Holiday gifts help exercisers heat it up and cool it down

Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:05am EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - 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.

Marathoners, yoga 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.

"My big recommendation is one of the many popular motion sensors," said Shirley Archer, a Florida-based fitness and wellness expert.

Archer, author of the book "Fitness 9 to 5," has used several fitness bracelets that can track everything from steps walked to miles run or hours slept.

"They do a great job of raising awareness of how physically active a person genuinely is," she said.

To 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 exertion.

"You can list the exercise you are doing," said Kelly, CEO of Principle Centered Health, Inc., which specializes 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 trends.   Continued...

Women do yoga in a public park next to the beach in Del Mar, California November 13, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake