Top Walking Gadgets

I am a gadget lover. I want data. I want something to play with while I walk. These gizmos will help you plan or track a better walking workout.

Garmin Forerunner 10

Garmin Forerunner 10
Garmin Forerunner 10. Courtesy of Amazon

The Forerunner uses a GPS to get true distance and speed. This is the lowest priced model, which lacks being able to team with a heart rate monitor strap or with a footpod to get indoor steps. But if you want to track your speed and distance outdoors, it is a very popular gadget. It has a Virtual Pacer function to help you keep to the pace you want. Wonder if you've gone a mile? It will beep. It also can alert you for run/walk intervals and automatically track laps. After your walk, you can upload your data to the Garmin Connect site and view a map of your walk and your other stats.

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Apple Watch

Apple Watch Heart Rate
Apple Watch Heart Rate. Wendy Bumgardner ©

How can an Apple Watch enhance your walking life? Not only does it track your activity and motivate you to move more in three different ways, it has excellent workout features and apps. Controlling your music, navigating, taking and responding to messages and calls, all of it means keeping your phone secure in your pocket and walking hands-free.

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Fitbit Zip - One- Flex - Charge - Aria - Charge HR - Surge
Fitbit Zip - One- Flex - Charge - Aria - Charge HR - Surge. Fitbit

The Fitbit family of personal activity trackers keeps growing and improving. They all team with the Fitbit web site and/or mobile app so you can track your daily steps, workouts, and diet. Some models will also track your sleep quality. I have used every model over the years since they debuted and it is still what I wear everyday. In addition to models you wear on your waistband, they also have the Flex and charge wristband models.

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Woman tracking her steps on a cell phone app
Todor Tsvetkov/Getty Images

Convergence is here with a GPS-capable iPhone. The same goes for other advanced cell phones that include GPS and have a range of apps. But bear with me as I praise my boyfriend the iPhone. Real-time maps with real-time traffic built in. I really have no excuse to be lost as long as I'm in cell range. I have podcasts and music to listen to. I can take photos as I walk. I can email them to friends or post them on Facebook. I can look up info on things I pass by. I can make restaurant reservations for after my walk. I have heard that one can even make phone calls with this wondrous device. There are more and more apps that also measure your speed and distance and save a map of your route, such as Walkmeter and MapMyWalk. But my boyfriend the iPhone has a couple of drawbacks. He's too big to carry without a special holder, and his battery doesn't last long enough if you use some GPS apps. If you are out of cell range, you are out of luck, so he doesn't work in the wilderness.

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Timex Road Trainer Heart Rate Monitor

Timex Road Trainer Heart Rate Monitor
Timex Road Trainer Heart Rate Monitor. Courtesy of

The Timex Ironman Road Trainer is an exercise heart rate monitor and full featured Ironman sports watch. You can view your heart rate with the time of day and while using the 50-lap chronograph and interval timer. It's a good way to go for a heart rate monitor that doesn't rely on your phone and an app. While many fitness bands and smartwatches are building in heart rate, they are not as convenient to check as a dedicated heart rate monitor.

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Mio Alpha Strapless Continuous Heart Rate Monitor

Mio Alpha 2
Mio Alpha 2. Courtesy of Amazon

Do you want to know your heart rate continuously as you walk and exercise, but hate wearing the chest strap? This watch has sensors that will read your pulse continuously. You can set your upper and lower heart rate zone and it will alert you with an arrow, colored light and beep in addition to the numerical readout of your heart rate. It can link up to your mobile device via Bluetooth so you can track your heart rate on your favorite workout app as well.
Review: Mio Alpha

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