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Home exercise gear is always a nice holiday gift choice for anyone who has expressed interest in staying healthy and getting more fit, but during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic it’s more relevant than ever. Luckily, smart exercise and health gear is smarter than ever, making it perfect for the gift list this season.
Bowflex Velocore bike
Bowflex’s latest exercise bike is a great follow-up to their solid C6, and it has a unique trick up its sleeve — leaning. The Velocore unlocks to allow side-to-side leans during workouts, which adds a good amount of core stabilization to your existing spin exercises.
The Velocore also offers an integrated display in either 16″ or 22″ sizes, and that provides access to Bowflex’s own JRNY video fitness instruction. It’s a great subscription service, though it doesn’t include live classes like Peloton. Luckily, Bowflex supports Peloton’s software as well, so you can also use that with the Velocore if that’s your preference.
Rowers are a great way to get in some indoor cardio, and a nice change-up from treadmills and bikes that also works out your upper body. The Hydrow is the most technologically advanced of these out there, with a large, high-quality display that provides access to both live and on-demand classes via its virtual service. It’s also engineered to really feel like you’re getting the same kind of resistance you would from actual water.
If you’re looking for a treadmill with smart features, Peloton’s is easily the best option available. The new Tread is the way to go for most, since it’s nearly $2,000 cheaper than the original, which is now the Tread+, and it still offers a huge display for those interactive and on-demand Peloton classes, and everything you need for a full-body workout as well. It’s not available in retail across the U.S. until March, but it’s a good advance gift if a treadmill is on the list.
Price: From $2,495 from Peloton direct
Smart and small
JAXJOX KettlebellConnect 2.0
Smart weights come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but JAXJOX’s next-generation smart kettlebell is one of the all-around best and most convenient smart weights out there. The selectable weight ranges from 12 to 42 lbs, and the smart features on board provide real-time reporting on performance, along with the ability to sync with the JAXJOX mobile app for on-demand guided workouts.
Price: $229 from JAXJOX
Tangram Factory SmartRope Rookie
If you’re even more space constrained, a jump rope is essentially a whole-body gym in a tiny, portable package. The Tangram Factory Rookie is a more affordable, smaller and higher version of their original SmartRope, with built-in activity tracking, long-lasting battery, and a fully adjustable rope length that allows it to be used by both children and adults of all sizes.
Activity and health monitoring
Withings BPM Core wireless blood pressure monitor
The Withings BPM Core is a connected blood pressure monitor that provides a lot of extras, including measurement of your heartbeat with a digital stethoscope, and an electrocardiogram (ECG) feature to monitor for any potential atrial fibrillation. Withings is building all their hardware these days to clinical validation standards, so this is a surefire way to keep on top of these key signals of health.
Withings Body Cardio
Withings is really nailing it with home health monitoring equipment these days, which is why the Body Cardio smart scale is another recommendation in this list. The Body Cardio not only measures weight, but also provides you with a body composition breakdown, giving you approximate body fat percentage and body mass index for even more detailed fitness tracking. Plus, it monitors heart rate.