Fitness Finds Under $100
Goods to get you moving
So you took a break from fitness and healthy eating during the holidays. You resolved to hit the gym, drink more water, and lose weight in the New Year. And how's it working out for you?
If your answer is not as well as you'd hoped, we've got some help for you. Maybe you just need some motivation—some great new fitness gear that you'll want so badly to show off, it'll get you out the door. Since budgets are tight (and you've probably resolved to save money, too), we chose fun fitness finds all for less than $100. Whether you're an advanced athlete or an exercise novice, a walker or a runner, a biker or a hiker, here are some great health-inspiring finds.
The couple that sweats together
You know you and your guy could both benefit from some deep stretching and meditation, but convincing him of that is another story. Enter OM Yoga in a Box for Couples, a surefire way to make exercise a funâand sexyâexperience for both of you. The kit includes an hour-long yoga class for two on CD, flash cards to demonstrate each pose, a yoga belt for stretching, relaxing music, a candle, and incense.
Because plastic water bottles free of the potentially dangerous chemical bisphenol A (BPA) just became available in 2008, we're betting that you may not have one yet. Fill that gap with a limited edition Better Bottle from Camelbak ($13), available in cute, festive designs like Midnight Stars and Red Argyle (shown here). They’re dishwasher safe, have an easy-to-carry handle, and sport the trademark Big Bite Valve, which means you don’t need to tilt it to take a drink.
For the disorganized yogi
We all have that one scatterbrained friend who loses her keys, her phone, and her wallet at least three times a week. If this sounds like you, you're in luck. The Yogoco yoga bag ($89) has zip-up compartments not only for a mat, but also for everything else you could possibly take to a class, to the gym, or with you for the rest of the afternoon. This way, you can concentrate on getting your Zen on, instead of where you put your towel.
For the person who’s stuck behind a desk all week but really wants to move: The Gaiam BalanceBall Chair with pump ($99) provides the benefits of sitting on a stability ball—improved posture, activation of core and abdominal muscles, and encouragement to wiggle around and burn calories—but with ergonomic back support, and without you needing to worry that it will roll away if left unattended. The BalanceBall is removable, so you can add fitness-ball basics to your daily routine, and it comes with a desktop guide to get you moving.
For the gadget lover
Preorder the hottest new fitness gadget of the year for delivery in early 2009: The tiny Fitbit ($99) clips onto clothes or slips into a pocket, and monitors movement in three directions, serving as a calorie-counter, a pedometer, and even a sleep tracker at night. It wirelessly uploads data to the company’s website where the user can track his or her progress toward a personal goal.
Hikers, campers, and anyone who likes to travel light will love this Evernew collapsible water bottle ($11) that can keep them hydrated but won’t weigh them down. When empty, the 2,000-milliliter bottle rolls up and ties neatly to be stored while packed away. Drinking water isn't only important during a workout session: Sip it all day and you'll boost your energy no matter what's on your schedule.
For the on-the-go girl
A revolutionary running outfit, the SkirtSports ToughGirl skirt ($90) is designed as a built-in skirt over tights, slightly boot-cut for style and comfort. It combines innovation, sex appeal, and high performance for a look that is sure to get any woman out the door and onto the pavement on chilly mornings. Available in a variety of colors and styles, it’s the perfect transitional piece to wear from the gym to the grocery store, for women of all shapes and sizes.
Featuring patented Tec Touch technology designed for use with music players, cell phones, and PDAs, 180s Puffy Quilt gloves ($40) have built-in pressure pods on the thumbs and forefingers that allow the user to operate mini–electronics without having to get their hands cold. The quilted nylon exterior is warm, breathable, and wind-resistant, while a microfleece layer traps heat and wicks sweat away from the skin. A soft, supple leather palm maximizes durability and grip, even in the snow or rain.
For the gym rat
Treat yourself to a personalized gym bag that reflects your own style. The NIKEiD website lets you choose from several sizes, styles, and colors (from $65), and lets you add features like laptop cases and customized lettering. Most bags have separate wet/dry pockets for clean and dirty clothes, shoe compartments, and padded shoulder straps for comfort.
For the Pilates lover
Tired of the same old Pilates routine? Jumpstart your workout with a Pilates Toning Ring (from $17.44). Use it to amp up the power of your favorite Pilates DVD or class at the gym: It can help you keep your alignment, strengthen more muscles, tone your arms, legs, back, and butt, and further stabilize your core.
If you know someone who’s struggled to exercise with her iPod or iPhone only to lose an earbud with each bounce, Innovelis BudFits ($9) are a great solution. Just pop these onto the factory-issued phones and they’ll flex to fit around your ears and hold the buds in tightly. Instead of carrying a whole second pair or having to wear wraparounds (which can get uncomfortable when worn for long periods), the BudFits gives you extra security only when you need it.