Top Gadgets to Track Your Progress
New Balance Audio's NB639 Fitness Evolved Headphones ($99.99 at iHomeAudio.com; iPod Nano not included) feature a one-touch heart rate monitor, pedometer, and stop watch. It provides real-time voice-over feedback on heart rate, caloric burn, steps taken, and distance without pausing your music or your workout! You can also manage and graph your exercise data using the included Heart Pal software and your home computer.
Trainer and DJ
MOTOACTV by Motorola ($249.99 at Motorola.com), the world's first GPS fitness tracker and music player, is like having a personal trainer and DJ all in one. Using a GPS and Accusense technology, it will keep track of and record data like time, distance, speed, calories burned, and heart rate. Plus, its smart music player "learns" what specific tunes push people harder, creating personal, high-performance playlists to give you that extra boost.
Jillian Michaels, former trainer on The Biggest Loser and co-host on The Doctors, uses the CORE Armband from Body Media ($149 at BodyMedia.com) to measure calorie output. The CORE Armband is the most accurate calorie tracker on the market and much smaller than former models (1/3 the size). In clinical trials, people who used the armband lost three times as much weight as those in the control group.
Looks like a Watch
We love the Polar USA FT4 ($99.95 at PolarUSA.com) because it's disguised as a fab watch. Get it in pink, orange, bronze, or silver to calculate which heart-rate range is best for you to improve the intensity of your workouts, tracks calories so you know when to refuel (or how much to chow post-race!), find out how many calories you burned, and of course the length of your exercise time.
If you want to be a little discreet about monitoring your vitals, try the FitBit Wireless Personal Trainer ($99 at DailyGrommet.com). It tracks both your fitness and sleep, as well as calories burned, distance traveled, and more.
We also love that your data is automatically uploaded onto FitBit's website, where you can add details about your nutrition and weight. The result? FitBit will build a graph to help you visualize your sleep, eating, and exercise patterns to develop a consistent and successful routine.
For the Triathlete
The Garmin Forerunner 910XT Multisport GPS Training Watch ($399.95 for pre-order at HeartRateMonitorUSA.com; out February 2012) is a multi-sport heart rate monitor that provides metrics for swimming, running, and cycling. It's perfect for the triathlete and syncs with Garmin Connect for analyzing workouts once they're completed.
The Omron HJ113 Multifunction Pocket Pedometer ($27.95 at HeartRateMonitorsUSA.com), a best seller for Heart Rate Monitors USA, is popular for a reason. This pocket-sized pedometer can be worn around the neck, in a pocket, or clipped onto a bag while you complete your walk (or even everyday activities). It's easy to use and includes measurement for stride, calories burned, distance, and steps with 99 percent accuracy.
Walk for a Good Cause
Don't let the Striiv's ($99 at Amazon.com) size fool you. This pedometer-type device may be half the size of a credit card, but it's powerful enough to play a number of walking-based video games for motivation. As users complete challenges, their earnings help them advance to the next level of play. Plus, donations will be made to charities (such as providing water to a third-world country and vaccines to children).
For Big Winners
The MYTRAK Slimcoach ($129.95 for 1 year at MYTRAK.com) is a gadget used on NBC's The Biggest Loser. Wear the device every day to stay motivated to move, track calorie burn, and monitor physical exertion while at home, at work, or on-the-go. Its green lights provide instant feedback and keep you on pace to reach your targets. Users can also access daily activity charts, nutrition planning, and data on calories burned.