Hitting the gym? Here’s a primer on the gear and gadgets that will be popular in 2014.
But whether you’re a gym native with a year-round workout schedule or your resolutions are whipping you back into shape, you don’t want to fall victim to common gym fashion sins, right? (Guys: Thou shalt not ever cut out the arms of a T-shirt to get rid of pit stains. Ladies: Never wear too short shorts.)
When it comes to gym style, though, function reigns supreme — and every year apparel and gadgets improve to integrate more seamlessly with your workouts.
Keep it simple
In a sea of loud neons and a mish-mash of ratty old tournament T-shirts, a simple and handsome V-neck in a plum or powder gray is a refreshing look.
Daniel Lieberman, chief executive officer of Cory Vines (www.coryvines.com), says he’s a true believer that nice gym clothes can be great motivator to get you moving and working out.
“To look good at the gym, lose the graphic tee and the oversized alma mater T-shirt for workouts,” Lieberman says. “Wear something simple that can perform and can keep you energized.”
The Cory Vines online-only “for him” and “for her” styles include classic cuts in solid colors — with soft, breathable fabrics. Prices range from $20 for V-neck shirts to $35 for long-sleeve T-shirts or henleys.
Gadget for a smarter workout
Here’s a good resolution for 2014: Don’t work out more — just be smarter about it.
High-intensity interval training is all the rage right now. In a nutshell, the fat-scorching workout yo-yos between spurts of intense workouts and rest periods. Key to that is monitoring your heart rate — but you no longer need obtrusive chest straps or finger sensors or to death-grip the handles of an elliptical waiting for your heart rate to register.
There are plenty of sport watches to do that for you. Mio ALPHA is a continuous heart-rate monitor watch that is accurate even at high-performance running speeds. Mio founder Liz Dickinson explains that the watch measures your heartbeat in real time using two green LEDs and an electro-optical cell. The LEDs are integrated into the back plate of the Mio ALPHA and shine light into the skin, which then allows the electro-optical cell to detect the pulsing volume of blood flow. The watch sells for $199 and you can find it at stores like Best Buy, REI and Apple.
An easier commute
Sometimes getting out the door is half the battle — and packing and unpacking a gym bag just cuts into your workout time. Or, you end up at a restaurant and realize you forgot to pull your debit card from your gym bag.
Instead of getting a locker to store your hodgepodge of cards and cash, the Card Ninja (www.cardninja.com) acts as an alternative to a traditional wallet. The ultra-thin case firmly attaches to the back of most smartphones — including iPhones, Androids and Blackberries — or smartphone cases. The flexible Spandex case can hold up to eight credit or ID cards, plus cash.
“When you don’t need to carry extra stuff, you have more freedom to work out where you want and on your own terms,” said Card Ninja founder Sunder Jambunathan. “You don’t need to carry a bag. You don’t need to get a locker.”
Resolve to try a new workout
New year, new workout? Try stepping out of the comforts of the weight room or away from the rows of cardio machines and try something new this year.
How about slacklining? Defined, it’s the act of balancing along a narrow, flexible piece of webbing that is low to the ground and usually held by two trees.
The sport originated with climbers. Now it’s also done by members of the U.S. ski team, snowboarders, skateboarders and other athletes, says Derick Cole, vice president of sales for Gibbon Slacklines (www.gibbonslacklines.com).
Slacklining combines the mental focus of balancing with physical activity to increase core strength and balance. Gibbons has a fitness-specific slackline coming out in early 2014, Cole says.
“The beautiful thing about slacklining is it’s not age-specific,” Cole says. “We regularly help people get started who range in age from 3 or 4 to those who are retirement-aged individuals.”