A personal trainer at the press of a button

Technology is changing the way people get in shape. Here is a round-up of fitness gadgets that can help you look good


Actor Hrithik Roshan apparently has two expat personal trainers to help him shape his already fab body for Krrish 3. It is rumoured that Aamir Khan has also hired an expat trainer to beef up for Dhoom 3. It is a good idea to hire personal trainers because not only do they encourage and push you, but also figure out a fitness routine especially made for your body. But not all of us can afford to pay hourly fees of Rs. 500-Rs.2,000 for consultation. If you fall in this category, fret not; you can buy new-age fitness gadgets and technology that can play the part of your very own personal trainer. Be it running, swimming, walking, dancing or gymming—these devices track your steps and heart rate and give a detailed analysis of your daily workout. The right gadget depends on the type of exercises you do, so we found the best in each category.




A pedometer/keychain that acts like a cheerful trainer, encouraging you to walk more daily through various games. It counts every step you take and every stair you climb and gives a daily/weekly chart of calories burned and distance covered on its 2-inch high-resolution touch-screen display. It also gives you goals whereby you can make a social contribution: Take 60,000 steps and Striiv will donate a dose of polio to a child in India; take 18,000 steps and it will conserve one parking-spot size rainforest in Tanzania or provide one day of water for one child in Bolivia. The more you walk, the more you give. Then there’s ‘Myland’, a game in which you build huts and plant trees in various territories—growth and moving up new levels are based on walking, running, and taking the stairs. A new feature lets it make personalized challenges geared for you after it adapts to your progress and performance. You can even use the device to challenge a friend and outdo them by real-time walking. All this, by simply keeping Striiv anywhere on your body—in your pocket, purse or attached to your belt.

Wallet dent: $99, on www.amazon.com




All you need to do with this device is select a goal-based plan. The gadget offers options like iSlim, ExpressFIT, Brazilian Butt, KidFit, Weekend Warrior. All are available through the official app which can be downloaded in App Store. While iSlim is free, the other options cost $9.99 each. Once your plan is selected, the iBike POWERHOUSE uses power management and analysis technology to guide you through 45-90 minute bike rides over four-six weeks. The plan tracks your real-time performance and automatically updates your workout plans. It encourages you to pedal at the right levels for better performance. You can even take calls or listen to music while cycling though that is not really recommended. The only drawback is that it works only with iPhone and iPod Touch.

Wallet dent: $269, for the device, the Powerhouse app and the iSlim plan. Extra plans cost $9.99 each and are purchased through the app. Order onwww.ibikesports.com

All in one

Basis B1 band

Launched in January

If you thrive on numbers and stats, then pick up this wrist band. The gadget won the Best of Innovations Design award as well as the Engineering Award Honor by The Consumer Electronics Association at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, US, earlier this year and is available on pre-order from Mybasis.com. The Basis looks like a wristwatch and is the neatest health tracker. You must wear it at all times, and it tracks quite a lot of fitness stats: It has a 3D accelerometer to track activity (walking, running and strolling), then there are extra sensors to monitor your temperature, galvanic skin response, heart rate and through that, the number of calories you burn. In addition to all this, Basis also monitors the quality of your sleep—how long you slept, how often you woke up and how often you turned on your side. The gadget then crafts all these little pieces of information into a comprehensive picture of your health. The Basis syncs via USB to the website where you can get an online update of your overall activity and health. You can even share the charts with your friends online.

Wallet dent: Expected to be $199 (or around Rs. 9,751), on Mybasis.com



Adidas miCoach Speed Cell

Launched in January

Take your running to the next level with this 10g clip-on battery-powered data collector. The miCoach Speed Cell gets attached to your shoe—as a perfect fit if you buy a pair of compatible Adidas trainers or a clip-on for standard running shoes. Once activated, it records up to eight hours of data about your running speed, acceleration, distance travelled and pace. This data can be downloaded with its built-in wireless network to a PC, Mac or Android/iPhone through the free miCoach app. You can prepare a digital diary of your workout and view, analyse or share results with other miCoach users. You will figure out not only the basic “how far” and “how fast” but also the moment by moment speed as well as the approximate calories burnt.

Wallet dent: $70, on www.shopadidas.com


Finis Swimsense Performance Monitor

Launched in January

If laps are your calling, wear this watch-like device and dive in. This nifty little gadget will measure the distance you swim, the number of laps and your pace. The device is smart enough to tell the differences between four types of major strokes and record your swimming by the stroke, detailing the amount you swam for one type of a stroke, the rate and the number of calories burned. Post your session, analyse your progress and understand your activity preference by syncing the device with a PC or Mac using the included docking station and USB connection. The data is sent to the Swimsense Training Log website (swimsense.finisinc.com), which then sends you a detailed report.

Wallet dent: $199.99, on www.finisnc.com

Floor and studio exercises

Ubisoft Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012

Launched in November

The launch of Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect in 2010 led to a slew of movement-based games claiming to make you fitter. But Ubisoft’s three-month- old video game ‘Your Shape Fitness Evolved’ is different. It gives you over 90 hours of activities, including full boot camp, cardio boxing, jumprope, yoga, and also teaches you dance routines like latin, hip hop, Bollywood, etc. But that’s something you will find in many fitness games out there. What it additionally does is use Kinect’s state-of-the-art motion tracking to monitor your body and detail your body stats. It also uses projection technology to track your limbs and give you active feedback on your workouts as you are doing them. And it’s more accurate than your yoga instructor. Moreover, you can state your fitness goals and customize your workout and define days in a month and it will remind you whether it’s cardio day or yoga day.

Wallet dent: $44.99, on www.amazon.com, and if you don’t already have it, an Xbox 360 and Kinect for Rs. 22,990, on www.flipkart.com

Crossposted from Mint website.