Chicago moms improve workouts with fitness gear and gadgets

A couple of weeks ago I discussed the basic necessities for working out – shoes and workout clothes. Today, I’m going to talk about the “fancy” workout gear and gadgets that can add an extra oomph to your workout.

A jogging stroller

When I first started working out after my son was born, the jogging stroller was my best friend. Jogging strollers come in a wide range of prices and some are quite affordable. If you plan on running or walking outside with your child, a jogging stroller provides a safe and comfortable place for them to sit.

I started by walking with my son in the jogging stroller and worked my way up to running. By the time he was a toddler, he was used to the stroller and I was able to get a good workout in without having to find someone to watch him.

A heart rate monitor

Heart rate monitors measure your heart rate when you workout via a strap that is worn around your chest. It transmits the information to a watch so you can see your heart rate at any time. Heart rate monitors are great for measuring how hard you’re working and making sure that you’re pushing yourself enough (or too much) doing a workout.

A lot of heart rate monitors will also track calories burned during your workout.

A GPS running watch

If you are an avid outdoor runner, a GPS watch is a great device to invest in. Some GPS watches are also heart rate monitors which eliminates the need for an extra device. GPS watches can measure your pace, distance and calories. If you run outside often, this is a great device to record your mileage.

An iPod

Who doesn’t love working out to music?! Working out to music can make your workout go by faster and keep you entertained. You can even find websites that list the beats per minute (bpm) of popular songs to help you work out at the right intensity.

There are so many different iPods that it’s easy to find one to fit your price range and fitness level. I work out on a daily basis and I get by just fine with the iPod shuffle that costs less that $50. It holds tons of songs, it’s small and compact so it doesn’t get in my way, and I love that it can clip onto my pants eliminating the need for an armband.

Water bottles

Water is a must if you’re working out and usually a regular water bottle works out fine. However, if you are a runner you might find yourself needing a hands-free water bottle for running long distances. Water bottle belts are really popular and hold small water bottles around your waist. Another option is a water bottle belt that holds a water bottle on the small of your back or a hydration pack that lets you carry water in a backpack.

A fitness tracking device

Fitness tracking devices such as the FitBit and Polar Loop are all the rage right now. These fitness tracking devices measure your steps taken, calories burned, activity levels and even monitor your sleep. These are great devices if you’re trying to lose weight because they help you move more and can help you track if you’re burning more calories than you consume.

Whether you’re a fitness veteran or new to working out, fitness gadgets and accessories can help improve your workouts and make things fun.

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