instagram envelope_alt facebook twitter search youtube_play whatsapp remove external_link loop2 arrow-down2

Connect: Tech to help you hit your 2020 fitness targets

WELCOME to 2020, the most futuristic-sounding year yet. And if the start of a shiny new decade has you considering whether to enrol at a gym to pursue your health and fitness goals, hold your horses — there might be a smarter way.

Research shows that us Brits waste £4billion per year on unused gym memberships. While 23 per cent of people in the UK have a contract for one, only 12 per cent actually use it. That’s a lot of lost pounds — and not the type we want to shed.

But a new wave of health and fitness tech makes it possible to get in shape without signing up to a gym. Here’s our pick of the tools to help you eat, sleep and train.

Eat (and drink)

Food Marble

One in eight people in the UK suffers from digestive issues but identifying the foods causing them can be tricky. Food Marble is a clinical breath test that can help spot the foods your gut struggles to break down. The reading, based on hydrogen produced by your gut when trying to digest food, is sent to an app, where you can compare and contrast the foods you snaffle. £149, foodmarble.com

Bioniq

Many of us take a multivitamin to boost nutrition but Bioniq offers personalised supplements based upon your body’s needs. After a simple at-home blood test, repeated every couple of months, the company uses two million biomechanical data points to build you a bespoke mix of micronutrients. Bioniq has eight years of clinical trials to back up its proposition but it doesn’t come cheap, at £250 a month. £250 per month, bioniq.com

Cardio boosters

Garmin fēnix 6

Our favourite all-rounder, the Fēnix 6 is the best watch for every kind of fitness. The heart-rate sensors and GPS tracking are best-in-class, while the advanced performance metrics like VO2 Max, running dynamics, race pacing and recovery advisors are second to none. This multi-sport watch even has a backcountry skiing mode and if you’re a golfer there’s shot-tracking and profiles of 41,000 courses. From £529.99, garmin.com

Form Swim

Unless you’re a coach yelling out from poolside, it’s hard to track your swimming performance in real time. Enter the Form Swim goggles with a simple but effective heads-up display showing 12 customisable metrics, including time, stroke counts, split times, pace, distance, calories and (with a compatible monitor like the Polar OH1+) real-time heart-rate. Naturally, it’s all communicated back to a phone app for analysis, too. £150.76,formswim.com[ships to UK]

Nurrv

Run faster and minimise injury risk? These would be two solid goals for most runners in 2020. Nurrv Run’s new sensor-laden insoles promise both, by measuring your running more accurately. The 16 insert shoe sensors track foot-strike, pronation, cadence, step-length and balance with lab-quality precision, and deliver a personalised report loaded with insight into areas for improvement. £249.99, nurvv.com

Give me strength

Bowflex SelectTech 560 Dumbbells

The world’s smartest dumbbell, this award-winning Bluetooth-powered Bowflex uses built-in motion sensors to automatically count every rep, set and rest period. It also saves space with a full range of selectable weights from 5lbs to 60lbs in one compact piece of kit. £599, fitness-superstore.co.uk

Airofit Breathing Trainer

Your cardio activity is limited by how hard your lungs let you work. But, like everything else, you can strengthen the main muscles used to breathe. Airofit is a data-driven respiratory training system that does just that. Guided drills work the main inhale-exhale muscles and the makers say it offers an eight per cent performance boost from using it just 15 minutes a day. £212, airofit.com

Bulldog Gear HIIT Box

The ultimate cross-fitter’s box, this compact package offers internal storage kettlebells, jump ropes, bands and slam balls, while converting into an incline bench with five adjustable levels for the ultimate high-intensity workout. It even has wheels for easy transportation or turning into a weighted sled for push-and-pull sets. £1,200, bulldoggear.eu

Rest and recharge

Modius Sleep

Longer and better quality sleep should be a priority for everyone heading into 2020. This futuristic headset from Modius aims to use neuroscience to boost your rest by sending a safe electrical pulse to the vestibular nerve, which can influence circadian rhythm and sleep patterns. £378 (available in Feb), indiegogo.com

Zeez Sleep Pebble

We’re all too wired. Sleep aids that use music, sound and light to guide us to sleep might not be helping us to switch off either. Zeep takes a different approach. The Sleep Pebble sits under the pillow, emitting frequencies that’ll help you settle and keep you settled for longer, deeper sleep. £300, zeez.org.uk

Beddr SleepTuner

This stamp-sized tracker wants you to achieve what the company calls True Sleep, ‘a science-backed, evidence-based, medically sound, nuanced and comprehensive definition of healthy sleep’. It tracks breathing quality, heart rate, oxygen saturation and movement in order to get to the bottom of why you might be experiencing poor sleep. £114, beddrsleep.com

Speed up recovery

Powerdot 2.0 Uno

Electrical muscle stimulation can help with rehab, reduce pain and boost your exercise recovery. PowerDot is portable and easy-to-use — you place it on your body, sync with the companion app and identify which muscles you wish to ‘stim’. The pads do the rest, boosting blood flow and helping you bounce back, ready to train faster. £185, powerdot.com

Whoop Strap 3.0

Designed for serious athletes, Whoop’s wristband and app combo tracks your workouts and recovery to offer deep, scientific insights to help you decide when to go hard or when to take it easy. Hefty workouts require sufficient sleep and rest before your body is ready to take the strain again. Get this balance right and you reduce the risk of injury and perform better next time. Strap 3.0 is free with membership to Whoop, from £22.81, whoop.com

KICK OFF WITH THESE 2019 TRENDSETTERS

In those genes

DNAfit

DNAfit lets you delve into your molecular make-up to build a profile that will get you fighting fit. Once you’ve completed the test, a programme tailor-made for you will offer in-depth insights into your diet, fitness health and even sleep. A qualified coach will also help put you on the right track to make sure you’re putting the detailed genetic data to good use. From £111.75, dnafit.com

Women’s health

Apple Watch/iPhone

Apple introduced women’s health tracking features in 2019 and you can expect that to be a launch pad for more monitoring in 2020. The tech giant revealed a study with leading medical institutions that focused on menstrual cycles and gynaecological conditions. This could prompt new health tech products. Apple Watch Series 5 from £399, apple.com

A healthy mind

My Online Therapy

With mental health issues on the rise, a virtual psychology clinic could be the first of many designed to make it easier to receive help. On launch, My Online Therapy became the first UK clinic of its kind to offer access to a psychologist via video call or live chat. Face-to-face video sessions from £49 for 30 minutes, myonlinetherapy.com

Working out from home

Technogym bike

Technogym is going up against Peloton in offering spin classes you can take without leaving the house. Its new smart exercise machine works in a similar way to its rival’s, with a one-off payment for the bike and a monthly subscription service. You can pick the sessions by trainer and select the soundtrack. From £2,450, technogym.com