Mark Harris
GO GO GADGET! - Metro, 2 February 2005

The best exercise gadgets for people on the move, as chosen by Mark Harris

Tanita Calorie Jump £14.99
There’ll be no more arguments about who’s winning your games of Double Dutch with this high-tech skipping rope. It records each and every skip you take – forward, backward or criss-cross – then calculates how much energy you’ve burned off, according to your weight. The cord is made from strong, twist-free plastic and can be adjusted to suit your height. For the maximum health benefits, skip that chocolate bar after the gym, too.
Tanita. Tel: 0800 731 6994,

Nike-Philips MP3Run £250
Although listening to your favourite tunes makes a long run more enjoyable, it can also take your mind off your performance. Regain your focus with a smart stereo that speaks your speed, distance and time out loud. Simply attach a wireless Bluetooth sensor to your running shoes and it beams info to the headphones, helping you maintain your pace even while listening to chill-out music. When you get home, you can download all the data into your computer for analysis. The player itself has 256Mb of storage (for up to 8 hours of tunes), an FM radio and a triathlon-sized 12-hour battery life.
Nike-Philips. Tel: 0870 900 9070,

Oregon Scientific Outbreaker Bike Pro £160
This gadget is less a watch than a wrist-mounted data processing centre. As well as telling the time, altitude and temperature, it’s a fully featured bike computer, using a wireless transmitter kit to record your speed and pedal cadence. Strap on the splash-proof chest belt and the Outrider will also monitor your heart rate, recording average, minimum and maximum exertion over the course of your daily commute. A built-in weather forecast function will even tell you if it’s going to be too wet for two wheels before you set out.
Oregon Scientific. Tel: 0871 2221966,

Power Breathe Fitness £50
You might have pumped up your pecs and shredded your six-pack, but don’t forget the muscles that drive all exercise – your lungs. The Power Breathe Fitness specifically targets your respiratory system, promising to improve endurance and help your diaphragm work more effectively. You simply take 30 deep breaths with it every morning and evening, making it the ideal commuter-cise gadget - as long as you don’t mind funny looks on the train. The resistance can be adjusted to keep up with you as your lung power increases.
Boys Stuff. Tel: 0870 745 2000,

Neon Powerball £25
While Powerball Spinning is unlikely to make an appearance at the Beijing Olympics, it rivals Beach Volleyball in the fun stakes. Whizzing the gyroscopic gadget up to speed requires a surprisingly amount of arm and wrist power and there’s a built-in speedometer to record the fastest spins (supposedly, 15,000rpm is possible). Best of all, it glows in cheesy neon colours when rotating. It might not be serious exercise equipment, but the Powerball is perfect for toughening up limp handshakes and improving wrist muscles for racquet sports.
I Want One Of Those. Tel: 0870 241 1066,

Fitbug from £9.95/month
Personal trainers are so 20th century. This ‘impersonal trainer’ offers similar motivation and activity targets at a fraction of the price of a human coach – plus it’ll never ask you to feel its muscles. The Fitbug is an interactive pedometer that records your daily aerobic activity, uploading the data to a secure website when you connect it to a PC. Input details of your weight and diet and Fitbug will create a personalised fitness regime just for you, complete with calendars, graphs and feedback. It can even calculate the most efficient route for you to reach specific weight loss goals.
Fitbug. Tel: 0870 228 4949,

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