It’s that time of the year again when we all promise ourselves that this New Year, come what may, we will go to the gym, we will run 5K marathons, take 10,000 steps and do whatever it takes to stay fit. But it’s also the time of the year when we are tempted to throw it all up and grab an extra slice or two of Christmas cake. Now, technology comes to the rescue with the next wave of wearables. These will ensure you stay on track with your New Year fitness resolutions. Some of these are already in the market, while others are expected to be available soon.

Fitness Trackers

These are in common use and come with upgraded features ever so often. All offer heart rate monitoring but now a few do blood pressure monitoring as well.  The more advanced trackers offer 24/7 activity tracking, including detailed info on steps, calories, distance, heart rate, activity, and sleep. Built-in GPS allows route mapping for runners, along with more precise distance, time and pace tracking, on land and in water. Many fitness trackers now function almost like smartphones, as they now have features to call, text, accept and reject calls.

Connected shoes

You can now go beyond the usual fitness tracker wristbands and simply put on a pair of connected shoes. These come with built-in sensors that offer more than simple pedometers, with the help of advanced metrics. These sensors analyze motion and cadences. They can also sense individual stride and pace. These sensor-built shoes work like a running database and the sensors can be also used in sports like soccer, hockey, rugby, and cycling.

AI-driven Virtual Fitness Coaching

Wearables tech companies are now working on devices that use data science, ML and cognitive computing to provide athletes and serious fitness enthusiasts better options to achieve their goals. For example, a tech company has developed their fitness and health app which has a virtual coach feature. This virtual coach guides users through AI-driven voice technology. It literally talks to the user throughout the workout, like a real-life coach or trainer. Using data, it can steer the user to train at the right intensity, with the right techniques. What’s more, it also offers text-based support in diet, nutrition and building healthy lifestyles.

Mind and Body Fitness

Fitness implies all-round good health, so wearables are now addressing this need for a holistic approach. There are wearables with sensors to monitor and track user’s breathing patterns and guide to developing a sense of calm.  Algorithms then classify these breathing patterns correlating respiratory characteristics with cognitive and emotional states. The wearable will then guide the user on how to restore a sense of balance, reducing blood pressure and improving heart rate.

There’s also a growing trend in brain-training wearables that claim to help users get in the right mindset to reach sports, athletics and fitness goals more effectively. These brain training wearables send small amounts of electricity via microelectrodes to stimulate specific nerve cells in the brain.

Sports headsets

These headphones use neurostimulation to help athletes train more effectively. The wearables are based on considerable scientific evidence and research and are popular with professionals in sports as well as military forces. The technology works like this: During the training session, the headset stimulates the brain in a process called neuropriming. Neuropriming involves sending tiny amounts of electrical current to the brain via electrodes fitted inside the headphones. This stimulates the brain to stay in ‘hyper learning’ mode. During this time, the user’s brain can learn and achieve results faster. Fans of this wearable say it can make training sessions more effective.

Relaxation pods

This wearable uses brain stimulation to reduce stress and anxiety. This wearable consists of a small pod that can rest on the neck. The electrodes within the pod send signals for neurostimulation, that help users relax and sleep better.

Tech wearables hope to make training sessions more interesting and effective at the same time. So, as you can see this new year, there are no more excuses to avoid the gym!