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Fitness by Crunchgear 2007

Sweatin' to the Oldies, CrunchGear-Style

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It’s amazing where people will take their music player, but few activities are better suited to music listening than exercising. Whether you’re getting your exercise ya-yas out in the water, on dry land, on wheels, indoors, or out in the snow, there’s a product out there that can help you rock out while you sweat. Here’s a rundown of my favorite audio-related fitness products, broken down by activity.

Runners
Gracie’s Gear helps you fight flab and cancer at the same time, with their Power Pouch line of sports bras (see picture above). Available in pink, green, black, or blue, as well as in long and short versions, the Power Pouch can accommodate your iPod or other music player in a zippered pocket. When I’ve tried them on Word on the street is they’re very comfy — and best of all, 50 percent of proceeds go to fighting the Big C!


Apple and Nike made a big splash last year with the Nike + iPod Sport Kit for the iPod nano. This is really a pretty impressive system, especially if you use it in conjunction with the Nike+ Web site to track your progress and use the cool community features. It tracks your speed, distance, and calories burned, as well as personal bests like fastest mile or longest run.


When you’re running, the most important feature of headphones is a secure, comfortable fit. Altec Lansing’s AHP227 headphones are an excellent budget-oriented choice that have soft rubber ear clips and sound very good for $14.95.

Gym Rats
Ahh, the gym. Grinding, grunting, sweating, and picking up hotties meeting other fitness-minded individuals. Nothing can help you push your limits like a good GWAR song, so gear up right!


Many gyms broadcast the TV audio via FM radio, making the Apple iPod Radio Remote a must-have for iPod owners who want to keep their eyes and ears glued to the tube while they sweat. (Most non-Apple players have built-in FM tuners, of course.)


When you’re squatting 350 pounds, you’ll want headphones that can keep pumping tunes while you pump iron. Sennheiser’s Sport Fit headphones have rubber knobs on each ear bud that slide into the ridges of your outer ear for a secure fit. The sweat-resistant MX 75 comes with different size rubber pads that accommodate any ear size. And they don’t block out too much sound, so you can hear the sound of tendons tearing your spotter if you need to.


When you’re working out, cables can be a drag, not to mention dealing with an MP3 player if you’ve got no pockets. Think’s HeadTrip 2 MP3 headphones are a self-contained MP3 player/headphone combo with up to 2GB of storage, and they’re lightweight and comfortable with decent sound — and no wires! It’s got a built-in rechargeable battery, and you don’t need to install any software on your computer to load it with tunes.

Skiers and Snowboarders
Apparently, wiping out — hard — is what snowboarding is all about. (Sadly for me, skiing is the same way.) Thankfully, Otterbox makes some extremely tough cases for most iPod flavors, so even when you crash and burn, your iPod will emerge unscathed from the wreckage. And they’re waterproof too.

Protecting your iPod while snowboarding is one thing, but you should also protect your head. Helmet maker Giro’s Tune Ups II snow helmets come with built-in headphones so you can listen to music instead of the sounds of your bones cracking. (According to my friend Joe, it also keeps crazy people from talking to you.)

Swimmers
Can’t live without music while you’re doing laps in the pool? H2O Audio makes waterproof cases and headphones for iPods that are submersible up to 10feet.


The H2O Audio-series cases include sport armbands they’ll accommodate most iPod models. The company’s waterproof headphones are also compatible with Otterbox iPod cases.

Or if you’re the scuba type, you can pick up the DV-i300, which includes an iriver MP3 player, waterproof case and headphones — and it’s good for depths up to 200 feet!

Cyclists
Prefer getting your exercise on two wheels? Just keep in mind that in many states, listening to headphones while riding a bike is just plain illegal — so don’t get caught! But you can still put the heavy metal to the pedal with the iHome iH19B portable iPod speaker, which has locking mounts specifically for bars. The integrated case holds your iPod inside and is splash resistant, so you won’t fry anything if it starts to rain.

If you’re really industrious, you can even build your own bicycle-mounted iPod charger so you can add a little pedal power to your iPod’s battery — or just about anything else, for that matter. (Thanks GeekTechnique.org!)

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