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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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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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