There are lots of personal monitors for sports nowadays and it is getting ever more sophisticated.
For me, it started with Polar watch that comes with chest strap that monitors distance and heart rate. Then it follows by Garmin with chest strap and then Jabra wireless headphone with built-in HRM + iPhone. Now, I am using Apple Watch + iPhone which enable me to take photos, videos, notes, voice memo, etc.
Do we need to be that sophisticated? It really depends on what you are planning to do.