Fitness kit to set your heart racing

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Take your workout to the next level with our selection of the best new gear

Even in winter, the opportunities to kick-start, accelerate or simply maintain an exercise regime are there for the taking. But whether you're walking, running, swimming, cycling or simply driving to the gym, equipping yourself with the right gear is an important first step. So if you're fighting the flab or building a six-pack, are a novice or a seasoned performer and whether you choose to join the Lycra brigade at the gym or feel the burn in the privacy of your own home, here are six great bits of kit to help you put a new spring in your step.

Cyclists who embrace the technological side of the sport will like the lightweight Garmin Edge 500 cycling computer available from Wiggle (£179.99; wiggle.co.uk). Weighing less than 60g, Edge 500 features a high-sensitivity GPS receiver and a low-profile mount that fits on to the stem or handlebars, making it quick and easy to switch between bikes. It also connects wirelessly with compatible third-party power meters. With up to 18 hours of battery life, it's powerful enough for the pros, yet simple enough for beginners. The computer tracks speed, distance, time, GPS position, elevation, calories burned, altitude, climb and descent. The Edge 500 also incorporates a barometric altimeter to provide extra-precise elevation data, and offers advanced heart rate-based calorie computation when used with a Garmin heart-rate monitor. A highly sensitive GPS receiver quickly acquires and maintains satellite reception, while the unit also displays temperature readings, changes time zones automatically and alerts the rider if the timer is not running.

For runners who are looking for some extra support when they are pounding the streets, the Lunar Elite+ trainer available from Nike (£85; 020-7949 0359; nikestore.co.uk) aims to add speed and comfort to your run, whether you're training for the London Marathon or simply dashing for the bus. Available in a range of colours and in sizes for men and women, the mix of breathable fabrics and seam-free construction offers lightweight support to all classes of runner. The Lunar Elite+ features so-called Dynamic Support technology that adapts while you run to provide stability and cushioning as they're needed. Fly-wire construction makes this trainer both ultra-strong and lightweight, and, by reducing the amount of fabric used in the all-important heel area, the shoe helps to grip the foot and prevent chafing.

For the walker who wants to combine a bracing constitutional with the latest in-ear technology, the Sportline 375 MP3 pedometer, available from John Lewis (£49.95; 08456 049 049; johnlewis.com), with FM radio, combines three of your most essential devices in a single stylish black unit. As a pedometer, it will track your steps, chart the distance you have walked and estimate the calories you have burned along the way, but that's not all. With the ability to digitally store 1 GB of music, the Sportline 375 allows you to leave your regular MP3 player at home while you walk in perfect harmony with your favourite tracks. And should you need the reassurance of up-to-date news as you stride towards a greater level of fitness, it also comes complete with an FM radio. Other features include a laser-tuned stopwatch and a detachable belt clip. But be warned, should any song or radio show stop you in your tracks for too long, the gizmo automatically powers off after one minute of inactivity.

For a gym bag with added pizzazz, the stylish Florifer by Stella McCartney available from Net-a-Porter (£130; net-a-porter.com) is hard to ignore. The smart, black shell bag is part of a new range of gym kit created for Adidas that also includes a matching top and gym shorts. Made from 100 per cent nylon, the bag is a double-duty carry-all for both workout and weekend use and can be dressed up or down courtesy of the detachable, adjustable shoulder strap with gold eyelet detail.

It has a zippered main compartment for all your athletic gear, as well as two zipper pockets on the sides for keys, mobile phone and other small exercise essentials. The double-handled design also boasts gold trim detail, two zipped pockets on the ends, a designer-stamped plaque and a top zip fastening. At 28cm x 29cm x 39cm and fully lined, it's big enough to be practical without being too cumbersome.

For swimmers keen to build stamina throughout the year, the Speedo UV Sensor Watch available from Outdoor GB (£50.94; 0845 120 4500; outdoorgb.com) is a good choice. It boasts a stopwatch, 50-lap memory, countdown timer, backlighting, an alarm, and is also water-resistant to 100m. For those who yearn to swim in the great outdoors, it includes a highly accurate UV sensor that warns against the risk of sunburn when the temperature rises. A built-in alarm, based on individual skin type, alerts the wearer when it is time to seek out the shade or apply more waterproof sunscreen.

The watch also features a translucent case and a bi-colour strap with Speedo's Aqualock closure system. It is available in smoke/black, clear/grey and clear/pink, and is an unostentatious piece of kit for anyone looking to take swimming more seriously this year.

Exercising at home has become a whole lot easier since the launch of Nintendo's Wii Fit, and the latest version, Wii Fit Plus with balance board available from Play (£84.99; 0845 800 1020; play.com), includes 15 new balance games designed to stir the couch potatoes in your life into action.

Six new strength training and yoga activities offer another incentive to exercise moribund muscles. Pre-programmed routines allow you to personalise your workout and tailor it to specific weight loss or fitness goals. In addition to the weight and BMI tracker found in the original Wii Fit package, a new calorie meter now makes your daily progress easier to track. You can even set yourself calorie goals by selecting the food or drink item that you will attempt to "burn-off" during a session.

In addition, the new multiplayer mode means family and friends can now compete against each other in a selection of balance games using their own Mii characters, comparing progress and aiming for the very top of the leader board.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

    £20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

    Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

    £24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

    Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

    Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

    Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there