Wearable Workout Gear for Fitness Fanatics

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’Tis the season when everyone from avid athletes to weekend workout warriors is asking, “What’s new and hip in fitness gift-giving?” While accuracy of some fitness wearables has been questioned in the past, the methods are constantly improving, and the ease of use is progressing just as steadily as your latest fitness goals.

In years past, wearable technology for fitness buffs has been mostly concentrated on watches and pedometers, but this year look for a few new gadgets to gift and even to get your own heart rate pumping.

The FlipBelt
If you’re a runner, fitness fanatic or a busy mom, you may be singing the praises of the FlipBelt. The FlipBelt offers an alternative to bulky running armbands and running pouches. A FlipBelt is lightweight strap with a flat design that fits around your waist. It doesn’t bounce as you tackle the trails and keeps your important possessions securely in place. By wearing the FlipBelt, you can feel safe knowing your phone, keys, license and other necessities are at your fingertips.

Hip Appeal
If you’re looking for a practical but more fashionable version of the fanny pack, then the products from Hip Appeal™ may be just for you. Designed to hold your valuables on the go, Hip Appeal’s packs are comfortable and stylish while they offer support, storage and security. You don’t have to be a triathlete to use the Hip Appeal fanny packs. Use them for a day of errands or even a night on the town if you’d rather leave your purse at home. The form-fitted pack will safely and efficiently secure even the largest phones while allowing you easy access. Store your cash, credit cards, keys, cell phone, ID, iPod and other small items.

Altra IQ Smart Shoes
Life for avid runners might be a little easier with a running coach, so iFit designed a pair of shoes to give valuable feedback. A tiny group of sensors are embedded in the shoes and can note running habits to help the wearer improve speed, stride and endurance. Foot strike is an important piece of data offered with this product, so runners can determine if they are landing harder on one foot, where they strike the foot and why certain muscles ache after a run. Cost ranges from $175 to $200.

The OMbra
Ladies, listen up for some fantastic fitness news. “The girls” can now help us track our workouts. The OMbra is a sports bra with built-in technology to help keep us fit. Socks and shoes have proven to offer some good technology information, so why not a bra, since it is positioned in a superb place for gathering a gal’s body data? The company that makes the OMbra says this revolutionary undergarment is continually gathering statistics including run and walk distance, pace, number of calories burned and heart rate.

Apple Watch
Although the Apple Watch is considered a fairly expensive convenience gadget by some, it does offer some notable fitness data, including reminders when it is time to exercise, how many calories are expended throughout the day as well as distance traveled and steps taken. While the original Apple Watch was released first in April 2015, updated versions are ongoing, with the last update being a new product release in September. Now more affordable, the Apple Watch remains cleverly designed and one of the most capable smart watches on the market. You’ll pay a hefty price for it, however. Apple Watches start at $250 without many of the bells and whistles.

Kid Fitness
When it comes to health, don’t forget the little munchkins on your list. The American Council on Exercise recently noted that although there will always be some debate surrounding kids and technology, tools such as fitness wearables can be great health motivators by tracking and encouraging kids to be more physically active. And children who are physically active are much more likely to become physically active adults.

Check out some of the latest kid’s fitness trackers online, or better yet, save a little cash and hand down one of your old trackers to your child. You already know how the product works, it’s free and the whole family can be connected through the device or social media. Just remember to set the privacy settings and double-check any other settings on your child’s smartphone, apps and wearables that may be pulling information from them.

Just Put Some Tech in Your Step
When it comes to working out, no amount of technology will get you up and off the couch, but a few of these fitness gadgets may be big motivators. If you’re still perusing this holiday season’s tech tools, then check out your local sports retailer and product websites or get a handle on the latest fit tech products at wareable.com. ■

Sources: apple.com, cnet.com, hipappeal.com, fortune.com and wareable.com.