When people think about getting fit and staying healthy, they usually picture themselves lifting weights in the gym or hiking through the forest or up a mountain.
People sometimes think that the more natural the workout, the better it is. And for many, technical devices to help their workout are limited to their iPod for some motivational, mood-boosting music.
Unfortunately, if this is how you think, you could be missing out on some great little gadgets that can help increase the productivity of your workouts - no matter where you are when you're breaking a sweat. Here are a few to get you started.
? Pedometer: If you're just beginning to increase your physical activity, one of the easiest ways to get started is by monitoring how much you are moving. A pedometer is small electronic device you can wear all day that counts how many steps you take. It can be a great motivation tool, because you can easily compare your physical activity from day to day, and gradually work to increase it. Wear the pedometer on a regular day to gauge your starting point, then try to work up to 10,000 steps (or eight kilometers) per day, which is considered by many to be the benchmark for an active lifestyle.
? Heart Rate Monitor: As a basic rule, when you are exercising, you should be at 65 to 85 percent of your maximal heart rate. A heart rate monitor will tell you where you are at any point during your workout, so you can keep track of how your body is reacting to your routine.
If you are just getting started with exercise, it will help you learn what different heart rates feel like, help you set limits, and help you monitor your progress. More advanced athletes will also find heart rate monitors useful in getting the most out of their training.
- Body Fat Analyzer: If you've decided to introduce exercise into your life, there's a pretty good chance you're doing it to lose weight.
But what many people don't know is that your body fat percentage is more important than your weight when it comes to staying healthy.
You want to make sure you're losing fat rather than muscle, and this device will measure your body fat, and let you monitor your progress.
- Abdometer: We all want strong, sexy abs, especially during the beach days of summer. The Abdometer is a digital core training device that it works specif-ically with your body type; when you turn it on, it inflates to perfectly adjust to your body. It targets all of your core muscles, not just the outermost muscles that form the six-pack like most ab machines. And the best part: it doesn't let you cheat by using the wrong muscles, so you know you are getting the best abdominal workout possible. The Abdometer is also small enough that you can throw it in your back-pack and take it with you anywhere.
Shaun Karp is a certified personal trainer. For further information, call 604-420-7800 or go to www.karpfitness. com.