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Best gadgets to help you get fit in the new year

Need to get fit in the new year? Here are gadgets that can help.

Holiday Gift Guide

ZDNet Recommends: Holiday Gift Guide 2021 ZDNet Recommends: Holiday Gift Guide 2021 Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? Here's a great lineup of gift ideas and resources to get you started.

Do you spend too long in front of your desk, and not enough time moving? I know I do, and 2020, with all the COVID, lockdowns, and closed gyms and such, hasn't helped.

At some point during the pandemic, I decided to take control back, and put my health and fitness at the top of the list once again.

Here's how you can do the same.

Apple Watch

My very own fitness instructor on my wrist

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch continues to be the lynchpin of my fitness goals. It keeps me motivated, logs my exercise and activity, and keeps an eye on aspects of my health that might otherwise go neglected.

I've tried dozens of other smartwatches, and while many were good, none came close to the breadth of offerings that the Apple Watch brought to the table (or, more accurately, my wrist!).

For iPhone owners, there's nothing better.

Onnit Hydrocore Bag

Far more forgiving than swinging around steel

Onnit Hydrocore Bag

I sure love swinging kettlebells, maces, and clubs around, but they're very unforgiving. Knock yourself in the head or your leg with a lump of steel and you're going to know about it. A bag -- a tough one -- filled with water is a lot more forgiving, but no less challenging.

Also, if you're exercising indoors, it's a heck of a lot less damaging if you drop it on the floor.

I also love the fact that I can empty the Hydrocore, pack it down, and take it with me when traveling.

Looking for workout ideas? Check out Mark Wildman's YouTube channel.

Crossrope Get Lean Jump Rope

Remember the jump rope?

Crossrope Get Lean Jump Rope

Seems old-school, but Crossrope has brought the jump rope into the 21st century with precision engineering, and, of course, a cool app.

This kit comes with a set of precision handles (they are indeed lovely), two different weighted ropes 0.5lb and 0.25lb), and a carry pouch. 

There's also a comprehensive app offering loads of exercises, workouts, and challenges.

Super kit!

TRX Home2 System Suspension Trainer

This kit will last you a lifetime

TRX Home2 System Suspension Trainer

The TRX is not cheap, but I've had a couple of sets, and after years of use, abuse, and neglect, they're still going strong. And TRX has made the leap into the 21st century by developing a very comprehensive app that offers workouts and challenges, as well as logging your workouts.

What I love about the TRX system is the versatility: I can use it at home, in a hotel room, or even outdoors. That way, there are no excuses not to train.

Peleton Bike

Go places, while being indoors

Peleton Bike

All the benefits of owning a bike and going to a riding club, but in a workout device that you can fit into an apartment. 

The Peloton isn't for me, but I've spoken to a number of owners who absolutely love their bike, and feel that even after months of ownership that it continues to deliver value and fun.

Not sure if it's for you? Take advantage of the 30-day home trial.

Withings Body-Smart Weight & BMI Wi-Fi Digital Scale

Tracking your weight and body composition the smart way

Withings Body-Smart Weight & BMI Wi-Fi Digital Scale

One thing that really worked for me when I was getting fit and losing weight was jumping on the scale every morning, not really paying attention to the readings, and then looking at the data in the app every couple of weeks to see how I was doing.

And smart scales don't need to be expensive.

I've been a big fan of the Withings brand (previously Nokia, previously Withings again). The hardware and software are good and last many years.

Sennheiser CX Sport Bluetooth Sports Headphones

Far cheaper than AirPods Pro for outdoor use

Sennheiser CX Sport Bluetooth Sports Headphones

As much as I like my AirPods Pro, they're just not suited to hard exercise because they pop out of my ears a lot (and since I exercise a lot outdoors, it can sometimes take some time to find them again). This is why I've made the switch to the Sennheiser CX Sport. 

They're light, comfortable, sound good, have a decent microphone, and are good at resisting sweat and other moisture.

I also love the color --  it makes them easy to spot.

Need more gift ideas?

Check out our ZDNet Recommends directory or Holiday Gifts hub for some more inspiration. 

Our sister sites also have the following gift guides: 

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