Improve Your Health with a Springtime Fitness Routine

If you are looking for a fun way to improve your health and overall well-being, get moving this spring and make fitness part of your daily routine!   Choose an activity that you really enjoy doing — like walking, cycling or swimming — and one that fits into your schedule.  Working out with a friend is a good motivator that also turns fitness time into social time.  Tracking your progress can also inspire you to stick with your workout routine.

Whatever fitness regime you choose, remember to check with your doctor first before you begin and advance slowly — you don’t have to become Superman to improve your health!  To help you monitor your progress and keep you safe while you exercise, try some of these fitness gadgets which we selected specially for each activity.DIYControls Health and Fitness



Make Every Step Count — No matter where you’re going, make every step count by wearing a pedometer.  We like the Tri-Axis Pedometer by Omron that features a features a built-in USB plug so you can easily upload your workout data to your computer.  Clip it to your pocket, belt, or bag.  The Tri-Axis tracks both regular and aerobic steps separately along with distance and calories burned.  Around $40.

Be Visible to Prevent Accidents – Increase your visibility to motorists while walking by wearing reflective material and carrying or wearing a light.  For the ultimate in visibility up 2,500 feet away, wear a Maxsa Innovations Reflective Safety Vest that’s made of a highly reflective fluorescent material and has 16 flashing LED lights on the front and back.  Less than $30.

Carry a Personal Siren for Personal Protection – You’ll feel safer as you walk carrying this innovative flashlight by Viatek that features a pull-tab siren that sets off a high-decibel siren. Use it to attract attention should you feel threatened.  The Viatek Handheld Bark Stop with Flashlight also emits a silent ultrasonic sound to repel pesky barking dogs.  Under $25.



The Garmin Forerunner 310XT is GPS-enabled training device that works under waterRun in Your Heart Rate Zone – To get the best results for burning fat and losing weight, run within your “target heart rate zone” and wear a heart rate monitor while you exercise.  Many runners like the wristband OMRON HR-310 Heart Rate Monitor because it’s comfortable to wear and has programmable visual and audio zone alerts to warn if results are too high or too low.  Sale priced at under $65.

Track Your Workout Distance and Data – Dedicated runners and multisport enthusiasts will love this GPS-enabled training device that measures distance, pace and heart rate on land and sea.  The water-resistant Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS Receiver with Heart Rate Monitor has up to 20 hours of battery life and sends data wirelessly to your computer.  About $360.

Be Seen in Low Light or Darkness – If you run when the sun is high or low or at night time, wear a safety light armband to increase your chances of being seen by passing cars.  Check out the Marpac FoxFire Armband Lite – it’s a reflective, weather-proof band that has a long-life lithium battery and four super bright LED lights.  Affordable safety for under $11.



The PELICAN HeadsUp Lite provides ultra bright hands-free lightingLight the Way with a Hands-Free Headlamp – Good lighting is critical on the trail and a hands-free headlamp like the PELICAN HeadsUp Lite has multiple advantages over conventional flashlights, including the option of using the Xenon lamp for intense bright light or three LEDs to conserve battery life.  It also has a multi-angle pivoting head to aim light where you need it.  Sells for around $40.

Pack an Emergency Locator Beacon – No one plans on getting lost, but if you do, you can assist search and rescue teams by identifying your location with an emergency locator beacon.  The compact Datexx LED-76 LED Waterproof Light and Beacon doubles as a flashlight and operates in beacon mode for about 70 hours on fresh batteries.  Less than $20.

Make Extreme Hiking Safer – For the true adventurers who plan to hike off-trail or in unchartered wilderness, the Land Air Sea SilverCloud Real-Time GPS Tracker can track or assist in finding someone who is lost. Designed for locating commercial car and truck fleets, this sophisticated device lets you view live GPS tracking data online anytime on any high-speed Internet device. Great for amateur hikers and children too. Sells for under $300 plus a one-time activation fee and a pay-as-you-go data plan.



The Swimline PoolTunes lets you bring your iPod music into the pool Track Fitness Data in the Pool – Swimming is one of the most intense types of exercise, so if this is your sport, you will want to try the water-resistant Magellan Switch Crossover Watch that tracks your position so precisely you can record time, distance, speed/pace, elevation, calories and more.  Comes with mounts and a heart rate monitor.  Data can be uploaded to fitness websites to analyze and share.  About $300.

Enjoy iPod Music While you Swim – Fitness is supposed to be fun, so make listening to your favorite music part of your swimming routine with the Swimline PoolTunes Floating Pool Speaker and Transmitter.   The transmitter broadcasts music wirelessly from your iPod to the floating speaker as far as 100 feet away.  Fun for everyone for under $60!



Check Heart Rate, Location and Distance While You Peddle – A wristband-style heart rate monitor makes it easy to check if you are cycling within your “target heart rate zone”.  Include a GPS receiver and you can also track your time, speed, distance and calories burned, and that’s what you get with the GARMIN Forerunner 70 GPS Receiver.  Priced at around $240.

Increase Visibility up to Half-Mile Away – Make sure you can be seen from the rear by mounting a tail light on your bicycle.  We recommend the Marpac FoxFire 3 Pattern Personal Safety Lite which features four LED lights with three different light patterns plus magnifiers to enhance the brightness and visibility.  And, it operates for up to 200 hours on two AA batteries.  Less than $15.


Get Fit, Stay Fit to Improve Your Health

Regular exercise will improve your health, make you feel better and have more energy.  It may also help you to live longer.  According to the Mayo Clinic, there are seven ways exercising can improve your life.  So, make a commitment this spring to make fitness part of your daily routine, and try one of these exciting fitness devices to make it more interesting and enjoyable.

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