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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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