Attention quant jocks: Deep in the Nike+ support forums last week, a Nike operative named "Clover" broke big news (big, at least for Nike+ loyalists): A Nike+ compatible heart rate monitor will hit the market on June 1st. Not clear yet how much the device will cost, or why it's taken so long to get to market, or even what it'll look like; but it is clear that this puts the Nike-Apple alliance into even more direct competition with multi-function sports watch makers like Garmin and Polar. It also means that we all have yet another option to consider in the ever expanding universe of digital-gadgets-that-track-us. Heart rate monitor junkies, please send your thoughts.... [Via Apple Insider via MacRumors via Gizmodo!]
It's tax season. Yesterday, the new accountant came to look over the books. We talked about exercise and stress. He said he'd gotten up that morning realizing he might actually need the Hammacher Schlemmer Biofeedback Stress Relief Coach. He'd seen the device in the catalog and always thought it was a joke, but suddenly he was open to anything. Hammacher says the device helps you to "synchronize your breathing with your nervous system..."More...
RunKeeper, the increasingly popular iPhone app, now allows runners to broadcast their GPS coordinates in real time. What's that mean? Well, now friends and family sitting at home can watch a line progressing along a Google Map as you stride across the landscape, complete with pace and elevation statistics. Sort of cool! It's also sort of reminiscent of Disney Mobile's ill-fated experiment with GPS-enabled cellphones which allowed parents to spy on their children. Doh! Privacy concerns aside (you can turn off the "Live" feature), RunKeeper is on the march, and has lot's of other features for iPhone-packing runners and cyclists. The app, offered both as a free basic version and a $9.99 "Pro" version, allows users to share their running routes, seek out other runners in their area, and it also generates nice graphical reports on distance covered and calories burned.
How to get a personal trainer on the relatively cheap? Well, you could try FitOrbit.com, which just launched today. FitO. matches you to real live trainers based on your "fitness profile." Think Match.com-meets-New York Sports Club. Once you're matched with a trainer, you pay anywhere from $9.99 per week (for six month plan) to $29.99 per week for "an interactive fitness plan filled with personalized workouts and meals that easily fit into your lifestyle and schedule." We signed up, just to see....More...
Almost breaking: De La Soul, legendary hip hop band, has released its first album in five years...via Nike! Yup, the trio whipped up a 45 minute single-track-album called "Are You In" for Nike's "Original Run Series." See, the idea is you download that baby to your iPod and then go for a run with your Nike+ powered running sneakers. According to De La Soul, the song is specially designed -- with feedback from runners -- to pace you, with highs and lows, and to generally push you along. They also say that neither they nor Nike compromised their artistic integrity in doing the project.... OK, we sort of buy that. Must change with the times, and why not compose for alternate platforms? What we don't buy, judging from the YouTube vid after the jump, is that any of these guys have serious Nike+-style running habits. But maybe it's just the outsized sweats they're wearing.More...
EA Sports, better known for guy video games like Madden NFL or Fight Night, released yesterday its would be Wii Fit-killer: EA Sports Active. (Prepare for media blitz featuring very fit, very happy, 30-nothing women, working out in sun drenched, Crate-and-Barrell fantasy living rooms. Sample vid at bottom!)
Early reviews are positive: "We're favorably impressed," writes Yahoo's PluggedIn blog. "A few minutes [of] jogging or thigh-lifting
exercises will have you muttering curses at the on-screen trainer." The game is designed for the Wii console, and comes with a velcro band to strap the Wii "nunchuck" to your leg -- allowing it to track your high stepping and jumping -- as well as a rubber resistance band for various sorts of muscle-y moves like curls. It also comes with a food logging app, and, nicely, it tracks calories burned, not pounds lost. All this, as well as the general vibe on the game's blog, suggests that EA is going after the ladies. Indeed, EA Prez Peter Moore, told the San Francisco Chronicle in March:
"Women are aware of the EA Sports brand but they thought of it for
their boyfriend, son or husband. This game can change that."
For "professional" reasons, Social Workout joined the iPhone universe last week, and began in depth research of the fitness-related "apps" last night post yoga. Our first impression: Roughly half of these apps are designed to help you track your period. (Period Tracker, iPeriod, PMS Buddy, Period Tracker Companion....) Who knew this would be so much in demand? Thusfar, we are impressed by the volume of offerings, if not always the the utility. Women's Day has a good, recent roundup of top iPhone fitness apps, wherein they claim that 869 of the more than 1,700 applications available to iPhone users are "health related." You've got your BMI trackers, and your exercise suggesters, as well as very cool running and biking apps that use the iPhone's built in GPS capability to automatically track distance and pace. There are sleep aid applications, heart rate monitors, and even teeth brushing support apps. All this may be old news to many of you, but for those still curious here are some very general points:More...
Nintendo has sold 6.5 million Wii Fit kits in the last year. That means, across the country, there are roughly 13 million terrified rotator cuffs -- to say nothing of the millions of truly freaked out ab muscles. Andrew Das has the tragi-comic story of Wii injuries in yesterday's Times: "Call it Wii Shoulder. Or Wii Knee. If there is an epidemic of anything, it probably falls under a broader label: Nintendinitis."
If you're not into gadgets, read this cute, ReadyMade-style post. If EKG machines turn you on, however, then let's talk about the new GoWear Fit "body monitor" from a company called BodyMedia. The inspiration behind this product is that you might want to keep tabs on your body not just when working out, but also "while shopping, playing with the kids, doing household chores, and sitting at the movies." In other words, says the web site: "When you’re wearing it, you’re measuring your life!" Cut to dimly lit Upper West Side bedroom.
Elliott: "Honey, we just burned 743 calories!"
Ruth: "I have a headache."
Can Twitter your way to six pack? No. But...
...operating under the Twitter name @twittercize, freelance writer Ron Doyle is broadcasting daily workouts in 140 words or less, designed for surreptitious office use. Some recent examples:
- @twittercize: Bradshaw's Calves: Standing, feet 6" apart, lift those heels like you're in a pair of 6" stilettos! 30 times!
- @twittercize: Cubicle Cross-overs: Sit upright and alternate punches across your body. Turn head with punch. 45 seconds!
- @twittercize: Hulk Hogans: Elbows up, hands at your heart, pull back like Hulk ripping a yellow tanktop! Squeeze those shoulderblades 30 times!
Our man has 600 followers thusfar. Make that 601.