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New year, new fitness gear
While we're looking forward to the holidays right now (and inevitably eating our weight in pecan pie), January is coming up fast, and it's never too early to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions. For anyone who may be looking to tone up, try out a new sport, or lose those holiday pounds post-New Year’s Eve, we’ve rounded up some of the best activewear, fitness gear, and tech to add to your holiday wish list.
Fitness trackers are among the hottest holiday gifts of 2016, and the brand-new Huawei Fit ($130; amazon.com) is one great option. The watch helps you log all types of exercise—walks, runs, bike rides, even swims (yup, it's water resistant)—and even provides mid-workout coaching, such as speed up/slow down alerts and distance markers. The watch also provides continuous heart-rate monitoring and sleep tracking. Plus, when paired with its smartphone app, the Huawei Fit can assess your VO2 max, an indication of your cardio-respiratory fitness. The battery lasts six days, which means you spend more time working toward your goals and less time thinking about when you’ll be able to charge the device next.
Music does not just make exercise a whole lot more enjoyable; it makes you work out harder. (Don’t believe us? Science says so.) The NuForce BE6i Headphones ($129; amazon.com) are a wireless headset, connecting to your device via Bluetooth. Crafted from waterproof (and sweat-proof) aluminum, these headphones promise superior sound quality and eight hours worth of play. The earbuds come in varying sizes and fit comfortably and snugly, which means you don’t have to worry about them falling out when you’re working out.
Save money and the planet by ditching store-bought bottled water. Instead, pick up a Contigo Autospout Addison Water Bottle ($11; target.com), named one of the best water bottles by Health's editors. With a 32-oz capacity, this bottle will keep you well hydrated throughout your workout. It’s made from a tough, dishwasher-friendly material, and its screw-top lid and auto-seal feature will prevent any spills and leaks.
Buy the Starwood Sports Exercise Resistance Loop Bands ($8; amazon.com) for those days you want to do a strength workout, but can't make it to the gym. Stash the four bands—light, medium, heavy, and x-heavy—in the included drawstring sack.
Need somewhere to store your keys and phone? The FlipBelt ($29; target.com) could be your storage solution—it keeps valuables secure while you sweat, and the simple design keeps things discreet.
The Lululemon All Day Tote ($128; lululemon.com) is versatile enough to take you from the gym to the office without having to carry two bags with you. Ample pockets, as well as a pouch to store shoes, means you'll keep your workout gear, office supplies, and anything else you need organized.
Running shoes ($)
If you’re new to running and want a pair of shoes that don’t break the bank, check out Skechers GOrun 400 ($60; skechers.com). They're lightweight and supportive, with a 5GEN midsole material that delivers comfort and responsiveness. The shoe is built for high-impact activity, with a Goga run insole that offers shock absorption and support, making them perfect for running on the treadmill and on the pavement.
Running shoes ($$$)
The Nike Free RN Flyknit ($110; nike.com) fits like a sock. It’s all about natural movement and flexibility for an easy and comfortable run. The shoe is made with lightweight materials, with foam in the midsole to provide cushioning and a rounded heel that follows the shape of your foot.
Wear the New Balance Vazee Transform Mesh Trainer ($75; newbalance.com) during strength/cardio combo workouts at the gym. Mesh upper supports the foot during workouts that require pivoting and sideways movement, such as dance-cardio, bootcamp, and circuit training.
Next up on your would-be wish list: A solid pair of workout leggings. Not only do these Sweaty Betty Chandrasana 7/8 Leggings ($105; sweatybetty.com) make us want to go and work out because they look so damn good, they are reversible, which essentially means you’re getting two leggings for the price of one. Bargain! The high-stretch, sweat-wicking fabric is both comfortable and sculpting, making for a flattering fit. The mesh panels give added breathability so you can keep your cool while performing downward dog even in the hottest of yoga classes.
Not ready to invest in a high-end workout leggings just yet (or just want to have a lower-priced option on your gift list)? Old Navy offers several more affordable options—and you'll still be pleased with the quality and variety of styles offered. The Go-Dry Mid-Rise Run Legging ($40; oldnavy.com) features a wide, no-pinch waistband; flatlock seams to prevent chafing; a zippered pocket to store valuables; and a reflective print to make you more visible to motorists when you're running in the dark.
One of Health's editors is a hot yoga addict, and she recently declared the Gaiam Studio Select Dry-Grip Yoga Mat ($70; amazon.com) the best yoga mat she's ever used. The non-slip surface remains grippy throughout the sweatiest Bikram sessions, but never gets sticky. Plus, it's 5mm thick (a standard yoga mat is just 2 or 3), which means it's extra cushy.
The New Balance Accelerate Short Sleeve ($30; newbalance.com) is a simple and affordable workout staple. The lightweight polyester and mesh combo maximizes ventilation and breathability, and includes moisture-wicking technology to keep you dry and cool, even during the most intense HIIT workouts.
The Athleta Waves Stealth Support Top ($64; athleta.com) has a built-in bra that provides shaping and medium-level support with Sculptek technology and zoned compression panels. The double straps offer additional support, keeping the girls in place during medium impact training.
The Petal Full Focus Bra ($49; athleta.com) is just so pretty you’ll want to show it off whenever you hit the gym. It offers medium support and coverage, and is built for yoga, studio workouts, and gym training. The crisscrossing back straps are not just a design feature but also give you the freedom to move. Meanwhile, the mesh lining with removable cups offers extra coverage, and the wicking material pulls sweat away from the body, allowing it to dry faster. It's sustainable, too, with the recycled polyester made from recycled water bottles.
The Nike Pro Indy sports bra ($45; nike.com) offers light support for activities like walking, yoga, and weight training. The racerback design comes with slim and adjustable elastic straps so you can customize your fit and optimize your motional range, while the compressive pads come with removable pads to add support and definition.
The Under Armour ColdGear Graphic ($55; underarmour.com) offers a flattering and supportive fit that can be worn as a base layer or on its own. The light, sweat-wicking fabric will keep you dry and warm during your winter workouts, plus the addition of anti-odor technology will keep your running partner happy.
The Nike Sphere Element ($85; nike.com) makes for a perfect winter workout top. The fabric is specially designed to keep you warm when it’s cold outside and the thumbholes with mittens provide additional coverage so even your hands don’t get chilly. It also includes dry-FIT technology so that you remain dry and comfortable.
Keep your fingers toasty warm during outdoor winter runs with the L.L. Bean Multisport Power Touch Gloves ($30; llbean.com).
The Columbia Women’s Cabled Cutie Beanie ($30; columbia.com) looks like your average wool hat, but it’s been built with an ear band made from omni-wick polyester micro fleece to wick sweat and disperse excess heat. Your head will stay warm but dry during your outdoor workouts.