Pear Sports’ workout system pairs a heart rate monitor with comfortable earbuds and a mobile app. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
I’ve been a runner for a long time. I trained for (and ran) the 1994 Los Angeles Marathon. I’ve run 5K races, half marathons and relays for full marathons up here in Alaska, too. I find that running gives me the best bang for my buck: All I need is a pair of running shoes, some appropriate clothing (it gets cold up here), and some music to keep me getting out there.
Recently, though, I’ve been playing with a new bit of gear: the Pear Sports heart rate monitor, paired with a set of earbuds engineered to stay in your ears while working out, plus a pretty fantastic mobile app to make sense of the heart rate data.
I think fuchsia is your color. Photo: Eli Milchman
LAS VEGAS — It was only a matter of time before the behemoths of the fitness world jumped into the fitness-band fight; although considering Garmin has been making wrist-borne fitness gadgets for ages (in the guise of their Forerunner line) one might have expected their new Vivofit to have arrived much sooner.
It’s not exactly the belle of the ball, and its name is in serious need of some marketing help; but the LifeTrak Move C300 activity tracker makes up for its lack of charm with some powerful bonus features, like waterproofness (to 90 feet!) and the ability to also measure heart rate.
On top of all that, the device’s energy requirements are so low that its coin-sized, non-rechargeable battery will last a year.
At this point, Withings has to be the most complete biometric suite in existence outside of a hospital or Langley. The outfit began with a scale (which also measures body-fat percentage), added a separate blood pressure cuff and then snuck an air-quality sensor and a pulse meter into their scale.
The latest addition is the a wearable activity tracker that adds a feature unique, at this point, to activity trackers: a pulse meter (which explains why they’ve named it the Pulse).
The Wahoo Blue HR ($79) heart rate strap performs a neat trick: by pairing with your iPhone (4S or 5 only) via Bluetooth, it allows you to transform your favorite iOS device into any of the amazing heart rate monitors available on the App Store today. Even better, it works with all the best cycling and running apps too, so now you can monitor your heart and calories on your rides or runs.
Presumably for those without an iPhone and its wealth of app-basedfitnessoptions, iHome has partnered with New Balance to offer a set of earphones packed with workout features, including a pedometer and a heart-rate monitor.