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Gadgets, Apps & Tools To Hack Your Fitness & Mental Health In 2024

I recently stumbled on this masterpiece from exactly 1 year ago and it got me thinking about the fickle and transient nature of health and fitness, and some of fitness hacks that have worked for me personally.

That’s right, our search for the quick-fix silver-bullet shows no sign of abating; we find it, get bored, realise it’s a case of The Emperor’s New Clothes (again), and then move onto the next phase of the quest.

So in 2023 I listed the following as top “fitness hacks that still work in 2023”:

  1. 10,000 Steps Per Day
  2. Daily Creatine Supplementation
  3. Sprint & Lift Heavy
  4. Intermittent Fasting
  5. Fitness Trackers (Oura Ring)

Bonus Hacks

  1. Ice baths
  2. Daily Hydralite

And upon revisiting the list, I gotta say: it’s a solid list. 

I mean: call me an idiot-savant, but I nailed it.

I mean: I’m not the kinda guy to say “I told you so,” but: I told you so.

But enough gloating. This was a fairly simple list to prepare and, therefore, an untrained monkey could’ve come up with something similar.

The only remote-ly fad-ish thing on there is the ice-bath, which reached ‘peak Bondi’ in 2023 and will likely cool off in 2025.

I’m personally a big fan of the ice-bath, mainly for psychological rather than physiological reasons. Most of the studies I’ve read suggest there aren’t really any physical benefits from jumping in a tub of ice.

However, the act of forcing yourself into something your mind is screaming blue-murder against, is fortifying and challenging and hard. And doing hard or uncomfortable things is really where the breakthroughs start happening.

Depending on the temp of the ice-bath, I typically try to go for three rounds of 2-3 minutes, interspersed with 3-5 mins in a sauna or jacuzzi. It’s not quite contrast therapy but it is a lovely contrast.

But, I digress. 

Onto the (new) tools & hacks I’m deploying in 2024 to try and improve my overall health and fitness. 

Caveat: I had a minor knee surgery in April 2024 so running and football (or soccer in less developed nations) has been off the table. So pre-surgery I was effectively out of commission for any meaningful exercise for 4-6 weeks, possibly more.

If you’re like me, then not having the exercise ejector-seat can wreak havoc on your mental state. 

Couple that with a once-in-a-lifetime (fucking better be) family tragedy unravelling in the media / social media before your eyes (I’ll write more on this at some stage), and you become a ticking time-bomb of ill-health.

Bad decisions are made, dark thoughts are had, and soon enough you’re staring into something of an abyss that it feels impossible to lift yourself out of.

But somehow you manage it and you get back on the fitness gravy-train, aided & abetted by the following apps, fitness hacks and gadgets: your veritable partners in fitness.

The Apps, Hacks & Gadgets

1. Polar Heart Rate Monitor

Nicknamed the “nerdy strap” by #superfitkid, this simple piece of kit has been an absolute game-changer for me.

Not only does it track the heart rate across the 5 HR zones for cardio activity, which is handy for ensuring you don’t overtrain, it also tracks the calories burned in a workout (handy for me since I generally take off my Oura Ring when lifting weights).

Heart rate monitors are generally the most accurate trackers for exercise – far more so than other wearables or watches that aren’t strapped onto your heart…funny, that.

2. Calorie King

I’m currently tracking every single calorie I consume in an effort to scientifically shift the pre & post-surgery timber.

There are now apps, I believe, that take a photo of food / your meal and instantly decipher the macros and calories contained therein.

But, for now, I’m staying analogue and weighing my food and then typing it into Calorie King to get the deets. NutritionIX is another decent conversion site.

3. Creatine HCL

Creatine is perhaps (along with whey protein) the single most widely-used and the most widely agreed-upon supplement out there. This is no small feat in the fitness world, where nobody can agree on anything, and for every so-called “study” on the efficacy of something, there’s a counter so-called “study” pointing to the opposite.

But…(ain’t there always a ‘but’?)

Creatine monohydrate, whilst effective, does lead to a bit of water retention and possibly puffiness.

Enter creatine HCL, the Batman of the supplement world.

Creatine HCL bring hydrochloride into the supplement and this is more soluble and easily absorbed, resulting in (allegedly) less puffiness and water retention, hence a more effective and practical supplement for someone wanting to experience the benefits of the creatine amino acid but without the potential weight gain via water retention.

4. Reframe App

This app is pretty nifty. 

It teaches you about what happens to your brain when you drink, and why alcohol affects you. 

For me it’s about moderation rather than abstinence: one glass of ice-cold white wine, rather than one bottle of ice-cold white wine.

5. Walking 15,000 Steps A day

‘15,000 steps-a-day’ is the new ‘10,000 steps-a-day’ and I’m here for it. 

If you are able to pull this off (because, like, life), then I practically guarantee you’ll shed weight and become much, much healthier.

This is such a critical and important hack that I’m going to devote an entire post to it, but, for now, take it as read that if you can crack the 15k per day, you’ll be on a path to superior fitness.

6. Food Scales

I know, I know.

I’m now one of “those” guys that weighs their food. Gone are the heady, halcyonic days where you could eat wherever you wanted and still stay snake-hipped and whisper-thin.

Even looking at a cup of tea and 3 biscuits nowadays seems to stack on a kilogram around my mid-rift. Sad times at Ridgemont High.

This $10 bargain (pictured below and linked here) is an absolute saviour when it comes to portioning you food and snacks. I now smugly have one 25g serve of crisps instead of an entire 150g packet. And 100g increments are all my favourite vegetables – both of them.

1 5kg Kitchen Scale


To my mind, most of the ‘best’ fitness hacks aren’t really hacks at all. They are tried and tested methods that achieve results and have stood the test of time.

So-called ‘hacks’ are often gimmicky fads that can be great for introducing people to fitness or getting back on the fitness horse, but all-to-often they don’t survive. until they come back around again many years later when people have forgotten why they fell out of favour last time.

I fully expect to write this post again next year with the same 5 ‘hacks’ up there again. Rinse & repeat.

Yours in fitness, SFD

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