If only your grandfather had earbuds! Just think how much happier his jogs would have been. Luckily, we live in an era where technology can motivate us to great accomplishments in fitness. Whether we’re talking about pedometers or iPods, 21st century tech can make any workout — even the harshest — more enjoyable. (There’s nothing quite as good as seeing that burned calorie count go higher and higher!) So check out the fitness gadgets below, and maybe one – or many – will help you take your workout to the next level.
1. Pulse oximeter
Have you ever thought “The one thing I wish my iPhone had was a heart rate monitor”? Well, here to deliver on those dreams is the Masimo iSp02. This device attaches to your fingertip, then delivers pulse information and oxygenation levels directly to your smartphone. For about $250, you can own a device similar to those used in ERs.
2. Waterproof Bluetooth earbuds
No longer can a little rain (or sweat) interrupt your workout regimen. Keep those jams pumping with the JayBird BlueTooth earbuds and you can jog, bike, or skate through inclement weather.
3. Video game consoles
Playing video games is a sedentary activity, right? Not so fast! Between Nintendo’s Wii and Microsoft’s Kinect, an increasing number of game consoles are becoming interactive. Kinect – which runs through Microsoft’s Xbox console – has a variety of heart-pumping, muscle-moving programs, including the Nike+ Kinect Training and Zumba Fitness Core.
4. Fitness tracking visor
Often, one of the biggest annoyances of integrating tech into your workout is its bulk. The idea of holding a sensor or strapping one to your body can be defeating. But what if the tech was an improvement to something you were already wearing? The o_synce screeneye x sports visor is a fashion statement that provides real-time, actionable feedback. Take that, headband.
Strava is essentially a network where members challenge themselves (and each other) to excel. Is it competitive? Sure. But that competition takes the form of motivation. How does it work? A member uses a GPS device (phone, watch, whatever) to catalog a fitness journey. This journey is then viewable on the Strava website. At its most basic level, Strava is free. For premium benefits like progress goals and pace zone analysis, the upgraded service runs about $6 per month.
6. Shoelace step counter
Definitely the bargain on our list, the ultra-simple and ultra-helpful shoelace step counter from MileStone is a mere $20. This wireless device syncs to your smartphone, delivering intel on mileage, stride length and calories burned.
7. Sports watch
Our sister brand Suunto creates some of the most amazing sports watches in the world. Ideal for hiking and several other outdoor activities, these watches feature GPS, heart rate monitors, barometers, compasses, and much more.
(Photo courtesy of Flickr user jametiks.)