There was a time when going out for a run was all about pulling some shoes on and heading out the door. Today, we have access to a plethora of different tools for collecting data about our exercise performance. But what tools are just gimmicks and which are helpful?
Subnet picture from Shutterstock
My main exercise activity is running. Over the last few years Nike and Adidas have developed shoe sensors that collect data while running. I'm using the Nike sensor with the Nike+ Sportswatch and a Polar heart rate monitor that works with the watch.
However, if you don’t want to buy any extra kit, you can achieve similar results with a number of apps that allow you to sync data to cloud services that save the data and allow you to compare your performance with others and even set up competitive challenges.
If you decide to use some high-tech gizmos with your running or exercise program it's a good idea to think about what you'll do with the data you collect. Is it all about the technology or is there a training benefit that you'll derive from the hardware?
However, before investing in lots of gadgets and apps, it's worth taking the time to invest in professionally fitted running shoes. Rather than simply buying the best looking, most expensive or cheapest shoes it a good idea to find a specialty running store that can evaluate your gait and foot type and recommend the best show for you. Some stores will even have treadmills in place so they can watch you running and so you can try shoes out.
So – we throw the doors open. What equipment do you consider essential for your exercise regime?