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Gadgets and Attires for Walking

Digital Pedometer

  • A walking journal helps you keep track of your progress and can help you troubleshoot problems. Buy yourself a traditional writing journal -- Aspinal of London (aspinaloflondon.com) has lots of pretty journals. Or go log your efforts on to Fitnessjournal.org.
  • A pedometer helps you keep track of your mileage. Digi-Walker's models are the gold standard for accuracy in counting miles walked and calories burned (www.new-lifestyles.com).
  • A heart rate monitor is especially important for pregnant walkers. Invest in one and talk to your doctor about the right target heart rate for you. The Polar A3 Heart Rate Monitor has lots of features for a low price.
  • A lumbar pack sits low on your back and unlike a fanny pack, offers back support. Use it to stash keys or a pacifier. Marmot's Jaunt (marmot.com) is lightweight.
  • A weighted vest is a safe way for new moms to add resistance training to their workout. Debbie Rocker's Walkvest (walkvest.com) is a great choice.

You will need:

Cross-training or walking athletic shoes If you already have a pair, try them on before you trek. Pregnancy can change your feet, altering the fit of the shoe. Make sure you have room in the toe area and no heel slippage.

Athletic socks or peds Don't go sockless. Socks reduce friction, which causes blisters, and add an extra layer of shock absorption.

Sports bra Your ever-changing breasts are going to need some serious support during exercise, so invest in a good bra. Try title9sports.com for a great variety of styles.

Light layers Your comfort level will change as you warm up and cool down during exercise. Layers of cotton or perspiration-wicking fabric such as Coolmax will meet all of your needs.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, August 2004.