By Jahla Seppanen
As the weather turns, many runners, cyclists, and yogis forgoe the chill and turn indoors to complete their workouts. If it makes you feel better, everyone does it. From only a year ago, treadmill purchases are up 27 percent, with Pilates hitting its stride with a 78 percent equipment purchase rise, according to SportsOneSource SSI Data.
Other fitness trends on the rise include trampolines, martial arts and boxing, and at-home yoga. Keep your indoor miles and minutes from becoming mundane while topping your performance ceiling with the help of these trending fitness accessories.
Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Arm Warmer
Warming up your body before hitting the gym full force can take time, but is an absolute necessity to avoid injury and optimize performance. Pearl Izumi’s 2016 Elite Thermal Arm Warmer, $35, is ideal for speeding the warm up process. Its anatomically contoured patterning feels like a second skin, while a push-pull fabric technology promotes flexibility. The Elite Thermal Fleece fabric promotes moisture transfer and warmth, and wider grippers make the sleeve stay in place and not slip down the arm. Its reflective design is great for low light visibility outdoors, even walking to and from your home or car in the fall and winter seasons.
KT Kinesiology Tape
Endorsed by NBA player James Harden and frequently used by top fitness trainers, KT Kinesiology Tape, $20, boasts the only 100-percent synthetic kinesiology material, which has been re-engineered with a stronger adhesive to withstand hours of sweat, movement and even a post-workout shower. Each box of KT comes with 20 pre-cut strips and a carrying case to throw in your gym bag. Although the product remains consistent, colors get a frequent makeover depending on the season. (i.e. For the summer, KT sold Fourth of July red, white, and blue tape.) Black or Nude might be more your speed, but if you like a little flash, keep an eye out for Limited Edition KT Tape in holiday designs.
Moji Foot Pro
We don’t thank our feet enough for the grueling workouts they get us through, and recovery is just as important as training. Moji’s Foot Pro, $40, is the smart post-workout massager that can be tossed in the freezer and used as both ice relief and pressure therapy. Its stainless steel spheres hold the cool, breaking up scar tissue throughout the foot as the user rolls his or her foot across the top. You decide your own pressure. These spheres are lightweight and travel friendly, so be sure to pack the Foot Pro when visiting family over Thanksgiving. Or if anyone you know has used the term Plantar Fasciitis, the Foot Pro makes for the perfect stocking stuffer gift.
Everlast Women’s Evercool Kickboxing Gloves
No matter your preferred sport, I’d wager you’ve been inspired by mixed martial arts female fighter Ronda Rousey, who wowed the fitness community with her 12-0 UFC record. Put Rousey’s inspiration to use and incorporate kickboxing into your fall and winter routine. Everlast Women’s Evercool Kickboxing Gloves, $30, have a full wrist wrap strap for customizable support, while the new design adds knuckle padding to ease newcomers into the sport. Just like any new workout, your hands should be sore, but the Evercool Gloves will lessen the blow tremendously. Along with the added padding, neoprene construction promotes comfort through heavy bag workouts, speed bag training and hitting mitts. Proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, so you’re kicking ass in more ways than one.
Gaiam Yoga Kit for Beginners
SSI Data shows yoga kits have skyrocketed since last year, as many fitness buffs take their practice home via DVD workouts or YouTube tutorials like doyogawithme.com. Gaiam’s Yoga Kit For Beginners, $24, is not a new addition, but more of an old favorite, as the set includes one mat, one block, one strap and a training DVD. Providing everything you need to get started, this set is great for those wanting to begin a yoga practice, but are hesitant to jump into a crowded class. Gaiam’s Kit allows the user to perfect hand and feet placement, learn to modify difficult poses, slowly increase flexibility, and get 20 minutes of prop and practice instruction.
Yurbuds Leap Wireless
No wires, sweat proof, and custom Men’s and Women’s sizes make Yurbuds Leap Wireless headphones, $100, a strong holiday contender. With one-touch audio control and Bluetooth connectivity, these headphones eliminate the ball-and-chain feeling of being tied to your mp3, which is great if you tend to catch your headphone wire on the treadmill or need to practice Zumba moves. Wearers have six hours to listen to music, and Yurbuds’ trademark Twistlock technology keeps the buds from slipping out mid-stride. Those who aren’t keen on the price tag can go with the Yurbuds Focus 200, behind-the-ear hold headphones. They’re not wireless like the Leap, but Focus 200 headphones are small yet stay in place while jumping, running, and sweating. If you’ve never been able to work out without readjusting your headphones, you’re doing it all wrong.
Trigger Point Grid X Foam Roller
The Grid X Foam Roller by Trigger Point, $50, is the Terminator of all foam rollers. The firmest roller offered by Trigger Point, this model is a savior for tight IT bands, calves, back, lats, hamstrings and quads. Transitioning from the outdoors to inside, especially for new treadmill runners, can mean less diverse movement and more concentrated emphasis on the same running motion. This monotony can lead to IT stress and even injury if not stretched properly. The Grid X should break through to that deep tissue, which actually requires a harder roller to be effective. Grid X is also sweat proof and easy to clean, compact for holiday travel and weight-tested to support 550-pounds. Also great for athletes starting an indoor CrossFit routine for the season.
Nike Swift Elite Goggles
Swimming is another fantastic indoor exercise for cold-weather months, and it doesn’t require a lot of gear, a trainer or a class. All you need is a pair of goggles and a suit. At an affordable price point, the Nike Swift Elite Goggles, $30, are easy to justify while being highly technical and stylistically modern. Designed for elite swimmers, these goggles look and perform like a pro. Hydroflow technology promotes water to flow seamlessly over the wearer’s face, allowing for a faster stroke. The nose bridge is sleeker than earlier Nike goggles and connects to the smooth lenses that extend all the way over cheekbones. Lay-flat straps make a sleek transition from the goggle gasket to the cap. Winning might not be the end-goal of your laps, but efficient time spent crosstraining should be. Swift Elite will get you just that.
Opedix Knee-Tec 2.0 Tights
These are not your run-of-the-mill workout pants. Scientifically engineered for kinetic health, these tights rehab while you run, promoting correct form for less pain, sustained endurance, and even fatigue-fighting alignment. These spidey-strength tights get their edge from an 18-panel construction, blending a light-weight base fabric with increased spandex content to boost stretch zones and compression, with patented torque form technology (a tougher-feel fabric) for added support. For cold, dark fall morning workouts where you’re prone to sloppy errors in form, Knee-Tec 2.0 Tights straighten up your bad stride habits. Think of them as your silent trainer who also knows how to optimize joint function and even better, does it for you. They are also great for skiing, yoga and other dynamic activities.
A strong core will serve you well in any sport. Sklz Slidez, $30, functional core stability discs, build core engagement via sliding hexagon-shaped pads. This unique shape promotes omni-directional movement, while integrated clips that join the two Slidez stimulate bilateral burn. But no matter which way you slide, your core is engaged. The low-friction, non-marking bottom material turns most surfaces into a training ground. On the other side, no-slip ergonomic tread lends grip to hands or feet. When considering the versatility and packability of Sklz Slides, it makes sense that this small accessory will accompany your fall training plan. MSRP $30
Zamst Filmista Ankle Wrap
Zamst, leader in support braces and body-care accessories, released its ultra-flexible Filmista Ankle Wrap that can be worn both as support prior to or as therapy following an Achilles injury. Three layers progressing from soft film closest to the skin, a middle hard film, and outer main unit, come together in a thin brace that can be worn under socks. Don’t be fooled by its light feel: Zamst develops all products from science, in collaboration with consulting doctors, trainers, and pro athletes. The brand is actually a child of the Nippon Sigman group, a leader in Japanese orthopedics since the early 70s. The new Filmista Ankle was awarded a 2015/16 ISPO Award, which honors the most innovative sporting goods products coming to market. The wrap will increase stability during awkward landings and trips (which account for the majority of group exercise injuries) while still being highly flexible for unrestricted mobility. Also great to wear during indoor basketball, soccer and tennis.