Maybe you’ve had a slow start to 2016, or haven’t gotten round to making those New Year’s Resolutions that most people forget after January 3rd… But it’s not too late to take charge of the one thing most people try to tackle in their ‘New Year, new me’ schemes – fitness.
There are some fantastic new products on the market, in the form of innovative smart watches and phone apps, to personalised fitness routines and meal planners that are easy to use and suitable for everybody. Campaigns like ‘This Girl Can’ and ‘Change4Life’ are encouraging men and women of all ages and sporting abilities to keep active and healthy and there’s no reason why anybody with a disability or mobility impairment should miss out. One way to really get stuck in to fitness is to get to know the effect that your exercise is having on your body, both during and after activity, and to track your progress on interactive charts that many products and apps now offer.
Using the Apple Watch, for example, you can set timers that will remind you to stretch your legs, if you’ve been sitting at a desk too long, or to remind you of pressure relief if you’re a wheelchair user. You can make unique exercise plans set personal goals on apps like the step-counter, heartrate monitor and calorie counter. It offers different exercise options from walking and pushing to cycling and rowing. You can also track your exercise routes on mini maps and compare the distance and difficulty of your various trails with your friends. Since many hesitate over the Apple Watch because of the price, there are cheaper alternatives on the market and, although they don’t feature the signature Apple touch screen, they can still monitor body function, assess the quality of your sleep and connect to a PC so you can trace your progress.
Fitbit have eight models that range from £45 to £200, depending on how many different things you want it to do. The most basic Fitbit, the ‘Zip’, will count your steps, keep track of your active minutes and, of course, tell the time. The most advanced model, the ‘Surge’, offers things you’d expect from a smartphone: GPS tracking, music control, text and call notifications and sleep assessment. It automatically recognises when you begin to exercise, counts steps and floors climbed, monitors heartrate and offers multiple sport settings, to make sure the data it gives you is as accurate as possible. The models in between the Zip and the Surge offer different groups of functions, so you can choose how much or how little would be most useful to you. The Fitbit also comes in up to ten colours, depending on the model, so you can even get personal with the aesthetics.
Some wheelchair users choose not to wear a watch but, if you have a smartphone, you can always find apps that will help you create exercise tables and design meal plans. Argus, for example, is a neat all-in-one activity tracker that monitors your sleep, heart rate, calorie intake and more. The app offers challenges to overcome, as well as the option to build your own workout plan. You can even add food you eat by scanning the barcode on the label to track your calories. Some apps, such as Carrot Fit and JETFIT offer short, intense workouts for different parts of the body, depending on what you need to work on and… they’re free! Many both educate about anatomy and help the user to observe and improve their own fitness. Why not try one today? They take seconds to download and cost nothing.
It’s also a bit different from the standard chocolates and flowers this Valentine’s Day. If you and your other half exercise together, it’s a great way to compare progress and share achievements. If you’re not gym buddies, perhaps a gift like a Fitbit will start a new, ‘healthier living’ chapter!
Out and about exercises
Free Guided Walks throughout the UK
Two rollators designed for outdoors and offroad
- Topro Olympos from Norway
- The tires designed to be comfortable driving on rough foundations like cobblestone or dirt roads and Made from materials that tolerate all kinds of weather.
- kerb lifters and edge guard.
- Trionic veloped from Sweden
If you don’t want to or can’t leave the house (or even your chair) then don’t let that stop you:
The Chairmaster, not yet available in the UK but is this purple or beige? What do you think?
If you want to get in touch to recommend a product to review or have your own product that you want to talk about, let us know!