With Christmas just around the corner, it doesn’t matter whether you’re new to exercise or a seasoned pro, because we’ve put together a list of useful fitness gifts to suit everyone.
While high tech fitness trackers may have their place, we often forget about the simplest and most useful of measurements – the step. Your step count is probably the easiest and most useful unit of movement, and when used in the right way, can be highly motivational. Research suggests that early humans walked on average, a minimum of 5 miles per day, and it was this simple movement that was an important contributor to a faster metabolism, better circulation, greater mobility and stronger bones and muscles. For an average adult, 5 miles equates to approximately 10000 steps, which is the pre-set target on many fitness trackers. For simple tracking with a 1-year battery life, check out Garmin Vivofit 3, or for a minimal design, check out Misfit Shine 2 .
Listening to music during your workouts can be highly motivational. Unfortunately, trailing headphone cables can often limit and even prevent safe execution of quick, high intensity and functional exercises. In addition, over the ear headphones can slip, get knocked, and may simply be too uncomfortable for longer workouts. Enter the wireless earbud – the perfect workout companion! These in-ear headphones can quickly pair with your phone or smart watch, giving you a hassle- and wire-free experience. Check out Jaybird X2/X3 Wireless Buds, which offer sweat-proof, adjustable ear buds with super sound quality.
Slacklining is fast becoming a fun and challenging fitness activity. According to Wikipedia, “Slacklining refers to the act of walking or balancing along a suspended length of flat webbing that is tensioned between two anchors”. The fitness benefits of slacklining include improved balance, posture, concentration and enhanced core stability and muscular endurance. Check out the Gibbon Slackline Sets – which can be mounted between two anchor points, or the Gibbon Slackrack frame – which is a rack-mounted indoor version.
Exercise duration, frequency, intensity and diversity must be balanced with effective recovery strategies to ensure we get the most out of each workout. Flexibility and mobility exercises can go some way to off-set the demands of training, but often muscles can become chronically tight, leading to impaired movement and the development of trigger points. A trigger point is a tender area in a muscle that causes pain when stimulated. Fortunately, through regular self-massage, trigger points can be deactivated, often with immediate improvements in movement ability. Check out the TriggerPoint Therapy Foundation Collection , which contains four tools and a self-help guide to get you started.
Finally, in our list of gifts is the humble kettlebell. Out of all the free weights, the kettlebell is probably the most versatile. Strength, endurance, speed, power, flexibility – you name it, it can be done with a kettlebell! What’s more, a pair (or two) of kettlebells takes up very little room, and are highly portable. Additional benefits of kettlebell training include increased wrist strength and enhanced joint stability – both of which can positively influence your ability to lift more in other forms of training. Check out Rogue kettlebells, which offer good grip, balanced feel and a great look at an affordable price.