With the holidays upon us, I though I might reach out to Tweakfit readers, Santa Claus, and anyone else who might be listening and provide the top fitness-related products I’d love to have this year. Here’s my list, and why I know they will help me get in better shape this year.
1. Garmin Forerunner 910XT
Why: It’s really, really cool. With all the features of its predecessors, the 910 XT is sleeker, smaller, and has a number of additional functions the previous versions don’t. Most of the previous GPS watches were incredibly bulky, making the watch awkward and annoying — especially if you plan to wear it when not working out. Plus, may people complained that sweat around the wrist caused the watch to malfunction (something I know firsthand from paddling). Apparently the 910XT no longer has that problem, and its barometric altimeter can help improve the mapping data during ascents/descents. Plus, the swim mapping features can be transferred to the kayak stroke — which is perfect for me. At a retail price of $449, however, this is not a cheap toy.
2. A Juicer
Why: Anyone who’s read my posts knows I’m not really into fad diets, but I’ve seen variations of the juice-diet work firsthand. My sister, my sister’s boyfriend, and my mom have all lost over 20 lbs. on juice diets, and have never looked or felt better. I’ve had the juice blends, and they’re quite tasty. If you’re looking for a quick and convenient way to pack an amazing amount of nutrients into a small, low-calorie meal, I highly recommend “juicing.” Juicers range from about $75-$200.
3. Vibram Five Fingers Bikilla LS Shoes
Why: I’ve begun to see these shoes more and more in gyms and on local trails and running routes. Designed to mimc the barefoot marathon runners of Kenya and Ethiopia, I’ve known many people who swear by these and will never return to regular running shoes. Evidently barefoot running, when executed properly, is better for the foot’s natural arch and curvature and many people say these shoes are substantially more comfortable than more traditional versions. Vibram’s latest version was recently named one of the top fitness products of 2011 by Health.com. You can generally find these for under $100.
4. A Lifetime Supply of MET-Rx Bars
Why: I tend to favor “real” food, such as roasted seeds, nuts, and fruit slices to boost my energy during long workouts, but I’ve also used MET-Rx bars for years. As I’ve posted in prior articles, you don’t need nearly as much protein to balance the protein cell degeneration cycle following a workout as nutrition suppliers would have you believe, and carbohydrates are probably more important both during and following a workout. Therefore, high-protein bars aren’t of much value, in my opinion. But I’ve always thought the classic MET-Rx bars have the best flavor and consistency of any workout bar on the market — much more easily dissolvable than the rubbery Power Bar. I recommend these if you don’t have time to prepare a real snack for your workout or training. The classic MET-Rx bar was also named Askmen.com’s top-rated fitness bar in 2011. The chocolate chip cookie dough flavor is my favorite, and a box is about $20.
5. A GoProHD Camera
Why: Ok, this isn’t really a fitness product, but it’s still a really fun toy. The world’s leading sports action camera, the GoPro is ideal for the extreme sports athlete who wants to recapture and relive their physical heroics. So why am I interested in it? Well, I am a kayaker and I’ve found that stopping to pull out a camera from my waterproof compartment is a bit of a hassle. Plus, most waterproof cameras take pretty poor pictures. While the GoProHD cannot match that of a really good non-waterproof camera, it’s close. Plus, with a camera mounted on either my boat or my person, I always feel inspired to work out harder and venture into areas I wouldn’t normally go. This may work for you, too. Like the Garmin, it’s pricey at just under $300.
There’s my list. I’d love to hear about your favorite fitness products as well. And if you’d like to know where you can send me gifts, please send me a message.