One of my favourite reasons to exercise and play sports regularly is to try out all the new fitness products that keep popping up. Technological innovation have really made the world of exercise and sport a rather exciting one. With greater research come improvements, which are evident in everything from a pair of shoes to nutrition to a smartwatch. Here are five new products that are worth trying out this monsoon. Independence Day discounts and offers are still being extended by many online marketplaces and you are likely to find a good deal too.
Garmin Forerunner 965: Let’s start with the most expensive one. This is the latest update on Garmin’s high-end adventure and triathlon-ready Forerunner 955. The most significant hardware update on the Forerunner 965 is the Amoled touch screen and a titanium bezel. The display is much brighter and crisper, and the company has improved the graphics and animation for its activities too.
However, the brighter display also drains the battery much quicker and this watch has a battery life of 23 days in smart watch mode and 31 hours in GPS mode, which is a fair bit less than the FR955. At 47mm, it is huge, but Garmin makes good use of this real estate on the wrist with the capability to display maps, which you don’t get in the mid-range FR265.
The running, cycling and swimming metrics that this Garmin can track are the best out there, and the company has finally tweaked its algorithms to include football and racquet sports. The watch is also smart enough to detect the exercise you are performing and also keep counts of the reps.
However, both these features can be slightly off the mark at times. The watch also supports music streaming apps like Spotify and can store songs locally. My favourite feature on this one is the Morning Report which gives me my sleep data, heart rate variability, training readiness, training status, suggests a workout and ends with a positive message. ₹63,778, garmin.co.in
Adidas Switch FWD: An editor friend of mine called me with an urgent query. He wanted a pair of shoes that he could wear to the gym, use for short runs and also wear with smart casuals. My recommendation was the Ultraboost. With the Ultraboost, Adidas took a very successful pair of running shoes and launched lifestyle designs on it. It looks good, is still an excellent running shoe and can be easily worn to the gym. But at ₹18,999 it is expensive.
With its new Switch FWD, the brand took a lifestyle-first approach to creating more affordable, versatile shoes. The Switch FWD is on point with the thick textured sole that are popular in sneakers today. The soles also have holes under the rear foot which get compressed upon contact with the ground while walking/running and then spring back propelling you forward. While they are good for some gym work on machines and treadmills, runners who are just starting out and for walking, they are best for looking good on your feet. ₹13,999, adidas.co.in
HealthifyMe smart scale: There was a time when gyms used to charge as much as ₹1,200 to provide a body analysis— a printout detailing metrics like percentages of fat and muscle, or bone density. Now, all you need to do is download an app and buy a smart scale. There are plenty of them out there, but I find HealthifyMe the most convenient to use.
You don’t need to buy a Pro plan to use the scale. Once you download the app and pair the smart scale with your phone, all you need to do is press the “plus” sign next to the weighing scale icon in the app and then click “add” automatically. After that just stand on the scale and within seconds it gives you a complete body analysis including body fat, muscle mass, base metabolic rate (BMR), bone mass, body hydration, subcutaneous fat and much more. Best of all, the app keeps a record complete with date and time and a graph depicting your journey. ₹1,699, store.healthifyme.com
Shokz OpenRun bone conduction open ear headphones: Running, walking or cycling with your headphones on is one of the most dangerous things you can do on Indian roads. But if absolutely need music for your cardio, switch to bone conduction headphones from the American company Shokz. Try their lightest water and sweat-proof open ear titanium headphones called OpenRun, with an 8-hour battery life. The sound quality is surprisingly good for something that sits close to your ears (and not in or on them) and they still let you be aware of the traffic. These don’t have an in-built music player, so you’d have connect it to your smart watch or lug your phone with you. ₹13,499, headphone zone.in
Fast&Up Creatine: A few years back if someone put creatine monohydrate in your daily nutrition chart you wouldn’t have enjoyed it. Back then, it came in small bottles in a white crystalline powder form, looking much like fine sugar. But unlike sugar, it never dissolved in water or any other liquid: ingesting it was like drinking sand mixed in water. Fast&Up, which started out with effervescent Vitamin C supplements and hydration solutions and gels for endurance sport, has now introduced creatine in an effervescent tablet form. All you need to do is drop one in a glass of water, wait for it to fully dissolve and drink it to put 1000mg of creatine in your body. ₹600 for 20 tablets, fastandup.com
Shrenik Avlani is a writer and editor and the co-author of The Shivfit Way, a book on functional fitness.