Smart monitor: Clever gadgets for your on board gym
by Jeremy White
Want to stay fit? Then wear your heart rate on your sleeve, says Jeremy White...
If you are going down the route of charting your fitness with the same degree of fastidiousness you would chart your next voyage, wearables are the ideal branch of technology to help with this. They are now accurate (early Fitbits could be up to 23bpm off your real heart rate), reliable and extremely detailed, providing reams of data. There are two distinct options to go for: pro or casual. Casual wearables are the ones you know already, the devices that try to be stylish and offer a nice overall performance. Pro choices usually throw style out of the window in favour of being the very best performing gadget in their class, and as such are normally a little trickier to operate.
It comes as no surprise that Apple has been winning the race for the finest casual wearable. You can choose from expensive ceramic versions, as well as luxury Hermès ones, but for fitness freaks I would suggest the new Nike Apple Watch 3 (£400, apple.com) with Sportloop. Not only is this the latest and best iteration of the Apple Watch, boasting built-in cellular capability (so you need never take your phone on a run again), it also has a faster dual-core processor, a barometric altimeter, heart rate sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope. It’s even water resistant to 50 metres – so you can also go diving with it. The special Nike version also has an in-ear audio-guided run setting, which has a Nike+ Run Club coach offering tips and encouragement while you exercise.
If you want to go uber serious, look no further than the Garmin Forerunner 935 (£470, garmin.com). This hardcore wearable is a running and triathlon GPS sports watch, and a whole lot more. With its built-in heart rate monitor, activity and sleep tracking, notifications from a linked smartphone, barometric altimeter and compass, plus supreme battery life, this comfortable 49g watch has, frankly, got it all (apart from good looks). The Forerunner 935 is, in effect, a professional trainer on your wrist, but, unlike the intuitive Apple Watch, be prepared to spend some time working out how to get the best from it.
A full set of dumbbells takes up a lot of room, which is fine in a gym, but on board your boat space is always a premium. What would be useful therefore would be a set of weights that were comprehensive yet somehow compact – which is precisely what the PowerBlock Elite dumbbells ($468, powerblock.com) are. Select the colour code of the desired weight for each dumbbell, slot in the lock at that colour and lift out the weight, leaving the unwanted sections behind. It’s easy and effortless. If only the exercise was as well.