The advancement of technology and the sporting world appear to have accelerated hand-in-hand in recent times. The introduction of latest data-driven training techniques and the influence of data at the highest level of elite sport has trickled down to the most primitive forms of physical exercise. As a result, your phone and the wide array of gadgets to that can be synced to it can change your outlook on fitness as an entity.
Gone are the days where you can simply head out your door for a run. Now it is possible to track your distance, your speed, your rolling speed, your cadence and even the trajectory of the ground on which you are running. As such, a growing demand for wearable technology has generated a boom in the market.
Wearable fitness technology can simplify a process that otherwise could appear daunting to those not involved in elite sport. Bridging the gap between practicality, performance, style and cost is a difficult concept to negotiate however those at the fore of the market have meticulously worked to fine-tune their product; many of which have undergone a series of updates and renovations.
Now on its’ 6th Series, the tech behemoth have condensed some of the most crucial and productive aspects of their market-dominating phones into a small and practical watch. Within this, the fitness app allows you to track and monitor your movement throughout a day. It monitors your physical exertion, noted as ‘Active Calories’ against a goal that you have set, as well as an exercise goal (measured in minutes) along with a stand goal to ensure you keep moving at regular intervals throughout the day.
The Apple Watch is able to measure your heart rate throughout your regular day as well as through specific training sessions that you can start, or the option to customise and name your own. Within this, Apple provides a series of challenges and awards to incentivise you to keep pushing your workouts and activity levels.
The latest editions are waterproof to allow you to track your swimming sessions and you can also monitor your sleep patterns.
With the newest Series 6 selling for £379 or £15.79 per month with 0% financing. When worn every day and combined with the plethora of other practical solutions it provides in tandem with your mobile phone, Apple have provided a competitive addition to the market that is endorsed by some of the most famous and influential people in the world.
Having gained significant traction in recent years, Whoop have taken an alternative approach to wearable fitness technology with a subscription-based service. Their wearable wrist-band, although screen-less, is viewed entirely through their app. With no need to ever remove the band, it it tracks your fitness exploits as well as your sleep, specifically outlining your recovery, with the ability to identify a specific day of the week on which you would like to ‘peak’ your performance.
Whoop identifies sleep as a key component to its’ metrics in helping individuals to recover effectively and clearly outlines the essential information in an easy-to-digest visual format through the app.
These daily analytics outline the strain that your body is under and helps to identify trends that could help to prevent burnout or potential injury; a crucial component to those looking for a consistent fitness journey. Whilst there are not the same level of analytics and data available when compared to the Apple Watch, the emphasis on recovery and understanding your body helps you to manage your workload and strain to maximise performance. Endorsed by the likes of Super Bowl Champion Patrick Mahomes as well as Major Champion and World Number 1 golfer Justin Thomas alongside partnerships with Crossfit, the PGA Tour and the NFLPA, the Whoop bands have generated serious traction in the world of fitness and recovery.
Although there is no up-front cost to the Whoop 3.0, the £30 per month subscription (available to be reduced when bought for and extended period of time and paid in full) can add up quickly over the span of a few years. Managing this when considering the amount of time you will be committing to your new wearable technology will be a big consideration for money.
One of the most well-known and recognisable wearable technology brands in the industry is Garmin. Their series of wearables and watches provide a healthy variety of uses to suit any level of fitness enthusiast. With different options available, it becomes easier to identify the watch best suited to your needs. All Garmin series provide a plethora of health statistics and analytics alongside more than 25 sports apps for specific fitness exercises as well as the opportunity to enjoy coaching with animated workouts.
The Garmin offering provides suitability for the amateur runner to the experience elite triathlete and everything in between. GPS tracking are an essential part of the Garmin provision as well as specifically made watches for swimming and golf that range from £69.99 for the most simple-to-use activity tracker up to £2,249.99 for the elite race-ready tracking watch.
Apple Watch, Whoop or Garmin?
Knowing exactly what your requirements are for some highly sophisticated pieces of equipment is an essential starting point before committing to any activity tracker. Understanding the additional benefits and tools available at your disposal will allow you to understand how likely you are to use them and subsequently the value that can be placed on them.
When looking at the array of metrics available, along with everything else that is provided outside of tracking and monitoring your fitness and activity levels, the Apple Watch provides the most comprehensive partner for your phone and at one of the most cost-effective prices.
Whilst the Whoop bands are an elite measurement of recovery and strain on your body, the costs can rise exceedingly quickly, with £30 per month quickly turning into £720 over 2 years.
Garmin offers the most variety in its’ products; allowing you to identify your specific requirements to find the watch best suited to your needs. Understanding your requirements and how often you will use the various features on these impressive products will allow you to make an informed decision on the best piece of wearable tech for you.