Listening to music while working out is not a new concept. For many, music provides a diversion to help see them through the monotony of a workout and in some cases can provide the motivation to go the full distance. Several months ago however, the iPod Sport Kit was introduced as the result of a collaborative effort by Apple and Nike, and the pairing of music with a workout has now reached a higher level.
The iPod Sport Kit acts as part coach and part cheerleader allowing runners, or walkers, to select the music that will motivate them throughout their workout as well as providing ongoing voice and graphic feedback regarding the distance already covered, the runner’s pace, and how long they’ve been running. When finished with the workout, a summary of the total distance covered, the number of calories burned, and the runner’s average speed is reported. The feedback provides a powerful tool for setting and achieving fitness goals whether the user is trying to lose a few pounds or prepare for a marathon.
At the conclusion of a workout, runner’s can go back to their PC, transfer workout data from their iPod Nano to the Nikeplus.com site and get a complete evaluation of their performance over time, set goals, and even challenge others using the site. Users can sign up for a free account and also get music for their iPod, obtain a Nike podcast, and learn more about how world renowned athletes are training with their iPod’s.
Other blessings of the iPod Sport Kit are its ease of use, comfort, and affordability. Luckily, after pulling the Sport Kit from the box, a runner merely needs to enter their weight, slip the sensor into the insole pocket of their Nike+ shoes, plug the receiver into their iPod Nano, and they are ready to start their workout. Once hooked up, runners will be oblivious to the ultra light sensor resting in their shoe. The price tag for the Sport Kit is a reasonable $29. The battery life of the sensor is generally the limiting factor but it’s said to last for approximately 1,000 hours of use. For most of us, that’s at least two or three years worth of workouts.
The iPod Sport Kit includes the wireless sensor for the Nike+ shoes and the wireless receiver for the iPod Nano. Although the kit is designed for Nike+ shoes with the special pouch designed specifically for the sensor, many do-it-yourselfers have reported adapting other shoes successfully to accommodate the sensor. The Nano can sync up with any PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows 2000/XP or a Mac with either a 2.0 port or OS X version 10.3.9+ for access to the iTunes and Nikeplus.com sites.
With the iPod Sport Kit providing the inspiration and data to conquer personal goals, working out becomes a bit less painful and a lot more meaningful whether you’re a committed fitness buff or a reluctant beginner.