GIFT IDEAS: Fitness Gadgets for the FitGeek in Your Life

Technology not only changes how we work but how we live, how we shop, and don't forget...how we exercise!  Ever evolving technology has provided us with many tools to help us get in to shape. There is a plethora of gizmos with variating methods to help reach personal fitness goals.

Here is a list of 10 gadgets for the fitness addict on your Holiday shopping list:

1.  Apple Nike + iPod nano ($99): I know I know, many of you have heard of this or perhaps even own it. When Nike first put this on the market, I actually bought a iPod Nano so that I could use this. Back then I had just started running, I traveled a lot to various work locations and Nike+ was really useful. You can calibrate it to your running style (go to a local high school track to set it up!). It allows you to set power songs for the extra motivational push you might need and after your run you can upload your stats to the Nike website so try and beat your time or distance. I'll let you in on a little secret...you really don't require the specific Nike shoes.  SHHhh!! I won't tell if you don't! ;-) What I did was put the sensor as horizontally as possible under the tongue of my sneaker, you can hardly feel it and still works great!  The iPhone 4 has apps that track your exercise as well, but if you already have a nano and an extra 30$ you'll save some cash instead of getting a new phone for much much more.

Fun Exercise Tip: If you want to challenge your friends and their gadgets you can set it up on Nike.com. Check this one out: "Nike+iPod vs Nike GPS"

2. Garmin Forerunner® 410 ($324.99):  If someone on your list is an avid marathon runner or is currently training, I guarantee that this is the gift they are secretly swooning after!  The Garmin Forerunner watch is GPS-enabled and accurately records your time, pace, distance, heart rate (if you purchase the optional heart rate band), elevation and more!  My best friend is buying this and after reading the description I started drooling over it myself.  The watch has a touch bezel that works in all types of weather, of course you can download the data and view it 30 different ways of your choosing. But HOW do you download it? Wirelessly of course!  It uses Garmin Connect to download data, it works via the ANT+™ wireless technology and the USB stick that comes with your watch.  Pretty impressive!  For many more details on this beauty go to the Garmin website.

3. FitBit ($99): I keep seeing these all over the intrawebs!  The gist: you wear it all day like a pedometer.  It tracks your calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled and sleep quality. It records motion using motion technology similar to the Nintendo Wii.  According to the website, you can wear it pretty much anyway you want, on your wrist (with the wrist band), in your pocket, or on your waist.  It comes with a docking station that downloads your information to a website whenever you walk by the sensor.  This little machine has sparked my interest greatly!!  I would love to get my hands on one of these to review!

4. Nike+ Sportband ($59):  This is a play on the Nike+ iPod, but sans iPod. The sportsband is water resistant for running in the rain, it links to Nike+ to save runs (plug-in the USB), features one touch start/stop, and gives feedback on easy to read screen.  You can also set up training programs online at Nike+ to track and set up progress plans.

5. Phillips DirectLife ($106 for 4 mths/ $12 monthly thereafter):  This is similar to the fitbit, except it is a 12 week program.  Your information is downloaded to a personalized website where it is reviewed by a professional (ie. coach).  The coach communicates with you through email to help you with your plan, answer questions and helps set goals.

Sidenote: Wouldn't it be cool to set up a challenge against the FitBit and DirectLife?  See how they defer?  Compare websites? OOoo What a marvelous IDEA!

6. Phillips Activa ($130): A music player with a brain!  Activa helps you stay motivated with 'boost' songs, but it also analyzes your intensity with each song.  It allows you to creat playlists and TempoMusic to help maintain pace or increase pace/intensity of your workouts.  Displays distance, calories burned on the go and allows you to track progress in their simple to use application.

7. Incase Sports band ($25-40): I have one of these for an older generation nano.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! It fits, it's washable, it's reflective and keeps my nano from getting too beat up.  See Variations here.

8. Sennheiser MX85 Sport Series Headphones ($25-45): These twist in earbuds stay in place during your entire workout, plus they are water-proof and sweat-proof (and provide great sound...they are headphones after all).  A good set of headphones for working out is very important!  You would be surprised as to how many people complain about ill fitting styles (me included).

9. Tweet What You Eat! ($0): If you're into social networks, facebook, twitter and the like, then you may find success with this program.  This website connects with social networks (twitter and facebook) to broadcast what you're eating to all your friends and family.  Which, if you follow correctly may guilt you into eating better.

Have you tweeted what you ate? I want to hear if it has worked for you! :)

10. This last one may not count...mostly because it's the coolest! (and also because I cannot seem to find out if it is available for purchase..yet) Dancepants Kinetic Music Player ($ ?):  This is INGENIOUS!  When you move it plays, if you stop so does dancepants.  Talk about motivation!  I'm a person that needs tunes to exercise to, if I don't have my mp3 player I quit (seriously...game over).  A music player that is powered by kinetic energy?  It's a geek girl's DREAM. hehe After searching the interwebs from end-to-end, I still could not seem to find dancepants for sale anywhere.  I'm going to make the assumption that it is still in a preliminary development stage.  Once it is released we will all be thin and eco friendly! You truly can't beat that!

If there are any fitness gadgets I have missed or ones that you simply can't live without,  email me!