In Winter, it’s easy to think that our outdoor exercise routines need to hibernate. But as Dr. Adam Tenforde, an assistant professor of sports medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, points out, “When it gets into the 40s and 30s, you can still enjoy your regular outside routines, like walking, running, and even cycling.”
Below are 6 fitness trackers and apps created by UK startups that can help you stay active and embrace the outdoors during the colder months, ensuring your fitness journey doesn’t lose steam just because the temperature drops.
Benefits of Winter Exercise
Winter workouts offer unique benefits, according to Dr. Tenforde. “In colder temperatures your heart doesn’t have to work as hard, you sweat less, and expend less energy, all of which means you can exercise more efficiently.” However, it’s crucial to approach cold-weather exercise with care. Dr. Tenforde advises, “You have to respect colder weather and make sure you’re properly prepared.”
This includes wearing layers, protecting your head, hands, and feet, applying sunscreen, staying hydrated, and choosing a safe surface. With these precautions in mind, the fitness trackers and apps we will discuss can help you monitor your activity levels, stay motivated, and safely enjoy the health benefits of exercising in winter.
CORE develops wearable sports tech using core body temperature data to increase performance. The CORE sensor (RRP £229/$281) is a real-time core body temperature sensor with Swiss-made thermal energy transfer technology.
As you heat up, your power and pace decline. The CORE sensor helps you to adapt and improve your performance when you get hot.
Up to now, core body temperature could only be measured continuously using invasive methods like thermometers, probes and electronic pills or in a controlled environment.
The CORE sensor is the first wearable device that continuously and accurately measures core body temperature on the go.
CORE works with a number of pro athletes, who are able to share quotes and interviews discussing how they use CORE Sensor and utilise the data to optimise their performances. A few below:
Men’s Pro Tour Teams (Ineos Grenadiers; Soudal Quickstep; Lidl Trek; Moviestar; Bora Hansgrohe; Astana; Q36.5)
Women’s Pro Tour Teams (Canyon//SRAM; Israel Premier Tech Roland; FDJ-Suez; AG Insurance Soudal Quickstep)
Pro Triathletes (Kristian Blummenfelt, current and first ever to hold the Ironman, Olympic and World Triathlon champion titles at the same time; Gustav Iden, Ironman 70.3 World Champion; Alistair Brownlee, the only male athlete to hold two Olympic titles in the individual triathlon event, winning gold medals in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games)
Wulf Glatz is the founder of CORE. Mechanical engineer by education (Ph.D. ETH Zurich), he launched CORE after witnessing the dramatic pictures of Sara True suffering a heat stroke during the 2019 Frankfurt Ironman.
mymonX is an AI-powered wellness watch that non-invasively analyses glucose levels, heart rate, blood pressure, ECG, body temperature and much more. It’s new but grounded in science and technology. Its deep-tech parent company AITIS has developed technologies in response to research suggesting 1 in 4 chronic wounds are currently misdiagnosed, which led them to create mymonX – empowering people to know about their health currently and continuously.
Medical professionals review personalised monthly reports, adding further credibility to the wearable and its insights. Unlike others who require invasive and isolated ways to monitor glucose, for example, mymonX offers a discrete, preventive watch for everybody to take control of their health.
320 million wearable health devices are shipped globally each year and with 27% of the adult population in the UK owning a wearable health device, the scale of data being generated is vast but fragmented. No single hub exists to centralise the increasing amount of personal health data captured by wearables
WellCell is a digital health app and the first company in the world to aggregate the health data from over 50 wearable health devices and platforms such as Fitbit, Google Fit and Apple Health into one app. It provides a holistic view of your health needs on everything from sleep to nutrition, delivering recommendations and actionable insights via in-app conversational AI.
With such a wide choice of wearable devices on the market, and with each one collecting data in separate apps, useful health data exists in siloes making it overwhelming and difficult for people to digest. WellCell employs a hyper personalised approach with its conversational AI that is trained on more than nine million data points. This means it can extrapolate meaning from users’ health markers and provide guidance in real-time, rather than making generalised assumptions and recommendations.
WellCell was founded by Neil Ruth, a two-time exited startup founder and former Team GB athlete at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. Neil held senior positions at SkyScanner and Lunio before co-founding his previous startups TapTrip and Vessul.
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Bio-Synergy DNA App
The Bio-Synergy DNA app revolutionizes fitness and lifestyle tracking by seamlessly integrating cutting-edge technology with personalized health insights. This comprehensive application provides users with a holistic approach to well-being, leveraging genetic data to tailor fitness and lifestyle recommendations. By analyzing individual DNA profiles, the app generates unique insights into factors such as metabolism, muscle response, and nutrient absorption.
Fitness tracking on the Bio-Synergy DNA app goes beyond generic workout plans. It tailors exercise routines based on genetic predispositions, optimizing training for enhanced results. Whether it’s cardio, strength training, or flexibility exercises, the app designs routines that align with genetic strengths and weaknesses.
Lifestyle tracking encompasses more than just physical activity. The app considers sleep patterns, stress responses, and nutritional needs. Users receive personalized advice on optimizing sleep schedules, managing stress, and choosing an ideal diet based on genetic markers. This individualized approach maximizes the effectiveness of lifestyle changes, promoting sustainable health improvements.
Real-time monitoring allows users to track their progress and make informed decisions about their fitness and lifestyle choices. The Bio-Synergy DNA app empowers individuals to take control of their well-being by harnessing the power of genetic insights for a truly personalized and effective health journey.
Founded in Italy, leading football analytics provider Soccerment has designed an innovative AI driven wearable pair of shinguards to give grassroots football players in the UK immediate, in-depth insights into their athletic and technical performance at the touch of a button on their mobile phone.
The shinguards use sensors to track and provide performance analysis data on things such as total distance covered, expected goals (XG), speed, number of passes, number of shots and shot power plus much more. Data collected from the XSEED shinguards data is then transferred effortlessly through the user-friendly XSEED app, offering players valuable insights on their performance as well as helping them identify areas for growth and comparing themselves to players across the globe. Unlike other wearable XSEED shinguards show data that is useful from an athletic and technical performance helping athletes improve their game and providing data led results not seen outside of the professional game.
Sweatcoin, the most downloaded health and fitness app globally in 2022, is a free step-counting app that gamifies movement and rewards users for their daily steps. Headquartered in the UK and downloaded by over 150 million people across the globe, it aims to act as a behavioural nudge, motivating users to walk 20% more on average.
Sweatcoin’s technology is based on the idea that attaching value to physical movement can be a way to reward people for their activity. The app has a unique verification algorithm pedometer to count a user’s steps and convert them into a digital currency called Sweatcoins, which can be spent on real goods and services from popular brands in the in-app marketplace. The app uses a mobile phone’s step sensor to track movement and eliminate false data.
Other features include the opportunity to compete with friends, ‘boosts’ that can be turned on during periods of exercise, competitive virtual ‘walkathons’ and clubs that can be joined to access exclusive offers and rewards.
In addition, the app includes a ‘Sweatcoin for Good’ zone, which enables users to find out more about the work of a wide range of different charities – from Save the Children to World Wide Fund for Nature, and to ‘donate their steps’ to a cause they care about.