I’ve never considered myself a runner. In fact, running was the one thing I dreaded most in gym class during high school. I could not understand how some of my friends could knock out a couple miles cross-country while I was struggling just to do a couple laps without stopping. I wasn’t carrying any extra weight, barely tipping the scales at 116 lbs on my 5’9″ frame. I just didn’t have a “runner’s body” I told myself. I much preferred a round of dodgeball or scooter hockey.
Fast-forward almost 30 years and the hours sitting behind a desk have taken its toll. My height is still the same, but I’ve added another 100 lbs to my load. Sure, some of it is muscle and better bone density, but my jeans told the truth – I was overweight. And by almost any BMI scale I have just crossed into obesity. My wife has been going to the YMCA for a couple years, and I reluctantly began joining her. I refuse to take her strength conditioning classes, opting instead for my own plan, an hour on the elliptical machine. This, coupled with a better diet has immediate results, and within 18 months I have dropped over 55 lbs and am fitting into clothes I haven’t worn since those days of mullets and glam bands.
But this routing also had its disadvantages. Sure I had lost weight, but I had also lost muscle mass. I felt weak and tired all the time, so I decided to change it up. I began taking the strength classes with my wife and also began hitting the treadmill. We were in the middle of winter, but I was content with the solitude of running on a belt with headphones on. But thanks to an early warm spell in 2012 this would change. I took my run outside.
At first I felt embarrassed to be running in public when I’ve seen so many fly by like they’ve been doing it all their lives. But that emotion quickly diminished and was replaced by the exhilaration of the brisk air and Spring smells that I didn’t get to experience running inside. I began taking my running routine a little more seriously after that day.
We already had iPhones and had used them to successfully track our food intake with MyFitnessPal. I knew that the key to weight loss was burning more calories than I consumed, but when you add physical exercise to the mix, you have to eat more or you’ll find yourself very tired and weak due to the calorie deficit. I needed a way to better track the calories I was burning, so I downloaded a copy of RunKeeper to estimate my burn. I also made sure I had my favorite music-streaming app, Spotify.
But even this wasn’t as accurate as I needed, and I still didn’t have a way to account for the calories I was burning during the cardio/strength classes at the Y. We ended up investing in a pair of Polar heart rate monitors, and then began utilizing some new wearable devices, and with all of this got an accurate picture of our calorie consumption.
Now that we’re starting to think about warmer weather this year, I have come to realize the thing I now hate most about running – the preparation! Special socks & shoes (not to mention clothing), as well as the phone, earbuds, heart-rate monitor and wrist device makes getting ready look something like a scene from Rambo where he prepares for his next firefight. I needed to simplify!
That’s when I discovered these new Intel SMS Audio BioSport Earbuds on Amazon. They promised to combine three of my devices into one (earbuds, wrist device and heart rate monitor). In the past I had to manually enter my details into RunKeeper (and MyFitnessPal), but since I am able to sync RK and MFP to each other, and these Intel SMS Audio BioSport Earbuds work directly inside of RunKeeper, my after-run chores are almost zero!
You’d think that getting a device and two software programs to work together would be a nightmare – it wasn’t. RunKeeper integrates with a number of hardware devices, and setting this up was just a matter of a couple steps in the settings section.
Of course, it is January here in Iowa. Hardly weather to be running outside. For now my routine is confined to the basement treadmill.
As you can see, the RunKeeper app communicates directly with the earbuds, displaying the heart rate and poorly attempting to show my location (remember, I’m in the basement – the GPS obviously isn’t very accurate).
By using state-of-the-art technology, the Intel SMS Audio BioSport Earbuds continuously measures your heart rate in a manner that you won’t even notice. There is also a handy switch to turn this feature on and off in case you receive a call on your phone while it is in use. The headphones use audio cues to transmit the data to the app, but you’d need your microphone for talking on a call. Thus you can’t do both at the same time.
Amazingly, with these headphones there are no batteries or charging required. The BioSport includes technology that enables the 3.5mm gold-plated audio jack to power the headphones and biometric monitoring capabilities. Their design is quite comfortable, inserting deeper into my ear than standard earbuds. They have allowed me to get rid of that chest-mounted monitor (bye-bye chest strap), as well as allow me to get to running rather than spending 15 minutes preparing. And considering the cost of a standard HRM and quality earbuds, this actually ends up being the more sensible solution.
If you’re looking for a sweat & water resistant multi-function solution, check out the Intel SMS Audio BioSport Earbuds at your local Dick’s Sporting Goods or on Amazon.com. And for the next week you can save 20% by using the code BioSport20 when purchasing on SMSAudio.com. You also receive a free month of RunKeeper Elite when you make the purchase! See the other ways SMS Audio & Intel are fusing fitness with technology by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
And I’m curious – in what ways have you simplified your fitness routine? Shakes instead of meals? Classes instead of dedicated machines? We’d love to hear your solutions!