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Christmas Gift Guide 2016: workout gear for fitness fanatics

Essential kit to get in shape that costs less than a personal trainer

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Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells

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It’s no secret that gym equipment takes up a lot of room. If you want to have gear to work out with in your home but don’t have the floor space, then Bowflex has the perfect solution. The company has condensed a weight rack into a single dumbbell. With a range between 4-41kg, the dumbbell sits on a custom base that holds all the weights. By turning the dial on the dumbbell, a mechanism adds or removes weights so that when you lift you only carry what you need. To adjust the weights, put the bar back into the case, select the next weight and you’re good to start lifting. This comes with a minor downside, however: due to the mechanism inside, the Bowflex can’t take as much of a beating as other weights, so you can’t bash them about.
£500| $600 | bowflex.com

 

Garmin Vivosmart HR+

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Smartwatches are becoming more fitness-orientated and the Garmin Vivosmart is using its renowned GPS to attract people who want clearer data on their walks, or even swims – thanks to it being water resistant. There is also no need to tell the watch when you are starting an activity, it can pick up a change in movement and start to track from that.
£170 | $200 | garmin.com

 

Lumo Run Sensor

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Judging your own form when running is hard without having an expert following you or by going to a running lab, so Lumo has designed the Run to be your coach. The sensor is inserted onto the waistband of your shorts or leggings and, by measuring different aspects of your run, it can give real-time feedback on how to improve. With 20 hours of battery life it will last a good week or two worth of use. It is also waterproof and machine-washable, so if you forget to remove it from your clothing it’s no big deal. The only downside to the device is that is only compatible with iOS at present.
£80 | $100 | lumobodytech.com

 

Gymwatch Ultimate Fitness Tracker

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The Gymwatch doesn’t simply tell you how many calories you’re burning in a workout, it also analyses your movements and counts repetitions for more precise data that you can use to improve your gains. It also lets you know if your posture or movements when lifting weights are correct. Using its app, you can even customise your own workouts. By wearing headphones when using the app on your phone, you can listen to how many reps you’ve done in a set, how long your rest is, and listen to feedback on your movements.
£130 | $150 | gymwatch.com

 

Fitbit Aria WiFi Smart Scale

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Knowing your weight means nothing without context. The Fitbit Aria tracks weight, lean mass, body fat percentage and BMI, so you’ll know if your weight is healthy or not. Reading your weight each week is great but seeing a chart of your progress puts everything into perspective. The data gets sent to your Fitbit app where you can input what you’re eating as well as workouts and see results as graphs rather than just numbers.
£100 | $130 | fitbit.com
Smartmat

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For someone new to yoga, the idea of attending a class full of people who have been doing it for a while may seem daunting. The SmartMat, along with its companion app, has its own classes and show how to do each part correctly. This gives the kind of attention that is lost when there is a class full of people.£TBC | $400 | smartmat.com
TomTom Touch

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Keep a constant track on your health by keeping tabs on your muscle mass and body fat, how active you’ve been and calculate calories burned. With a built-in heart-rate monitor you can keep track of your heart all day. When synced to a smartphone the Touch can notify users of texts and phone calls. It’s also a sleep tracker. For those fashion- conscious users the device has changeable straps.
£130 | $130 | tomtom.com

 

Tangram Smart Rope

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Starting as a Kickstarter project in 2015, Tangram finished with over three times its goal amount. But what could really be done with a bit of rope? A skipping rope is perhaps one of the first fitness instruments you handled as a child, and it was only a matter of time before someone added some tech to it. Tangram has put 23 LEDs into the rope so that when they are thrown, they display data in midair as your jumping. These LEDs display up to four digits and can be seen even in bright rooms. Using the Smart Gym app you can set challenges, earn awards and compare your scores with friends. The rope can be used without a Smartphone and simply count your jumps without connecting to anything. The battery life lasts around 14 hours and can be charged in 30 minutes using micro USB. The Smartrope doesn’t use gyroscopes but instead a proprietary magnetic sensor to give accurate information. Currently, the rope can only display jumps during a workout but they hope to add the ability for it to display other data such as calories burned in future software updates.
£70 | $80 | tangramfactory.com

 

This article first appeared in Gadget issue 14. For the latest tech news and reviews, buy the latest issue of Gadget here or download the digital edition.

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