We get lots of messages from users asking for recommendations on how to carry their phone during their workouts. Many people are new to the idea of taking their phone with them when they exercise, but it’s an important part of the CardioTrainer experience. We’ve done research on what options are available, and also listened to feedback from our users on Facebook and in the CardioTrainer User Group. We would like to share our suggestions for what equipment is essential to have the best experience when working out with CardioTrainer.
Armbands: The biggest advantage to having your phone on your arm during workouts is that you’ll have easy access to CardioTrainer in case you have to pause or change a setting. You can still use the phone’s touch screen through the case’s plastic screen, which means you don’t have to keep taking it out and putting it back in again. Our favorite armband that we have tested so far has been this Tune Belt Sport Armband model that fits lots of different shapes and sizes of Android phones on the market now (HTC G1, Motorola Droid, Google Nexus; also note that any of the armbands designed for iPhones also work very well). Some people love using an armband, but others have reported that it’s uncomfortable, especially if it’s too tight, and that it can give you an uneven weight distribution. Also, as the weather gets nicer, you’ll have to watch out for that armband tan!
Around the waist: If you would rather not have the phone on your arm, we really like the iFitness Running Belt because it’s very comfortable, has room for keys and ID, and lets you snake out your headphones for listening to music. Using a Body Glove Snap-On Cover, which also folds into a stand, works well too. If you’re going to be moving around a lot, just make sure the belt clip is locked so it doesn’t swing freely. The big disadvantage to having your phone around your waist when working out is that the phone isn’t easy accessible. However, it gets the device out of your way and makes it easy to run your headphones under your shirt so the cord bounces around less.
In the pocket: Other users have just said that they leave their phone in their pocket. If you do mostly walking, this is a perfect solution because it’s simple and won’t cost anything extra.
A note on counting steps and GPS reception: As long as your phone is held somewhere on your body, whether it be arm, waist or pocket, you won’t have a problem getting GPS reception or counting your steps. Clothing won’t interfere with the GPS signal, so it is not necessary to wear thin clothing or hold the device in your hand. If you’re on the treadmill and using the pedometer to track your exercise, it’s important that the device is placed somewhere that lets the device get a conistent measure of where you’re going.
Headphones: Bluetooth headsets, such as the Altec Lansing Backbeat models, are great because they’re wireless, but they are more expensive than non-wireless models. If you’ve found that earbud style headphones don’t stay in when you are running or moving around, consider some behind the neck models like the Phillips Rich Bass Neckband Headphones. These are great because they cover your ear, rather than stick inside, and have a special design to prevent the cord from getting yanked from the ear pieces (they’re also first in this list!). With all of these models, if you’re going to be sweating during your exercise, make sure that doesn’t harm your equipment! IMPORTANT: Please make sure you’re still aware of your surroundings and watch for vehicles that you might not hear when you have headphones on.
When it rains: Wet weather is no excuse to stay inside and skip a workout, so if you’re going to be heading out when it’s raining, make sure you protect your phone. A simple plastic bag over the device while in it’s carrying case will help to make sure the rain doesn’t get to it. We can’t take responsibility if your phone gets wet—and definitely don’t want that to happen!—but just make sure you take care of your device if you are going out in nasty weather.
If your workouts are long enough that you’ll need hydration on-the-go, there are lots of different options for carrying fluids with you. The Amphipod RunLite 4
gives you four smaller water bottles—either 8 or 10 ounces—that can be positioned around your body in any direction and snap in and out for easy access. Another option is the handheld Ultimate Direction FastDraw Plus
water bottle. The nozzle is designed to prevent any dripping, has a pouch for your ID’s and keys and a grip to make it easy to carry during your runs. Carrying water adds extra weight, but is a key part of training if you are exercising for longs periods of time or in hot weather.
What did we miss? We want to hear what has worked well for everyone else, so please share any other suggestions for essential equipment to use when exercising with CardioTrainer.