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
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

    £37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

    Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

    £25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

    Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

    £16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones