There are lots of personal health and fitness gadgets, such as the Bodybug or the Jawbone wristband. But if you're serious about cardiovascular training and running you need something that does more than the calorie-counting those devices provide.
Pear Square One, from Pear Sports, adds a wireless strap-on heart monitor, which offers better accuracy than the bars you grab on some treadmills. It also has a foot pod that goes on the instep, under the shoelaces, which calculates how far you've run. The device itself hooks on a belt and connects to a Mac or PC with a USB cable, and can hold an iPod Nano if you want to combine a workout with music.
Pear Square One can be set to the kind of workout you want to do, determined in part by what your proper heart rate is. How does it know? It learns. You do a first 20-minute workout so the device can get a baseline of activity. Later workouts are tailored from that, depending on whether you want to just lose weight or run a marathon. Up to five different workout plans fit on the device. The Pear even offers verbal coaching — it will signal you if you aren't working hard enough to maintain a given heart rate and also tell you when to slow down.
The cues can be heard over whatever music you are playing on the iPod, if you're using one. The data in the Pear can be uploaded to the company's website, shared on Facebook and Twitter, and compared over time to track your progress.
The Pear sells for $250 from Pear Sports website.
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