The 8 Best Gifts to Buy in 2017 for Fitness Fanatics

Help your family and friends exercise with these great gifts

Fitbit Blaze Fitness Watch
Courtesy of Amazon.com
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Gone are the days when technology and fitness were opposing forces, your time divided between either the gym or the computer. The explosion in wearable technology and smartwatches has supercharged the fitness game, helping you optimize your diet, activity and sleep schedule in a convenient high-tech way. So whether you are buying a gift for a runner, golfer, biker, swimmer or jock of all trades, there is a great tech gift to help them up their fitness game.

Fitbit is at the forefront of the fitness technology movement and their latest smartwatch is thoughtfully engineered to have technology help conquer fitness goals. Like any FitBit, it can automatically record steps, calories burned, and stairs climbed, giving the user an idea of how much energy they're expending. But the Blaze also allows them to quickly check their heart rate while exercising without the need for any uncomfortable chest strap.

The Blaze also features connected GPS to give real-time stats for a variety of sports, including running, cross-training, biking and more. FitStar gives step-by-step instructions and coaching on the wrist, providing your fitness guru with a personal trainer that they can take anywhere. Automatic workout goals and summaries keep them updated on their progress, while the watch will automatically track their workout, which eliminates the chore of recording every activity. In addition to all the benefits of a fitness tracker, it also displays calls, texts, alarms and calendar alerts.

GPS giant Garmin has made a huge splash in the wearable fitness tracker market with the vivoactive, a versatile ultra-thin smartwatch that is a handy companion for a number of activities. The high-resolution color touchscreen watch displays even in direct sunlight and has a slim 8mm profile that is comfortable to wear all day. It features built-in sport apps that track stats for activities such as golf, biking, swimming and running.

The high-end GPS works to capture running data such as distance and pace and your fitness friend can see their personal records and distance in a post-workout summary. A step counter reminds them to get moving during extended periods of inactivity, while sleep mode keeps them on track of their sleep schedule. Advanced smartwatch features sync critical notifications and additional apps can do everything from track stocks to supplementing additional data features. This stylish and functional watch will help anyone seriously step-up their fitness game.

Fitness trackers have been on the market long enough for there to finally be reliable budget alternatives to the big brands. Imoo house makes one of the best. It's a smart wristband that acts as a pedometer, heart rate monitor and sleep tracker. The sleek black wristband displays the time and workout stats in clean white lettering that is easy to read. It is IP67 water resistant, so it can be worn swimming or kept on in the shower. A connected GPS syncs up with a map, meaning your fitness lover can leave their phone at home when they go biking or running. The tracker also includes four indoor sports modes, optimizing calorie count and a pedometer for different types of action. It also can connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth, syncing up social and SMS alerts, while auto sleep tracking monitors effective sleeping time and wakes them up with a silent alarm.

Swimming laps is an excellent form of exercise, but the back-and-forth can get a bit repetitive and dull. Add music to the equation and things get a bit more lively, really helping your swimmer get into the rhythm with their favorite songs or podcast. The SYRYN does what most other swimming headphones don’t: It actually works. They have an IX8 rating, meaning they can be completely submerged underwater and work up to 10 feet deep. They also come with four sizes of earbuds to fit snugly in your swimmer's ears, and don’t fall out as soon as he or she starts swimming, which is a common complaint about the competition. An extra short cord connects to the 8GB MP3 player, which is compatible with both Mac and Windows systems, and the tangle-free design won’t get in their way whether they're flip-turning or swimming freestyle. Finally, sound quality is clear and concise underwater. It won’t match terrestrial earbuds, but it also won’t sound muffled or cut in and out.

Nothing tops off an intense workout like a protein and fruit filled smoothie, the perfect healthy and refreshing reward to a job well done. Help someone power up their smoothie game with the Ninja professional blender, a powerful 1,000 watts of performance make mince of ice, veggies, fruit and any other food product added. What sets it apart from other smoothies is Total Crushing Technology, Ninja’s proprietary system of blades and professional power that result in near-instantaneous smoothie. The blender contains safety features that keep the blades from spinning unless it is secured, while the carafe is dishwasher safe for an easy clean up. Blend up to 72 ounces of liquid and crush, puree or blend until your desired consistency is reached. Don’t let your friend pay $6 at the gym after every workout when they can make their own at home.

Equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, the Coros smart helmet brings everything a biker could ever want into a helmet. Its most striking achievement is the Coros Bone Conduction technology that safely plays audio vibrations that go straight to your biker's inner ear through their cheekbones. No more choosing between safety and music on long rides. The sound bypasses the ear canal and ear drum to go right to the cochlea, which process audio in the inner ear and allows your biker to remain aware of their surroundings.

Another safety feature is an SOS emergency alert sensor that sends out an alert to a designated person when the G-sensor is triggered. That means your biker doesn’t have to fear taking rides along isolated areas since they will have someone to look out for them should something happen. A built-in GPS tracks their route, sending info such as average speed, elevation, calories burned and more to the intuitive Coros smartphone app. Finally, they can control their music volume and skip tracks with the smart remote bike mount. 

If your fitness pal wants a speaker that can fill a yoga studio with sound and stand up to water at the pool, go for the AOMAIS Sport II, a powerful Bluetooth speaker with impressive sound and versatility. The speaker has an IPX7 rating, meaning it can be fully immersed in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes, perfect to place poolside while they're swimming laps. It also is dustproof, mudproof and rainproof, meaning they can take it to the volleyball court or leave it outside on the field even if it looks like rain is in the forecast. The durable and rugged exterior protects the speaker from impact.

They can expect great sound from 20W speakers and a loudspeaker cavity structure boosts acoustics for a deep resonant bass. Bluetooth 4.0 technology pairs with any smart device with ease, while a 3.5mm audio mini jack also allows connection to laptops and TVs. A simple recharge and hands-free controls make this speaker easy to use, the perfect gift for all kinds of athletes.

YouTube is filled with thousands of hours of jaw dropping GoPro footage, from skiers dropping out of helicopters to white-water rafting trips through gorgeous canyons. Help someone capture their own adrenaline-fueled exploits with the GoPro HERO5. It captures video in stunning 4K and snaps 12MP photos in single, burst and time lapse modes. Advanced video stabilization and voice control make sure that the footage comes out looking and sounding as epic as it should, while more than 30 GoPro mounts allow the user to attach in whatever way best fits their lifestyle. That footage is automatically uploaded to the GoPro Plus cloud, where they can easily view and edit their footage to share on social media. Before they publish, they can see their shots on the capable two-inch touch-display scene, while one button controls and powers the action.

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