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6 Sporty Gifts for the Athlete in Your Life

6 Sporty Gifts for the Athlete in Your Life

The world of sports and athletics is becoming more and more digitized every day. We’ve gotten to the point that the equipment we use can be hooked up to our phones and computers to give instant feedback on our performance. Which…is actually pretty cool. Whether you are an action photographer, professional athlete, or fitness guru, new products are hitting the shelves every day to improve your experience and further your performance. There are too many to list, but here are a few gems to look out for birthdays, celebrations, and holidays. These gifts are perfect for the athlete in your life.

Polaroid Cube

The Polaroid Cube is an HD action camera that fits in the palm of your hand. But don’t let its small, 35cc frame deceive you. The Cube takes pictures or records video using a 124° wide-angle lens in 1440p HD, making your action shots and clips come to life on screen. It’s also shockproof and splash resistant, so you can use it while really getting in the action. This is perfect for an athlete to record just how awesome their activities really are. It can even connect to your smartphone device through WiFi, making uploading pictures and videos – wait for it – a snap. Sorry, I couldn’t resist…

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Fitbit Charge HR

The Fitbit Charge HR is a great addition to any athlete or fitness buff’s collection of exercise equipment. By simply wearing it as a watch, you can track your steps taken, stairs climbed, calories burned, and your heart rate throughout the day. It also recognizes your sleep patterns, reporting times of deep sleep as well as restlessness. After syncing it with your mobile device, the Fitbit automatically uploads this information for you to analyze at the end of the day. When it’s synced, it will even vibrate when you have a call — just in case your phone is on silent or on the other side of the house.

Sennheiser PMX 685i

Who doesn’t listen to music during a workout? The Sennheiser PMX 685i headphones bring back the old headband style, combined with the in-ear style of today. In doing so, Sennheiser has created shock-resistant headphones that minimize wear and tear, and won’t pop out of your ear while running or jumping. These headphones for the active athlete are also water-resistant, and can be rinsed with running water between uses. You can even sync it with your Apple devices and use it to take phone calls.

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SmartMat

Though it’s still in development, the SmartMat is currently available for pre-order. A must-have for any Yoga fanatic, the SmartMat is designed to calibrate with your body and provide feedback as you go through your routine. The SmartMat works in conjunction with any smart device to display the correct position for a specific pose in comparison with your performance. You’ll be able to download specific routines and classes through the SmartMat app upon launch, as well. All you need to add is a calming Pandora channel!

Connected Cycle

The Connected Cycle is exactly what it sounds like: an attachment to bring your biking into the 21st century. By replacing your bike pedals with the Connected Cycle, you can monitor your speed, route taken, amount of incline pedaled through, and calories burned. Since the pedals act as a GPS, it also tags your bike’s location at all times – meaning you can be sure it stays right where you left it. Perhaps the most user-friendly feature of the Connected Cycle is that the pedals generate battery life when you use it, meaning it never has to be charged, and can be left on at all times. Talk about incentive!

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94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball

Even basketballs can track your performance these days. The 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball monitors your shooting arc, shot release speed, backspin, and dribble control, providing feedback through your connected smart device. It also tracks makes and misses, and provides workout regimens for improving your skills. The Smart Sensor Basketball is currently in development, and should be released in April 2016 so keep any eye out for this awesome gift.

Featured photo credit: DSC_0838 / Arkadiy Solovyov via farm6.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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