Imagine slipping on a pair of glasses that can improve your golf game, give you real-time directions, read books, track your workouts, take pictures, play your favorite tunes – and anything else you like doing on your smartphone or tablet!  It’s not a made-for-Hollywood-science-fiction device, it’s Google Glass, one of more than 200 high-tech wearable devices that are popping up to help you get more out of life.

In fact, a recent post by Juniper Research said the surge in wearable devices is expected to generate an estimated $20 billion by 2018.  For us health and fitness buffs, that means more consumer-friendly gadgets are on the way to help manage weight, drink more water, keep track of workouts, improve sleep, monitor heart rate, and even help us make more shots while playing hoops!

“Arm” Yourself With An Active Device
Right now, the Nike+ FuelBand is among the most popular wearable devices designed to help us be more active. Nike’s long-term partnership with Apple is expected to enhance the user experience of this device, says Nike CEO Mike Parker.

Nike FuelBand was among the first to appear on the scene, but today, it’s just one of nearly 100 different watches and bracelets on the market.  The competition is heating up with the FitBit Flex, Jawbone Up, and Garmin VivoFit. These devices can help you manage sleep and also track your steps, fitness activity, and calories burned. Most send data wirelessly to your smartphone, giving you the option to share your success on social media or invite your friends to a virtual throw-down to sit less and move more. You might even get a digital high-five from your device when you reach your daily goals. It’s kind of like having a personal trainer, coach and motivational speaker with you.

Get Dressed: Head To Toe Health
Watches and bracelets are only part of this exploding market of devices for health and fitness. Clothing equipped with digital sensors can measure your muscle activity during a workout, track the number of shots you make on the basketball court, and identify the ideal running shoe for your foot type. There’s even a jacket equipped with sensors that can give you a hug (let’s face it, sometimes we need that encouragement).

It wasn’t that long ago that these kinds of devices were only possible in a futuristic fantasy world controlled by quirky scientists in the movies, but that’s not the case anymore. In our high-tech digital world of today and the very near future, wearable devices can change the way we live, exercise and manage our health.