I really let my fitness go during the pandemic. But after getting on the scales in early 2022 and discovering I was the heaviest I’ve been been (no surprise), I resolved to prioritize my overall health and fitness in 2022. Since the last time I did a gear review on fitness devices, I’ve changed quite a bit. I’ve also retitled the post as health gear as I am now 60 and looking for a different type of fitness now.
- (2022-) Noom
Although my workout level dropped significantly in 2021, it was my diet that caused me the most grief. My stepbrother-in-law had successfully used Noom and after talking to him about it, I decided to sign up.
I am finding the red/yellow/green food categorization works for me. In addition, the integration of Noom with Apple Health automatically adjusts my daily calorie targets for each category. This helps me get some more flexibility around dinner.
Three weeks into the program, I am finding that Noom has definitely increased my rate of weight reduction and put me in a good place to continue to lose weight.
I have been supplementing Noom with some ideas from Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Body, like drinking ice water first thing in the morning and putting cinnamon in my morning coffee.
GPS Watches (Running, Cycling and Hiking)
In 2021, my FitBit Charge finally gave up the ghost. I took the opportunity to look into an option I didn’t have before: Apple watches. I liked the idea that I could move to a single wrist device for all of my fitness activities. I recognized that I would probably give up a bit of accuracy when compared to my Garmin Fenix but I felt the tradeoffs were worth it. I decided to go for the SE version which seemed to be the best value at the time.
I’ve been really happy with the Apple Watch SE; it does a lot more than my FitBit ever did and it is perfectly serviceable as a device to track workouts, especially the relatively simple ones I am doing now. I still have my Garmin Fenix 3 as a backup.
- (2010-) Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale
I am surprised I didn’t mention my Withings Wifi Body Scale back in 2016. It has been a great piece of gear for twelve years now. The body fat % is often a little noisy on a day to day basis but the long-term trend is pretty good,
The best thing about a Wifi-enabled scale is that it pushes my daily weight and % fat into all of my software tools. This simplifies much of the data entry I need to make.
- (2022-) NordicTrack C1750 Treadmill
What a surprise this has been. Robin had suggested that we get a treadmill so that we could comfortably workout when the weather was not conducive to being outside (-10 degrees C or the mud season). Everyone in the house liked the idea, so I decided to get a higher-end commercial machine: a NordicTrack C1750.
While the machine is extremely well-built, it is the display and the iFit software application that impressed us the most. The sheer number of preplanned workouts mean everyone has found something interesting to watch while working out. I’ve done walking in Wales and running in Vietnam; Robin is running in Paris; Becky is hiking with dwarves in New Zealand and Lily is running everywhere.
- (2015-) SportTracks.Mobi
I continue to use SportTracks as my main fitness data repository. I really like the ability to consolidate everything in one place.
- (2021-) HealthMate iOS App
I use Withings’ HealthMate app to move the data from my scale into other apps and to get a better breakdown of my sleep quality.
- (2015-) TrendWeight
TrendWeight is a great web app for taking weight scale data and computing/displaying it using the methodology described by John Walker in his online book, The Hacker’s Diet.
- (2021-) Apple Activity Watch App/Health iOS App
The Activity Watch app basically replaces the functionality of my old Fitbit Charge. Since I have been using the Apple Watch SE for workouts as well, the Health iOS app is constantly up to date with my current calorie burn over and above my baseline. This feeds Noom throughout the day, adjusting my calorie target over the day.
One aspect of the Apple Watch SE that was a bit painful was getting data to and from the watch, both in real-time and after workouts. The iSmoothRun App pushes outdoor workout results to SportTracks directly. The ECHO App allows me to link my Apple Watch SE to the NordicTrack treadmill for real-time heart rate monitoring. I can then save off the workout in iFit as a tcx file for importing in SportTracks.