The “new year, new you” adage might be a cliche at this point, but it’s many people’s mindset when we start a new year –– or decade! We’ve already rounded up some of the best applications to help you stick to your new year’s resolutions, but what about hardware?
New technology certainly isn’t required to help you achieve your 2020 goals and resolutions, but it can absolutely help. In addition to the motivating factor of new technology, these suggestions can also help you track new metrics and stay on top of your health throughout the year –– whether you’re looking to improve certain things, maintain progress you’ve already made, or a combination of both.
First and foremost, Apple Watch can play a major role in helping you stay motivated throughout the year. The focus of Apple Watch is the Activity Ring system: Set a goal for calories burned in a day, exercise for 30 minutes per day, and move around for at least one minute in 12 different hours of the day.
Now, you don’t have to buy the latest and greatest Apple Watch to track your fitness. While Apple Watch Series 5 is the best Apple has to offer, Apple Watch Series 3 is still an excellent choice at just half the price of the newest model. The Apple Watch Series 3 supports everything you need to focus on fitness in 2020, including a heart rate sensor, workout tracking, watchOS 6, and more.
If you really want to take things to the next level, you can get an Apple Watch with cellular connectivity. This will allow you leave your iPhone behind on outdoor walks and runs, but remain connected in case of an emergency. It’s pricier, but if you plan on a lot of running and walking in 2020, it might be the right choice for you.
For more on how the Apple Watch has played a crucial role in many people’s lives, check out the 9to5Mac Watch Time podcast with Zac Hall.
AirPods or Powerbeats Pro
To truly embrace the Apple Watch-only lifestyle, you’ll need a pair of Bluetooth headphones. This allows you to connect directly to your Apple Watch and play music, podcasts, and audiobooks while on the go, without a nearby iPhone.
Whenever I complete an outdoor run or walk, I make sure to bring my AirPods Pro. I don’t use the Active Noise Cancellation features while exercising because I like to be aware of my surroundings, but Transparency mode allows me to do just that.
Powerbeats Pro are another great option, especially if you prefer the ear hook design for added security and fit. They offer many of the same features as AirPods Pro, including Apple’s H1 chip for seamless connectivity and Announce Messages with Siri. Read our full review of Powerbeats Pro here.
Last but not least are AirPods. They don’t offer the in-ear fit and different size ear tips, but they are the most affordable option for truly wireless earbuds from Apple. If the one-size-fits-all design isn’t for you, but Powerbeats Pro and AirPods Pro are out of your budget, BeatsX are a great pick as well.
To go with your Apple Watch, a dedicated optical heart rate sensor is a nice addition. Apple Watch has a built-in heart rate sensor, but there are a few benefits of going with a standalone sensor.
My personal favorite heart rate monitor is the Polar OH1, which you can pick up on Amazon. It lasts for 12 hours on a single charge, which means you can use it for multiple workouts without worrying about battery life. It connects directly to your Apple Watch via Bluetooth and you simply strap it to your arm before a workout.
So why do you need a standalone heart rate monitor when Apple Watch has one built-in? The biggest benefit is that it removes the burden of tracking heart rate from Apple Watch, which has a major impact on battery life. If you plan on stretching Apple Watch to its limits with long outdoor runs and bike rides, an external heart rate monitor will dramatically extend your Apple Watch battery life, especially if you’re using cellular connectivity at the same time.
There are other options to extend Apple Watch battery life during workouts, such as disabling cellular or enabling Workout Power Saving Mode. But, if you want to maximize battery life without losing features, the Polar OH1 heart rate monitor is a great way to do just that.
Regardless of your goals for 2020, a smart scale is a great purchase. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, bulk, or just get a better feel for your overall health, a smart scale makes it much easier to track your weight.
At the beginning of 2019, I invested in the Withings Body Smart Scale, which integrates with the Health app on your iPhone. It connects to your WiFi network and syncs to your iPhone every time you weigh in. This makes the weigh-in process as frictionless as possible, and ensures that you’re logging your exact weight every time. The Withings Body scale supports up to 8 different profiles, so everyone in your household can track their weight with the same scale.
If you want to take things to the next level, the Withings Body+ is a pricier option but one that tracks some additional metrics. There’s support for weight, body fat, water percentage, and muscle and bone mass.
Smart blood pressure monitor
Last but not least is the Withings BPM Connect, which is a Bluetooth and WiFi-enabled smart blood pressure monitor. High blood pressure runs in my family, and I’ve made it my goal in 2020 to be more aware of my own blood pressure and the lifestyle choices I make that affect it.
I purchased the Withings BPM Connect a few months ago, and it makes it incredibly simple to track my blood pressure on a regular basis. In addition to the small LED screen on the monitor itself, all of your results sync directly to your iPhone in the Withings Health Mate app, as well as Apple’s Health app. Much like with tracking weight, this makes it easy to view trends overtime, improvements, and more.
Regardless of your goals in 2020, these technology picks can help you be more aware of your health and overall fitness level. Being more aware of things like your blood pressure can help you make small changes in your day-to-day life, and track the effects of those changes with ease. New technology isn’t a necessity for new year’s resolutions, but it can certainly help.
What are some of your goals in 2020? Do you have any technology on which you rely? Let us know down in the comments!
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