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Technology

Five fitness gadgets to help you shed kilos after Chinese New Year indulgence

Earbuds, headphone, smart weighing scales, activity tracker and blood pressure monitor – all you need to keep you entertained, on course for your fitness goals, and above all healthy as you shed the kilos after Lunar New Year

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 February, 2018, 6:16pm
UPDATED : Monday, 19 February, 2018, 7:31pm

Are you already experiencing post-Chinese New Year regret about the amount of food you ate over the last few days? We’ve checked out some of the latest gadgets that can help you in your journey to reverse some of the weight gains and steer you towards a healthier Year of the Dog.

Aftershokz Trekz Air

If you love listening to music while cycling or jogging on the streets, then the Aftershokz Trekz Air can help you stay safe.

The lightweight bone conduction headphone wraps snugly but comfortably around the back of the head, leaving ears uncovered to retain situational awareness of one’s surroundings. The bone-conduction technology sends sound via vibrations directed at your cheekbones, and works great in scenarios where the use of a normal headphones isn’t possible or desirable.

The company says that the slimmed down Trekz Air is one of the lightest on the market, and is IP55 certified for protection against dust and sweat.

A rechargeable lithium ion battery delivers six hours of Bluetooth music playback on a single charge via a mini-USB port.

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Music fidelity from the Trekz Air was surprisingly good, though it won’t win any awards on this front. The vibration emitted by the device does feel a bit ticklish at higher volumes, especially when playing songs with heavy bass. This is easily countered by turning down the dial using the physical volume controls, though this renders the music susceptible to being drowned out on noisy streets or when a strong wind is blowing.

Price: HK$1,299 (US$149.99) from fortress.com.hk

Jabra Elite Sport (2017)

If you plan to work out in a gym or prefer a more traditional pair of earphones, then check out the 2017 edition of the Jabra Elite Sport. While the upgraded version of the Jabra Elite Sport looks exactly like the first-generation device, the newer model has a significantly longer With battery lifeof 4.5 hours and two full battery recharges incorporated into the charging case, this new model gives you a total of 13.5 hours of use away from a wall socket.

The most notable feature of the new Elite Sportis the built-in heart rate monitor, which sends accurate heart rate readings to the companion app on your smartphone. This is useful not just to prevent yourself from overdoing it, but also to stay in the most effective heart rate zone for burning off those holiday treats.

The quality of music playback is better than that of most other ear buds designed for sports use, while IP67 protection for water and sweat resistance means there’s no need to worry about a light drizzle during outdoor activities.

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The Jabra Elite Sport (2017) comes with a trio of ear wings, foam tips and silicone ear buds in the package for ensuring the right fit. While finding the right combination still requires some experimentation, it is a one-time process. Be sure to fit the ear buds properly before using them, or risk one or both ear buds falling out onto the treadmill or pavement.

Price: HK$2,099 from www.price.com.hk

The Fitbit Aria 2 is a wireless weighing machine designed to tell you the truth by measuring and logging your weight over time. Your weight and other statistics such as body fat percentage and BMI (body mass index) show up on the bright built-in LED display seconds after stepping on, while the data is seamlessly synchronised via Wi-fi to Fitbit’s cloud for review either on the web dashboard or the free Fitbit smartphone app.

Fitbit Aria 2

The most appealing aspect of the Aria 2 is its ability to let you pore through the statistics at your leisure. They can be viewed by week, month or year, means you get an unvarnished data-driven picture of where your weight is trending.

Fitbit says the Aria 2 improves on the original Aria with greater accuracy, and minor tweaks for greater usability and easier set-up. Little else appears to have changed, however.

Up to eight users are recognised by the Aria 2, with the scale automatically recognising individuals and synchronises their data to the correct account.The Aria 2 is powered by AA batteries.

Price: HK$1,109 pre-ordered fromwww.yohohongkong.com

Garmin Vivofit 4

If you are looking for a basic activity tracker to encourage yourself to move more, be sure to check out the newly released Vivofit 4. Not only does Garmin’s latest tracker come with a sunlight-readable colour display, but it also does away with the need to be recharged. Indeed, Garmin claims the watch battery inside the Vivofit 4 lasts up to a full year before it has to be replaced.

To be clear, sacrifices had to be made to stretch the battery life – the first victim being the GPS. The result is a slimmer product that is waterproof when swimming or taking a shower.

Of course, the display is rather tiny (11mm by 11mm), though it works well thanks to the colour display. The customisable 88x88 pixel screen shows both the time and a coloured “move bar” that fills when you don’t move around enough.

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Four weeks of data can be stored on the Vivofit 4, which is synchronised to Garmin’s smartphone app using Bluetooth. The Vivofit 4 is available in white, lime-green, or black, with the interchangeable accessory bands sold separately.

Price: HK$669 from price.com.hk

Omron Smart Elite+

Blood pressure is an important indicator of one’s health, and becomes increasingly important as one ages. Touted as the next generation of blood pressure meters, The just-released Omron Smart Elite+ is a compact device to help you keep an eye on your blood pressure throughout the day.

Accuracy is undoubtedly the key consideration here, and the Japanese-made Smart Elite+ incorporates Omron’s tried and tested technology for accurate readings.

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The self-contained unit wraps around your upper arm, and a blood pressure measurement is initiated with the start-stop button on the control unit. The control unit is built into the arm of the device, and holds the four AAA batteries required to power it. Readings are displayed on the bright, built-in OLED display, and will warn you about body movement and irregular heartbeat.

Though the Smart Elite+ itself stores up to 100 readings, the data can be uploaded through Bluetooth to the companion smartphone app to graphically review heart history and blood pressure data. This gives users the ability to track blood pressure and heart rate readings over time for a realistic overview of improvements or deteriorations.

You should make sure you see a doctor regularly if you have any issues with your blood pressure.

Price: HK$3,285 from sailfish.com.hk