Motivating yourself to go running—or, for that matter, to keep running—can be a chore. That's why I always remember the words of a wise friend, who once said: "Just think of running as a dance party." That friend has since purchased a Nike + iPod Sport Kit, which might just be the best music-based exercise motivator ever. This kit, available for the surprisingly low price of $29 here, lets you connect your running shoes wirelessly to your iPod Nano, so you can use the music player to track your workouts, including miles run and calories burned. There's even a setting that lets you choose a "power song" that you can activate when you need a little extra motivation. To learn how it works, read more
First of all, I should point out that the $29 does not include sneakers or an iPod; you'll need to get those separately. It does, however, come with a shoe sensor that sends data to your iPod, as well as a receiver that fits right into the dock connector on the bottom of the Nano, next to the headphone port. (Though the shoe sensor is meant to be stored in a special pocket in Nike+ shoes, you can actually tuck it into the shoelaces of any pair.) That sneaker sensor uses a sophisticated accelerometer to measure your distance and speed, then transmits the data to the iPod receiver. At the end of the run, a summary of your miles run, calories burned, and other workout stats appears on the iPod screen. You'll be surprised how much progress you are making, and who knows? Before long, you may not even need that power song.