4 Newfangled Fitness Gadgets

What is your exercise activity of choice?

For me, it is running - because it's free, effective, and doesn't require a babysitter. I can just lace up my tennies, buckle my girls in the jogging stroller, and hit the pavement.

Walking is also one of my favorite forms of exercise. I like walking for miles and miles, especially when the scenery is beautiful and the weather is good. And I particularly like walking TO a destination - a post office, a cafe, an ice cream parlor, or a farmer's market. Unfortunately, I live in a neighborhood with a Walk Score of 6. We plan on moving within the next 5 years to rectify that.

I also enjoy dancing, hiking, and playing soccer & volleyball - although I don't get to do those activities often.

Almost all of my favorite activities require very little in terms of "equipment," but I thought I'd share a few fitness gadgets that I recently have had an opportunity to try:

FOR THE WALKER

anywear 3d pedometer oregon scientificOregon Scientific AnyWear 3D Pedometer ($39.99, see below to win)

Apparently, experts recommend that people walk at least 10,000 steps a day. Do you? It's actually harder than you think to reach the "magic number" in our non-pedestrian society. What I do know is that this little device is slim, lightweight, easy-to-read, and super portable. The instruction manual definitely needs some help because it didn't explain how to find your stride length (I think Oregon Scientific needs to hire a new technical writer), but - fortunately - the device is relatively simple so I was still able to get everything set. This is a great "motivational" device because it's inspiring to be able to see your progress and make concrete goals about your activity level each day.

walkstar iii jelly fitflopsWalkStar III Jelly by FitFlops (~$59.99).

Get a workout while you walk! Yep. These shoes claim to tone and tighten your bum and legs. I think they probably do that more than your average shoe, but you'll still have to eat right and exercise if you want a slim and muscular physique. That said, I stand by the premise that "every little bit helps" and I'll take what I can get. I wear my FitFlops all the time, almost every day, in fact. Because they're comfortable and cute...and the promise of a shapely bottom certainly doesn't hurt either.

FOR THE RUNNER

v-moda's vibe ii headphonesV-MODA'S VIBE II headphones ($119.99).

Ooh. Stylish. Sassy. Superior Sound Quality. If you have an iPhone, an  iPod, or Blackberry Bold/Curve/Storm, you'll likely appreciate these headphones. These sleek headphones even come with detachable sport earhooks for ease of use on-the-run.

The headphones are also equipped with a mic so that you can take and receive phone calls in high-definition.

Note: I can't speak to the longevity/durability of these headphones because I have had them for less than a month.

Note #2: The V-Moda website itself is rather dark and depressing. The images are anything but uplifting - scantily clad models with dark eyeshadow, girls with boas, topless poses, etc. I would definitely think more highly of the brand if they changed their "image" to one that inspires positivity and hope.

Question: do you use headphones when you run? I usually don't because I often run with my husband so we talk in between breathing (Clarification: I am trying to catch my breath, he is breathing the same as if he were watching a black-and-white drama with zero action in it. No fair!). When I run solo, I often appreciate the silence - the subtle swish-swish of the wind around me, the thump-thump of my feet on the sidewalk, the opportunity to pray. But if music motivates you, you'll likely enjoy having a good set of headphones in your running repertoire.

FOR THE OUTDOORS ADVENTURER

gogirl female urination deviceGoGirl ($6.99/single or $18.99/set of three, see below to win).

If you have ever been out in the wilderness with no bathroom in sight, then you'll probably appreciate this product. At first glance, it almost looks like a "joke" product, a gag gift, a super silly "white elephant" gift for those oft-dreaded Christmas exchanges. But it is actually quite a useful product for backpackers, rock climbers, campers, and international travelers. Without going into too many details, GoGirl allows you to pee standing up. I know you want to laugh out loud and tell someone about this ridiculous invention, but...I bet you'll think about it next time you find yourself in a place with no bathrooms (and you'll wish you had one).

YOUR TURN: What is your favorite fitness activity? What gadgets do you use (if any)?

WIN IT! One winner will receive an AnyWear 3D Pedometer from Oregon Scientific (or similar pedometer; actual device will be based on availability) AND a GoGirl Gift Pack, which includes a 3-pack plus a baseball cap and lip balm ($28.99). To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Tuesday, August 25th at 11:59 p.m. (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).

*UPDATE* The winner is #112 Jammie. Congratulations!

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119 comments on “4 Newfangled Fitness Gadgets”

  1. I joined Spark People and our latest challenge is to walk 10,000 steps a day...this would be a great way to keep track.

  2. Pedometers are really great for keeping you moving. I used to use one all the time but the batteries died and were too hard to replace so I really would like a new one.

  3. I am fat... And I have been trying so hard to lose this weight. I have started by walking and I use my cell phone for music. I really need a mp3 player.

  4. i love hiking in the woods and fall here in vermont is just gorgeous i could walk all day.the only gadget i usually bring is my watch :)

  5. i walk my dog in the mornings and evenings, i'm going to walk her further each day until i am up to 3 miles a day. i haven't been getting enough exercise and i am very overweight now.

  6. I'm a kick boxer and runner/walker. I love to use my heavy bag every single day!! i would love headphones that actually stayed on while jumping around hitting, and kicking my bag!! That would be my favorite gadget! Can not live without my I Pod blaring good workout tunes!!

  7. I just decided to start walking to try to get in shape! I'm 53 and battling some weight gain. I would love any help I can get! Great prizes!

  8. I walk daily and this would be just the ticket to monitor exactly how far I am going. Exercise is just so important

  9. I am totally into health and fitness and have been trying to get my Mom involved as well. It would be awesome to have one of these to help out.

  10. I have a newfound love for running...well a first found love for running. I never felt able to run in the past because I felt limited by my heart defect but after building up to it I can now run a little at a time and it feels SO liberating! The only thing I need is a treadmill (no running in this Southern heat!) and my Ipod with some good tunes dialed in!

  11. I love Kickboxing, and Yoga.
    They are alot of fun to do! and I don't even feel like its excercise sometimes. I do not use any gagdets though.

  12. Wow, that GoGirl looks very odd, but I know how useful it'd be from past experience! I think it's one of those things that looks silly until you try it :)

    Thanks for the great giveaway :)

  13. haha I've heard of that Go Girl stuff. It makes me laugh. A lot of these sound really handy and great for fitness! Thanks!!

  14. These are great! I have vowed to lose weight by next summer so the first 3 products would be wonderful to win. As for peeing standing up.. LOL i LOVE that.. Seriously so many times in life this would be helpful!

  15. Well, I either walk around town or ride my bike. I don't use anything special, but I'd love to have a pedometer to tell me how many steps I really take in a day, especially the days I wash clothes & hang them out!

  16. I could really use a pedometer. I have been trying to exercise more and it would be great to see how much I am walking each day so I can push myself to walk farther and farther each day.

  17. My favorite fitness activity - bar NONE - is weight lifting!!! My best body transformation success was built around a program whose activities were about 75% weight lifting, and it's done wonders for my tone and physique without getting me "bulky" (since I know a lot of gals are worried about that).

    Having said that, I'm training for a marathon in January, and I'm trying to learn to love walking/running, which is hard to do when you're required to do 5 mile stints almost at the very beginning of training! LOL!

  18. The only fitnessy type item I used, was a cheapy pedometer, that my 4 year old got a hold of. lol The easiest thing I do is lots of walking.

  19. Since our family expanded with three puppies, my favorite fitness activity is taking them for long walks... well, trying to maintain control over three of them simultaneously makes ANY walk feel like a long walk - that's where a pedometer would be handy. And speaking of gadgets, it's usually just three leashes and a paper bag! :)

  20. My favorite fitness activity is walking. I get up rain or shine every morning before work and walk about an hour. The AnyWear 3D Pedometer from Oregon Scientific would be a great gadget to have to monitor my walking distance.

  21. man i am all over that GoGirl gadget. i LOVE doing camping and other backcountry stuff and finding that perfect log to lean your bum against is tricky. i might actually add this to my Christmas wish list.
    i also love walking TO places or rollerblading or soccer or volleyball or biking or hiking. i had surgery the other day so all these things seem so out of my reach right now. ugghgh. oh well. i get to catch up on my blog reading.

  22. I like to walk and am in need of a new pedometer. I'm not sure what happened to my old one after the clip broke off. I used to then lace it through my shoes but that wasn't always accurate.

  23. My favorite fitness activity right now is yoga. I take a class three times a week. All I need is me in loose clothing. The health club provides the mats, the blocks and the belts.

    bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

  24. I walk alot. I started wearing a pedometer about 2 years ago & have gone thru six already. Wonderful gadget. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  25. I battle depression and use walking as way to regulate my mood. It works wonders~! There are documented cases of people walking themselves out of depression when medications were not working.

    I would love to be able to log how many steps I take on an average day and compare it to my mood variations.

    Thank you so much.

  26. Walking is the only exercise that I enjoy and haven't gotten bored. Would love to know how many miles I walk in my average day.

  27. Im just now getting started an walking is my favorite so far,I dont have any gadgets but I would love to have some to help me get healthier

  28. I like jogging, but haven't been doing it lately. Maybe I'll try out that six week plan to get geared up for a 5k that you mentioned in another post.

  29. You know, you wouldn't think that a pedometer would be that much of a motivation, but it really is. I find that when I'm wearing it I try so much harder to take just a few extra steps.

  30. I love walking. The girls and I walk every single day and I would be lost without it. However, last year before I got pregnant, I did take up running and enjoyed it. It has been much harder for me to get back into it this time around though I am working toward it! :)

  31. I enjoy both walking and dancing they are both great workouts,I did have to lol and the go girl, once I turned 16 I hated having to squat in the woods and wouldn't even go no more until we got to a bathroom.. and my parents always seemed to take long back roads when I was growing up..lol

  32. On my daily walk I listen to talk radio on my headset. I walk the 10,000 steps each day and often more. My walk is a personal indulgence and I must get it into my schedule. I'm retired now but during my 35 years of teaching elementary school students I rode my bike, jogged or walked to/from work. The exercise made me feel peaceful and I felt I was giving a good example to the children.
    Thanks for the contest.

  33. I love the gym and run for cardio, but also like to walk and take part in various sports. I make fitness an everyday part of my life. I always have my iPod when I'm at the gym, as far as other gadgets? I've test pedometers and sports equipment you can keep at home, too. I always find new ways to work out and devices to keep you motivated, like a pedometer, inspiring. I'm interested to test out a pair of the FitFlops or new Reebok (I think) sneakers that are supposedly always giving you a workout. Great post!

  34. I've been enjoying running lately! My favorite workout class is BodyPump and my gym has a butt/abs/thighs class that is GREAT! The only gadget i use is an MP3 player.

  35. I run with my daughter and we both run to a podcast that we listen to. She would get so frustrated with me when my ear bugs would fall out that she finally found some huge headphones at Kohls that have animal heads on the sides of them and are for little kids. I ended up giving those to her preschool brother but got the hint and bought my self some that strap across the back of my head this weekend. We haven't run yet with them so I am not sure if they will work well or not.

  36. I need to get a pedometer in order to motivate me a bit more with my exercise. It would be nice to know how far I actually go when I’m out and about. My grandaughter is Go Girl site goer. [email protected]

  37. right now my favorite fitness activity is running. i ran a half-marathon last fall and am training for another one right now. i usually only wear a stop watch, but i've been looking for something a little fancier. :)

  38. I enjoy walking - it is my favorite form of exercise, although I like to take a camera along and stop to take lots of pictures... that kind of negates the whole "exercise" part doesn't it? :)

    Oh and the "GoGirl" I have one - it's called "For to Pee" :) and trust me, I've been glad to have it along several times... while hunting, camping, traveling (and having to stop at nasty rest stops)!

  39. We walk almost every morning. We are a bit spoiled as the beach is just two blocks away. There is a great area to walk down there. The route we usually take is exactly 2.2 miles (clocked it with my car a few months ago). If I do the longer route it is just over 3 miles. Not too bad for a daily routine. We have missed out the past week due to the smokey air from the fires here and we are getting antsy. I have started 'running' as well...slowly but surely! I can't wait to hear about your 5k!

  40. I love gadgets. I've heard some great things about the Fitflops and the headphones sound really awesome. Perfect for my morning walks.
    Thanks.

  41. I walk, and am an old fashioned Granda so still use a Walkman for company, but I would really love these gadgets, the pedometer is great, and I have to admit, I fish a lot and the "Go Girl" would come in very handy. LOL.

  42. I alternate between the treadmill and the stairmaster. Those are my favorite machines at the gym, but other than my ipod, I do not use any gadgets.

  43. I personally think the Go Girl is one of the silliest things ever invented, I just squat when I gotta go outside. BUT some women love them and swear by them, Mommy from the Midwest loves hers!
    http://www.mommyfromthemidwest.com/

    When I head out for a walk, run or a bike ride I strap on the Garmin 305. It cost a bit but I love it and use it all of the time. I can tell how fast I am running, what my overall pace is, how far I have gone (GPS), calories burned and so much more.

  44. I love swimming. However, I have gotten into triathlons and my favorite gadget is the ipod for the run portion.

  45. My favorite fitness activity is swimming, but I don't get to do it very often. I do jog a lot, and the best gadget for that is my mp3 player!

  46. I like to talk to my husband also, but those look nice. It makes me laugh to see the gift pack for the GOGirl. Does the baseball cap have a girl peeing standing up? and Lip balm?? Is this a gift pack that they sell or did you add the baseball cap and lip balm? If you added them then I wouldn't think it was so weird. haha I would love a pedometer! I have always wondered how many steps I take a day, just chasing kids! :-)

  47. I do Boot Camp 3 days a week, persoan training 2 days a week, and I'm trying to get in Zumba class 3 times a week. (Current favorite.) My gym has temporally stopped having power yoga classes, which is another favorite. I'm also trying to get in walking and running several times a week. My favorite "gadget" have to be my new treking poles, particularly in the mountains. I hate the pedometer I have right now - not very accurate - and would really like to get a new, good one. I am also considering getting an mp3 player of some sort, to cut down on the boredom factor when on a treadmill.

  48. I live 150 yards from the greatest walking path, the towpath along the Erie Canal. Whether going East or West, it is a healthy and scenic walk. The pedometer would make the treks even more important.

  49. I know a family who could totally relate to the go-girl! It's really somethin' else and I can see it being really useful on their camping trips- and she's a jogger too.
    I would sure like to have a pedometer, as I'd love to know how short I fall from the 10,000!

  50. Thanks for the Walk Score site -- very cool! I checked and our new house has a 74 =) You must live in the country?? I love to walk too - but I'm terrified of walking by myself a lot of the time - I watch too much Law & Order!

    autumn398 @ yahoo.com

  51. Walking is the best I've got. No gadgets, but would love to have some, maybe it would give me added push to do more!

  52. I love, love, love camping!!! The less gadgets and stuff to bring with me, the better!!! I love to rough-it!

  53. I'm a walker - the furkids convinced me that I needed a new activity! LOL I don't use gadgets when I walk, except for my cell phone occasionally - does that count? I have always wanted a pedometer, though, so that I could know exactly how far the dogs take me when we walk!

  54. I love walking and running along the river by my house. There's a great river trail and it's really beautiful most of the year. Sometimes I use my iPod, but I usually just enjoy the quiet.

  55. What is your favorite fitness activity? What gadgets do you use (if any)?

    I live in a lake community, so I really enjoy walking the 3-4 miles around the lake and back to the house. I often see egrets and ducks, and it's fun to look out at all the water activity.

    The only gadget I use is a walkman.

  56. My very walkable neighbourhood's walk score is only 60, which surprised me until I looked at some of the things they are using to calculate it. They seem to be missing a lot of stores (especially our two closest major grocery stores!)

    The Go Girl thing is beyond words. There are some comments from people who used the Go Girl product here if you are interested though...

  57. I need to get a pedometer in order to motivate me a bit more with my exercise. It would be nice to know how far I actually go when I'm out and about. Also, the Go Girl thingy sounds like a great idea! Seriously, it's no fun when you have to squat and you make a mess of things ;-)

  58. I've seen things like the "Go Girl" discussed on other sites, but I've never actually tried them. I am curious to see if they work. Have you used them?

  59. I love to be outdoors so we walk around the lake by our house (good for a pedometer) and we hike with a baby in backpack carrier!

  60. I'd never heard of a walk score, either. My apartment building got a 65. I wonder how much different it would be if it were a bike score. I bet it would be closer to 100 that way!!

  61. It's hard to pick a favorite but I love the Elliptical at the gym, spin/cycling class and I love in-home walking too.

    As for gadgets, I use a Polar Heart Rate monitor which I love and an ipod too.

  62. I love to run and take Pilates. In fact, I jsut posted Mommy Time Monday about Pilates. This is a chance for other bloggers to link up and share something they’ve done in the past week. The idea is to promote carving out “me-time” without the kids and to inspire other moms to do the same. After all, this time spent with friends or pursuing a passion/hobby keep us moms sane. I hope you’ll stop by and join in the fun.

    http://momtrends.blogspot.com/2009/08/mommy-time-monday-pilates-class.html

  63. I stumbled upon your website and I adore it! I am a dedicated runner, and I will run my 5th half marathon this September. Running is my time to talk with God; some of my most focused prayer happens while I'm running in the world He created. I don't use headphones while I run outside, but during extreme weather I run on a treadmill indoors. I find that listening to calming music, such as Debussy, helps me to converse with God even in a packed gym. Thanks for your coverage of this product!

  64. Ok I can totally see myself giving the Go Girl as a gag gift. But... I'd probably use it too :)

  65. I am all about lifting weights and jogging/walking! I have set a goal of running 5k in the next few weeks. So, to keep me from thinking about how my legs feel like they are about to burn off my body from the running, I will listen to my ipod. Also, I have downloaded some podcasts from Podrunner so that I can keep the pace and not have to think a lot about my interval training. I try to focus a lot and so having the chance of having people talk to me (I do my workouts mostly in the gym) would hinder me, so I always have my earphones in!

  66. I am a walker and swimmer! My husband is a jogger.
    I have bad arthritic knees and have to be very careful about my activities.
    Thanks, Cindi

  67. My favorite fitness activity right now is just plain ol' walking outside. We live near a nature trail so it's a fun way to get outside to do something (especially when you live in an apartment) and get fitness at the same time. I'd love a pedometer to see how much I actually achieve while doing this!

  68. I would love to have this pedometer. I walk every day for exercise and I have no idea how far I have gone. This would be a great!

  69. I've totally been considering getting a pedometer. First, I'm interested to see what my average step count for the day is. More importantly, however, I think that if I'm aware of my movement I'll do it more. As for listening to music when I run, I'd need a smaller iPod. All I have are ginormous ones that I wouldn't want to have to hold while I run. Just the other day I was thinking about those little postage stamp-sized shuffles. I used to laugh at those, thinking they were dumb, but if I put my favorites on it just while I work out it actually sounds quite useful.

  70. I love to run, but took some time off when the kids were little. Last winter, my 2 oldest started running with me (my son loves it). I do it as well, because it is free and easy.

  71. Oh how I wish I was a runner. Not yet. Although I have been able to jog part of my walk. I love to walk, hike, ride bikes, roller blade...I just love to be outdoors and active :)

    Nell

  72. Not much of a gadget person. I love to play and dance with my daughter and am about to go back to aerobics after a very long hiatus....

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