Latest health and lifestyle gadgets
Keep your finger on the pulse with these health and lifestyle gadgets.
As the sun’s rays draw longer shadows on the ground and we spend more time outdoors, it’s important to remember that the largest organ of your body, your skin, needs all the protection it can get. Clothing has always been the shade you can take with you, but now you can ensure you’re getting the best protection by wearing items specifically designed to block the sun’s harmful rays. Columbia’s Omni Shade blocks both UVA and UVB rays, and offers sun protection up to SPF 50. This system is available in a range of Columbia clothing; from hiking and walk wear, to beach gear and casual outfits. columbia.com.au
Polar RC3 GPS
When it comes to outdoor health and fitness activities, running and cycling are the easiest and most cost-effective forms of exercise. The Polar RC3 GPS helps take your exercise to the next level, utilising integrated GPS to track your sessions and provide beneficial feedback on your performance. The innovative Smart Coaching feature gives you feedback after every session, tracks your fitness improvement and determines the best balance between rest and training. When you get home you can transfer your performance data to your computer to view your stats along with maps of your route. There’s also an online community of Polar ‘Ambassadors’ you can compete with. rc3gps.com
Always ones to innovate any workout experience, Nike has developed the Nike+ SportBand. Coupling the freedom of a wristband with high-powered features, like stat tracking and GPS mapping, the SportBand is ideal for anyone from casual runners to those with hardcore training regimes. Track distance, pace, time and calories burned, then unplug the handy USB data unit, Nike+ Link and download your stats to monitor your performance. You can also upload data to nikeplus.com to compete against other runners around the world. There’s nothing like a little healthy competitiveness to raise your heartbeat. nikestore.com.au
Speedo Aquabeat 2
Nothing goes better than summer and good music. Speedo now has a way to improve any water sport you lend your time to with the Speedo Aquabeat 2 MP3 player. A waterproof MP3 player with up to 4GB of memory, just plug it into your computer to charge and upload your own music, then throw on the waterproof earphones to complete the experience. The unit also functions as a stopwatch, pedometer and FM radio. Just attach to your goggles or waistband and you’re off! And if it happens to come off, the unit simply floats to the surface for easy retrieval. speedo.com.au
Taking time out from your day to relax can often be overlooked. Life moves pretty fast and it’s easy to get caught up in simply living. Luckily, with the help of modern smartphones, you can take time out to work on your inner health. The Mindfulness app is an ideal way to ‘check in’ with yourself, and promote alertness and wellbeing. Choose from a series of guided or unguided meditations, with various time lengths to suit your day. Even if you only have five minutes while you wait to pick up the kids, or before a movie, it’s perfect to focus attention on relaxing, breathing and being present. Mindfullness App
Nothing beats a good ride in the open air on a fine summer’s day. To help you make the most of every ride, Cyclemeter tracks your time, location, distance, elevation and speed. Data can be represented a number of ways, from maps and graphs to calendar events and activities. Plug in your earphones and the app gives you time and distance announcements, helping you actively stick to training goals. Cyclemeter can also be used to plan and track your running courses. In-built safety features allow you to send regular updates of your location to family members or friends so you never get lost. abvio.com
Living in Australia, most of us will likely spend a fair amount of time in the surf and sand this summer. Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) has developed a must-have app for any beach goer, combining weather information with hazard reports, location services and SLSA updates. A quick search will tell you about beaches in your local area. Select a beach and you’re presented with the local weather report—including information on water temperature, swell, UV index, tide times and more—plus patrol times (where applicable) and general information on the location.
Being alert and knowing how to prepare for the fire season can be a lifesaver. Thanks to CFA, getting up-to-date information of current fire danger conditions, alerts and expert advice is now available. CFA’s FireReady app comes on both iOS and Android platforms, and features real-time information on the current fire danger rating and Total Fire Ban status, planned burns or fire incidents in your area, as well as videos and checklists to help get your home ready for the fire season. You can also set a FireWatch zone to receive an alert when an incident occurs in an area you define. cfa.vic.gov.au