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3 fun gadgets for running and walking

Add the power of technology to your workout routine with these three cool tools for running and walking

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Let’s get technical

Now, I’m not one to get obsessive over my running or walking stats. I don’t fill out spreadsheets with distance, pace, calories burned and the precise amount of sweat that appeared on my forehead. After all, what I love most about running and walking is their purity: just put on a decent pair of shoes and step out the door, and you’re ready to go-no equipment, team or special playing field necessary.

That being said, sometimes a little technology can go a long way, and many runners and walkers swear by their tracking systems, both for motivation and for a sense of accomplishment. So I thought I’d share with you these three cool gadgets that have crossed my desk at Best Health over the past few months.

2 / 12
runners

Let’s get technical

Now, I’m not one to get obsessive over my running or walking stats. I don’t fill out spreadsheets with distance, pace, calories burned and the precise amount of sweat that appeared on my forehead. After all, what I love most about running and walking is their purity: just put on a decent pair of shoes and step out the door, and you’re ready to go-no equipment, team or special playing field necessary.

That being said, sometimes a little technology can go a long way, and many runners and walkers swear by their tracking systems, both for motivation and for a sense of accomplishment. So I thought I’d share with you these three cool gadgets that have crossed my desk at Best Health over the past few months.

3 / 12

Nike+ SportBand

Hardcore runners swear by their GPS, but I like the simplicity (and affordability) of the Nike+ system, especially when you’re just starting out. The original Nike+ worked with the iPod mini (and now with the iPod nano and touch), providing audio feedback on your runs while you listened to music. Last year, Nike introduced the SportBand as an alternative for runners who run either without music or, like me, use a player other than an iPod nano (my four-year-old iPod Shuffle is still going strong), and last month they released its second iteration, with additional features including improved water resistance, an easier-to-read screen and multiple colours.

The SportBand comes with the wristband and a sensor that fits into Nike+-ready shoes-although, if you prefer other brands or, like me, Nike shoes that don’t work with the sensor, you can find holders that will attach to your laces. It tracks your distance, pace, time and calories burned, and when you get home, you can plug it into your computer and upload your data to nikeplus.com, which tracks your runs and offers tons of social media features including group challenges and updates to your Facebook page. My favourite? When I reached 250 km in Nike+, the site congratulated me and gave me a certificate of achievement to print out.

$80, at Nike and other sporting goods stores across Canada

4 / 12

Nike+ SportBand

Hardcore runners swear by their GPS, but I like the simplicity (and affordability) of the Nike+ system, especially when you’re just starting out. The original Nike+ worked with the iPod mini (and now with the iPod nano and touch), providing audio feedback on your runs while you listened to music. Last year, Nike introduced the SportBand as an alternative for runners who run either without music or, like me, use a player other than an iPod nano (my four-year-old iPod Shuffle is still going strong), and last month they released its second iteration, with additional features including improved water resistance, an easier-to-read screen and multiple colours.

The SportBand comes with the wristband and a sensor that fits into Nike+-ready shoes-although, if you prefer other brands or, like me, Nike shoes that don’t work with the sensor, you can find holders that will attach to your laces. It tracks your distance, pace, time and calories burned, and when you get home, you can plug it into your computer and upload your data to nikeplus.com, which tracks your runs and offers tons of social media features including group challenges and updates to your Facebook page. My favourite? When I reached 250 km in Nike+, the site congratulated me and gave me a certificate of achievement to print out.

$80, at Nike and other sporting goods stores across Canada

5 / 12
nike plus

Nike+ SportBand

Hardcore runners swear by their GPS, but I like the simplicity (and affordability) of the Nike+ system, especially when you’re just starting out. The original Nike+ worked with the iPod mini (and now with the iPod nano and touch), providing audio feedback on your runs while you listened to music. Last year, Nike introduced the SportBand as an alternative for runners who run either without music or, like me, use a player other than an iPod nano (my four-year-old iPod Shuffle is still going strong), and last month they released its second iteration, with additional features including improved water resistance, an easier-to-read screen and multiple colours.

The SportBand comes with the wristband and a sensor that fits into Nike+-ready shoes-although, if you prefer other brands or, like me, Nike shoes that don’t work with the sensor, you can find holders that will attach to your laces. It tracks your distance, pace, time and calories burned, and when you get home, you can plug it into your computer and upload your data to nikeplus.com, which tracks your runs and offers tons of social media features including group challenges and updates to your Facebook page. My favourite? When I reached 250 km in Nike+, the site congratulated me and gave me a certificate of achievement to print out.

$80, at Nike and other sporting goods stores across Canada

6 / 12

Nintendo Personal Trainer: Walking

Pedometers are a great tool to help you measure how much you walk in a day. But while they’re simple and easy to use, they also suffer from the limitation that they don’t measure when you take those steps-and they don’t store the data, either.

If you’re looking for a more sophisticated way to keep track of your walking, Nintendo’s walking “game” might be for you. It combines a time-sensitive pedometer (wear it on your waistband or carry it in your purse) with software that runs on your Nintendo DS and provides tracking, goal-setting and feedback tools to help you monitor your exercise. Set a daily goal-say, 5,000 steps-and get kudos from the system when you reach it. Analyze which parts of the day are the most active and which could use more work. The program even comes with two pedometers, so you can compete with a friend, family member or even pet to see who can walk the most.

$59.99, at futureshop.ca and other gaming retailers (requires Nintendo DS or DSi)

7 / 12

Nintendo Personal Trainer: Walking

Pedometers are a great tool to help you measure how much you walk in a day. But while they’re simple and easy to use, they also suffer from the limitation that they don’t measure when you take those steps-and they don’t store the data, either.

If you’re looking for a more sophisticated way to keep track of your walking, Nintendo’s walking “game” might be for you. It combines a time-sensitive pedometer (wear it on your waistband or carry it in your purse) with software that runs on your Nintendo DS and provides tracking, goal-setting and feedback tools to help you monitor your exercise. Set a daily goal-say, 5,000 steps-and get kudos from the system when you reach it. Analyze which parts of the day are the most active and which could use more work. The program even comes with two pedometers, so you can compete with a friend, family member or even pet to see who can walk the most.

$59.99, at futureshop.ca and other gaming retailers (requires Nintendo DS or DSi)

8 / 12

Nintendo Personal Trainer: Walking

Pedometers are a great tool to help you measure how much you walk in a day. But while they’re simple and easy to use, they also suffer from the limitation that they don’t measure when you take those steps-and they don’t store the data, either.

If you’re looking for a more sophisticated way to keep track of your walking, Nintendo’s walking “game” might be for you. It combines a time-sensitive pedometer (wear it on your waistband or carry it in your purse) with software that runs on your Nintendo DS and provides tracking, goal-setting and feedback tools to help you monitor your exercise. Set a daily goal-say, 5,000 steps-and get kudos from the system when you reach it. Analyze which parts of the day are the most active and which could use more work. The program even comes with two pedometers, so you can compete with a friend, family member or even pet to see who can walk the most.

$59.99, at futureshop.ca and other gaming retailers (requires Nintendo DS or DSi)

9 / 12

Nintendo Personal Trainer: Walking

Pedometers are a great tool to help you measure how much you walk in a day. But while they’re simple and easy to use, they also suffer from the limitation that they don’t measure when you take those steps-and they don’t store the data, either.

If you’re looking for a more sophisticated way to keep track of your walking, Nintendo’s walking “game” might be for you. It combines a time-sensitive pedometer (wear it on your waistband or carry it in your purse) with software that runs on your Nintendo DS and provides tracking, goal-setting and feedback tools to help you monitor your exercise. Set a daily goal-say, 5,000 steps-and get kudos from the system when you reach it. Analyze which parts of the day are the most active and which could use more work. The program even comes with two pedometers, so you can compete with a friend, family member or even pet to see who can walk the most.

$59.99, at futureshop.ca and other gaming retailers (requires Nintendo DS or DSi)

10 / 12

Nintendo Personal Trainer: Walking

Pedometers are a great tool to help you measure how much you walk in a day. But while they’re simple and easy to use, they also suffer from the limitation that they don’t measure when you take those steps-and they don’t store the data, either.

If you’re looking for a more sophisticated way to keep track of your walking, Nintendo’s walking “game” might be for you. It combines a time-sensitive pedometer (wear it on your waistband or carry it in your purse) with software that runs on your Nintendo DS and provides tracking, goal-setting and feedback tools to help you monitor your exercise. Set a daily goal-say, 5,000 steps-and get kudos from the system when you reach it. Analyze which parts of the day are the most active and which could use more work. The program even comes with two pedometers, so you can compete with a friend, family member or even pet to see who can walk the most.

$59.99, at futureshop.ca and other gaming retailers (requires Nintendo DS or DSi)

11 / 12
Nintendo Personal Trainer: Walking

Nintendo Personal Trainer: Walking

Pedometers are a great tool to help you measure how much you walk in a day. But while they’re simple and easy to use, they also suffer from the limitation that they don’t measure when you take those steps-and they don’t store the data, either.

If you’re looking for a more sophisticated way to keep track of your walking, Nintendo’s walking “game” might be for you. It combines a time-sensitive pedometer (wear it on your waistband or carry it in your purse) with software that runs on your Nintendo DS and provides tracking, goal-setting and feedback tools to help you monitor your exercise. Set a daily goal-say, 5,000 steps-and get kudos from the system when you reach it. Analyze which parts of the day are the most active and which could use more work. The program even comes with two pedometers, so you can compete with a friend, family member or even pet to see who can walk the most.

$59.99, at futureshop.ca and other gaming retailers (requires Nintendo DS or DSi)

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Reebok EasyTone shoes

Reebok EasyTone shoes

It maybe doesn’t qualify exactly as a gadget, but I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of footwear that makes your muscles work harder-FitFlops have been a popular one that I’ve read a lot about. The newest make-you-fit shoe to hit my desk is Reebok’s EasyTone, which Reebok says is the bestselling shoe in the history of reebok.com.

“We believe every woman has the right to a nice butt,” says Katrin Ley, head of women’s at Reebok. It’s a sentiment that I love a lot more than endless squats, bridges and lunges, so if this shoe can help me out, I’m all ears. The claim is that it generates up to 28% more butt muscle activation than a regular walking shoe, due to a “balance pod system” in the sole that creates instability, forcing your muscles to work harder to keep your body balanced.

$99.99, at SportCheck stores across Canada

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