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Workout Gadgets

Since we are at the start of a new year when all the healthy New Year’s Resolutions are in full swing, I thought I would share some of my favorite workout gadgets.

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Garmin Forerunner 305

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{My watch at last weekend’s 10k race}

I have had this watch for a few years. I asked for it for Christmas when I first got into long distance running. I have a hard time pacing myself so I always ended up starting my races much faster than my “happy pace” without realizing it and then I would find myself hitting a wall pretty fast. I did a lot of research on the Garmin watches and liked this one the best because it was simple (despite it’s ginormous size) and easy to view all of the different metrics. It shows total run time, pace and distance on the main screen and when you scroll to the 2nd screen it shows fastest pace, lap time, and calories burned. It comes with a heart rate chest strap which will give you a more accurate calorie count, but it will still calculate the calories without the strap based on the weight/height you enter into the watch. I rarely wear the chest strap because I am not too concerned with the amount of calories burned when I go on a nice long run. I was a little disappointed that the watch and chest strap only worked for calculating calories when running or walking (it apparently calculates it based on your heart rate + distance/pace traveled). I learned that the hard way the first time I wore it to BodyPump and it showed up as 0 calories burned! Bummer! But overall I have enjoyed having this little ginormous gadget on my wrist while I run. It is an older model so there may be better ones out there, but for not this watch works for me!

PS Warning – this watch will attract comments from random people about it’s size. I tend to get asked if I am an air traffic controller or an employee of NASA whenever I wear it to a race. Come on people, get creative!

Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor

As mentioned above, my running watch won’t calculate calories for non-running related activities which is fine because I used to just enter in my workout activity based on the calories the Lose It app suggested. But after doing that (on and off) for years I started to get a bit more curious as to how many calories I actually was burning during my workouts. Especially because I recently started incorporating more barre workouts into my routine and I had no idea how many calories that burned because for the most part it is low impact (but still leaves you feeling the burn!). I looked into the FitBit and the Nike Fuel Band which are awesome because they can sync to your phone and you can see a ton of great stats…but I knew ultimately I wouldn’t want to wear a gadget 24/7 and just wanted something to show me my calorie burn while actually working out.  I have knew Polar was a great brand for heart rate monitors so started to pay attention to others at the gym and my cousin Stephanie just got a new fancy HRM for Christmas and gave me the heads up that this website had the best prices. I realized I didn’t really need anything super fancy and opted for this model because it was A. Cheap and B. Cute.  Priorities I tell ya!!  So far this watch has worked out nicely and given me extra motivation during my workouts because I am excited to see how many calories I can burn during my workout classes.

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{calories burned at BodyAttack}

What are your favorite workout gadgets?