Fitness Gadgets You Need Now
This year was the year of harnessing our personal data — in 2013, we all wanted to know how well we slept, how many steps we took, and how many calories we burned each the day.
READ: 10 Great Gifts for Tech Geeks
So if you've got a fit friend who's ready to get on the fitness-tracking train, look no further. From scales to heart-rate monitors, we've rounded up some of the best fitness gadgets from this year; check out these fitness gadgets that make a great gift!
Bose IE2 Headphones
For the fitness fiend who doesn't want to sacrifice sound quality during her workout, give the gift of Bose MIE2 in-ear headphones ($130). The soft silicone tips will conform comfortably to her ears, while the Bose-quality sound ensures that every bass beat comes through loud and clear. The MIE2 model also features a handset option for answering calls (compatible with iPhones, Androids, Blackberry, and Windows phones).
Adidas Smart Run Watch
Like most running watches, the new Adidas Smart Run ($400) watch tracks your distance, steps and calories. Your running friend, however, will really appreciate the Smart Run's ability to track heart rate from her wrist (via a sensor on the underside of the watch) instead of a chest strap. The watch also features a touchscreen, music streaming and audible coaching tips via Bluetooth-enabled headphones, and strength-training animations that play right on her wrist so she can follow along anywhere. Stats sync wirelessly, so she can view them on her computer.
Nike+ Fuelband SE
The Nike+ Fuelband SE ($149) includes a few extra features from the previous FuelBand (including more color options). Like the older model, the FuelBand SE tracks calories, steps and Nike Fuel points, but the new model also tracks sleep. It also aims to improve calorie burn and Fuel point accuracy with a new feature that allows you to log different types of workout sessions (such as yoga or weight-lifting). The water-resistant FuelBand SE syncs automatically with the iPhone app, so you don't have to push a button to upload data as you do with the older model. Neither the FuelBand SE nor FuelBand is compatible with Android devices.
This fitness gadget might not be the best gift to give if you don't want to offend, but if you've got a friend who's been vocal about wanting to eat more mindfully, the Hapifork ($100) could be just what she's been waiting for. The fork tracks how long it takes her to enjoy her meal as well as number of "fork servings" per minute; it vibrates and lights up if she is eating too fast.
For the fashion-forward friend who just can't have her pedometer cramp her style, the Misfit Shine ($120) is a cute compromise. It measures activity level and calories burned, and she can even wear it the next time she's doing laps at the pool. The tracker is sleek and can be worn several ways — as a necklace, watch, or just clipped onto clothing — and syncs wirelessly when she places it on her phone. The watch battery lasts for months, after which she just needs to replace it, which can be more convenient that having to recharge every few days like most trackers.
Under Armour Armour39
For the serious athlete in your life, the Under Armour Armour39 ($100) can help her achieve her goals. The comfortable heart rate monitor strap syncs wirelessly to an app on her iPhone, tracking her heart-rate and workout intensity to help push her to make every workout her best.
The Jawbone UP24 ($150) is similar to the (slightly cheaper) Jawbone UP, but with the added capability of wireless syncing. She'll appreciate the fun colors and sleep, calorie, and step tracking in either model. For more on both the Jawbone UP and the Jawbone UP24, read our review on the tracker.
Waterfi iPod Shuffle With Headphones
If you've got a friend who lives in the pool, she'll love you for this Waterfi iPod Shuffle and short-cord headphones combo ($155, originally $200). She can upload a playlist and clip the shuffle anywhere on her swimsuit — voilà, a soundtrack for her next swimming workout.
Withings Smart Body Analyzer
The Withings Smart Body Analyzer ($150) isn't just a scale; in addition to weight, the Bluetooth- and WiFi-enabled gadget also registers body fat percentage, heart rate, even the air quality in your home. The scale can recognize up to eight different users, so her whole family can get in on the personal data fun.