Your iPhone probably goes pretty much everywhere with you, and that includes fitness-related activities like walking, running and hiking. That magical slab of glass and metal is already capable of tracking and logging what you're doing, but there are some great accessories and apps that can make your workout or leisurely stroll even better. Read on to see a few of my favorites.
Fitbit's clip on-style Fitbit One (US$99.95) fitness tracker logs your steps, how far you walked, how many flights of stairs you've climbed, and calories burned -- all data that's handy when you're tracking just how far you walk or run each day. It also tracks your sleep patterns, and includes a silent alarm feature. You can clip it to your clothes or pop it out of its silicone case and drop it into a pocket, too. It's great for automatically logging your activity even if your iPhone isn't handy, and it syncs to your iPhone via Bluetooth automatically so your data is always just a tap away.
The Fitbit One is my go-to fitness activity tracker
Fitbit app for iPhone
The Fitbit app for the iPhone (free) is like my fitness data nexus. Along with the daily activity data from my Fitbit One, it tracks my sleep patterns, what I'm eating and how much water I drink, plus other apps and devices can feed information into it, too. My Withings Smart Body Analyzer scale, for example, sends my weight and body mass index automatically, and run tracking apps can push data into the Fitbit app, too. Bonus: If I accidentally forget my Fitbit One, the app can use my iPhone 5S's built-in sensors to track my steps.
The Fitbit app is great for compiling fitness data from multiple sources
When I'm running or hiking, I like to know how far I've gone and how long it took me to get there. I also like seeing the route I took as well as receiving feedback along the way so I know how far I've gone and how fast I'm moving. The Nike+ Running app (free) does all of that for me, and it can sync with the Fitbit app through an add-on called Fitbit Daemon -- or at least it did. The add-on hasn't been working reliably lately, so if this is an important feature for you, there are other apps you should check out instead.
Nike+ Running is great for logging runs and hikes
FitnessKeeper's RunKeeper app (free) tracks your walks, hikes and runs, logs your speed, lets you create workout plans, includes pre-planned routes, pairs with many heart rate monitors for real-time tracking and feedback, can feed data back to your Fitbit account, and more. Several in-app purchase options are available, but RunKeeper is still amazingly useful without them.
RunKeeper logs your runs and walks, and links to other fitness devices
Listening to music, podcasts, or the audio feedback apps like Nike+ Running and RunKeeper offer when you're on the trail is nice, and Jaybird's Bluebuds X ($169.95) are my current favorite for runs. These stereo earbuds connect to your iPhone via Bluetooth 2.1, include several tip sizes to best fit your ears, typically handle a week's worth of workouts before recharging, and include a mic for phone calls along with inline controls for volume, answering and ending calls, and music playback.
The Bluebuds X fit well, sound good, and will hold up to your workout routine