Black Friday deals on health and fitness: A Withings gift guide

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Withings Black Friday gift guide
Great Black Friday deals slash up to 70 percent off Withings fitness and health gear.
Photos: Withings

This heart-healthy smart scale delivers what your fitness apps are missing

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Withings Body Cardio smart scale
The Withings Body Cardio smart scale adds crucial cardiovascular insights to your health data mix.
Photo: Withings

Withings’ futuristic scale measures cardiac health

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The Body Cardio uses PWV to measure your heart's health.
The Body Cardio uses PWV to measure your heart's health.
Photo: Withings

Getting a checkup on the old ticker used to require a visit to the doctor, but thanks to Withings’ incredibly smart new device, soon all you’ll need to do is put your feet on a scale.

The new Withings Body Cardio is trying to completely change the expectations of the modern scale by adding a technology called Pulse Wave Velocity to get a holistic view of your health by measuring your weight, BMI, body composition, and most important of all, cardiac health.

How to turn your iPhone’s Health app into an essential fitness dashboard

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A dashboard for your body: all your key stats at a glance.
The Health app can become a dashboard for your body, offering all your key stats at a glance.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Despite its heart-shaped icon, Health is an unloved app. It tends to gets relegated to a junk folder, along with other un-deletable Apple cruft, like the Stocks app.

But when you get past its garish colors and clunky user interface, Apple’s Health app turns out to be genuinely useful — if you customize the dashboard to match your personal fitness goals.

Weighing the options for monitoring your body fat

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Withings Smart Body Analyzer (left) vs. DEXA, the
Withings Smart Body Analyzer (left) vs. DEXA, the "gold standard" for body fat analysis (right)
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

If you want to lose weight, your Apple Watch can help you sustain healthy habits, but it can’t actually monitor your progress. For that you need to step onto scales.

Any scale will measure your weight, but that is only part of the story. Whether you are dieting or bulking up, it is just as important to keep track of your body fat. The trouble is, this is notoriously hard to measure accurately. As I discovered when I bought a new Withings Smart Body Analyzer, if you think you already know your body fat percentage, you are probably way off.