Shape's Senior Associate Health Editor, Bahar Takhtehchian, is here to dish on all of the best ways that you can get fit and increase and monitor your walking all on your own with the top gadgets and gear.
Introduction Why walking is such a great way to get exercise
For Walking Attire: The featherlight Mizuno Aero Singlet does more than just feel comfortable on your skin. Designed to lose all the "non essential" fabric to keep its weight to a mere 3.5-ounces, its cutting-edge DryScience wicking technology moves sweat off your skin in microseconds, and it stays dry so you feel cool, not clammy. It also has a UPF 15 coating so you get more coverage from damaging rays. Talk about double-duty! ($45; www.mizunousa.com)
For Your Feet The Ecco Biom Walk 1.1 was chosen as the best overall sneaker for dedicated fitness walkers because of its comfort, fit, and style that molds to the foot and doesn't rub or chafe. ($195; at eccousa.com) With its dense insert at the arch that helps prevent feet from turning inward, the Asics Gel-Tech Walker Neo 2 will improve your walk by making you feel balanced and secure. ($100; at asicsamerica.com)
Walking Programs Timex Health Tracker watch features a Walk Sensor and Diet Diary to help take the guesswork out of diet and exercise. After a simple set-up process and without any manual calibration, the watch automatically records steps, distance, calories burned and active time throughout the day by sensing natural swinging motions of the user's arm. It can also discretely store the number of calories or units consumed, eliminating the need for a pen and journal at every meal. The watch motivates users to stay active by displaying cumulative daily activity on the front of the watch, and sounding an alert when a user is half-way to her daily goal. Designed specifically for women who are looking to lose weight or increase their daily activity, the watch also includes an intuitive Workout Mode with pace and distance, Seven-Day Activity Log, Countdown Timer, Alarms, 50 meter water-resistance and INDIGLO® night-light. ($65; at timex.com)
Nike + Sport Watch for the compulsive runner that's not a fan oversized designs. Track time, distance, pace and calories burned by tapping through the touch screen; it uses GPS technology from Tom Tom to keep you on course. ($199; nike.com)
Gaiam Walking Fit Kit- This kit, which comes in 3 different levels, includes a pedometer that is lightweight and clips easily to clothing, as well as an audio coaching CD set to music that you download to your MP3 player and a trainer guides you through your walk.
The Advanced 60-minute guide includes a full length walking audio CD with a guided workout and instructions for using the pedometer, and an advanced walking pedometer that shows your step and calorie count, distance traveled, pulse rate, programmable target steps, clock/alarm clock, stopwatch, and backlight. ($16; at gaiam.com) The Intermediate 45-minute guide includes a full length walking audio CD with a guided workout and instructions for using the pedometer, and an intermediate walking pedometer that shows your step and calorie count, distance traveled, clock, panic alarm and flashlight. ($12; at gaiam.com) The Beginner 35-minute guide includes a full length walking audio CD with a guided workout and instructions for using the pedometer, and a beginner walking pedometer that shows your step and calorie count, distance traveled, a large digital display, and clock. ($8; at gaiam.com)
BodyMedia FIT Armband is a high-tech device that tracks motion, heat flux and skin temperature to help you determine precisely how many calories you've burned, along with how much you've moved and how well you've slept. Concerned about your eating habits? Add in the easy-to-use food log and you have the information you need to improve your weight loss. ($249, $12.95/month for Activity Manager, bodymedia.com)
Happy, Happy Walking!
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