Gadgets and technology recommended by Ben Coomber
Posted 08-08-2019 | Updated
Living a healthy and fit life is helped by useful gadgets, and its good to know of companies that are making awesome products, apps and technology that can help us get data to use to determine the changes we should make to get better results.
This blog is a list of everything I personally use, like, or just recommend given the scenario it should be used in. All links I give you will be directly to the website so if you choose to purchase it, awesome, crack on. I’ll also tell you if I personally use it currently, have done in the past, or have experimented with it and recommend it.
I’ve been at this health & fitness game for 15 years now, so hopefully being a lifelong guinea pig for all this stuff I can pass on the useful bits I like and endorse.
NOTE: In the pursuit of honesty, do I make money from any of my recommendations, yes, but only the amazon book links and Blinkest, I have an amazon affiliate account (which is available to all) so I earn a very small % of a book sale, but that’s it, otherwise all links are direct to the company’s website.
Here we go, let’s start with some basics that help you live a healthy life…
Tupperware: Sounds basic and straight forward, but an awesome range of Tupperware helps no end to store healthy food and keep you right. Most buy 99p tubs from budget stores, and while that is great, I don’t recommend it, the seals don’t last all that long, they warp out of shape in a dishwasher, and are often harder to clean as they are poorly designed. I also find they scratch easier which then overtime is easily stained and harbours food smells.
Paying more is a worthwhile investment. I’d personally check out your local supermarket or homeware store and just really get a feel for quality, how it clips together, and if its good at high heat. Also ensure they are BPA free, and think of all the ways you like to store food and if anything over buy, have options for those days you forget to wash up. If you live in a house with limited storage also think about sets that fit into one another. I’d also think about insulted lunch boxes or bags, or anything else that can help you carry and store your food in the way that you want it, enhancing your ability to live a fit and healthy live, always with the food you want.
Water bottle: It’s essential, carrying about the fluids you need to stay at your best. I’d personally recommend a metal bottle that you can store both hot and cold fluids in, that is also insulated. That way whatever you put in it will stay at the temperature you want it to, and will always taste good cause its metal and no fluids ever stain metal as a material. Depending on how you organise yourself and how much you drink, and if you travel about a fair bit, I would get 2 as a minimum, if I’m out for the day I’ll often take Awesome Performance Blend mixed in one and filtered water in the other. Plus metal also keeps your fluids fresh, and is the most durable water bottle you can get. And when it is dead, it can be recycled. Winning. I love these so much we made them over at Awesome Supplements, check them out on the product page here: https://store.awesomesupplements.co.uk/
Also consider a protein shaker and tubs that you might want to carry supplements in.
There are LOTS on the market, but this is the one that I use. It’s not that pretty but it sits quietly doing its job out in my utility room which is away from any directly sunlight (Important to minimise bacterial growth in water that sits) and close to a tap for refilling. For me it produces the best water and is very cheap over time. Yes there is an expense up front, but it’s totally worth it, you only have to replace the filter once per year and the rocks every 2 years, so works out around £80 every 2 years, which is really good (unless you feel the water quality change over time, which means you might be drinking more than the average and need to replace it sooner). It’s not a plumed in system (not many have good remineralisation if plumed in, this system sits in the mineral tray getting the minerals from the rocks), so that makes it cheaper in comparison to some. But importantly it filters the water through different volcanic rocks then it remineralises it in a mineral rock tray. Honestly, such good water, love it.
Gym/fitness bag: Ensure you buy one that has enough space for everything you need, always giving you the options for wherever you’re about to travel. I have a pretty big one from Reebok, it’s got a compartment for wet swimming gear, plenty of room for all my gym gadgets to live in it 24/7 (gym chalk, wrist wraps, lifting shoes, tub of Awesome Electrolytes, my gym notebook, goggles for swimming, warm up band) and has both handles and a holdall strap. Nice, big, simple, well made.
I’ve also got one of their simple backpacks with a laptop holding space in it and front pocket, nice and simple for light days out where I want to carry minimal stuff. Black too.
Training shoes: Both of my training shoes are from Inov8. I have their FastLift Olympic lifting shoes which I wear for squatting, Olympic lifting and similar leg training: https://www.inov-8.com/fastlift-335-mens-lifting-shoe
And for general gym work, lifting, moving, running, whatever, I use their F-lite
Have a look and see what suits you, big fan of the fit and lightweight nature of their shoes. Reebok shoes are also good, got a pair of their Crossfit all round training shoes too, good variety of colours and styles too.
Training gear: My training gear is a mixture of Under Armour and Canterbury, I like both their quality and performance, big fan of these training shorts from Under Armour, the movement you get is superb and if you have a phone in your pocket you barely feel it, sticks to your leg, dead clever: https://www.underarmour.co.uk/en-gb/mens-ua-mk-1-18cm-shorts/1312292.html
I’m a rugby man and love Canterbury, their hoodie is SO nice and fits a dream: https://www.canterbury.com/thermoreg-full-zip-hoody-p26648
There’s only one place for supplements: https://awesomesupplements.co.uk/
This is the brand of supplements that I passionately created back in 2016 because I was fed up of all the bold claims, over hyped products and under dosing that was rife in the fitness industry. And it still is today, but it’s got better since we launched, I feel we’ve had a really positive shift to more transparency in the fitness industry over the last few years and I’d like to think we’ve had a hand in that. Awesome Supplements prides itself on the highest quality products that I’m personally happy to consume and thus sell to others, being honest with you on what you might need and why, being vegan and plant based where possible (only one of our products isn’t suitable for vegans) and being good for the environment where possible with our packaging and shipping. Oh, and everything we do tastes awesome, promise, who likes a half flavoured protein shake…
If you want to read what supplements might be right for you, and why, hit this link where I go into detail on supplement use for beginners, intermediates and advanced:
Audio learning: I like 3 mediums, the obvious which is podcasts, and I would like to think you’re already tuned into mine:
It’s also available on Android podcasting apps, Spotify, SoundCloud, Stitcher, YouTube etc.
I like Audible for audio learning, simple and if you buy the 3 book bundles its nice and cost effective:
I’m also listening to a lot of Blinks, from a company called Blinkist. They take a book and distil the key learnings down into 7-10 two minute blinks, I like it and enables me to power learn in small chunks, which suits me for where I’m at currently and my learning aims:
Phone apps: Health on the iPhone, a nice simple app to see how many steps you’ve done in a day if you don’t have a tracking watch, I often look at it to simply see if I’ve been active enough, as its all too easy to walk nowhere, but its super important.
MyFitnessPal: Probably the most well-known calorie tracking app, I also like Chronometer for better micronutrient data. I don’t use either personally as I like things to keep things simpler for myself, and I have a lot of knowledge on the calories of foods, so I can have an accurate more freestyled approach. I explain more in my blog HERE on how I track my food.
My WOD: A simple app that’s decent for tracking Crossfit progress with single movements in the gym and WODs, worth checking out.
Smart watches: I’m afraid I have no smart watch recommendations, I’m not a fan personally, for me. I’m an intuitive person, I know when I’ve slept badly, I know when I’ve moved a lot and when I haven’t, I know when I want to look at my phone, it gives me data I already know if I just ask the question of myself and if I’m in tune with my body. Thus I don’t use one, for me it’s a waste of money and I just use a simple Casio watch to tell the time and use as a gym timer. For many smart watches are very beneficial, letting you know if you need more steps etc, but it’s just not for me. I’m sure plenty of your friends have smart watches they can talk you through the benefits of theirs.
There’s also a ton of blogs online – which I personally feel is a big paralysing as there are so many now. So ask around, discuss the pros and cons and see what watch is right for you. If it helps a good few people I know have Apple smart watches, but also Fitbit watches. And for the hardcore endurance types Garmin seem top notch. But that’s as far as my smart watch opinion goes. I like minimal technology in my life, personally. I only use what I really need and nothing more.
Earphones: I personally use Apple Earbuds, they stay in, have good sound, and are perfect for me as a business owner with travel, talking on the phone, learning on audio etc. They’ve also got great battery life and all round I’m a big fan. I’ve had two pairs now, first pair lasted 2-3 years before I got another paid, and that wasn’t because they broke, the sound quality and punch just started to drop off around the 2-3 year mark. Worth the investment for me.
Otherwise for sound quality I’ve always liked Bose. But I would personally go into a good music / tech and try them, see them, compare price, or listen to music through a friends headphones. I personally always like to experience and use things like this before I buy, another reason I don’t do online clothes shopping, I like to look and feel the clothes and it’s a massive waste of my time if I have to return it, so I just wait till I’m shopping on the high street or in an airport and look/try/use then and then make a purchase decision. I also find you spend all night looking at reviews and blogs and all sorts trying to make a decision, another massive waste of time for me, so I just shop, experience, then make a decision and buy it.
Sleep and your bed: I think your sleep environment is and should be a key focal point for optimisation. One of my big purchases when I bought my house was an amazing bed. We went around all the bedding shops, gave them a full test run and ultimately decided on what we liked, and put down the cash. I think it was about a £1000 mattress, but I feel it was a very worthy investment as I spend a 1/3 of my life in it. Ours is a pocket sprung mattress with a thin topper, about 1 inch. Find what you like, invest, and get some super comfy sheets and pillows to accompany it as well as black out blinds – especially if you live in the city.
Travel cup: I hate getting coffee in a cup that I know might go into landfill, it haunts me. I’m a big recycler and just don’t get not putting stuff in the recycling when it can be recycled, the thought of how much waste we put in landfill is mind boggling. I’m often taking things home or picking up rubbish on a walk just so I can put it into recycling when I’m home. Anyway, rant over. Get a nice coffee/keep cup and carry it around, plus you get discount at most coffee shops for getting your coffee in it and not using their cups, that again might go into landfill.
Kitchen scales: Know what you’re eating with a quick weigh. I keep it in a draw where I prep my food so I can quickly whip it out, measure, take a note, job done. This is a cheap/effective one from Amazon: https://amzn.to/32WBGF3
Pinterest: A good social platform for getting food and recipe inspiration. A foodies hide out. Otherwise there are plenty of cookbooks that are good on amazon, these are a few I like:
- 5 Ingredients, Jamie Oliver: https://amzn.to/2YfLzyR
- The Food Medic: https://amzn.to/2Yn404U
- Fit Foodie: https://amzn.to/2yopbnF
- Fitter Food: https://amzn.to/2YfeJ0U
- BOSH, Vegan Cookbook: https://amzn.to/2GFqjrt
- Awesome Cookbook, plant-based: https://store.awesomesupplements.co.uk/
I hope that helps and you see a few things that you think could benefit your health, fitness and performance. If you feel I’ve missed anything or want my opinion on anything, drop me a message on social media and I’ll reply and add it to this list, which I’m sure will be ever evolving.
Experience one of my 5-day challenges and let’s optimise your body, learn cool stuff and above all get Awesome(r)