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fitness gadgets

The Fitness Gear You Don’t Have (But Really Need)

Written on June 16, 2014 at 6:43 pm , by

When we think of Bluetooth chips, we usually don’t think of them in relation to water bottles. And when we think of yoga mats, we usually don’t think sensors and LED lights will be involved. But with personal trainers continually developing new ways to crank our calorie burn, and nutritionists creating new recipes that are easier, tastier and healthier, it’s no wonder the products meant to streamline our journey to a healthy lifestyle are nearly lapping the experts in innovation. These soon-to-be available high-tech gadgets are meeting—and potentially exceeding—our expectations, and you better believe they’re on our wish lists! Check ‘em out:

Dehydration affects nearly half of us, which is how the creators of BluFit came up with its concept. It’s a glass water bottle that syncs with your phone to keep track of how much water you need (based on weight, age, humidity levels, etc.) and how much water you drink. When it’s time to grab another sip, BluFit alerts you via sound and light to drink up. Not near your water bottle? It’ll alert your phone, too. The rechargeable battery lasts for about six days, so you’ll be good to make this little guy your running buddy or your staple between gym sessions.

A yoga class in the comfort of your own home? Sign us up! That’s basically what the Tera mat provides. Also a wool carpet, the mat uses sensors to identify where you are on the mat and guide you where to go next based on each workout you do. You can even tailor the workouts to help you reach your personal fitness goals. The mat syncs with the Tera app to record and analyze your movements, while the app itself provides step-by-step guides for completing each movement correctly. You can also use the mat for Zumba, Pilates or Thai Bo. Versatile, convenient and stylish? Talk about every fit girl’s dream!

Photos courtesy of BluFit and Tera Mat

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Fitness Items: When to Splurge vs. When to Save

Written on September 29, 2011 at 4:53 pm , by

calculator

Photo courtesy of Spark People

We’ll admit it: Between the apparel, at-home equipment, and gadgets, you can spend a small fortune on working out. But—and this is a big but—you don’t have to! Follow these hard and fast rules for when you’re trying to decide if you can (or should) afford something or not.

Splurge: 5 Fitness Items Worth Spending More On
For many, money is tight. But when it comes to these items (assuming you’re in the market for them), skimping for a cheaper model might cost you more in the long run.

1. Shoes. If you’ve ever bought a pair of cheap sneakers and tried to run in them, you know a good pair of workout shoes is worth every cent. The proper footwear isn’t just a matter of comfort—it’s a matter of safety! Wearing shoes that don’t correctly support the activity you’re doing can lead to muscular imbalance, decreased performance and even injury or overuse.

2. Sports Bras. The difference between a cheap sports bra and a quality one is huge. Most department stores now have a sports section for bras, so try on a variety of options and find one that fully supports you and is comfortable.

3. Pedometer. Sure, you can buy a pedometer for $5, but it won’t be very accurate—and it will probably only work for a few months before you need to replace it. If you want to count your steps, plan to spend at least $25 on a more expensive pedometer that comes with instructions and requires calibration.

4. Gym Membership. Always ask for a 5- to 7-day trial membership first (which should be free). While some chains do have low rates that offer good-quality equipment, it’s best to shop around. From having old equipment that doesn’t get repaired, to not being clean to not being properly staffed, most of the time you pay for what you get. So pay for what you want.

5. Home Cardio Machines. Buying a good cardio machine the first time is far more cost effective than having to buy another model after the cheap one breaks down! And a high-quality model will last you for years and years to come, making its per-use cost much lower than a cheaper model. Do your online research, go to a fitness equipment store and try out a variety of models,  and check out consumer reviews at ConsumerReports.org.

Save: 5 Fitness Items Worth Buying on the Cheap
There’s no point spending extra money if you don’t have to. Look for deals on the following fitness items; you won’t go wrong, but will save a lot! Read more