Creating fitness and diet goals can be overwhelming. There are so many different workouts, recipes and tips all over Instagram, blogs and other websites it’s hard to know what to choose and what’s actually going to work. And once you’ve chosen a workout plan, it’s just as difficult to maintain it. So make your transition to a healthier lifestyle as easy as possible by investing in the proper equipment to ensure that you accomplish your health goals the smart way.

Track your workouts and celebrate your milestones

My dad has a very established fitness routine. He has been running every morning for over 40 years, he has completed over 10 marathons and even more half-marathons. His work recently put on a fitness challenge that involved everyone tracking their daily steps with a Fitbit. Even though my dad already has an established fitness routine, this simple challenge has completely re-motivated my dad! For example, if it’s 5pm and he’s at 8000 steps, he’ll now push himself to go out for an evening walk to get to his daily goal of 10,000 steps.

This is the perfect example of how activity trackers can re-energize your fitness routines and keep you motivated.  Two high-quality activity trackers are the Garmin vivoactive GPS Watch and the new Fitbit Blaze. Garmin has long been considered one of best running watch companies on the market, but now they have created a watch for people that do more than just pound the pavement. Before you begin your workout, you choose the sport you will be doing on the touch screen. After that, the Garmin will track your activity while the GPS tracks your distance and route. When using the Garmin with a chest heart rate monitor, it will also accurately track and display your heart rate throughout your workout. Once paired via Bluetooth, all this data and your improvements can then be easily viewed on the app through your phone or tablet. Once paired, it will also alert you of any text messages or emails from your smartphone. I also love that this smartwatch is water resistant up to 50 meters so you don’t need to worry about sweating, showering or swimming with it.

Another great option for tracking your fitness is the Fitbit Blaze Fitness Tracker. This new addition to the Fitbit family goes even further to better track your activity. In addition to tracking your steps, the SmartTrack feature automatically recognizes continuous activity which allows it to identify the activity you’re doing and log it. The Multi-Sport mode can also be activated to give you accurate, real-time stats on the watch screen during your workout and the GPS will let the Fitbit accurately track your route and pace. These accurate stats are in part calculated based on your heart rate, which is tracked with the PurePulse tracker on the back of the watch so there is no need to wear a chest heart rate strap. By tracking your pulse, the Fitbit is able to show you at what times you were in a fat-burning heart rate zone or a cardio zone. If you need a change of routine, FitStar will coach you through new workouts with on-screen instructions.  All your daily activity and sleep data and long-term trends can be easily viewed on the Fitbit app on your smartphone or tablet and you can also log food and set goals. If you are someone that may need extra motivation from time to time, the Fitbit app also lets you compare your daily steps to your other friends with Fitbits. Seeing that your best friend got themselves off the couch and out for a run is bound to motivate you to do the same. Once synced to your phone via Bluetooth you can also receive text message and call notifications on the watch screen. I love that you can also control your music from the screen to make sure that your music matches your workout.

If you find that competition really motivates you, you might also want to sync your Garmin vivoactive or Fitbit Blaze to the Strava app. It’s a similar concept to the community that Fitbit has created on their app but it can be used by people using a variety of different activity trackers. This app syncs with your Fitbit or Garmin and publishes the route and pace of your run or bike ride to your profile. You can then publish these results to the friends that you follow along with any photos from your workout and also view their workout details. What’s cool is that if anyone else in the Strava community has completed the same route as you, it will compare your pace with theirs and rank you accordingly. This will motivate you to improve your own time and eventually gain #1 spot!

Use the right tools to get the results you want

Fitness trackers aren’t the only helpful tools that can help you train smarter. What products will help you depends on what sort of workouts you do and where your motivation pitfalls lie. For me, a good playlist heavily dictates whether I have a good workout or not and therefore a good pair of headphones are a key component to my healthy lifestyle. The JayBird X2 In-Ear Sound Isolating Bluetooth Headphones are a great choice. Rather than directly attaching to your smartphone or music player via a cord, these headphones connect to your device via Bluetooth which eliminates the annoyance of having to stop mid-run to de-tangle your cords. The SignalPlus technology ensures that your music and calls are transmitted through the headphones without signal drops or interruptions. These headphones are some of the highest rated headphones on our website because the earpiece design also provides rich, crisp sound quality. Lastly, they are sweat proof so there is no need to worry about damage from an enthusiastic workout or heavy rain.

Another common motivational pitfall is bad weather. Set yourself up for success by investing in a treadmill. By having a treadmill in your home, all you have to do is head to the next room and start sweating! The NordicTrack X9i Incline Trainer Treadmill imitates running outside by allowing you to adjust the incline from 0 to 40 percent. There are also 44 built-in workouts with preset speeds and inclines to give you effective workouts. The included wireless chest strap connects to the treadmill via Bluetooth and gives continuous readings of your heart rate on the 7-inch touchscreen display to ensure you are within the right training zone. Stay distracted (or motivated) by popping your tablet into the tablet holder or plugging in your smartphone or music player into the front console and playing your favorite playlist through the 3-inch speakers.

You are what you eat

Living healthy doesn’t just involve working out, it also involves your diet. Embarking on a journey to improve both your eating and your fitness can be a daunting task so it’s important to make healthy food prep as easy as possible. This will increase the chances that you stick healthy food choices rather than reverting back to old habits. The Vitamix Professional 300 Ruby 1.89L 1440-Watt Countertop Blender is worth the investment. This blender is one of the most powerful blenders on the market. It has a 2.2-peak horsepower motor that propels stainless steel blades up to 240mph so you can easily blend anything, even ice or hard nuts. This power paired with the 11 speed options allows you to quickly and easily make a wide variety of healthy dips, sauces, soups or smoothies. The large 64oz container means it’s big enough to make portions for the whole family and the vibration dampening properties ensures that blending isn’t too noisy an affair. When making your favorite smoothie recipe, add a scoop of Kaizen Naturals Whey Isolate Protein Powder. This powder is high in protein but low in fat and carbohydrates so you know that you’re getting the most bang for your buck with every sip. It’s made from all natural ingredients and is also gluten free and lactose-reduced.

Deciding to improve your health by setting fitness and diet goals can be daunting. It’s hard enough to make an initial plan but it’s even harder to stay motivated as the weeks go on. Make every workout count by investing in an activity tracker that will ensure that your activity is efficient and well documented. If you have motivation issues, invest in high-quality headphones to blast your pump-up playlist or get a treadmill to make sure you still run on rainy days. If food prep exhausts you, make it a breeze by investing in a high quality blender. Balancing your work, family and health is hard enough so use these products to reach your goals the smart way!

Lucy Woodhead
My focus is to discuss tech products that are trendy and in demand amongst the younger generation. Over the years I have reviewed, compared and wrote about a wide variety of products, including headphones, speakers, sound docks, iPods and mp3 players. With Best Buy’s launch of VIVA and Home & Lifestyle, I have had the opportunity to expand my focus to include a younger person’s perspective on many of these great products as well!