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http://www.gadgetspeak.com/blog/detail.rhtm/656244/New_Year_s_Resolutions_How_s_your_fitnes.html
Jan 27, 2012

New Year's Resolutions? How's your fitness promise going? 

Ki Fit armband fitness sensor and display
click to enlarge

It's almost the end of January already so maybe mentioning New Year's Resolutions seems a little late - many such promises are forogtten not long after the chimes that start the New Year!

One of the most common areas that we all promise ourselves are either to get fit or loose weight, or both! Did you promise to stick to the latest diet you heard about only to find it totally incompatible with living a hectic life?

A much better approach is to exercise - even moderately. Taking the stairs rather than the lift. Walking to the local shop rather than driving. Dusting down that bike you've had unused in the shed for the last five years!

How do you know how much exercise is enough? Did you brisk walk to the shop really balance out that rather yummy cream cake you found when you were there?

Gadgets - that's what you need. There must be a gadget that help you keep track of all that hard work and actually tell you when you've walked, run or climbed off those extra calories you couldn't resist.

One of the latest gadgets to hit the market is the "Ki Fit". The main component is a special armband, which you keep on 24 hours a day - yes even when you're sleeping, although I suspect you may want to remove it for the shower! Packed with technical wizardry the armband continually measures what your body is doing, collecting an amazing 5,000 data readings per minute storing all that data in memory.

Ki Fit stats display
click to enlarge

As well as measuring the usual things we all associate with fitness and weight loss, the Ki Fit also measures your sleep patterns - how long you slept and how good that sleep was. Huge amounts of research has gone into the importance of sleep showing longer sleep helping athletes performance and how sleep patterns affect weight loss. While we all recognise that sleep is important it's actually a very difficult thing to measure. Just how well did you sleep last night? Did your promises of an early night really come to fruition?

The Ki Fit monitors this for you along with standard metrics such as steps taken, level of physical activity and the resulting calorie burn. With this information you can start to understand how your body works and what works best for your body allowing you to potentially make some simple changes to your lifestyle that'll give more benefit than any number of faddy diets.

Of course having all this data locked in the armband isn't a huge amount of help, and simply knowing how many calories you've burnt doesn't help you compare that with the number you consumed. For this you import your data into a Ki Fit web-application which stores your data and lets you record an accurate food diary (no - the armband as clever as it is doesn't look over your shoulder and work out that you're currently devouring a cream eclaire!). The application is paid for on a subscription basis so you pay as you go.

While I don't particularly have a weight issue I do like to try and stay in shape and I suspect that having numbers to play with would be quite a boost to a fitness regime!

I've not had a chance to play with the Ki Fit but it does look like a very interesting development. If you have one please do leave some comments below and let us all know how well it has helped you stick to your resolutions!

There's more information on the Ki Performance web-site.

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