Holiday fitness gifts can cheer elite athletes and amateurs

Mon Dec 8, 2014 4:02am EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - From jogging strollers to smart bathroom scales and waterproof watches, fitness experts say holiday gifts cater to all types of exercisers, from the new mom shedding baby weight to the seasoned triathlete chasing a performance boost.

Technology remains in the forefront, as gadgets grow ever more user-friendly, compact and sophisticated.

“The ideal holiday gift is some kind of fitness tracker: these simple tools you can just wear on your wrist,” said Neal Pire, an exercise physiologist with the American College of Sports Medicine.

“Five years ago, pedometers just measured steps. Now they’re counting calories and even sleep.”

A waterproof, shockproof, dustproof smartphone case is among the suggestions of Shirley Archer, a Los Angeles-based trainer and author of “Fitness 9 to 5.”

“Many use their phones for training with fitness apps, so everyone needs to protect it from sweat and impact,” said Archer, who also recommends a walking/jogging belt with room for water bottle(s) and pockets for smartphone, identification and keys.

“These have really improved over the years,” she said.

For people who like walking or running with their four-legged companion, Archer suggests a hands-free dog leash that hooks on to a belt or bicycle.   Continued...