If you have a fitness enthusiast in your life, then you know how picky they can be. When body metrics and performance stay at the top of a person’s priority list, picking the perfect gift can be … challenging. Fortunately, we know these products (and people!) well, so we have the best gifts to put a smile on the face of the fitness enthusiasts in your life.
A Smart Fitness Watch
There’s plenty to keep track of if you’re trying to get (or stay) in shape, and a fitness tracker helps a lot in that regard. Whether you want to monitor your heart rate, how well you slept last night, fluid intake, or all of that and more, these trackers and fitness watches do the trick.
- Fitbit Versa 3: With a six-day long battery life, fully water-resistant build, and plenty of smart and health features, the Versa 3 puts an impressive foot forward. You can track general activity levels, sleep, calories burnt, and heart rate all while using the built-in GPS to see your workout map in the Fitbit app (Android/iOS/Windows) and managing your music directly on the watch.
- Fitbit Sense: The Sense isn’t dissimilar from the Versa 3 except that it crams in even more smart features. The Sense is still fully waterproof, features a built-in GPS, and also monitors stuff like heart rate and sleep. But the Sense does a step further, including an Oxygen Saturation sensor, which can help you determine how your general fitness levels are trending over time (over-time trending data is only available for premium users of the app), skin temperature tracking, and stress tracking. Moving away from the health stuff, the Sense also features text and call notifications, an always-on display, and access to either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
- Garmin Venu: Garmin is the other big player in fitness watches alongside Fitbit, and the Venu is definitely worth consideration. Like the Versa 3 and Sense, it’s fully waterproof and features plenty of health-tracking options. But Garmin always focuses on in-depth statistics for its tracking and that’s no different here. It offers plenty of data on your sleep, blood-oxygen levels, heart rate, hydration, stress, and general activity throughout the day. The Venu synces with the Garmin Connect app (Android/iOS), which keeps it all stored so users can look at historical data and trends. Besides health stuff, the Venu also features notifications for calls and texts, music management, an internal GPS, and a five-day-long battery life.
- Apple Watch Series 6: Now this is a full-on smartwatch, but Apple has made it clear that health is a priority when it comes to the Apple Watch. There’s in-depth sleep tracking, blood oxygen tracking, fitness tracking, and heart-rate monitoring and all the data is directly funneled to your Apple Health app. This means the Apple Watch is exclusively for those on iOS. And of course, being a smartwatch, you can also use the Apple Watch to manage music, receive notifications, use the internal GPS, and even respond to texts and calls right from the watch. If the Series 6 is a little above your budget, the Apple Watch SE is a good choice that offers most of the same features at a fraction of the cost.
A Smart Scale: Wyze Scale
Weight-tracking is an important part of fitness, but the Wyze Scale does a lot more than just simply spit out your weight. This scale tracks BMI, body fat percentage, visceral fat, heart rate, and 10 other body metrics to give you a deeper look at your health. All of this data is sent to the Wyze app (Android/iOS) but can also be sent to other health apps like Apple Health and Google Fit. The scale can even recognize up to eight different users going off of what phone is nearby. (There is also a guest mode for unlimited users.)
For the price, you won’t find a better scale on the market today.
Listening to music certainly makes exercising more enjoyable, but if you’re going to wear headphones while exercising, they need to be able to survive being soaked with sweat—because if you’re not drenched when you’re done, you’re not doing it right.
- Beats Powerbeats Pro: With a secure fit, excellent sound quality, and 9 hours of battery life (with the charging case supplying 24 total) the Powerbeats Pro are fantastic earbuds for exercising. There are media controls on each earbud for managing music, they’re resistant to sweat and small amounts of water, and they also come in eight different colors.
- Jabra Elite Active 75t: Besides being designed for fitness enthusiasts, the Elite Active 75t also has a few features music lovers are sure to appreciate. You can tune your audio in the Jabra Sound+ app (Android/iOS), activate active noise cancellation, or enable transparency mode to let the outside world and your music blend. Besides all this, these are also rated with an Ingress Protection rating of IP57, meaning they can survive being submerged in up to a meter of water. The battery lasts for 7.5 hours which can be boosted to 24 with the charging case.
A Heartrate Strap: Wahoo Tickr
This one is straightforward, but useful all the same. A heart rate strap goes around the chest to track, well, your heart rate. The Wahoo Tickr accurately tracks your heart rate and calories burned throughout an exercise session and sends that data to the Wahoo app (Android/iOS), but it can easily pair with all sorts of third-party apps and devices. The included and replaceable coin cell battery lasts for 500 hours and the strap can be switched between three Bluetooth devices on the fly.
A Calorie and Macro Tracker: MyFitnessPal Premium Subscription
Keeping track of what you eat is important, and MyFitnessPal can help monitor both caloric and macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats) intake. The goal is to be as simple and easy as possible, and since you can just scan the barcodes of foods or look up food in the database, it’s extremely easy to add what you’ve eaten to your food diary. You can also save your own custom meals for regularly added items.
The program itself is free to join and you get the basic features, but gifting a premium subscription grants access to personalized goals and coaching, advanced macro tracking, meal plans, recipes, and removes ads from the app (Android/iOS) and website. The premium plan is $9.99 a month, but you’ll probably want to go with the annual option for $49.99 a year as a gift.
A Rest and Recovery Tool: WHOOP Strap 3.0
This armband is basically here to read how your body’s doing on any given day. This strap measures your body’s recovery between workouts, how much sleep you should get (and how much you actually got), and how much strain both physically and emotionally you’ve been through each day. All of this data is available in the Whoop app (Android/iOS) so you can make efforts to improve in certain areas and get the most gains from exercise by optimizing recovery.
When it comes to pricing, the band itself is free (unless you want accessories like extra wrist bands for style) but to use the band at all, you’ll need access to the app’s features, which costs $30 a month, $288 a year, or $324 every 18 months. So yeah, not cheap, but progress is made during recovery, so if you think this will help out someone in your life it can be worth it.
A Vibrating Foam Roller: Hyperice Vyper 2.0
Speaking of recovery, sometimes sore muscles just need to be rolled out to release tension and increase blood flow. The Vyper 2.0 is a vibrating roller that features three different vibration settings, around 2 hours of battery life, and a comfortable grooved exterior. It’s easy to pack up and take anywhere, and it’s also highly durable to ensure it won’t break any time soon.
An Action Camera: GoPro HERO8 Black
While this isn’t the newest generation of the GoPro HERO, it is the best purchase you can make today. GoPro’s older models receive discounts once the newer generations release, and the HERO8 is still recent enough to receive support from GoPro, while still delivering on spectacular quality. The built-in mount and “HyperSmooth 2.0” stabilization means even the bumpiest of activities can still look great on camera. You can easily capture slow-mo or sped up footage with TimeWarp 2.0 and the camera can film in 4K at 60 FPS.
The three microphones built-in are also quite impressive being designed to cut out wind noise to provide a cleaner sound. The HERO8 can also survive a drop and is waterproof up to 33 meters. It’s a great balance of price, features, and quality and it’s certainly the action camera you want to buy your fitness friends this holiday season. The HERO9—the latest model, which films in a higher resolution among other things—is also a good choice if you can find it on sale, but otherwise, we recommend the HERO8 overall. It’s also worth noting that if you buy directly from GoPro it includes a year of GoPro’s premium subscription service.
A Smart Trainer (for Cyclists): Wahoo Kickr Core
Cycling is an enjoyable and effective means of exercise, but if the weather outside isn’t exactly cooperative then the Kickr Core can bring cycling indoors. The Core is a direct drive smart trainer, which means it can automatically adjust for various resistance levels via an app (Android/iOS) and is compatible with virtual riding software like Zwift, TrainerRoad, and Wahoo’s own Sufferfest—in fact, it even comes with 10 weeks of Sufferfest included. It also tracks speed, distance, power, and a lot more.
The Totally Over-the-Top
These options are both extremes in functionality and price, however, if you’re looking for some over-the-top options then these both do nicely.
- Tonal: This home gym setup covers plenty of strength-based exercises for both the upper and lower body with its modular arms. But on top of that, the touchscreen allows you to access various expert-led programs that ensure you’re getting the most out of it. Tonal will track various metrics to learn about you and your body, and adapts goals and guidance to it in real-time. It’s an advanced product to be sure, but considering the price that’s definitely what you should expect to receive.
- Mirror: This is a smart mirror designed with fitness in mind. You can view workout instructions from experts, have your workouts tailored to your needs (and Mirror will do this in real-time as you use it), and watch yourself move through various exercises to ensure correct workout posture. You can also use it to play music while you exercise. The Mirror can connect with Bluetooth-enabled heart monitors to provide further detail about your workouts. The Mirror does provide less functionality than the Tonal since it primarily relies on bodyweight exercises, but it’s also about half the price.