I originally started yoga because I was never diligent with stretching after running and I figured that doing yoga was a good opportunity to trap me in a room and force me to stretch properly. I had also heard that it could be great complementary strength training. However, after I started doing it I realized it was so much more than that. Doing yoga is one of the only times of the day where I am able to truly focus on me and my well being. It allows me to focus on my breathing and this inward concentration has helped to decrease anxiety and be more relaxed throughout the day.
Though yoga is a very inward form of exercise, there are some types of wearable technology that can help you monitor your progress and improve your practice.
Medical studies have proven that the way we breathe affects our health. Certain breathing techniques can help to reduce stress, aid relaxation, increase energy, help manage chronic pain and improve heart rate variability (HRV). Our ability to properly breathe is affected by other physical body aspects, such as our posture. The Prana, a small, clip-on activity tracker, that is coming out soon, aims to be your personal health coach. The Prana will guide you through various breathing patterns depending on the time of day and what you want to accomplish, such as de-stress or bedtime. These breathing patterns are based on various ancient exercises, such as Yoga and Tai Chi. If you choose, you can work through the active breathing exercise as a game, going through the Zen Garden and collecting flowers. You will receive feedback after every exercise to make you continue to improve. In addition, it will send you intermittent alerts throughout the day to encourage you to breathe or maintain proper posture, which is helpful feedback after a yoga class. Once you stand, the Prana automatically becomes a step tracker.
Though I enjoy yoga, I also stay active in other ways, such as running. If you are the same, you may prefer to choose an activity tracker that allows you to track a variety of sports like the Misfit Shine. This small disk shaped activity tracker can either be worn on as a bracelet or clipped onto your shirt, pants or shoe. Placing it on the shoe is recommended for activities such as cycling or running as it increases the accuracy of the step counting. Speaking of accuracy, many reviewers agree that the Misfit Shine is the most accurate activity tracker on the market, even when being worn as a bracelet. Once you’ve performed the activity, you can tag it with a wide choice of activities, including swimming, cycling, soccer, tennis and yoga. Your daily progress to your activity goals will appear as lights on the screen and it is also waterproof at up to 50 meters. In addition to activity tracking, the Misfit Shine will automatically detect sleep and will display your sleep patterns on the Misfit app, compatible with iOS, Windows and Android.
Another activity tracker that is great for people that keep active in creative ways is the Jawbone UP3. It has a sleek, durable design and tracks your activity, sleep and calories burned with accuracy due to bioimpedance sensors. These sensors automatically also track your resting health rate, which many activity trackers on the market don’t. You can allocate your activity time to a wide range of different sports, and for non-step based activity, like yoga, you can still monitor your calories burned. I also love that the Jawbone UP3 has Smart Coach technology. This technology gives you insight into what you’re eating and how it will effect your health. It has a food database, can scan barcodes and also search restaurant menus to let you know exactly what you’re eating. You can then count those calories and log those meals to keep track of what you’re eating throughout the day and week. Smart Coach technology will also give you recommendations on how to maximize your sleep based on the data it receives. If you prefer a clip-on activity tracker, Jawbone also offers the Jawbone UP MOVE fitness tracker which has the same features as the Jawbone UP3.
Wearable technology has been mainly marketed to those wanting to track cardio intensive activity, such as running and cycling, but some activity trackers are also geared towards those that also keep healthy with non-step based activities like yoga. Breathing is one of the crucial elements of yoga and the Prana will coach you through improving your breathing to improve your health. If you stay active by doing yoga and other sports, the Misfit Shine can track your calories burned through a variety of activity with an impressive amount of accuracy. In addition to adjusting your activity based on the sport you were doing, the Jawbone UP3 tracks your baseline heart rate and Smart Coach will give you advice on making healthy food choices and improving your activity and sleep patterns. By doing activities such as yoga, you obviously already see your health as a priority. Investing in a wearable activity tracker will take your health one step further by allowing you to track your activity, food and sleep and see your accomplishments over time.
Check out the amazing new selection of wearable tech that will help you manage your fitness and health at Best Buy