MP3 players fulfill many roles for the people who use them. For some, a portable audio device is true to form as an essential commuter companion; others turn their players into home audio systems by attaching them to speakers. But one of the most popular uses for an MP3 player is as a workout motivator, which is why companies have packed fitness-friendly extras into the devices over the years. The most recent example is found in the Haier America Trainer, a 2GB player with a surfeit of features aimed at getting you in shape. At $60, the Trainer is a … Read more
The one thing you don't see or hear too much about is e-book readers at the gym. But if you're into reading on the treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike, the Kindle 2 and other e-readers are pretty ideal.
The key is there are no real page turns to deal with and you don't have to worry about keeping the book--especially a paperback--flat. You just reach out and press the "next page" button to keep reading.
The only problem I had was that on some machines my positioning put me too far away from the Kindle … Read more
The iPhone 3GS, like the second generation iPod Touch, includes built-in Nike + iPod support to monitor your workouts. Runners can purchase the Nike + iPod Sensor for $19 and slip it into either a Nike+ compatible shoe or any shoe (using one of the below hacks). The iPhone 3GS is thus capable of tracking distance, calories, pace, and workout duration during a run. The iPhone 3GS has a built-in receiver that eliminates the need to plug in the receiver sold with the Nike + iPod Sport Kit.
Using the Nike + iPod app
The Nike + iPod app is easy to use after you link it to your iPhone 3GS. You simply go to Settings, choose Nike + iPod, and turn Nike + iPod on. When Nike + iPod is turned on, its icon appears in Springboard (iPhone desktop). The app provides audible feedback on your speed, distance, time elapsed, and calories burned during a running (or walking) workout.
Note:If you have more than 176 apps installed--passing the display limit of Springboard--and you are running iPhone OS 3.0, you'll have to use Spotlight to launch the Nike+ app.
Once you have completed your run (or walk), dock your iPhone to your computer and use iTunes (Apple support document) to upload your workout statistics to NikePlus.com. You use that Web site to track your progress, set your goals, and participate in challenges against others.
Hack your own shoe
If you happen to like other brands of shoes, you can learn from others who have discovered ways to make the Nike+ sensor work with their favorite pairs of shoes. See some do-it-yourself examples at Instructables.com and Gadgetpage.com, or buy yourself a Shoe Pouch if you are lazy. Spendthrifts will appreciate this YouTube video for a real cheap sensor and shoe hack:
Pst! Hey you! Yes, you...the lazy bum in the desk chair. This is your computer talking, and I'm getting pretty stressed out over here. I could really use a vacation, ya know? The weather is getting warmer, the air is getting balmier, the birds are getting chirpier...and yet your waistline seems to keep expanding. How about this: turn me off, go outside, and hit the pavement. Or get yourself a nice gym membership. Heck, even go to the local pool or the beach. I don't care how you do it, but I want to see that … Read more
Spring is almost here, and soon we'll be showing the world much more than just our heads and hands. That means it's time to get up off the couch and start doing whatever we can to get our bods ready for summer. Need advice on that? These sites can help.
Gyminee If you're looking for a way to track your workouts and get some dietary advice, Gyminee is a great place to start.
In a matter of seconds, you'll be able to join Gyminee and start creating a workout regimen that will help you lose weight, tone your muscles, or gain strength. And you won't need to do it alone. With the help of Gyminee, you can find exercises and create a regimen from pre-configured workout routines based on your goals. Gyminee does a fine job of helping you do whatever you want.
Gyminee's tracking tools are very good. Once you sign up, you can put your weight, resting heart rate, and measurements into the system to see where you stand today. As long as you keep inputting that information on a regular basis, it will show you a detailed graph providing your progress over the term of your workout. That's easily my favorite feature because it's a great motivation tool that helps me see just how far I've come since I started exercising.
While Gyminee does a fine job with workouts and tracking, I was disappointed with its dietary advice. It does provide a detailed analysis of required calorie, fat, and protein intake to get you to your goal weight, but it doesn't do much more. It doesn't tell you what to eat and how to do it. It doesn't tell you when you should be eating. It basically tells you that you need to have a certain number of calories every day and leaves it at that. For a full-featured health improvement site, that's weak.
Gyminee boasts extra features like a forum so you can discuss health considerations, and you can make friends with others and track their progress. If you want, you can also set challenges and see how close you are to achieving those goals. Gyminee offers good features and it's worth using even though it doesn't have enough dietary information.… Read more
Looks like that iPhone or iPod Touch you bring to the gym can do more for your fitness than just make your workout more pleasurable.
iTMP Technology, an iPhone hardware and software developer, announced Friday its launch of SmHeart Link, a new device developed to bring health and fitness tracking capabilities to iPhone and iPod Touch users.
Basically, SmHeart Link is a wireless bridge that collects data from distributed health and fitness sensors such as those found in workout machines and sends it to the iPhone via Wi-Fi. Users then can make use of the data via an iPhone application … Read more
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: an MP3 player is the perfect workout companion. There's nothing like a little music to get you motivated for a sweat session. Of course, some MP3 players even take things a step further by offering other fitness-friendly extras. Such is the case with Haier America's latest Ibiza device, the Trainer. This 2GB player includes a built-in heart-rate monitor, a pedometer, a calorie counter, and a stopwatch. Really, what more could you ask for from a gym-ready gadget? How about an FM tuner, you say? Why yes, there'… Read more
Are you disappointed that your iPhone still hasn't made you sexier in the eyes of potential mates? Hey, don't give up yet. AppleInsider has unearthed a series of patent filings that seem to indicate the company is working on a new "digital lifestyle" product to help track and manage a fitness routine.
In a move that could rival Google's upcoming health initiatives, the Apple screenshots show that health information could also be shared with a user's authorized physicians.
The filings were submitted on Thursday.
The product appears to be an application that would require … Read more
It was bound to happen, wasn't it? Zander Urquhart, a personal trainer from Glasgow, has reportedly come up with an official exercise regimen based on playing the Wii.
It's not as silly as it may sound. Research has suggested that digital games can help people lose weight, and at least one blogger says he lost several pounds playing Wii Sports 30 minutes a day. According to Newlaunches, a study by Liverpool John Moores University reports that 12.2 hours of Wii playing each week can burn 1,830 calories.
We have no personal knowledge of how well it … Read more
Dance Dance Revolution may very well be the future of working out.
Case in point: the MX9 Workout Master by Motivatrix is a full-body workout machine in which sensors on a platform and in a ring above detect a user's movements and input them into a monitor. There are a variety of games, exercises and choices of music to choose from, and the display will keep track of the user's performance. Sound like a video game? Well, that's the point.
"Your body is a joystick...this is a way to take those Nintendo kids and give … Read more