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Four phone apps to kick off your New Year's resolutions

Instant Heart Rate

This clever, award winning app is based on the heart rate monitors used by hospitals and emergency rooms and gives you an accurate heart rate within 10 seconds. You place your finger over the camera lens and it uses the light from the flash to track colour changes in the light that passes through your finger. Sounds crazy but bizarrely it works!

Great for when you want a resting heart rate or are out on the trail and want to get a quick snapshot of where you are intensity wise. Just be careful if your phone has a case as it could be throwing off the beam from the flash. Also, certain phones work better than others.

The basic version is free from the Apple app store and the Android marketplace but there is a more advanced option with more features that you can upgrade to for a dollar.

Ben combines work as a qualified mountain bike guide with reviewing and rating products for Singletrack.com as well as Outsider magazine and Spoke.ie and is also working on a PhD in tourism and entrepreneurship.  With 20 years of mountain biking behind him, Ben remembers the Girven Flexstem, U-brakes and the first time he saw a suspension fork with a 1-inch piece of elastomer in it. He has ridden bikes on four continents and has covered events as diverse as the 2007 mountain bike world championships, the Giro D’Italia and the Single Speed World Champs and lives in Dublin, Ireland.  He is happiest riding technical singletrack and was an early adopter of the 29er… for a European. Find him on Twitter: #spoketweets. Check out all of Ben’s stories.

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