Five Local, Innovative Fitness Products to Try This Spring
Upgrade to an all-new you with help from these Boston-based innovations at the intersection of health and tech.
No one wants to feel like a lab experiment with a clunky fitness tracker recording (and judging) every move. Enter Whoop, a line of low-profile waterproof wrist wearables, biceps bands, and arm sleeves. After about two weeks of gathering your baseline exercise, recovery, and sleep data, it will begin to gently make suggestions about how to optimize your health via an app on your phone—e.g., work out a little harder, go to bed around this time. Best of all, the Boston-based company takes its users’ privacy seriously, with a policy that’s far more robust than the competition. So go ahead and stay up past your bedtime—Big Brother isn’t watching.
You don’t have to be a professional sculler to enjoy this sleek, Cambridge-designed rowing machine. Featuring a dazzling 22-inch touchscreen complete with Bluetooth to support wireless headphones and heart-rate monitors, the Hydrow can be used in “Just Row” mode whenever you’d like—or, for an additional $38 a month, join racing challenges and virtual group fitness classes led by rowing experts.
Ten Percent Happier
After suffering an on-air panic attack in 2004, ABC anchor Dan Harris kick-started his own mental health journey with meditation. Flash-forward 17 years, and Harris now hosts a twice-weekly podcast called Ten Percent Happier while also overseeing a team in Boston that runs a meditation app by the same name. The free version includes basic meditation skills and daily mindfulness reminders, but for $99 a year, members are given more-personalized coaching to improve focus and manage stress—something we could all use as we emerge from our pandemic bubbles.
If you could wear a piece of clothing that effortlessly measured your heart health and empowered you to keep heart disease at bay, wouldn’t you? Soon you’ll be able to thanks to this comfortable, washable smart bra created by MIT alum and 2021 TED Fellow Alicia Chong Rodriguez. Outfitted with sensors, the undergarment collects medical-grade cardiovascular data with the press of a button, so you can incorporate potentially lifesaving information into your everyday routine. Ready to give it a try? The company is actively looking for women (particularly those at risk for heart disease) to beta-test the product before it goes to market; visit the website to learn more.
How many of us have tried to become runners, only to overextend ourselves and end up immobilized with sore muscles, shin splints, or rolled ankles? Whether you’re training for your first 5K or you’re a seasoned mara-thoner, take a gentler approach with help from Cambridge-based Recover Athletics, the first personalized injury-prevention app specifically for runners. Guided foam-rolling sessions, targeted stretches, and “prehab” exercises to strengthen and tone trauma-prone areas will let you rack up the miles while keeping injuries at bay.