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4 Must-Have Summer Running Gadgets

This blog was originally posted on my running website, www.paulcarpenter.org. Make sure you check back for monthly running updates.

The simple act of running has come a long way in the last 20 years, and technology has had a lot to do with that revolution. When I first started running, I had to map my run beforehand and time myself with a watch if I wanted to know my split pace. With today’s fitness trackers, GPS watches, and smart shoes, it is easier than ever to track your progress and focus on improving your times. With the peak running season quickly approaching, it is always nice to have a new gadget or two to test when you’re getting back outside. Try any of the following running gadgets to get the most in-depth running analysis and enjoy your runs more than you ever have.

Arion

Arion is a fully functional pressure sensor monitor that you wear as an insole in your running shoe. It monitors a number of factors that make up your gait so you can better understand where you may be losing efficiency, or why a certain part of your body is bothering you when you run. The data is transferred to a smartphone via a small pod. If you use the same smartphone for your running music, you can get audible cues to improve your stride and fix your form.

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium

Listening to music when you run can be dangerous. You need to be able to hear your surroundings at all times, and with these headphones you get the best of both worlds. The Trekz use bone conduction to send sound to your temples instead of covering your ears. With your ears uncovered, you will be able to hear everything around you while you can still hear your favorite running songs.

New Balance RunIQ Smartwatch

New Balance is branching out into the tech world by releasing its first smartwatch, and it is as powerful as it is stylish. You no longer need to carry your phone for Strava since the watch has a built in app to track your progress and log your runs. New Balance added a small dedicated lap button, which I haven’t seen on any other smartwatches. It’s a nice addition to be able to monitor your splits at any time during your run.

LumiWave

Most of us know know how long it takes to recover from our more grueling runs. This recovery time may not cooperate with our training schedules. With the LumiWave, recovery is sped up through LED pods that cause a photochemical reaction in your muscles. This reaction causes a release of nitric oxide, and that release tells your body it’s time to make repairs.

Whether you are just getting in shape or training for a marathon, these gadgets will be beneficial to your running program. There’s no better time than now to jump into the running tech world and find the gadgets that work for you.

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The Health Benefits of Running

A slight breeze brushes past, whistling through quiet air; it’s morning, not yet dawn. Weaving through shadowy streets, you feel electricity pulse from your calves, through quads, then hamstrings. It’s a powerful dance, you realize, as your muscles fire in sync with the firm beat in your chest; it’s a fluid rush, and you’ve mastered it. Months of pounding the pavement, and now, finally, the fatigue is gone. Training was one hell of an investment, sure, but it’s paid in dividends. Your strength. Your health. Your run. Now, you own it all.

The above scene is by no means an extraordinary picture. Sheer exhilaration. It’s how our bodies reward us when we allow our legs to perform exactly as they are designed, and it’s accessible to nearly anyone. But benefits of running far exceed the endorphin flood known as a “runner’s high;” the real rewards of daily cardio are found in its countless health benefits. In fact, jogging for as little as five minutes a day can be enough to stave off illness and tack years onto your lifespan. To provide a complete image of what cardio can do for you, I’ve listed a few major health benefits of running below.

A healthy heart

It’s no surprise that performing cardiovascular endurance exercise improves heart health and function. What might come as a shock is just how drastically even a minimal jogging routine can boost heart health. A long-term study searched for correlations between the frequency and length of running routines, and health levels of 55,000 adults both active and sedentary, over a 15 year period. Results showed that death by cardiovascular disease was 45% less likely for the running group.

A long life

The same research also indicated that runners have a 30% lower risk of death from any cause, as well as a three-year longer average lifespan than non-runners. The most promising discovery however, was the fact that “mortality benefits in runners were similar across running time, distance, frequency, amount, and speed,” according to D.H Lee, assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University, who co-authored the study.

Strong joints

Contrary to narratives which paint running as a cause of joint breakdown, a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise examined around 100,000 people, and found that instances of knee osteoarthritis were half as prevalent in runners than walkers; even runners who ran upwards of 25 miles a day suffered no increased risk. Exercise physiologist Janet Hamilton says this is because every time you run, “you stress your bones and cartilage, just like your muscles, causing them to spring back stronger.”