Five New Ways To Improve Your Fitness

Getting fit requires willpower, determination and planning -- but that doesn't mean that you can't help the process along with the right gadgets and apps. Here are five recent contenders to consider.

Exercise picture from Shutterstock

Jawbone UP24

The UP24's big improvement on the original (and well-liked) Jawbone UP fitness band is the use of Bluetooth to automatically upload data to your phone, rather than requiring you to hook up via a cable. While that means slightly less battery life, the convenience of auto-uploading and an updated app for iOS and Android make this a compelling fitness tracker.


RunKeeper has long been one of our favourite fitness tracking apps, in part because it is continually updated and improved. The latest version ups the ante considerably with built-in training plans from professional coaches to help you maximise your performance. It's available for both Android and iOS.

Lumo Lift

Suspect that your posture could be better? The Lumo Lift is an ingenious dongle that clips to your clothing and tracks your position while sitting or standing. If you start slouching, it buzzes you to alter you to the need to stand (or sit) up straight.


There are lots of apps for tracking your activities and diet. What we like about Nudge is that it keeps everything in one place, so you don't have to dive into multiple apps. It's available for iOS and Android.

Samsung Gear Fit

Samsung's Gear Fit isn't solely a fitness tracker: it doubles as a smart watch, so you can keep track of email and social media as well. While it only works with Samsung Galaxy phones, that makes it a solid choice for lots of phone owners.


    Just (pre) ordered a Lumo Lift. Says it's going to ship "Summer 2014", but it's presently on sale for $79. Shipping to Australia is $30, putting it in a similar price region to a Fitbit Flex, but I was happy to trade sleep tracking for good posture. It seems to do much the same thing as the Fitbit / Jawbone, in that it logs steps and the app can estimate calories burned and such.

    Runkeeper is a great app. I've used it in the past and for a free app it's incredibly functional.

    But the downside is you have to take your phone out running. Mine (HTC One) is sufficiently bulky that it becomes a nuisance. Presumably it will be compatible with Glass ... whenever that gets released in AU ... which would increase the appeal.

    My preferred running companion now is a Garmin Forerunner. It monitors GPS and HR throughout ... and on getting home it uploads that info to their website so I can track progress. In between runs it makes for a functional, stylish watch too.

    These are all modern day 'Ab Crunchers'. If you have to use these to motivate yourself in putting on a pair of shoes and going for a run and not over eating then it won't make a difference. My tip... Leave all the gadgets at home, go for a run and stop buying/eating crappy food. Here endth the lesson.

      @pjeaje, you're right and wrong all at the same time! The apps won't get you fit, that's for sure - only hard work can do that. I started my fitness regime with nothing but a desire to get fitter, and I was able to do it, but over the years I've added a range of apps and little devices which help give me a bit of encouragement when my desire is low. It can be tempting to skip a training run every now and then, or to eat a bit extra, and having trackers, and reminders, and so forth are a really great way of prompting you to get back on track and reminding you to stick to the straight and narrow.

        These things can help. The Couch to 5K app made it easy to go out and start running. Then the Zombies! Run app made it fun. Sometimes a bit of motivation or removing a barrier makes all the difference.

      I think you're underestimating the motivational aspects of measurement/stat tracking. When I go out on a bike ride, I record my trips with my phone (using the "My Tracks" Android app). It is pretty cool being able to see your progress: either that you're able to do longer distances without getting exhausted, or complete particular routes quicker than before.

      Also, since I'm using the phone I already own, I didn't spend any extra money to get this tracking. So while some of the devices might be marketed a bit like the old telemarketing fitness equipment, the idea itself doesn't require any of that.

      I can see where you're coming from. A lot of people think a fancy gadget or a new pair of Nike shoes will motivate them to get fit, and in a lot of cases they end up spending all that money and not using the things they bought because they don't want to leave the couch.
      I disagree with you, however, when it comes to people who have already established a fitness routine and want to track their progress to work towards a goal. I find it to be really motivating to look back at my stats and see just how far I've come.
      All that being said, no one needs these things. But they work for a lot of people.

    Beware the loose strap on the Gear Fit, there isnt much holding it in place from coming off.

    Angus, I don't think any of these things will actually improve your fitness. They will however improve your awareness of your fitness activities.

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