Thursday, November 15, 2012

Holiday fitness gifts recommended by American Council on Exercise

It's unusual to me that trade and professional associations would make product recommendations, but such it is in a world where media, content and marketing have all become important in the social eco-system.  ACE, the American Council on Exercise sent out the following holiday gift ideas for people who love fitness.  I respect ACE a lot, and if they say these are good fitness products, it's worth passing along the info.

As they say, Cyber Monday will be here before you know it.

·         Calorie counter:  The next generation of the standard pedometer, a fitness tracker like the BodyMedia® FIT can help keep track of how many calories are burned throughout the day, how many steps taken, and the duration of sleep every night.  The package consists of the BodyMedia FIT Armband, designed to be worn up to 23 hours a day to provide an accurate assessment of calories burned, and the online Activity Manager, which stores all of the fitness data gathered and allows the user to set unique goals, monitor progress and more.  It’s even Bluetooth enabled to allow the user to view his or her fitness data on a smartphone on the free mobile app. 
·         Heart rate monitor: Using a heart rate monitor is an excellent way to measure and track the intensity of a workout by seeing where you are in relation to your target heart rate zone.  Polar produces a variety of monitors that can meet the needs of almost any exercise enthusiast, and they are one of the most recognized names in the industry.  Whether you just want to monitor your heart rate, or you also want to keep track of calories burned and other vitals, there’s a monitor on the market to meet your needs. 
·         Interval timers: High intensity interval training (HIIT) is an effective way to exercise that consists of bouts of high intensity exercise followed by short rest intervals.  Using an interval timer can help easily and effectively maximize your HIIT workouts by keeping track of how many seconds you need to spend on each interval and rest in between.  A good option is the GYMBOSS® Interval Timer and Stop Watch, which can easily be clipped onto an armband, waistband or belt.  The timer allows you to set the number of rounds, length of time, and whether you want it to vibrate or beep to alert you to move onto the next round.   
·         Fitness apps: No matter what smartphone your intended recipient has, purchase a gift card that will allow him or her to download a few of the many excellent workout apps available on the market.  Fitness apps can help you track your caloric intake and workouts, remind you to exercise, or even provide you with workout programs to follow while on the go.  The Bootcamp® Challenge App, created by ACE-certified Group Fitness Instructor Lori Patterson, features three 18 day programs for beginners, intermediate and advanced workout fans that can be customized according to the equipment you have on hand. 

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