Fitness: Christmas gift list

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    It’s official – the holiday season is well and truly upon us! The evidence is everywhere – kids bonding over advent treats, shoes placed by the door in the hope of some St. Nicholas swag, and yes, the ubiquitous request for my entire family’s Christmas lists. Last year, I threw caution to the winter wind and didn’t send out my list. My thinking was this: these are family members, they know me, surely Santa and his elves will come through with a neat pile of perfect presents. Let’s just say it was hit and miss on the big day. Lesson learned.

    So, I’ve compiled a list of gifts for the fitness fan on your ‘to-buy-for’ roster.

    Road ID (starting from €20, www.roadid.com)

    Available in a variety of colours and bands, this ID bracelet is custom printed with all the details someone would need if you need help. You can personalize your band with your emergency contact information, medical conditions, and even a personal mantra. Not just for outdoor sports addicts, the new Wrist ID Slim is perfect for kids too.

    The GRID Foam Roller (starting from €20, www.tptherapy.com)

    From the geniuses at Trigger Point Performance Therapy, the GRID is the gold standard in foam rollers. With an aggressively textured surface, this foam roller provides targeted massage to aching muscles. Foam rolling improves blood and oxygen flow to muscles, speeding recovery and maintaining flexibility. Now in three sizes (from mini to large) it is perfect for anyone on your list, athlete or otherwise.

    Compressport R2 Calf Guard (€35, www.compressport.be)

    Proudly made in Europe, the R2 race and recovery calf guard is the go-to compression garment for cyclist and runners. Designed to enhance recovery by boosting venous return to the heart, these calf guards help reduce the build up of toxins in the lower leg during long workouts and races. These might look a bit goofy but newbies and pros alike swear by them. In fact, Belgian Frederik Van Lierde won the Ironman World Championship in them October!

    Finis Forearm Fulcrum (€18, www.finisinc.com)

    Guaranteed to earn you a few curious glances at the pool, the Forearm Fulcrum, looks a bit strange but is devastatingly effective in correcting a weak pull in all four competitive swimming strokes. Engaging the forearm from fingertips to elbow, this tool promotes muscle memory for proper hand, wrist and forearm position. This will shake up your pool training and make you more efficient in the water.

    LifeProof iPhone and Galaxy Cases (from €65, www.lifeproof.com)

    Waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof and shock proof, all in a thinner, lighter, stronger protective phone case. These are all great features if you are never far from your phone. Available in wide range of colors, this attractive and durable case ensures full functionality of your phone. So crank up the tunes and off you go!

    Jaybird, BlueBuds X Bluetooth Headphones (€170, www.jaybirdstore.com)

    This little trinket is right at the the top of my Christmas list. These tiny buds fit securely in your ears and connect by Bluetooth to your devices. Finally, no annoying cord flopping around. Employing the latest sound technology and lasting eight hours without a charge, these headphones also have voice control and sport a ‘sweat-proof’ guarantee. There isn’t much these headphones won’t do, except maybe, workout for you.

    Falke Primaloft Jacket (€180, www.falke.com)

    Perhaps the perfect winter running jacket! This jacket is available for both men and women, and looks good enough to wear on your post-run errands. Falke has outdone itself by creating a super-comfy jacket that provides warmth from wind and cold, while being breathable and quick drying. You are guaranteed to love running in this jacket. Just the thing if ‘run a 10km’ is on your loved-one’s resolution list.

    MIO Alpha Heart Rate Monitor (€199, www.mioglobal.com)

    A unique addition to the performance monitoring market, the MIO Alpha offers the first accurate strapless heart rate monitoring system for athletes. Using optical sensing (think the clip they put on your finger while in the hospital) – data is displayed on the screen of your watch-style monitor. With built-in Bluetooth technology you can connect it to your smartphone apps to track speed, distance and routes. For athletes wanting accurate intensity zone training, it is possible to set your zones, and then follow the green, red or blue lights to keep your workout on track.

    Don’t forget about filling those stockings! Fitness fans love good quality socks, gloves (with touch screen fingers), energy gels and bars, electrolyte tabs, goggles and swim caps. Visit your local running or triathlon store for tons of other great ideas.