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5 ways to upgrade your walk: our favorite new fitness gear

5 ways to upgrade your walk: our favorite new fitness gear
The Nathan Peak Hydration Waist Pak includes an 18-ounce SpeedDraw Flask and zip pocket. (nathansports.com)

Going out for a leisurely stroll doesn’t really require more than an old pair of tennis shoes, but if you’re after some real fitness, you might consider an upgrade. Here are a few things that can transform walking into a motivating, data-rich, all-body bipedal adventure.

H2O to Go

Nathan Peak Hydration Waist Pak, for hydration on the fly.

Why we like it: Simple, effective. The bottle’s 45-degree angle makes it easy and natural to grab and put back and prevents it from bobbing up and down, so you barely notice it. Includes an 18-ounce SpeedDraw Flask and zip pocket. The pouch has enough room for a couple of energy bars or an iPhone 7. Side flaps seat it comfortably on your hips.

Info: $39.99, nathansports.com

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Torso turbocharger

 
Pacemaker Stix Aerostride walking poles. pacemakerstix.com

Pacemaker Stix Aerostride walking poles, for calorie-burning on pavement and dirt.

Why we like it: Half the price of higher-profile brands of poles, all of which speed you up and delay leg fatigue by letting you tap a rhythmic all-body motion that uses the arms and shoulders to help push you forward. Pacemaker includes comfy, sweat-absorbing cork handles and uses flip-locks, bicycle-style quick-release levers that clamp down tight when you customize the pole length, up to a max of 54 inches long and compacts to 25.5 inches for easy travel. Each pole is a featherweight 8.3 ounces and has replaceable tungsten tips.

Info: $39.95, pacemakerstix.com

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Cool shoes

 
Rocky Endeavor Point hiking sandals. rockyboots.com

Rocky Endeavor Point hiking sandals, combining an open-air upper with a walking shoe sole.

Why we like it: Cool, breezy sandals are perfect for non-technical walking adventures on streets and groomed trails, but flip-flops won’t do. Rocky’s hiking sandals stand out from others in this new category with stylish, tough features such as a comfy neoprene-lined full-grain leather upper, burly lug sole, protective toe cap and laceless, instant-cinch Boa closure system.

Info: $63.98, rockyboots.com

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Insta-phone

HEADLINE: Insta-Phone PRODUCT NAME AND DESCRIPTION: Quad Lock? Sports Armband. A Velcro band with a
Quad Lock Sports armband. quadlockcase.com

Quad Lock Sports Armband, so your phone can enjoy the ride.

Why we like it: A simple twist-lock motion provides instant access to your phone for calls or photo-ops without having to unzip a case. A two-stage locking mechanism allows quick reattachment and eliminates accidental drop-off. It can be positioned to avoid skin friction. The only downside: Some reviewers have mentioned their Velcro strap stopped holding tightly after six months.

Info: $39.95, quadlockcase.com

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Data delight

HEADLINE: Data Delight PRODUCT NAME AND DESCRIPTION: Polar A370. Waterproof fitness tracker with con
The Polar A370 waterproof fitness tracker polar.com

Polar A370, a waterproof fitness tracker with continuous heart rate and other data, including sleep analysis.

Why we like it: Stylish watch with big, easy-to-read heart rate numbers, which means you can easily see it — without slowing down. It also offers a color-coded bar chart of desired target heart-rate zones and all the standard data that walkers and runners love: Pace, distance, route and even estimated treadmill speed and distance. Polar apps provide calories burned, training tips and tracking of sleep metrics such as duration, actual sleep time and awake/asleep/interruption times.

Info: $149, polar.com

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