Keeping those New Year Resolutions


Every year just after Christmas thousands of us make the same New Year’s resolutions to get fitter, be healthier and lose those few extra pounds that have we have carried around all year. This predictable trend is clear in web search trends as more and more of us go online searching for ways to stick with our fitness programmes through January, February and beyond.

Often people are searching for something to make the weight loss or fitness programme that bit easier and more manageable, whether it by a calorie counting website, a low carb diet or online personal training advice.

If starting to run is your chosen way of lose weight, then one of the best ways to stick to a beginners running plan is being able to find an easy and fun way to track your progress, and if that method allows you to share your progress it with friends and family the accountability you will have and encouragement you will receive means you are more likely to stick with your plan and reach you goal.

About the Nike+ System


Running is one of the best exercises that you can engage in to increase your fitness, and as you will burn up anything  to 600 calories  per hour, it is great for losing weight. The Nike+ system is specifically designed to track your runs in terms of distance, speed and calories burned. It is based around the Nike+ sensor and a cool looking, lightweight wristband which records the sensor information and an online account to store your running information and set goals and challenges to spur you on.

The system is aimed at the causal or amateur runner, so it comes at a much lower price point compared to professional running computers, but is also lighters, easier to use and fun to boot.

The Nike+ Sportsband and Sensor

The Sensor


The Nike+ sensor is an accelerometer based motion sensor specifically designed to measure footfall, the number of strides taken during a run and the acceleration of the foot during the stride which makes it a much more accurate than a normal pedometer. The unit itself is completely sealed and watertight meaning that the integral battery cannot be replaced. However the device has an average lifetime of has a lifetime of  1000 hours of use which is a  lot of running before you need to buy a replacement unit.

The sensor itself can be worn with any pair of running shoes but purchasing a small pouch that attached to the laces of the shoe but you can buy Nike running shoes with an integrated compartment for the sensor under the sole of the shoe.

The Sportsband


The sportsband itself is a sleek lightweight adjustable rubberized band that look great as a sports watch. The business end of the unit is in the form of a USB key complete with digital display, that slides out of the strap. When out running you can start tracking your activity by simply starting to walk, holding down the button on the front of the strap to allow it to sync with the sensor in your shoe and once connected, press the button again to start tracking your run.

During you run the sports band can display the time of day, the elapsed time for your run, your running pace and calories burned. These different display modes can be cycled through using the toggle button on the bottom of the unit.

After your run, the sportsband stores you last time, time this weeks and total time recorded.

The Online Account


This is where the system really comes into its own. By simply plugging the sportsband into your home computer* your workouts will automatically be uploaded to your Nike+ Running account where you can track all of your running progress

(*note a download from the nikeplus website is needed  to set up you computer to recognise your sportsband)

The online account allows you to look at graphs for each of your runs, to see your runs weekly, monthly or all your runs together and provides motivational goals, like getting past certain distances to go up a level in the running grade. Aside from some great community features and built in running plans, the goal setting system and social network interaction is the most useful for the beginner.

This allows you to connect your online account to your facebook and twitter accounts, to share your runs, the training goals that you set and the goals that you meet, allow you to use you online family and friends for ongoing motivation and encouragement.

Today's run on the Nike+ Running Site

In Summary

The Nike+ Sportsband is an excellent and fun way to track your run and share you progress with people you know. Just heading out for a run to make sure you get the next tick on your weekly charts is a great way to stay motivated. Using gadgets that help you see what you are achieving one of the best ways you can find to stick with your training program and hit your exercise and weight loss goals, especially if you are a beginner to running.