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.
The Forerunner uses a GPS to get true distance and speed, and a chest strap heart rate monitor for the version with heart monitor. Since I bought the 201, Garmin improved on it by adding a heart rate monitor for the 305 version, and upgrading the software into a Training Center, and upgraded mapping abilities - you can now download and overlay your workout to a map. The GPS works only outdoors, and the 205 and 305 models promise better performance than the 201 in areas with lots of trees or tall buildings or in gullies.
Wendy Bumgardner © 2007
The Omron HJ-720ITC Pedometer is a full-featured pedometer (steps, distance, calories) that also allows you to upload it all to enjoy graphs and charts of steps, aerobic steps, distance, calories and fat burned. The pedometer is of an advanced design that tolerates more tilt than many. It is also absolutely silent and very accurate. For the same price as other advanced pedometers, you also upload the data to your own computer to set your goals and see your progress. You keep the data on your own computer, rather than uploading it to a web site. If you prefer more support, you can join Fitbug
and use a similar pedometer plus their fully-supported fitness and nutrition advice web sites.
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.
Wendy Bumgardner © 2006
The Nike + iPod Sport Kit is a fun way to record your walking or running workouts and get real-time audible updates while you walk or run. This kit includes the shoe pedometer meant to be used in Nike+ ready shoes, which transmits to the included adapter that works only with the iPod nano. You can upload your workout data to a personal log on the Nikeplus.com web site. The distance, speed, and calories will only be estimates based on step data. While the 5th generation iPod nano
includes a pedometer, that function only counts steps. If you want speed and distance, you need the Sport Kit.
Wendy Bumgardner ©
This watch lets you track your workout heart rate without wearing a chest strap, plus you can input your calories eaten to track them vs. your exercise calories and be alerted when you have reached your daily maximum. A great tool that you can wear continuously.
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.
Wendy Bumgardner ©
True speed and true distance provided by a GPS unit. This is spot-on speedometer and odometer is accurate no matter what you are doing - walking, running, skating, skiing, biking, etc. It continuously measures your speed and distance to three decimal places, and has sports watch functions of chronometer, lap timer, alarms, countdown timer, and more. Available also as the bodylink system with heart monitor and computer upload.
All the data you could want. The footpod attaches to your shoe to measure speed and distance. The chest strap captures your heart rate. Both beam the data to the wristwatch. The speed and distance footpod works indoors as well as outdoors, as opposed to GPS units which only work outdoors. Lots of great sports watch function such as timers, laps, etc.
The DashTrak Wellness System includes a pedometer that you can use as a sports watch. Upload your data to the WalkStyles web site to track your steps, distance, speed, and wellness activities. With the optional heart rate strap, you can also use the DashTrak as a heart rate monitor and view your heart rate data while walking.
This handheld GPS unit is a blast to use in combination with MapSource software to map out your walks. While walking, you can view your distance, speed and direction and where you are on a map, and altitude. Back home, download it and you have instant maps. For trailmasters planning routes, it is a great tool. Oh, yeah, it does a lot of other great GPS stuff, I just haven't read the whole manual. For walkers who want to get into orienteering and geocaching, it's time to explore the world of handheld GPS units.