Between Christmas cake, cookies and copious quantities of Uncle Peter’s special punch, you need a personal trainer just to plan your way though the December menu.
Lost your form during all those festive feasts? Put down that plate of leftovers and pick up this fitness kit: from running shoes to earphones to multi-sport smartwatches, there’s something here to suit every discipline – and all of it will bolster your New Year’s resolve.
Don the lot, go get your sweat on and you’ll be back to your best by February – just in time for pancake day.
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Huawei Band 6
Like carnivores who choose a nut roast from the Christmas menu, Huawei’s Band 6 is half-and-half. Equal parts fitness band and smartwatch, the ticker can track SPO2 and heart rate throughout the day, as well as sleep, stress and menstrual cycles. Its 1.47in AMOLED display is bright and sharp, while the two-week battery life puts the Apple Watch to shame. And with 96 workout modes, you’ll have many ways to burn off the pigs in blankets you secretly scoffed when your veggie mates weren’t looking.
Therabody Wave Solo
Amazon’s Echo Dot is helpful for many things, but asking Alexa for a deep tissue massage will probably get you put on a watchlist. For an orb better suited to muscular relief, try this buzzing ball on your body. Designed to relieve tension in tired muscles, roll the Wave Solo to a stiff bit and its three customisable frequencies will sort you out better than any Shiatsu chair. Its small contact patch pinpoints pressure on the relevant area, while its wave texture guarantees traction. Pair it with the Therabody app for guidance. Just don’t use it to relieve turkey bloating.
Under Armour HOVR Mega 2 Clone
Named like a forgotten Transformer, Under Armour’s HOVR Mega 2 Clone shoes might just covert your run times. Not by changing into a humanoid robot who can jog on your behalf, but by adapting to your foot for a more precise fit. The Clone upper is designed to mould around your hoof for minimal rubbing and maximum support, locking your paw in place. HOVR cushioning in the sole also reduces the impact of sprinting, while integrated UA tracking tech powers real-time coaching tips based on your pace, stride and cadence. It also records each outing to MapMyRun, so you can leave your smartphone behind for a transformed running experience.
Box jumps might torch your body, but you’ll be firing your headphones if they fly off after three leaps. Add Adidas’ ergonomic cans to your gym kit for a fit that stays in place. Wrapped in mesh fabric which won’t add baggage to your burpees, the featherweight ‘phones are designed to flexibly hug your head. A single knob is responsible for volume and skipping, while a custom action button is handy for one-touch shortcuts – so you can focus on fitness instead of fiddling. A 40-hour battery life will get you through a few workouts, plus washable parts should stop your sweatproof headgear from causing a stink in your HIIT class – provided you wash them more often than you charge them.
Rudolph might be guided by his nose alone, but even the rosiest sniffer won’t keep you visible on a winter night. Whether you’re pounding the pavement or pedalling hard, be seen by passing traffic with this clip-on LED light. Water-resistant and good for 60 hours on a single charge, the compact shiner eclipses reindeer snouts by shining red or white.
Jaxjox Kettlebell Connect 2.0
It takes extraordinary strength to swing Santa’s sack onto your back. Keen to test your mettle? Prep your core with this connected kettlebell. An internal stacking system allows you to change its weight with the push of a button. Simply drop it onto the base to adjust in 3kg increments, all the way up to 19kg. A six-axis motion sensor inside feeds live rep, set and power data back to the app. Jingle the bell for a few weeks and you’ll soon be ready to impress the man in red.
Polar Verity Sense
Smartphones are fine for certain stats, but when it comes to heart rate data, you’re stuck with two fingers on the wrist to take your BPM. Track your ticker quicker with Polar’s Verity Sense. Whether you’re sprinting, cycling, swimming or swing dancing, simply slip it onto your arm and it’ll keep tabs on your blood pump. Paired with your smartphone via Bluetooth, the Verity Sense can feed real-time info into a whole host of fitness apps. Not feeling the bicep placement? All the sensor needs is skin contact, so you can stash the Sense just about anywhere under tight clothing.
Closca Helmet Loop
More than a satchel-friendly storage solution, this fold-flat helmet keeps your noggin safe and seen while you cycle. The collapsible design helps spread energy on impact, so your head won’t become a crumple zone if you come a cropper. There’s also a micro-crystal rear panel, which is designed to reflect headlights without dazzling drivers behind.
Bose Frames Tempo
Some say sprinting without a soundtrack helps you connect with the world around you. Those people are strange. How else would you drown out the voice telling you to stop for a Cornish pasty halfway through your run? For music that motivates without muting the world, stick on these sweat-resistant sunnies from Bose. Equipped with tiny speakers, they fire out Bluetooth tunes to keep you moving, while also allowing outside sounds in. Handy if the Number 7 bus is about to interrupt your PB. Lenses can be switched to suit the conditions, while the battery lasts up to 8 hours. Need to take a conference call halfway through a 10K? There’s also a mic onboard.
Know someone who’s not happy unless they’re hanging off a rocky outcrop high above the ground? A classic activity tracker just won’t cut it (even if it’s attached to their harness with a carabiner clip). Mammut’s Climbax is designed specifically for Spidermen in the making. Comprised of a pair of wristbands which track each arm separately, the system measures metrics including how far you’ve climbed, how much you use each arm and how many moves you make per minute. Built light at just 20.6g per band, the Climbax won’t inhibit your pinch grip – although the name might embarrass the uninitiated.
Coros Pace 2
Some people like to start Christmas Day with a glass of Buck’s Fizz. Others prefer a brisk jog. Buying for a sprinter, not a sipper? Coros’ lightweight Pace 2 is one of the top jogging watches on the block. With a clear, sharp screen, huge battery life and countless stats to track, it’s the perfect companion for your festive fun run. And if you smash the running power metric, you can justify a whole day on the booze when you get back from the park.
A strong core should suppress festive flab, but a slippery mat will soon see you sprawled on the floor. Stretch on sustainable cork for a more positive practice: naturally breathable and anti-microbial, the cork top gets gripper as you sweat, while the recycled rubber bottom keeps things cushioned. And for added karma, 10% of profits support a human trafficking charity.
Garmin Tacx Boost
Turbo trainers help you shape up in the saddle without the risk of frozen extremities. Can’t stretch to a Peloton? Garmin’s Tacx Boost is cheaper and simpler: just bolt your bike in place, connect it to Zwift and you can rack up kilometres without risking the icy roads outside. Its flywheel feels eerily like riding for real, while 10 levels of resistance mean you can replicate your local hill climb – topping out at 1050 watts for a true test of thigh power. Whether you still wear lycra in the living room is up to you.
Brooks Run Visibile Carbonite Jacket
Running in the dark is inevitable in December, but invisibility isn’t the safest trait for a winter sprinter. Be seen in this breathable jacket. Designed to help you glow in the dark, Brooks reckons the Carbonite’s shiny patches and reflective strips can be seen from up to 200 metres away. Two zip-up pockets are helpful for stashing cash, cards and keys, while the weatherproof finish should protect you from the worst of the pre-dawn drizzle.
A weight bench, back extension platform and core trainer all in one gorgeous folding package, the TriaTrainer is a three-way workout tool that’s crafted to match your finest furniture. Shipped in ash, cherry or walnut, the premium plinth is space efficient and simple to hinge, while the footrest can be adjusted to suit any user of your domestic fitness centre.