From sophisticated activity trackers and chest-mounted cameras to
massage rollers and yoga toes, fitness experts say gifts for people
trying to get in shape or stay that way include everything from
high-tech toys to basic workout gear.
instructors and other health and fitness pros say there is something
for everyone hoping to rev up a workout, or trying to cool it down.
big recommendation is one of the many popular motion sensors," said
Shirley Archer, a Florida-based fitness and wellness expert.
author of the book "Fitness 9 to 5", has used several fitness
bracelets that can track everything from steps walked to miles run or
"They do a great job of raising awareness of how physically active a person genuinely is," she said.
boost or fine-tune cardio training, Dr Mark Kelly, a California-based
exercise physiologist, recommends interval training apps, such as
Android's Stopwatch or Seconds Pro, which track recovery as well as
"You can list the exercise you are doing," said Kelly,
CEO of Principle Centred Health, Inc., which specialises in fitness
assessment and corporate wellness. "HIIT (High Intensity Interval
Training) formats often come pre-loaded."
For the tech-averse,
Kelly said, a subscription to a health or fitness magazine will provide
both a monthly exercise reminder and exposure to the latest workout
Connecticut-based running coach Tom Holland believes a
wearable camera, which sells for about $400, would be the ideal gift
for serious runners seeking to record their races.
He said the
GoPro Black Edition Camera, mounted on a chest harness strap, can
record a run up the Empire State Building or through the Grand Canyon.
For the cyclist
For the serious cyclist, Holland suggests a Tacx virtual reality cycle trainer, which ranges in price from $350 to $2000.
"It's a bike trainer that allows you to ride any course in the world. Incredible technology," he said.
a runner used to braving cold New England winters, Boston-based
running coach Kelly Flynn said all-weather runners always appreciate
light, warm layers of running wear and a good pair of socks.
a coach for "Team In Training", the charity sports endurance program
from the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Society, also suggests giving The
Stick, a massaging roller said to improve muscle circulation,
flexibility, strength and endurance.
Florida-based fitness expert
Suzanne Bowen said a good gift for yoga enthusiasts would be gel toe
separators, which are designed to strengthen foot muscles, realign toe
bones and improve tendon flexibility.
"They stretch your feet,"
said Bowen, creator of the "BarreAmped" DVDs. "Feet are the foundation
of our structure, and we spend too many hours crammed into our shoes."
Gregory Chertok, a sports psychology consultant for the American College of Sports Medicine, favours basic fitness gifts.
I love the hand grip," Chertok said. "It's not a high-tech device, but
a strong grip will enhance performance on lots of strength and
resistance training programmes."
Most upper body exercises, he added, begin with gripping a weight or a barbell.
Michele Olson, professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University
in Montgomery, Alabama, said a good pedometer is an ideal gift for
anyone trying to get fit.
"Pedometers work," she said. "They give sort of neutral feedback and are simple and not overwhelming with technology."