If you’re thinking about having a baby, you’re probably doing a lot of planning. There’s not only the logistics of getting pregnant but thoughts of setting up a nursery (maybe even upgrading your home), planning for career changes/daycare, and more. But while you’re prepping for pregnancy, don’t forget about taking care of your body! Not only should you be taking prenatal vitamins and improving your diet, but getting fit is wise as well. Getting your body in shape will help you prepare for a healthy pregnancy. Learn all about getting fit before pregnancy.
Why You Should Get In Shape Before You Get Pregnant
Pregnancy can be hard on a person’s body, so getting fit before can make the whole process easier.
Moderate exercise before pregnancy has huge positive effects. First, it can help improve fertility, especially for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and other underlying conditions. Stress can interfere with conception and regular exercise helps to reduce it.
If you go into pregnancy with an already established exercise routine, you can experience less pain while pregnant and lower weight gains during pregnancy, which makes the pregnancy easier overall. It can also prevent other issues during pregnancy like gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Overweight women are also more likely to experience complications during labor and delivery, so getting fit can prevent that.
One important point to remember is that moderate exercise is best. Over-exerting oneself or exercising too much can actually reduce fertility. We like the CDC’s exercise recommendations 2 or more days a week of muscle-strengthening activities, plus (a) 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, (b) 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or (c) a mix of moderate and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 2 or more days a week.
How to Get Fit Before Pregnancy
It’s easy to set the goal, but following through can be the tricky part. Here are our tips to help you be successful.
Pick Exercises You Enjoy
The first thing you want to do is pick out workouts you enjoy because you’ll be more likely to do them. If everyone around you thinks running is the best exercise and you struggle to even put on your sneakers then it’s probably not the exercise for you. Aerobics, yoga, pilates, swimming, and strength training are all great options for pre-pregnancy fitness. Evening taking a thirty-minute walk outside each day is a gentle way to get your heart pumping and your body moving (plus it’s good for your mental health). It’s also good to add variety to your routine, so don’t limit yourself to one type of exercise.
If you’re actively trying to conceive, make sure you check in with your doctor to get their approval on your workout routine. Since you could become pregnant at any time, you don’t want to do anything that could negatively affect you or the baby. Exercises to avoid include sports that have a high risk of injury (eg. gymnastics, snowboarding, contact sports) and exercising in extreme heat.
Set Realistic Fitness Goals
One of the biggest reasons people fail their fitness goals is they make them too difficult to achieve. While you don’t want to go too easy on yourself, setting realistic goals is the best way to set goals that you can achieve.
If you’re starting from zero, you won’t be able to jump right to 30 minutes of vigorous exercise every day. Instead, start with three days a week of your preferred exercise. As your fitness level improves you can increase the number of days or the length of your exercise sessions.
If you benefit from outside motivation, consider starting a 30 day challenge or finding an exercise buddy who can help keep you accountable or keep you company during your workout.
Track Your Progress
Tracking your exercise progress can be a great motivator to keep up with your habit and achieve your fitness goals. Everyone is different, but there are a few different ways to track your progress. You may need to try a few to figure out which one motivates you the best.
Write Down Your Goals
Write down specific goals related to getting fit. Don’t use the vague “I want to get fit.” Try things like, “Lose 10 pounds,” “Run a 12 minute mile,” or “Do yoga five days a week.” Writing down your goal helps encode it in your memory and also gives you something to reference when you’re losing motivation.
Use a Fitness Tracker
Wearing a fitness tracker is one of the easiest ways to track your progress. Depending on the type you get, they not only track your daily steps but many have built-in exercise tracking. You can use the apps to track your progress over time. Some apps even have ways to set personalized goals or reminders that can nudge you to be more active.
Make a Fitness Schedule
If your days are busy, setting aside time for your exercise routine will make it easy to hit your goal. I like writing it into my planner and crossing it off when I’m done. You can also schedule it on the calendar on your phone to get notifications when it’s time to exercise.
For some, running is life. Whether you’re a runner or your significant other loves to get up before the sun is up to get in a few miles, one of these hilarious running themed t-shirts will really add some fun to your workout or marathon training. Buy one as a treat for yourself or as a fun gift for Christmas or birthdays.
10 Hilarious T-shirts for Runners
1. 6 Stages of Marathon Running T-shirt
This funny t-shirt is perfect for experienced and training marathoners since it’s so relatable. It goes over the 6 Stages of Marathon Running:
1. Let’s do this!
2. Why am I doing things?
3. Am I dead?
4. I wish I was dead.
5. I’m dead.
6. Can’t wait to RACE again!
Available in five colors in men and women’s sizes.
Yes, this is a tank, but it’s so funny I had to include it. The tank has alternative pink and white text that says “I love running. I hate running.” It so wonderfully represents the dichotomy many runners feel about their exercise of choice.
Available in men and women’s sizes in three colors.
You love your cat or kitten, but sometimes their adventurous natures gets them into trouble. Whether your cat is an outdoor adventurer or a house kitty who likes to pull Houdini escape acts, a cat tracker is an invaluable tool to allow you to locate your pet at any moment. These trackers use Bluetooth or GPS technology to track and find your cat around the house or when they’ve run away. They easily attach to your cat’s collar so you can track them 24/7. We’ve rounded up the best cat trackers so you can pick the perfect option for your kitty.
Check out our comparison chart and then the reviews.
Cat Trackers Comparison Chart
Check out our comparison chart for cat trackers. If you want to read our in-depth review of each tracker, scroll down to the next sections.
4 Star Rating
Waterproof, Activity & Rest Tracking, 20 Day Rechargeable battery
Pawfit Pet GPS
4.5 Star Rating
Waterproof, Activity & Rest Tracking, Attaches to Collar
4 Star Rating
Waterproof, Compact Design
3.5 Star Rating
Splashproof, Track up to 4 cats
4 Star Rating
Smartphone app, 6 month battery
Best GPS Cat Trackers
GPS cat trackers are best for kitties who like to roam far from home. These trackers allow you to locate your cat anywhere by using GPS tracking which sends information to a smartphone app. While this technology is great for finding lost pets, it is more expensive than other trackers. Usually, the tracker itself has a higher price and then you also have to pay a monthly fee for a GPS subscription. If you’re not sure that the GPS feature is worth it, consider one of the Bluetooth cat trackers in the next section. If your cat gets lost easily or escapes, the extra cost of the GPS tracking may be worth the peace of mind.
Whistle has been the top pet GPS tracker for many years and is perfect if you often need to track your kitty. The Whistle tracker attaches to your cat’s collar and tracks them with GPS, cellular, and Wifi technology to make it easy to locate your cat if they escape or run away using the free smartphone app. You can even get email, app, or text notifications if your cat leaves customized designated safe areas, which is perfect if your cat has a habit of wandering the neighborhood. To access all of these tracking features, you must purchase a subscription plan ranging from $6.95 – $9.95 per month, depending on the billing terms you select. The GPS will only work in the United States. Because of the monthly charge, we would only recommend buying the Whistle if you need GPS tracking for your adventurous cat. If you’re curious about where your cat roams on their adventures, the app will provide maps of their activities which can be a lot of fun to look at.
As with everything, you get what you pay for. Most cheap smartwatches are junky knock-offs from China that are frustrating to use and lack good features. For this article, I sought out affordable smartwatches that offer good value without a high price. Specifically I looked for smartwatches under $200. I also included one very cheap option for people on a tight budget. Usually, when it comes to technology like smartwatches, you aren’t going to find a good quality item at a low price. If these watches are out of your budget, consider getting a cheap fitness tracker instead.
Check out our comparison chart and then the reviews.
Cheap Smartwatches Comparison Chart
Check out our comparison chart for the best cheap smartwatches. If you want to read our in-depth review of each tracker, scroll down to the next section.
4.5 Star Rating
Pedometer, Calls, SMS, Remote Camera Control
4 Star Rating
Customizable face & bands, iOS & Android compatible, waterproof
4 Star Rating
GPS, Heart Rate Monitoring, 30 Day Battery Life, Sport Modes
The reviews are presented from cheapest to most expensive at the time of this writing. Note that online prices frequently fluctuate.
Aeifond Cheap Smartwatch
If you’re looking for a budget pick that still provides many of the features most people look for in a smartwatch, this model from Aeifond should work for you. Designed to look similar to an Apple Watch at a fraction of the price, this smartwatch can sync via Bluetooth to Android or Apple phones. It also has an optional Sim card slot so you can use it without a smartphone. Either way, you can make calls and send text messages from the watch. The watch can display most notifications from your phone, so you never miss an important call or message. There are also tons of useful features built directly into the Aeifond like a calculator, timer, alarm clock, calendar, and compass. If you like taking selfies, you’ll enjoy the remote camera control.
If fitness tracking is important to you, the Aidfond has all the basic tracking features like step counting, calories burned, and sleep tracking. If you’re looking for more in-depth fitness and workout tracking or heartrate monitoring, you will need to buy a more expensive smartwatch. If you’re on a budget and want something really affordable, this is one of the better cheap smartwatches available.
One important thing to note: not all features are available if you sync with an iPhone. You will not be able to send text messages, use the remote camera option, or the vibration.
If you’re looking for an affordable, no fuss smartwatch with great fitness tracking abilities, Alcatel’s OneTouch Go may fit your needs. With a design similar to a traditional sports watch, Alcatel has incorporated many awesome features found in today’s cheap smartwatches. If you’re someone who hates the square shaped screens of other smartwatches, you may be pleased with the OneTouch Go’s round face.
Unique features of the OneTouch Go include an “emotion” feature where you can long press the home button and it will give you an “emotion command.” This is basically a prompt to go do something, which is based off of your activity data for the day. So if you’ve had a sedentary day, it will give you suggestions to get up and moving. This smartwatch is also incredibly customizable. You can change the casing and the bands, as well as setting a custom image for the watch face and backgrounds.
Overall, the Alcatel OneTouch Go is a decent cheap smartwatch, but the limited functions and apps may leave many users wanting.
Available colors: Black/Red, White/Gray, White, Blue/Lime Green
Fitness Tracking: steps, heart rate, sleep
Notable features: 3 day rechargeable battery, customizable casing and bands, Android & iOs compatible, IP67 waterproof, message and call notifications, weather reports, music controls, emotion feature, timer, stopwatch, lost phone alert
Compatible with Android and Apple iOS.
Waterproof and shockproof.
Personalized backgrounds and watch face
A little more expensive, the Amazfit Bip is a fantastic budget smartwatch option with more of a fitness focus. Made by Huami, this isn’t some no-name Chinese knock-off (they make the popular low-price Mi Band fitness tracker). With a sleak, unique design, the Bip features a scratch resistant Gorilla Glass LCD touchscreen. The focus is on fitness, with most of the features realted to tracking workouts. This smartwatch has built in heart rate monitoring and GPS which make the real time activity tracking and sports tracking even more acurate. In addition there are four sport modes for advanced tracking of running, treadmill, cycling, and walking. (Unfortunately, while the Bip is waterproof, there is no specific swim tracking program.)
The Bip syncs with your phone and the Mi Fit app for all of your sports tracking. In addition, you can receive call and text notifications from your phone (all calling and responses need to be done on your phone though). It also has a built-in weather app, alarm clock, and sleep tracking. The always on display does not compromise the battery (you get over 30 days on one charge) and offers a variety of customizable watch faces. For fitness-focused users, the Bip is an affordable option that packs a lot of great features and fantastic battery life.
Available colors: White Cloud, Onyx Black, Cinnabar Red, Kokoda Green
If you’re searching for cheap smartwatches with sleek designs and awesome features, the ASUS ZenWatch 2 will meet your needs. Competing in many ways with the Apple Watch, it has a gorgeous stainless steel casing available in a variety of colors and customizable band options, you can easily match the Zenwatch to your personal style. You can also use the Face Designer to fully customize and change the design, layout, and info displayed on the watch. This ranges from classic watch faces to modern sport faces and everything in between.
If fitness tracking is important to you, the Zenwatch 2 has plenty of features to get you up and going–including a sedentary alert when you’ve been sitting too long. As expected, it has a built-in pedometer and you can use the Wellness app to see activity summaries and track your activity over time. It also has a workout coach that helps you track a variety of workout types and help you meet fitness goals. This model does not have a heart rate monitor, so the accuracy of fitness tracking is not as accurate as other smartwatches.
As a smartwatch, there are plenty of features to keep you productive on the go. Built on Android Wear, you can receive messages, meeting notifications, and other alerts right on your wrist. You can also dictate replies to texts, instant messages, and emails to your watch without getting your phone out. Even though the Zenwatch 2 comes with Android Wear, it works with both iOS and Android phones. It’s a more affordable alternative to expensive smartwatches that will make many users very happy.
Notable features: Android Wear and Google Apps, Hypercharge (60% charge in 15 mins, full charge in 1 hour), 48 hour battery life, waterproof, move reminders, custom watch faces, make and receive calls, message and app notifications, remote camera, find my phone and forget phone warnings
Two screen size options.
Built in speaker for receiving alerts.
Android Wear not as convenient for iPhone users.
Lacking a heart rate monitor and other fitness tracking.
Here’s another Android Wear option that’s quite affordable for a smartwatch. The Ticwatch is for all those people out there who hate the square-shape that dominates a lot of smartwatches. Perfect for sporty Android users, the Ticwatch has customizable faces and bands, so it looks good whether you’re at the gym or on a night out on the town.
To keep you fit, the watch automatically tracks your steps and heart rate, but you can also use a variety of apps, including Google Fit to coach you to your fitness goals. It’s also waterproof, so you can shower or swim with the Ticwatch without damaging it. The built-in GPS allows you to track running and cycling more accurately.
Google Assistant makes it easier to get done everything no matter where you are. Use “OK Google” to send messages, set reminders, looking up info, and more. Plus there’s hundred of other apps to assist you with all your needs. While the Ticwatch is compatible with iPhones, limited functionality is available.
Available colors: Shadow, Knight, Lemon, Aurora, Glacier
When Spring comes, it’s a relief from the bitter cold and dark hours that dissuade you from running. Now the weather often lands at the perfect temperature for long outdoor runs. Until the all to brief spring weather is overtaken by summer. Once the temperatures climb, running becomes more difficult and can sometimes be dangerous. But you don’t have to break your running habit when the dog days of summer arrive. Utilize some of these tips so you can stay cool while you get your run in.
How to Stay Cool on Hot Summer Runs
1. Run in the Morning/Evening
This may be a no brainer–but getting up early and running before the sun heats the day up is one of the easiest things to do to defeat hot summer weather. If you’re like me and not a morning person, I push back dinner and run in the evening when the temperatures start to drop again. Use a weather app to track estimated hourly temperatures and plan to take your run at the coolest point of the day.
When it’s hot out, you’re going to sweat more than on a regular run. You need to compensate for this by hydrating regularly. That includes before, during, and after your run. Once your run is done, opt for a sports drink with electrolytes to replenish and hydrate more efficiently than water alone.
What you wear will affect how hot you feel while you run. For hot summer days, opt for light-colored, loose sports gear. The lighter colors will reflect the sun’s heat. When the fabric is loose, it’s easier for sweat to evaporate, which cools you down better than tight, soaked clothes.
Another item you might not consider wearing is a visor. Unlike a hat, the open top of a visor will allow heat to escape from the top of your head while blocking the sun from your face. This not only protects you from UV rays but helps keep your face cool as well.
4. Wear Sunscreen
Since we’re talking about UV rays, don’t forget to lather on the sunscreen before you go out. This not only protects you from sunburn, wrinkles, and skin cancer, but sunscreen lotion helps your skin and body feel cooler.
Opt for a waterproof, sports formula that will stand up to up to two hours of sweating. Make sure to reapply if you towel off.
5. Don’t Push It
If running in hot weather is unavoidable, don’t push yourself too hard. This is especially important on those days with sudden heat spikes. Slow down your pace and you can still get some exercise without overworking and overheating your body.
6. Run in the Shade
It’s often 10 degrees cooler in the shade and you can use that to your advantage by finding a running trail in the shade. Look for hiking trails and other running routes in shady wooded areas. If that’s not an option, running near a large body of water like a lake or the ocean will give you cooler temperatures and often a nice breeze.
7. Lower Your Body Temperature
If you start your run with a lower body temperature it will take your body longer to heat up. You can do this by using a technique called “pre-cooling.” An easy way to do this is to consume something very cold like a slushy or jump into a pool or a cold shower. You can also try wearing an ice vest to keep your temperature down throughout the run.
Once you’re ready to go, make sure you do your warm-up and your cool-down outside. This will help you avoid any temperature shock before or after your run.
8. Cool Your Neck
Since blood flows close to the surface of the skin on your neck, you can easily lower your core body temperature by strategically cooling your head and neck. A damp handkerchief around the neck is an easy, low-cost solution. You can also use ice cubes or some other freezable pack. Wear it on your neck while you run and you’ll feel much cooler.
9. Watch out for Humidity
While you’re monitoring the climbing temperatures, make sure you also pay attention to the forecasted humidity. When it’s very humid out, the air feels hotter. It also makes you feel hotter since sweat can’t evaporate from your skin and cool your body properly. If temperature and humidity readings are high, you’re going to feel miserable. Try to schedule your run when both are low.
10. Choose a Different Exercise
If the temperatures are really high with heat index warnings, just accept that it’s in your best interest not to run that day. Go for a swim in the pool instead or head to the gym to run on a treadmill in the AC. Choosing a different activity for sweltering days is the best choice for your health and well being.
We use our smartphones for almost every part of our life and there are a dozen reasons to mount your phone to the handlebar of your bike. Maybe you use your phone for GPS directions or like to easily change your music while you ride. Maybe you aren’t interested in buying a fitness tracker, cycling computer, or GPS computer for your bike. Whatever you need, there are tons of affordable bike mounts for phones. For this article, we’ve rounded up the best phones mounts for cycling so you can find the perfect one.
Phone Mounts for Bikes
Ram Mount X Grip
One of the challenges with phone mounts is you often need to find one that fits your specific phone model and if you upgrade or switch to a different phone then you need to buy a whole new mount. There are no worries with the X-Grip from Ram Mount. Designed to mount on your handle bar, this system comes with a base and a spring loaded holder that expands and contracts to fit the shape of your phone. So whether you have small iPhone or one of the Plus models or even any variety of Samsung devices, the X Grip will adjust to fit your phont–with or without a case on. The x-shaped arms are spring loaded and tightly hold your smartphone.
For “extreme” conditions, the mount comes with a rubber tether to make sure your device is extra secure. Since this mount is used frequently on motorcycles, you know your phone will be secure during extreme off-roading or just your daily commute. The mount accommodates rails from 1/2″ to 1.25″ in diameter.
If you’re an all weather bicycle commuter or often find yourself mountain biking in inclimate weather, you know you need a little extra protection for your smartphone–especially if it isn’t waterproof. This mount bag from Wallfire solves that problem, while providing you with a little extra storage space. Sized for 6″ phones like iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S6, S7 and Note 7, the bag features a waterproof zipper and a sensitive TPU touchscreen covering so you can operate your phone while it’s in the bag. The built in visor makes it easier to see your screen in bright sunlight.
For storage, there is a bag underneath where you can stash your wallet, keys, headphones, and other small items. The bag attaches to your bike with three adjustable velcro straps that will easily fit most bikes. This is a great option to secure your phone while you ride and give you a little extra storage space.
Quad Lock is different from the mounts we’ve reviwed thus far because it’s two pieces: one is a phone case made for specific phone models and the other is the mount itself. The mount is designed to fit your stem or handlebars with 25-40mm diameters and has a low profile design that is unobtrusive. Once the mount is installed, it’s easy to quickly snap your phone on and off the mount. This mount is perfect if you need quick access to your smartphone to take photos or make a call. The case is designed like any other protective case, giving you edge to edge protection while provided access to all the ports and buttons on your phone. Plus the case is compatible will all other Quad Lock products, including their car mount. We highly recommend this system if you bike and drive.
The Quad Lock comes with an optional rain-resistant cover that slides over the top of your phone and protects it from the elements. Quad Locks sell different kits for different phones. Currently, they offer kits for Samsung Galaxy S8+, iPhone 5/5S/SE, iPhone 6s Plus/6 Plus, iPhone 6s/6, iPhone 8 Plus/7 Plus, iPhone 8/7, and iPhone X, or you can buy just the bike mount or the universal bike kit.
If you’re looking for a cheap and affordable option to mount your phone to your bike, check out the Vibrelli. This universal phone mount can fit any smartphone up to 3.7″ wide and mounts to any handlebars between 0.9-1.3″ in diameter. It’s designed with an adjustable clamp and a three silicone bands for extra security (you only need to use one at a time, but they recommend using two at once for extra security. It’s quick to clip your phone in and out of the clamp, and it can also rotate so you can view your device horizontally. Since this is a clamp, you have full access your screen, buttons, and ports, but it doesn’t offer an additional protection against rain or mud. But because it’s so adaptable, you can easily use this mount while your phone is in a protective case.
Easy to use and compatible with so many different phones and biles, the Vibrelli Smartphone Bike Mount is a great option if you want a budget mount for regular cycling.
We know fitness trackers are all the rage and help people get fit. Even just simple pedometers help motivate people to walk more and meet their fitness goals. But how do these clip-ons and fitness bands actually work? What is the science that makes these little trackers count your steps? We’ll break it down for you in easy to understand terms.
How do Step Counters Work?
Before the fitness tracker and smartwatch trend started, pedometers were mostly little digital clip-on devices worn at the waist. In the pre-Bluetooth days, using buttons and the digital display you could track steps throughout the day. Some models even had a built-in memory so you could store several days of stats and challenge yourself to beat your record. Now we have fancier fitness trackers that sync with our phones to give us step counts and under fitness data. You can even buy watches with built-in step counters or your phone may count steps for you. But how do all of these devices actually know how many steps you take?
It’s all based on movement. Early forms of pedometers used a mechanical switch to detect movement, which would then count as a step. Often this was done with a small metal ball that slides back and forth or a swinging pendulum. Modern pedometers and fitness trackers use data from MEMS inertial sensors analyzed by software to count steps. These use accelerometers to detect minute movements that translate into steps (or exercises in more advanced trackers).
If you’re using a fitness tracker or watch with GPS tracking activated, the GPS will track the route you run or walk and then translate that distance into steps. This is usually the most accurate way to record steps, but GPS is only available with expensive fitness trackers and requires cellular service.
Learn more about the history of pedometers on Wikipedia
How Accurate are Pedometers?
As time goes on and our technology improves, step counters become more and more accurate. However, there are many who debate the accuracy of these devices. Generally, for typical walking on flat surfaces, all pedometers will be reasonably accurate to the number of steps you take. Clip-on pedometers worn on the waist are generally more accurate since movements of the arms or wrist can register false movements for wrist-based trackers.
A study was done on this in 2017 by Hannah M. Husted and Tamra L. Llewellyn. They filmed students walking on a treadmill for five minutes at a fixed speed of 3.5 miles per hour to determine the accuracy of four different pedometers and fitness trackers (Fitbit Charge, Omron HJ-303, SmartHealth Walking FIT, and Sportline). After counting the steps recorded in the video, the determined the Sportline was the only device that was close to the accurate count, while the other three undercounted the steps. The Fitbit was the least accurate.
We have found from our own experience that most step counters are accurate enough to give a general idea of your activity levels on a given day. Plus, the extra motivation pedometers can give to stay fit and move more is a big plus that overshadows doubts about accuracy.
A lot of fitness trackers focus on simple tasks like walking or running. But if you spend a lot of time in the gym or weight lifting is an important part of your workout routine, you might find a lot of activity trackers to be lacking in that department. Luckily, there are some models of fitness trackers that offer features for gym workouts. For this article, we’ve looked at all the options available and found the best activity trackers for weight lifting and gym workouts. Check out our comparison chart and then the reviews in the next section.
Best Activity Trackers for Weight Lifting Comparison Chart
Check out our comparison chart for fitness trackers for weight lifting. If you want to read our in-depth review of each tracker, scroll down to the next section.
3.5 Star Rating
Personal coaching, strength training tracking, rechargeable battery
2.5 Star Rating
Water resistant, auto workout tracking, smartphone app, heart rate sensor
If most of your workout time is spent in the gym, and weight lifting and strength training are a big part of your routine, then the GYMWATCH is designed for you. The tracker straps to your arm or leg (depending on what workout you’re doing) and connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone. Use the app to select a workout and it will show you where to place the sensor (you can even use two as a duo sensor for simultaneous upper and lower body training). As you complete your exercise routine–whether it’s weight lifting or fitness machines–the app analyzes your movements and gives you live feedback via headphones or screen display. This helps you improve your form and increase the efficiency of your workout. The GYMWATCH and app work like your own personal trainer while tracking your progress automatically.
When you’re done with your workout (or even between activities), you can analyze and evaluate your workout. In addition to the usual calories burned data regular fitness trackers give you, the GYMWATCH has tons of data specifically for weight lifting, including moving barrels, range of motion, and time under tension. Because of the portability of the tracker, you can get in your strength training anywhere: at the gym, at home, in the park.
Though it has “watch” in the name, the tracker is just a sensor–it has no display and doesn’t show the time. You have to use your smartphone and the app to get the full effect of the coaching and tracking. They also have a web portal you can use to really analyze your stats on your computer at home. It also doesn’t do any of the regular activity tracker functions like tracking steps. The focus is really on gym workouts or bodyweight strength training. Hands down, the GYMWATCH is one of the best fitness trackers for weight lifting currently available.
Available colors: Coal black, cool white
Tracks: Calories burned, moving barrels, speed, average weight per exercise, range of motion, time under tension, trends
Notable features: Adjustable band, smartphone app (iOS 8+, Android 4.1+), web portal, rechargeable via MicroUSB
If the GYMWATCH is out of your budget, the Atlas wristband is a cheaper option to consider. Designed with a variety of workouts in mind, the Atlas wristband is perfect for weight lifting, strength training, and other fitness activities. It features their trademarked Adaptive Motion Tracking that automatically logs exercises, counts reps, and analyzes your form. Again, this is like having a fitness coach on your wrist.
The wristband automatically identifies the exercise and records reps and other workout data to give you all the stats when you finish. Since it uses your smartphone app to track and analyze the data, this wristband is always updating and adding new supported workout types. Currently, it can track over 100 standard exercises, including weight lifting with barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells. It also tracks other exercises and aerobics like Crossfit, HIIT, and even swimming. If you’re doing push-ups or jumping jacks, the Atlas senses it and records it appropriately. If you need guidance for your gym time, the app has workouts designed to focus on a variety of fitness goals like slimming down or even adding bulk and it will guide you through the exercises on the wristband’s touchscreen. Or you can go freestyle and the app will track whatever you do.
Now, the Atlas is not an all-day wearable. The large screen on the band looks a little out of place for everyday life–like it’s something from a vintage sci-fi movie. If you’re looking for all day step counter or heart rate monitor, you’ll have to look elsewhere. But for monitoring and coaching while you work out, the Atlas is a good choice.
Available colors: green, yellow
Tracks: calories, heart rate (average and peak), reps, 1RM over time, muscle focus, velocity, form score, workout time, steps
Similar to the Gymwatch, the Push Band is an arm band that will track all of your gym activity. While it won’t count your steps, the push band is recommended for coachs to train their athletes remotely, so you know it’s good for tracking your gym time. The band tracks over 250 exercises, include a variety of weight lifting activities.
Just put the band on your forearm and use the app to select your activities. The app provides real-time feedback using Velocity Based Training (VBT) and you can use the Portal website to track your progress over time.
The Beast is a tiny sensor, but it has a powerful tracking app behind it. Worn as a wristband or on their vest mount, it tracks your movements and provides real time feedback on your smartwatch so you can see how hard you’re working. The app works as your personal coach, helping you to level up in your workout.
Over time you can evaluate your training cycles based on your results and plan better workouts. The smartphone app and web portal give you a perfect snapshot of your progress and help motivate you to continue improving. Since this tracker is meant specifically for the gym and weight lifting, it doesn’t feature any of the general fitness tracker features like step counting, but it tracks all the date you need for your weight lifting routine.
Running is more than just a way to exercise–it’s a way of life. Whether the loved one you’re shopping for just enjoys a daily jog or is training for their next marathon, there’s plenty of fitness-themed gifts to help them with their goals. From fun and creative gifts to practical gifts that will help them best their mile time, these gifts for runners are perfect for Christmas, birthdays, and any other gift-giving occasion. Check out our gift ideas below.
Best Gifts for Runners
Bluetooth Running Headphones
Help your runner stay motivated and avoid boredom. With these Bluetooth headphones, they can listen to their marathon playlist or their favorite podcast during their daily run. These earbuds are completely wireless and sweatproof. They also feature on-ear controls so you can make calls while you run. Comfortable and lightweight, it’s like they’re not even there.
If your runner is a foodie or maybe looking for more ways to eat healthy at home, this is the perfect gift for them. The Runner’s World Cookbook features 150 recipes developed especially for runners. These dishes focus on providing the fuel runners need to perform at their best while also staying slim and healthy. This is great if you’re looking for practical gifts for runners that go beyond the obvious running gear.
Runners love to track their stats as they improve their runtimes and meet distance goals. This Garmin Forerunner 935 is an excellent tracker for runners. It provides advanced dynamics for running, cycling, and swimming and gives data on ground contact, time balance, and stride length. This model also has wrist-based heart rate monitoring and GPS to track outdoor runs. If the runner you’re shopping for doesn’t already have a tracker, this is a great choice.
Stacked bracelets are very trendy right now and this one is perfect for the runner in your life. With five bracelets made from genuine leather, and three charms: “LOVE,” “RUNNING,” and a sneaker dangle. This bracelet is fashionable and fun, perfect to wear to the office or on their daily run.
Running is hard on the feet, this gift is a way to give a little relief. These recovery sandals are designed to help heal sore and tired feet and are meant to be worn before or after a run. The Acupoint soles activate nerve endings in the foot to massage the tissue and improve circulation. Just slip them on and tired feet, legs, and back will soon feel better. This is one of the gifts for runners that can be appreciated by anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet.
This is the perfect present for those runners who appreciate a good glass of wine to celebrate hitting their daily running goal. This wine glass has measurements engraved on the side. Instead of marking off ounces or milliliters, it measures off run lengths, including 5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon. This is a fun gift for any runner.
Made in the USA. Available with or without a stem. Also comes as a beer pint glass.
This is the perfect gift for that reluctant runner who enjoys a nice jog but isn’t into marathon training. This tank top proclaims “World’s Okayest Runner.” This a fun gift, perfect for Secret Santa or to tease the runner in your life.
Available in fit or flowy tanks in a variety of colors and sizes.
Give a year of inspiration with this desk calendar. Most gifts for runners focus on the physical task of running, but a lot of the challenge of being a consistent runner is mental. You need to keep going each day, even running in cold weather or the rain or when you don’t feel that great. This Run 365 Desk Calendar is a great way to deliver daily motivation, with inspirational quotes and beautiful images. Plus you can track your progress each day as you tear them off.
This is another gift that’s great to deliver inspiration and motivation for runners. These trainer tags are meant to go on your shoelaces. It’s like jewelry for your sneakers. This pair says “She believed she could..” and “..So she did.” This is a cute gift to give to any woman who loves to run.
This money belt is perfect for all occasions, but it’s especially good for runners. Often your running gear doesn’t have pockets to store all the essentials like your keys, ID, or cell phone. This hip belt solves that. It easily buckles onto your waist and you can slip all of your essentials inside and have your hands free to run. This is a great gift for runners that will revolutionize their workout.
Is the runner you’re shopping for a Star Wars fan? Then this is the perfect gift for them. This 11 oz. ceramic mug has text in the famous Star Wars font that says “Best Runner in the Galaxy.” This is great for enjoying hot drinks at the office or around the house. Plus it’s dishwasher safe.
Include some of their favorite tea or coffee to create a gift they’ll really appreciate.
While a mug is a great gift, it’s not practical for running. But this water bottle from SLS3 is great to stay hydrated during outdoor runs. This 10 oz. bottle is ergonomically shaped and comes with a strap to keep it easily in hand. It also includes a pocket to store essentials like keys or credit cards. This is a great gift for runners that is perfectly sized to be a stocking stuffer.
Running Because It’s Cheaper Than Therapy Tote Bag
Tote bags are an essential gift because they can be used for anything from lugging gym gear to carrying groceries. This tote bag is perfect if you’re putting together a runner gift bag or as a nice gag gift they’ll get some use out of.
Finding the motivation to run can be tricky, especially after the weather turns colder. While running indoors on a treadmill is an option, some runners prefer to keep up their outdoor routine. To help them stay toasty warm while they run, give them a set of running mitts. These mittens from Gordini are a perfect choice. They feature Insilk insulation to keep hands warm and a hydrowick lining for breathability. The fingertips are also touchscreen compatible so they can still use their smartphone as they run. These gloves make a great holiday gift.
This is a great gift to memorialize a great achievement. If your giftee has run the New York Marathon, you can have this map personalized with their name, the date, and their marathon time. Perfect for framing, this is a great gift to honor their hard work and reaching their goal.
This is a great gift for any runner who loves marathons. This handpainted sign says “Races” at the top and includes two clips to hold marathon bibs and 9 hooks to hold medals. This is great to display anywhere in the home with 12 different color options to match any decor.
This is the perfect gift for the dog-loving runner in your life. There’s nothing better than a nice jog with their favorite pooch, but holding a leash while running can be difficult and inconvenient. This hands-free dog leash is a great alternative. It affixes around the runner’s waist and had a bungee leash that expands to give extra space while you run.
Socks are a cliche gift for runners, but these pairs take it to the next level. Coming in a set of three pairs, each sock features inspirational phrases on the sole like “You are awesome” and “Never Never Give Up.” There’s a variety of color options and messages to choose from for general motivation or specific motivation for marathoners.
Foam rollers are an essential self-care tool for runners. But most runners do not have one of these. This mini foam roller from Trigger Point Performance provides the same benefits as a full-size foam roller in a compact and portable version. This is great for tossing in a gym bag or a suitcase to use anywhere they want to get a run in.
Any runner knows that their favorite sneakers can get a little smelly after a lot of use. These deodorizers are a great option to get rid of the stink. They’re made with activated charcoal which eliminates odor and absorbs moisture. With no toxic chemicals, they’re a great natural option to deal with moisture and odor.
Most people try to be healthy, but there is a rare breed who really loves exercising. If you have a friend or family member who is a bit of a health nut, you know that being fit and living a healthy lifestyle can take over their lives. These are good habits that should be encouraged and you can help them by giving presents that help them stay fit and active. These gifts for fitness lovers help compliment the healthy lifestyle they have. Some are just practical gifts and others are more fun. These gifts are especially good for Christmas to help your fitness buff gear up for New Year’s resolutions. Check out the list and I’m sure you’ll find the perfect present for your loved one.
Gifts for Fitness Buffs
1. The HIIT Interval Workout Game
Some of the best gifts are those that can enhance or encourage hobbies. Fitness and working out is a hobby that should always be encouraged, and the HIIT game is the perfect way to do that. HIIT Interval Workouts were designed by Sergeant Volkin, a scientist and military fitness expert. The program is meant to help anyone at any fitness level develop elite strength and fitness with no equipment needed.
This gift turns it into a game, one that can be played solo or with friends and family to add some fun competition. Drawing cards creates your workout routine and you can quickly collect points to win the game. If you’re new to the workouts, you can scan the card with your smartphone and watch a video demonstrating how to do them correctly. The HIIT Game is fun way to create a daily workout that’s unique each day. It’s perfect for fitness buffs who don’t want a gym membership and enjoy bodyweight exercises.
Surprise! Who would’ve thought we’d suggest this? But seriously, if you have a fitness buff in your life that doesn’t have a fitness tracker yet, you need to get them one ASAP. Fitness trackers no only help motivate people to keep up with their fitness goals, but they’re also the best way to track exercise time, calories burned, steps, and more.
A good workout is a sweaty workout. And your beloved can cool down with these awesome cooling towels. Made from premium microfiber with a mesh pattern, just wet the towel and wring it out. It instantly has a cooling effect which helps your body cool down. Perfect for runners and others who workout outside on hot days.
If the fitness fanatic you’re shopping for loves to yoga, then we have the perfect gift for you. The mug features figures on the side doing several yoga poses for each chakra, as well as showing all the steps of the sun salutation. To make this gift even cooler, it comes with a yoga mat coaster. Any yogi will absolutely love this gift.
Include some of their favorite tea or coffee to make a gift bag they’ll really appreciate.
If your giftee struggles to meet their fitness goals, this is a gift you an give them which will help them get in shape and lose weight. The Fitbook is a fitness planner and food journal that provides the structure for 12 weeks of goal planning and tracking. It guides you through the process of setting goals, recording results, and even rewarding yourself. This is what people used before fitness tracker bands and bracelets existed and it works well to help people set goals and meet them.
This journal is a great alternative to people who don’t like using fitness trackers, smartphones, or apps to monitor their activity and fitness. The Fitbook makes a great Christmas gift because it can help the giftee get a jump start on their New Year’s resolutions.
If you’re looking for a fitness gift that’s fun and practical, this one is perfect! Most fitness fanatics also dread going to the gym, and this pokes a little bit of fun at that. It’s a play on the classic cocktail gin and tonic and is perfect for fitness lovers and health nuts who also like to unwind with a nice drink at the end of the day.
This tote bag is also very practical for toting gym gears books, or even groceries. It’s the type of gift anyone can appreciate.
100% cotton tote bag. Designed and printed by FloxCreative, you’re supporting the designer directly when you buy through Etsy.
Jumping rope is a great, low cost way to exercise. This jump rope from Lift Heavy Fitness takes it to the next level. This is a Bluetooth jump rope. It syncs up with their free smartphone app to track duration of jumping, calories burned, and even distance. It’s basically like turning your jump rope into a fitness tracker.
You can set multiple users in the app, so this jump rope can be used by everyone in the family. This is also a great way to introduce kids to fitness and create some fun competition.
Fit women love jewelry too, especially jewelry that celebrates one of their favorite past times. This bracelet from ElegantTiger is a handmade tribute for women who lift. The bracelet features black beads with a barbell charm at the center. It’s chic and simple design goes well with any outfit and even looks good at the gym.
This is a great gift for women who lift or are into bodybuilding. It’s also good for gym nuts who can’t get enough fitness time.
Available with a choice of silver, gold, or black barbell charm.
If the fitness nut in your life hates going to the gym (especially on those cold winter days when you don’t want to leave the house) give them the next best thing. Grokker is subscription video platform with unlimited home workout and yoga videos. If going to the gym is inconvenient or too expensive, Grokker is a fantastic option. Their library of fitness videos include yoga, cardio, dance, interval training, pilates, and even weight training. There’s so much variety in content that you’ll never get bored with the workouts.
This is a great gift to give to students or moms who don’t have time to go to the gym. They can get their workout in anywhere using the Grokker website or smartphone and tablet apps. In addition to their fitness programs, they even have guided meditations and cooking programs. The cooking videos are great for anyone who is trying to stick to a diet or learn to cook for the first time. This is a gift that will keep on giving every month.
If your giftee loves to run marathons or 5Ks, then they will really appreciate this gift. This iron rack is handmade by SportHooks and perfect for displaying running medals. The business is run by an avid runner who was looking for a way to display their medals instead of just putting them away in a drawer. They invented this cool rack, which features ten hooks to display medals on.
There are 28 designs to choose from, so you’re sure to find one perfect for the runner in your life. The one pictured right says “Challenge Accepted.”
11. Jabra Elite Sport Wireless Earbuds & Fitness Tracker
Music is the driving force behind many workouts, especially for runners. Often traditional headphones are a problem, the cords can get in the way and cause safety concerns, plus they’re not durable against sweat or rain. These wireless earbuds from Jabra are designed specifically for running and other workouts. The in ear buds have no cords and are fully waterproof. They come with multiple sizes of gels and wings to find the perfect fit for your ears, which will hold the earbuds securely in place through even the most vigorous workouts. They have a 4.5-hour battery life, long enough to last most work out sessions, plus they come with a charging case that holds an additional 13.5 hours.
What sets these headphones apart from any other pair of earbuds, is they are actually fitness trackers. They have a built in heart rate monitor and a smartphone app that tracks your activity and includes features like rep counting, race pace calculator, and recovery advice. These are must have earbuds for runners.
If you’re shopping for a runner, here’s another great gift to consider. Any runner or jogger who exercises outside knows the pain of trying to figure out how to carry essentials without bogging themselves down. This hydration belt from X Fit Factor solves that problem. First it comes with two 10 oz. water bottles to keep runners hydrated. The center pocket has two sections, one for your smartphone to keep it safe from scratches, and the other for things like keys, IDs, credit cards, or protein gels.
Made from high-quality neoprene, this belt is sweatproof and perfect for keeping essentials at hand without interfering with running stride. This is the kind of practical fitness gift runners will really appreciate.
Hydration is important for all exercise fanatics, not just runners. And this gift is perfect for people who work out at the gym, the park, or anywhere else. Bottled water is expensive and bad for the environment. Bobble gives a great solution so you can have great tasting water anywhere. This water bottle has a built-in charcoal filter, so you can fill it up at the park water fountain and still get great tasting water.
Available in 18.5 oz and 34 oz sizes, this water bottle is great at the gym, the office, or school. It also comes in nine colors to fit any style.
It’s hard to bring the experience of a gym to your home if you’re short on space. Most people don’t have an entire room to dedicate to workout equipment, including a full set of dumbbells. These adjustable dumbbells are a neat solution. Using only two dumbbels, their weights can be adjsuted to equal 15 sets of weight. Using a dial system, you can adjust the weight in 2.5 pound increments to get the weight you need.
This is a great way to do weight training at home without a ton of equipment. Any fitness fanatic would love this workout gift.
Pain is a part of the game, even for very active and fit people. An acupressure mat is a great, holistic way to treat body pain naturally. It’s espeically good for back and neck pain that is often common in office workers. Acupressure mats have several points on it to stimulate acupressure points on your body and increase blood flow to affected areas. The results is pain and stress relief just from laying down on the mat.
This is a great gift for fitness minded people who are dealing with sore muscles after a workout or general aches and pains from day to day life.