Techie gifts for fitness fanatics

2010-12-14 13:09

New York - 'Tis the season of the smart workout, when mobile phones track miles run, treadmills interact with virtual trainers and computer chips render even jump ropes artificially intelligent.

Experts say if you're techie gifting the fitness lover on your list, make sure the smart shoe fits and the app is apt.

"Try to match the gift with the person," advises Mary Jayne Johnson of the American Council on Exercise. "For older people I like the Wii Fit," an interactive game that Johnson, an exercise physiologist, says can be great for balance and co-ordination.

"And they have interesting applications like bowling, tennis and yoga," she said.

Liz Neporent is a fitness expert, self-described techie and co-author of the newly released Fitness for Dummies, Fourth Edition, which devotes a chapter to tech fitness. She said all some senior citizens want for Christmas is an iPad.

"A lot of 70-plusers have taken to the iPad," Neporent said, probably because it's easy to use, portable, and can be loaded with apps that are good for an older person's health, such as medicine reminders.

"I've talked to five clients who've bought iPads for their parents," she said.

40 000 apps for iPad

It is arguably the year of the app. More than 40 000 apps, or mobile application devices, are available for the iPad alone, according to Ted Miller, spokesperson for Apple.

He said more than seven billion apps have been downloaded to smart devices to date.

They run the fitness gamut. There are apps to track your workout, map your running route, or remind you to hit the gym.

"Yoga is a big thing for iPad. You can set it up and watch the class," Miller said.

Apps are inexpensive. iTunes gift cards come in increments of $10 up to $50 and an individual purchase is as simple as clicking "Gift this App" on the website.

Neporent said while the ease, nice price and bundle-ability of apps have great appeal, prospective gifters also must consider the stocking they're stuffing.

"I recommend apps for somebody who is really well versed and knows how to use them," she said. "They're not for everyone."

Heart rate peaks important

For the data junkie, she said, the rise of the chip, which these days is embedded in everything from running shoes to armbands to watches to jump ropes, can occasion another cup of holiday cheer.

Nike and Adidas have a chip you can put in your shoe which not only measures your run but tracks your heart rate at different points.

"For a runner, where your heart rate peaks can be important information," she said.

Neporent calls the body bug armband a 21st Century upgrade of the simple pedometer that tracks not only your walk, but the movement of your entire body, so you can get a pretty accurate accounting of calories burned.

Interaction reigns among the big ticket items as well, in spin bikes that connect with Google Maps, and a fold able home treadmill that monitors your workout as it charges your iPod.

Even the lowly DVD has gone interactive, with options to customize your choice of music, fitness level and length of workout.

"Everyone, even the tech-phobic, can do a DVD," Neporent said.

"For some people that's techie. That's super techie. "

Read more on:    nintendo  |  us  |  gaming

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Nothing, and we mean nothing, will keep goalkeeper Scott Stirling from stopping the ball!

This invention makes farts smell like chocolate!
11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


The Moon has moved into your sign, emphasizing the need to connect things to work together. There is a tendency to focus too more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.