Product Cost: $165
The digital scale tracks your weight, body fat/lean mass, and BMI by connecting to your Withings account (setting up your online account is part of the scale setup). Scale setup is easy once you find where to plug the USB cable in (hint: the port is next to the batteries). Note that the scale must be connected via USB port to your computer for setup. Withings is a Paris (France)-based company so you have to switch from kg to lb in the app and on the scale (there’s a switch on the bottom of the scale). The company also makes a blood pressure monitor which works the same way. One user review of the scale on amazon.com noted that the product does not work if you have metal body parts (presuming pins and plates also fall into this category), but we could neither verify nor dispute this point by press time.
What Makes It Cool: Free apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices allow you to track your body metrics from any device. Perhaps frighteningly, you can also share your metrics all too easily via social media with a click of the Twitter, Facebook, or other icon. The real power of the product seems to be in the long-term tracking (cool graphs and charts) and it seems that having both the blood pressure monitor and the scale would provide more comprehensive data especially for those individuals managing health issues primarily through diet and exercise.
Where to Find It: ultraspire.net or Luke’s Locker, 1344 Crampton Street, Dallas
Product Cost: $60
The Spry is an ultra light vest for the runner who wants to carry stuff without wearing a hydration pack. Weighing in at only 171 grams, the Spry’s weight is barely noticeable. A variety of pockets, some with magnetic closures, provide ample space for everything from electrolyte tablets to phones to jackets.
What Makes It Cool: The Spry has about a million uses (the demo video on the website demonstrates even putting a one-liter bladder in the back pocket). It’s a versatile piece for any runner and hiker who likes to carry a hand-held water bottle and wants more room than a waist pack can provide.
Where to Find It: rocktape.net
Product Cost: $16
Many athletes are trying out physio tape to help with recovery, as the tape lifts skin away from muscles, which promotes blood flow. RockTape has been specifically tested for race conditions. Made from a special nylon, it has 190 percent elasticity and has a unique “plow pattern” design to the backing that channels away water. RockTape comes in several sizes to fit all types of bodies so there’s no cutting to fit, and there are a wide variety of cool colors and patterns to choose from.
What Makes It Cool: Physio tape isn’t going to help if it’s not applied correctly, and the RockTape website has great videos which show how to dress various issues, such as swollen ankles and a compressed disc (to name but two). You can also print out instructions for easy reference.
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