Stuck in an exercise rut? Sometimes a high-tech tool can zap energy into your routine.
A new global-positioning device for your bike or music player for your morning run can inspire you to put in extra miles. Whether you're struggling to stick to your New Year's resolution or a road warrior licking your chops at the first signs of spring, you might benefit from these fitness gadgets:
, a GPS device that tracks a cyclist's speed, distance, heart rate and altitude, might push you to pedal harder. Team
used this sort of technology at last year's Tour de France and placed fourth in the team competition. The $499.99 gadget allows you share your information with friends and enemies alike.
Sunny spring days are on the horizon. Soon, it will be time to break out the shades.
takes sunglasses a step further with its
, which features a built-in MP3 player with a gigabyte of memory. That's enough to fit 240 songs. The $299 sunglasses offer six hours of continuous playback and keep annoying cords from disrupting your stride.
joggers should consider Garmin's
, which serves as a directional tool and a heart-rate monitor. The $299.99 device, which is worn like a watch, tracks distance, speed and calories burned. Users can upload performance data wirelessly to their computers and monitor their progress.
Garmin's Forerunner 405
There are plenty of underwater gadgets for those trying to channel their inner Michael Phelps. The
is a waterproof MP3 player that uses "bone conduction" to transmit sound to swimmers' ears. This technology sends sound vibrations through the cheek bone to the inner ear, generating clearer music. The device costs $149.99.
helps swimmers monitor the distance they've traveled. The $74.99 device sticks to the side of a pool with suction cups so that users can press a button each time they complete a lap. Lap Track calculates speed for up to 50 laps.
Those who love to hit the links might appreciate the Ballfinder Scout, which uses digital-imaging technology to find missing golf balls. The device's camera scours the course at up to 600 feet per second. When it locates a ball, it vibrates and displays the ball on its screen. It retails for $179. Golfers looking to analyze their game could try the
, a $399.99 GPS device that calculates the distance to fairway targets and hazards.
If it's a struggle to get off the couch, the
might be worth a try. Like a pedometer, the gadget tracks the number of steps users take and how far they walk, but it also assesses the quality of their sleep and the calories they burn. The device's small size and minimalist design make it easy to wear. Users can transfer their information wirelessly to the Web. Fitbit is expected to be available by the end of March for $99.
All fitness enthusiasts must be mindful of their water intake. Could an interactive bottle help? The $29.99
HydraCoach Intelligent Water Bottle
calculates the amount of water you should drink based on your weight and the duration of your workout. The bottle considers factors like altitude, heat, exercise intensity, and pregnancy. It even helps you pace your sips.
If these gadgets inspire you to exercise harder in the spring, you'll be grateful this summer, when swimsuit season arrives.
Nate Herpich is a freelance writer and editor living in Brooklyn, N.Y. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor and Sports Illustrated.com.