If you think that all you need to go for a good run is a pair of sneakers, think again. Technology has made it possible to track your distance, vitals, calories burned and listen to your favorite music on the go. Whether you’re looking for gadgets to help improve your performance or keep you entertained while you run, we’ve put together a list of the top five gadgets and apps for you to check out before you hit the pavement.

The Top 5 Gadgets for Runners

Whether you’re looking for a new piece of tech-savvy equipment to add to your running arsenal or are looking for the perfect gift for a fellow runner, here are some of the most useful pieces of equipment that every runner should have.

A Quality Smartwatch

Apple and Fitbit have been the two leading smartwatches in the running space for years, and they’re still pumping out super-advanced watches to help you improve your health and fitness game. Each brand offers a range of models, all with their own features, pros, and cons, so do some research and choose the one that suits your requirements. 

Wireless Headphones

Everyone loves listening to their favorite jams to keep them pumped while running, but who wants to deal with wires hanging down and getting tangled up? To make your running experience more comfortable and entertaining, grab a pair of wireless headphones. Bose and JBL have some excellent sport earbud options, while AfterShokz is a leading wearable option.

Massage Gun

There’s no escaping the tense muscles, aches, and cramps that eventually set in after a long run. Keep a portable massage gun with you to work out the kinks when you’re done working out. Theragun, Addaday, and Hyperice are the top options on the market. 

Fitness Trackers

While a smartwatch can track some metrics, there are much more advanced fitness trackers out there that can pick up much more sensitive data, such as how the wind speed impacted your run or your vertical and side-to-side movements. Try the Whoop Strap 3.0, the Stryd Running Power Meter, or the Garmin Running Dynamics Pod, which is a clip-on option.

Arm Band

Plenty of runners still take their smartphones out on their runs. If you’re one of them, you know how important it is to have a high-quality fitness armband. Belkin offers a range of comfortable weatherproof options that are designed to fit all smartphones. 

How to Ensure Security When Using Apps

Most of the gadgets above require an app, and some are compatible with multiple health and fitness apps. Before you hook yours up, make sure you understand how to secure your personal data.

Restrict App Permission

When you download apps, be sure to check the automatic settings and restrict app permission whenever possible. For example, don’t leave the location running all the time. Only turn it on if you’re using the GPS or another location-based feature, and turn it off when you’re done. Also, don’t allow access to your contacts or photos unless you think it’s essential. 

Use a VPN to Secure Traffic

Many people link their devices to apps on their smartphones and use them to track their health and fitness. Before you download apps or log into any accounts, download a VPN for security. When you use a VPN on your phone, it’s like putting a shield between your phone and the internet, keeping your data secure from prying eyes. 

Snag some of the gadgets above and follow our security tips to optimize your running experience while keeping your personal information secure.