Winter is not coming. Winter is here, meaning blizzards and rainstorms have returned in full force, putting a dent in your daily exercise routine. After all, it's harder to tick off your morning jog or drive over to the gym in the snow.
If you think your only options are to binge watch Netflix and carry on eating away your New Year's resolutions, you're wrong.
Wearables are upping their tracking software to include activities beyond running, incorporating more ways to coach you into shape. A device like the TomTom Spark does a great job with advanced sports training plans and tracking a range of different exercises, but its indoor workouts are not as comprehensive. There's also a decent amount of fitness trackers for the gym enthusiast - but not everyone has the luxury of a treadmill or a weights bench installed at home.
That's why we need more accurate trackers with simple coaches, or even videos syncing with wearables, for pumped up indoor workouts. We take a look at the few fitness trackers and sports wearables that are designed to work for inside exercise sessions and which smart bands need to step up their at-home game.
WEAR – Wahoo Tickr X
Wahoo recently announced a 7 Minute Workout app for the Apple TV that can pair up with the Wahoo Tickr X heart rate monitor chest strap.
This means you don't need to keep glancing at your Wahoo Android/iPhone companion app since you'll be able to see accurate heart rate data onscreen. The app measures workout intensity and calories burned and can even correct form and count your reps.
The actual workout is essentially the same as the smartphone app, also available for the Apple Watch. Wahoo gives you 12 bodyweight exercises to complete in seven minutes without the need for any expensive equipment. Once you have the chest strap, the Apple TV app is free and you're good to go. This is a great example of a sports tech company recognising how its users work out and we'd love to see more wearable tech/smart home crossovers like this in the future.
NEARLY THERE – Microsoft Band 2
Not everyone will have a personal gym at home. That's why guided workouts on the Microsoft Band 2 are appealing - you really only need the wearable, your smartphone and a little bit of motivation.
The guides are minimal, but when there's not much else you can do outside, an ab workout or HIIT cardio routine is your next best bet. There are pre-loaded programs and workouts from Gold's Gym, Shape and Men's Fitness (amongst numerous generic workout videos) to choose from and you can also create your own routine.
It's a basic system at best but it beats having to faff around pulling up a YouTube exercise video or another workout app.
SQUARE – Fitbit Charge HR
The ever popular Charge HR can track a variety of exercises like yoga and Zumba without having you manually input it, That might be enough for you, especially if you go to classes, but it doesn't offer much in the way of motivation or entertainment specific to these kind of do it yourself workouts.
The Fitbit's tiny screen is no good for any kind of coaching but the company is at least trialling guided workouts on the Fitbit Blaze with FitStar's onscreen (and for now, fairly limited) workout mode.