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FITNESS GADGETS Nine great motivational tools for intensifying your workouts.
Getting fit has never been easier with the smorgasbord of gadgets and apps available today. You may not need a personal trainer when technology can fill the role. Functionality aside, gadgets and equipment nowadays are nifty in design and packed with features. Now, who can resist working up a sweat to such temptation?
If you’re a night rider, this quirky accessory may just be your light in the dark, so to speak. Aptly named Illumirror, it’s a combination of a LED light and bicycle mirror. The LED light panel illuminates the frame of the mirror and can be set to blinker mode. The Illumirror comes with a flexible band, so you can attach it to the handlebar or any part of your bike. If you’re cycling on the road at night, there’s no way drivers can’t see you. In fact, don’t be surprised if they slow down just to take a look at your flashing mirror!
Fumbling with your old-school corded headphones looks silly when you’re pounding the pavement – especially when there are people around. The Jabra Sport stereo headset saves you from that indignity because it doesn’t have a cord that will tangle. It’s Bluetooth-enabled and comes with a built-in FM radio. Even better is it comes pre-loaded with the Endomondo Sports Tracker app. It reads aloud updates on your distance covered, lap time and speed with just a tap on the headset as you trudge along. It’s comfortably snug because of its behind-the-ear design, and tough – it meets the US military standards for dust, rain and shock resistance.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Active Handphone
Svelte handsets are all the rage now, but few are designed to take the rigours an active lifestyle demands. Not so the Xperia Active. This tough cookie is a perfect fitness buddy, with its pre-loaded sports apps that can track your heart rate, fitness levels, training activity and performance. For those who get lost easily (even in tiny Singapore), there’s no need to worry: The phone comes with built-in GPS. It’s also certified dust-proof and waterresistant, with a screen that allows for wet finger tracking. While it’s 16.5mm thick, that’s a small price to pay for the robust build.
Bryton Rider 50 Cycling Computer
This gizmo is perfect for exploring uncharted territory. It’s not a one-trick pony: The water-resistant Rider 50 offers a plethora of information such as speed, distance, altitude, temperature, heart rate, cadence – the list goes on. There’s also high-definition live-mapping by GPS, so that you get an accurate fix on your location even when you’re navigating off-road trails. You can also log on to the company’s website
(bridgesport.com) to plan a trip with your workout. Just determine the plan at your starting point on the map and the system automatically tracks your journey, taking into account the terrain you’ll be passing over. If your buddies have Rider 50s, you can share planned trips and points of interest wirelessly.
Serious cyclists are absolutely obsessed – they never stop, even at home. Perhaps that’s why the Lemond Revolution bike trainer was created. It features high-inertia technology designed to mimic the activity of a rolling bicycle. This provides a smooth, natural feel when you pedal, and there’s no lag when you slow down or change gears. It’s as real as riding on the road. Also, because it uses a replaceable cassette, you can swop just about any bike – from road and triathlon to mountain bikes – you can find and mount it on the device.
Price: From $988
Polar RS800CX Run
This isn’t a watch; it’s a running computer for the serious athlete. The RS800CX comes with functions that help you plan, monitor and analyse your exercise. For instance, the running index tracks your heart rate and speed data during your runs, allowing you to monitor your running efficiency. The running cadence function helps you measure the contact time between your feet and the ground. From this, you can then tweak the way you run, to find a balance between power and speed. You can create a customised training plan using the Polar Protrainer 5 software that comes in the package, and transfer it to the watch wirelessly.
Speedo Aquabeat 2 MP3 Player
Can’t do without your groove even when you’re swimming? Just take it along with you. The Aquabeat 2 allows you to enjoy your favourite tunes, whether you’re splashing about in the pool or at the beach. It comes with features such as FM radio, stopwatch and pedometer function. You can choose from three memory capacities based on your needs: 1GB, 2GB or 4GB. The 4GB Aquabeat 2 can hold up to 1,000
MP3 and 2,000 WMA files. The player is water-resistant to a depth of 3m but light enough to float on water.
Price: $139 (2GB)
Bone Horn Bike Acoustic Amplifier
Eco warriors will love this crazy accessory – it doesn’t require any external power to amp up the volume on your iPhone 3GS/4 or iPod Touch 4. Simply pull it over your device, attach it to your bicycle’s handlebar with the adjustable strap, and the Horn Bike will amplify the wimpy speaker volume by 13 decibels. Made of silicone, it’s tough, water-resistant and washable. For those who like a choice, it also comes in three colours: black, blue and grey.
2XU Comp Trisuit
Whether you’re a seasoned triathlete or first-timer, you’ll definitely appreciate the Comp Trisuit’s qualities. When you emerge from the water, the suit’s slight compression fit will provide warmth, without compromising circulation. As your body heat rises, the Sensor Mesh X material ventilates your body to keep you cool. The suit also has an exclusive fleece padding to keep you comfy in the saddle of your bicycle, yet remains unobtrusive when you dismount for the run. At this price, the Comp Trisuit is a steal, for it delivers performance typically offered by pricier rival brands.