Upgrade Yourself: 4 ways to create a workout-boosting distraction

Exercise is much easier if you can take your mind off it, so raise your morale with one of these tech diversions

Whether you’re an Eye Of The Tiger type or prefer something a little more up to date, one of the best ways to make you think about anything other than the horrific burning sensation in your legs when you exercise is to pump distracting music into your ears.

That’s a job your regular headphones do perfectly adequately every day, but can they also track your heart rate? No, they cannot. So if you fancy a gadget that will keep you motivated, track your runs and fill your ears with top training tunes, you need to keep reading.

And if you're looking for even more ways that tech can help you get faster, fitter and healthier, check out the full Stuff Fitness Special.

Beats, mates and Batman: the best of the rest

7 Minute Superhero Workout (£2.29): bulk up like Hulk

They say you should always be yourself. But if you could be Batman, you should probably be Batman. 7 Minute Superhero Workout will do its best to help turn you into Batman, morphing exercises into a videogame-esque process of levelling up, using your phone to count reps. It's available on Android and iOS, and supports Chromecast and Apple TV for when you want to blow it up to the big screen. Building an underground lair is strictly optional.

Spotify Running (£free with Spotify subscription): run to the beat

If you run using Spotify's mobile app, its Running mode can use sensors in your phone to determine your pace and play music to match - and with a bit of help from your listening history it should pick stuff you actually like. Need a bit of a push to up the pace? Just knock the BPM up a notch and with any luck your legs will follow. There are even some tunes created by superstar DJ Tiesto that automatically change to match your pace as they play.

MyZone MZ-3 (£130): compete on a level playing field

Sometimes the best way to get motivated is to introduce a bit of friendly competition - and MyZone wants to tap into that competitive streak. It awards Effort Points to each user based on how hard they work, with a sensor worn in either a chest strap or a sports bra to monitor your heart rate. Each person is given a handicap based on their maximum heart rate, so even if you don't finish first you might still win on effort. And everybody loves a tryer.