Want to up your fitness game? We talked to 13 fitness experts – celebrity trainers, teachers, fitness writers, hypnotists, bikini models and Olympians – to get the skinny on their favourite fitness tech. Here are the tools, toys and apps they recommend to take your health routine to the next level.
We asked 13 health professionals to tell us what’s the best fitness tech out there
Fitbit"[Fitbit] measures my quality of sleep and my heart rate throughout the day, so I know the intensity of how I’m doing things. It definitely broke the chain I was bound to before - the treadmill - letting me work throughout the day." - Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak.
Fitbit Charge, $149.95, Walmart.caFitbit
TIMEX AND POLAR M400 HEART RATE MONITORS"I am a huge proponent of heart rate monitors, and each of my clients is required to wear one during a Minardi workout to provide quantitative, instant bio-feedback that includes time, distance, speed and heart rate. I recommend Polar M400 and Timex HRM watches." - Minardi Training founder Jimmy Minardi
Polar M400, $269.99 Polar.com; Timex Personal Trainer HRM, $99.99 Timex.caPolar M400/Timex
Gymboss Interval Timer"I love the Gymboss interval timer! It's convenient and versatile for time-based training such as HIIT and tabata, which turn the body into a calorie-burning machine even when time and equipment are limited. There's no excuse not to sweat!" – Trainer/model Sally Leung, Sally Fitness.
Gymboss Classic, $25.16, Gymboss.comGymboss
TEMPO TRAINER PRO"Keeping the right swimming stroke rate is one of the most important aspects of training well and racing well. The best way to monitor your stroke rate in practice is by using the Tempo Trainer." – Olympic swimming medalist Dr. Gary Hall Sr.
Tempo Trainer Pro, $56.00, Amazon.caFinis
Powerball Sports Pro"Powerball develops arm and grip strength. It takes practice, but once you get it, it's addictive. Grip strength often gives out before the muscles do on big exercises like deadlifts. I also rock climb, so grip and finger strength are essential." - Trainer Barrett Morrison
Powerball Sports Pro, $41.06, Amazon.caDynaflex
STOP, BREATHE & THINK"This simple app guides people of all ages and backgrounds through meditations for mindfulness. During meditation, your breathing slows and deepens, heart rate drops, blood pressure decreases and muscles relax." - Hypnotist Harley Sears
Free, Stop, Breathe & Think App
Stop, Breathe & Think App
Move Me Fit"MoveMeFit’s [online classes] make it really convenient to get in a quick, high-quality workout. It is particularly great when you don't have time to go to the gym, or when the weather isn't nice." – Trainer and Keebs Fitness founder Kelly Borowiec
Free, various paid upgrades available, MoveMeFit.comMove Me Fit
SPARKPEOPLE"I prefer Sparkpeople over all free calorie fitness and nutrition tracking apps, because you can add nutrients and track vitamins and minerals like zinc, B12 and fibre. That can be of major importance to one's overall health goals." - Trainer and Registered Dietician Dawn Weatherwax
NIKE + RUNNING"I use this app for every run. It’s a great way to keep track of my distance and speed. I even use it to track how long I’ve been wearing the same sneakers. I can friend my clients and do challenges to keep each other accountable when we aren’t together." - Fit4Mom founder Lisa Druxman
Free, Nike.com Nike
Lose It!"This is one of the best meal journal apps on the market. My clients can track their food easily with the large database or by taking pics of the bar code. The new coaching program allows me to see how my clients are doing, see their goals and leave them notes." - Lisa Druxman
Free with in-app purchases, LoseIt.comLose It!
Pact"Pact encourages users to make healthier choices by putting money on the line. You can make weekly pacts to exercise more or eat healthier, or log your meals on MyFitnessPal.com. If you break your pact, you lose money; keep it and you earn." - Former White House Athletic Center director Ted Vickey
Muse Headband"It’s like a heart-rate monitor for your head. Muse connects to smartphones and tablets to display mental patterns, such as stress levels and attention span. The exercises serve to enhance your mental fitness and ability to relax, which is important to overall health." - Ted Vickey
Hyperice Vyper"Vyper may be the most game-changing recovery device I've ever seen. The device uses high-frequency vibration to deeply massage muscle tissue, which helps athletes stay flexible and prevent injuries." - Former LA clippers staff trainer Robbie Davis
$250, RogueFitness.comRogue Fitness
Numbers"This app I have been using for about four years on my iPad. It allows me to write and track all of my clients' progress. If some of my clients would like to purchase the program, no problem. From this app, I can share the program to their email with just a simple click and walla!" - Trainer and No Limits Fitness founder Kyle HartcornApple
Calorie Count"This amazing app holds a huge database of generic foods. You can extract information on any type of fruit, bread, meat - whatever you want. It's also easy to search for an item's nutritional info and log it and save it for later use." – Fitness writer Nitish Kumar
Free/In-app purchases, Caloriecount.comWisecalvin