovative products coming to market to really incent good health. I wanted to cover two very cool, high-tech products to help do just that.

Fitbit Ultra is a new wireless clip-on device that you wear and it tracks your activity throughout the day and even can monitor your sleeping habits as well! This is not just some fancy pedometer, this device has a sophisticated 3D accelerometer similar to the technology found in a Wii controller. It also includes an altimeter to track movement up and down stairs and trails. Combined these technologies really help the system measure your overall activity.

The Fitbit's built-in display helps you keep track of your basic activities like number of steps, total distance, floors climbed, how long and well you slept and counts calories burned. It also includes a clock and stopwatch function for your exercise activities. The display will even give you some fun messages on occasion to motivate you to keep moving!

The Fitbit is a wireless device with a charging wireless base station that plugs into your Mac or PC. This makes keeping your data logged onto Fitbit's free online system very easy to use. You can track your activity and sleep stats on You can create a visual map of your progress and use custom dashboards to analyze your day and track your progress over time. It even scores your efforts and compares you to other people in your age group and fitness range. And if that isn't awkward can even share your efforts with friends and private groups you setup on the site as well!

Other useful data can be input into the system from your computer or mobile device like the foods you eat or workout routines (even Wii games) you are doing. You can even input your blood pressure, glucose and heart rate information. Should you already be leveraging other online nutrition or fitness programs like LoseIt!, RunKeeper or Microsoft's can seamlessly sink your data with these other tools.

And if all that isn't enough, Fitbit offers a $49.99/year premium subscription service where Fitbit Trainers review your activity level and create a personalized 12 week program that gradually pushes you to increase your daily movement activity. You are also provided some additional personalized reports that give you analysis of your week's data and recommends target levels of activity the following week.

The Fitbit Ultra is probably the savviest product in this category today and definitely worth checking out if you'd like to monitor your activity and looking for something to help motivate yourself. We've found these to work well with our family.

What about tracking your weight?
While I am on this fitness topic, I should mention another healthy lifestyle tech device that has made it into our household. The Withings Wifi Body Scale is a wireless weight scale that transmits its data to Withings online system just like Fitbit. You setup your whole families profiles online (up to 8 users) and the system can automatically detect who is on the scale and tracks the users Weight, Lean and Fat body mass and translate that into your BMI (body mass index) to help follow your progress and target goals.

You can access your information on your computer or mobile device via an Android, iPhone or iPad app.

The Withings Wifi Body Scale has worked flawlessly for us and is a great tool to track your weight and target goals. And if your really want to keep yourself motivated...the scale can post your progress to Facebook, Twitter or dozens of online weight coaching programs.

Please be sure to comment below and share your experiences with these or other healthy lifestyle tech solutions. You can also follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

If you have any comments or feedback, feel free to email me at


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