Let’s face it: Almost all fitness gear, from free weights to running shoes, is designed with men in mind. When companies make a “women’s version,” it’s usually clad in pink plastic. Well, today we’re taking back the gym and saying “No!” to Hello Kitty-themed treadmills. Here are some great women’s fitness gadgets to keep you running, biking and rolling.
A heart-rate monitor is an essential tool for any serious exerciser. But only in the past few years have companies like Polar started to cater to the female crowd by creating monitors with women-specific features and sizing. The $179.95 F11T is a cool digital gadget for and by women. Using the Keeps U Fit feature, you can assess your fitness capabilities and the watch will actually coach you on how often, how hard, and how long you need to exercise. The OwnZone helps you stay within your optimal heart rate range for the particular workout, and tracks your energy expenditure in terms of kilocalories burned over several workout sessions.
Oregon Scientific Personal UV Monitor with Exposure Timer
Enjoying a run on the beach or even the local park is fun, but coming back looking like a lobster isn’t. The personal $29.99 UV monitor calculates the current UV index and temperature in combination with your skin type and the strength of SPF you have on and tells you when to head indoors. While everyone needs a certain does of sun without SPF blocking the healthy rays to absorb vitamin D, overexposure brings its own dangers. A UV monitor helps balance outdoor time whether it’s sunning on the beach or biking in the country. A Velcro strap helps you position the device where it will get maximum sun exposure.
Terry Bicycle Damselfly Saddle
Your bike may be the right size, and possibly you’ve gotten a proper fitting to make sure you have comfortable ride, but if you don’t have a saddle made for a woman… let’s just say it brings new meaning to the phrase saddle sore. Terry has a line of saddles designed for women including the $109.95 Damselfly. And yes, it even comes in pink or black. The seat is light, with a low profile. The Damselfly relieves against chafing and front pressure. It has an open slot in the center for comfort and the rails can be easily adjusted to fine-tune your position.
Tanita CJ688 HealthyJump Jump Rope
Jumping rope used to be a fun, social activity in the playground. Being a grown-up, now it’s a serious activity aimed at honing your endurance and agility. The $23.95 HealthyJump from Tanita calculates the number of jumps, and keeps tabs on the number of calories you burn in a workout. The 10-foot rope is adjustable in case you’re on the petite, or super-model side.
The top, and most expensive, gyms come out with trendy workout classes with hip-hop moves, kickboxing, and stripper pole dances. You can get the expertise with attitude free at Nike.com. There’s a whole line of fully-choreographed workouts including the Dancehall workout, Far East Funk, Warrior Moves Cardio, Music Video workout, Brazilian Dance, Rockstar Dance, and Forza Sword workout. That should be enough to keep you in new moves and good shape, and more are added over time. In addition to the funky routines with attitude, there’s some basics including the “Lean Livable Lifestyle” guide to make you feel more focused and deeply fit.” There’s also a marathon training guide and cardio cross-training routines including kickboxing, sculpting, yoga, Pilates and meditation. Each of the workouts has a flashy, choreographed intro, then a trainer and model takes you through each step. It may be the ultimate infomercial for Nike, since it’s free but it beats the hefty annual fees of some of the local gyms.
HyperStrike: Online Personal Fitness
Personal trainers can flatten your wallet long before your stomach. Though without a personal trainer, a girl can lose motivation. In a recent survey conducted by HyperStrike, 75 percent of respondents attributed maintained motivation and dedication to achieving fitness goals to their virtual trainer. Through a subscription plan, HyperStrike offers a personalized workout program with your own goals and motivational tools insight from a sports psychologist and one-on-one phone calls with staff. Six-month ($49.95) and 12-month ($149.95) subscriptions include a customized, Web-based workout plan, motivational starter guide, weekly coaching e-mails and two (six month) or 12 (one year) phone calls with a coach. The program gets an equal number of male and female subscribers, but the muscle-exposed models on the site are a little too masculine.
While these shoes are plug-and-play, they’re best reserved for the gadget gal who widgetizes her Google page, uses RSS, and watches YouTube video on her mobile phone. OK, they’re not highly-technical, just super-high-tech. The $149.99 Adidas 1 adapts to your individual needs and running surfaces with a computer built into the shoe. Adidas developed the shoe spurn the believe that “accepted wisdom dictates that it’s impossible to create individual shoes for every runner.” It adjusts to height, weight, fitness levels and running styles. The men’s model was followed-up with a women’s model, and is now available with accent colors of red or baby blue in addition to the original gold.
Nike Revolutionary Support Bra
When you work out, you want to know your bra will give you the support you need. The four patent-pending technologies used in the Revolutionary Support Bra from Nike took six years in R&D to make. Its seams use no-sew bonding to reduce chafing; a fabric laminate offering both stretch and non-stretch zones, and a 360 degree exoskeleton to provide compressive support. The $70.00 bra is constructed using high-performance microfiber polyester fabric with wicking abilities to keep you dry on the hottest days.
Tifosi Optics Slip Sunglasses
It’s important to protect your eyes from the sun’s glare when outdoors, and exercising demands a certain level of performance. Tifosi makes several $ 59.95 models for women. Based on the company’s best selling frames, Tifosi modifies the structure to make it suitable for women. While the frames and lenses are available in pink, there are numerous options for both, some unique to women. Colors for frames include a carbon texture, iron, pearl white, metallic green and matte red. Lens sets include a pack with clear, smoke, yellow and red; or a golf set with added tech and protection.
When you borrow or rent the matt at your yoga class, you don’t know who has done asanas before you. Even when you’re using your own mat, it’s been on a grimy floor. Yogitoes doesn’t replace your trusty yoga mat, but it does provide a layer of germ protection and skid-resistance. It’s a super-absorbent towel ($50.00 for mat size, $20 for hand size) with rubberized spots that grip your feet and other contact points so you maintain your footing while practicing downward dog and other demanding poses. After class, you can toss the towel in the washer and have it ready for the next session.