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Top Walking Gadgets

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Updated December 09, 2013

I am a gadget lover. I want data. I want something to play with while I walk. These gizmos will help you plan or track a better walking workout.

1. Garmin Forerunner 10

Garmin Forerunner 10
Courtesy of Pricegrabber
The Forerunner uses a GPS to get true distance and speed. This is the lowest priced model, which lacks being able to team with a heart rate monitor strap or with a footpod to get indoor steps. But if you want to track your speed and distance outdoors, it is a very popular gadget. It has a Virtual Pacer function to help you keep to the pace you want. Wonder if you've gone a mile? It will beep. It also can alert you for run/walk intervals and automatically track laps. After your walk, you can upload your data to the Garmin Connect site and view a map of your walk and your other stats.
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2. Timex Race Trainer Heart Rate Monitor

Timex Ironman Race Trainer Heart Rate Monitor
© Pricegrabber
The Timex Ironman Race Trainer is an exercise heart rate monitor and full featured Ironman sports watch. Coupled with the TrainingPeaks web site to download and view your data and get training programs, this is a system that anyone can use for race training, or simply tracking diet and exerecise. You can view your heart rate with the time of day and while using the chronograph and timer. You will want the version with the Data XChanger to get the online functionality.

3. iPhone

Walkmeter by Abvio - Map Screen
Wendy Bumgardner © 2011

Convergence is here with a GPS-capable iPhone. The same goes for other advanced cell phones that include GPS and have a range of apps. But bear with me as I praise my boyfriend the iPhone. Real-time maps with real-time traffic built in. I really have no excuse to be lost as long as I'm in cell range. I have podcasts and music to listen to. I can take photos as I walk. I can email them to friends or post them on Facebook. I can look up info on things I pass by. I can make restaurant reservations for after my walk. I have heard that one can even make phone calls with this wondrous device. There are more and more apps that also measure your speed and distance and save a map of your route, such as Walkmeter and MapMyWalk. But my boyfriend the iPhone has a couple of drawbacks. He's too big to carry without a special holder, and his battery doesn't last long enough if you use some GPS apps. If you are out of cell range, you are out of luck, so he doesn't work in the wilderness.

4. Mio Alpha Strapless Continuous Heart Rate Monitor

Mio Alpha Strapless Continuous Heart Rate Monitor Watch
Wendy Bumgardner © 2013
Do you want to know your heart rate continuously as you walk and exercise, but hate wearing the chest strap? This watch has sensors that will read your pulse continuously. You can set your upper and lower heart rate zone and it will alert you with an arrow, colored light and beep in addition to the numerical readout of your heart rate. It can link up to your mobile device via Bluetooth so you can track your heart rate on your favorite workout app as well.
Review: Mio Alpha

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5. Fitbits

Fitbit One
Courtesy of Pricegrabber

The Fitbit family of personal activity trackers keeps growing and improving. They all team with the Fitbit web site and/or mobile app so you can track your daily steps, workouts, and diet. Some models will also track your sleep quality. I have used every model over the years since they debuted and it is still what I wear everyday. In addition to models you wear on your waistband, they also have the Flex and Force wristband models.
Fitbit Reviews
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