The health kick has begun. My previous attempts to get rid of the Dad Belly have failed. I need help.
At the same time that my health kick was restarting, Beets Blu got in touch with me to ask if I wanted to check out their range of tech health gear. Perfect timing!
First up were the Beets Blu Bluetooth Scales.
They arrived well packaged and with the batteries needed to run them. It’s a good quality set of scales. They’re not plastic – but rather glass and metal with a large, clear digital display. They look slick too.
The instructions were short and sweet but told you everything you needed to know. There were also some handy hints about where scales should be placed to get accurate measurements (not on lino, for example). I got the partner app from the Android store with no fuss, then I was all ready to go. The app works with Apple iPhone (4S and later), iPad (mini, 3, 4, Air) and Android (4.4 and later).
Pairing the phone with the scales was simplicity itself. A couple of button presses and a couple of beeps, and everything was set up. As long as your phone has Bluetooth 4.0 (which most recent ones do) then it’s really that easy.
The scales, when combined with a free app, become an excellent health monitoring system. You are told your weight, obviously, and then your body’s fat & muscle percentage level, and also your BMI. You can adjust the app to display your weight in kg, lbs or stone. You can also sync the app with Google Fit to share your weight / progress, which is a rather smart feature. You’re also given advice by the app on the best time of day to weigh yourself and similar useful tips.
When this comes into its own, however, is when it’s used over a period of time. If you are on a health kick, then this can be used to monitor your progress. The app charts your measurements as you go, simply displaying in a graph how you’re getting on. Perfect if, like me, you’re keen to see if all this bloody exercise and beer avoidance is working!
I’ve been using it for a few weeks now. Week by week, you can easily see how you’re getting on. (Luckily for me, it’s going in a good direction!)
Heart Rate Monitor
The second device from Beets Blu was a Smart Cardio Heart Rate Monitor. Again, working with a range of devices, it’s a handy home device for accurate heart rate readings.
Coming with a soft chest strap (fits chest size 28″ to 48″), it works by placing it over your rib cage with a little lubrication (gel or water) and then linking it up to your phone or tablet with an appropriate app. The app then measures & records your heart rate.
Once the battery is in, it doesn’t need to be switched on. It automatically starts up when it detects your heartbeat and then can be used with a whole selection of apps including RunKeeper, My Fitness Pal, MapMyRun, Endomondo, Strava and many others. Ironically, it found it easier to connect to some 3rd party apps than the app provided by Beets BLU.
I’ve used the heart monitor a few times. The first time was when I was at rest. I was curious to see what my heart beat was when I was relaxed. Ideally, it should be between 60 and 100 bpm, generally the lower the better. I was sitting at 69bpm, which made me quite happy!
There’s also been a couple of times when I’ve been on the exercise bike and used the monitor. It definitely adds an extra dimension to exercising. My targets, when pedalling away on my bike, have always been distance / speed / time. With the monitor, I now set a target of heart rate. I try to get my bpm up to about 120 and break into a sweat. It’s a great motivational tool!
It’s comfortable to wear and does exactly what it’s meant to.
Beets Blu are making some fine, affordable health gadgets that connect seamlessly to your phone / tablet. If you’re looking for another level to your health kick and good, easy ways to monitor your performance, I’d recommend both of these gadgets!