New fitness gadgets are always coming out. As a health blogger I do get to try a lot of stuff for free. There’s been a steady stream of items coming across my desk and here’s a roundup of the ones I like. Each has been tested by me and I can recommend that all of these make great fitness gifts for 2012.
Sof Flex Sport Sleeve. This is a great item for runners: a flexible water bottle that comes with a carabiner clip, a pocket for ID and cash, and a hand grip so that when you’re running, you don’t have to clutch it tightly. I mostly do short runs and found the Sport Sleeve to be just the right amount of water that I needed to tool around my neighborhood. The squishiness of the neoprene sleeve feels good in my hand and I liked not having to worry about dropping anything.
Armpocket® Ultimate Armband. I used to work out with a teeny iPod Shuffle, but it didn’t store all my tunes and I’d get bored. I transferred my music over to my iPhone, but then I was running down the street carrying my smart phone the whole way. NOT a good idea … those suckers can slip through sweaty hands. Enter the Armpocket. It’s got a good grippy on the back and the sucker doesn’t move at all from where you set it. (Honestly I was surprised; I thought it would.) The Armpocket comes in some colorful options or basic black and you can work the screen of your smart phone through the protective cover, no problem. I use this all the time, from neighborhood runs to my exercise bike.
Kettlebells. I’ve slowly been getting more and more interested in kettlebells. They are a great workout if done right and actually dovetail well with the Pilates work that I normally do. I’ve been heading more and more these days towards the heavier weights — 20 pounds and up — but if you have a shoulder or back issue, definitely start a little lighter. I normally work with a 25-pounder and am very happy with what it’s doing to my butt.
Intelliskin, a posture sports bra. I’m really digging this! Actually, I have it on right now as I’m typing away. It’s a bra (they also sell shirts) that works to improve your posture. I was skeptical when the company reached out to me to try it, but the Pilates instructor in me was hoping it would help. Let me put it this way: I liked it so much I was lifting up my shirt to show my clients so they could see how it worked. It’s not perfect … you won’t snap your fingers and have perfect posture … but it definitely does help and my usually tight neck and upper shoulders were a lot less fatigued at the end of the day. That was a big plus.
Accelerated Pilates. This is a new DVD from my friend, Lisa Hubbard. Lisa knows her stuff when it comes to Pilates and has run a top studio for a while now in California. She’s gorgeous, smart, cues well, and comes up with some creative choreography. The DVD even comes with a theraband to use with the workout. I was huffing a bit and could feel it the next day. For a Pilates instructor to say that is something … definitely for the advanced beginner to intermediate crowd.
These should definitely be enough to get you started. Most of the gifts are between $12 and $30; great stocking stuffers or a thoughtful present for a work colleague. The kettlebells can get pricey so make sure the recipient is as eager to receive them as you are to give them. And make sure you check out my other post on how to give fitness gifts without getting anyone mad at you. All of the links above are Amazon affiliate links, and yes, I do get a dollar or two if you click and buy. It’s a great way to show a little love to the blog, so thank you!