Health & Fitness
L.A. Walks: A series exploring the many opportunities for walking in the city
Health & Fitness

Stocking stuffers for athletic set

What to buy the biker/runner/swimmer/backpacker/kayaker/skier who already has all the sport-specific toys he/she will ever need? Preferably something that's functional, has a cool design, is so new that no one's heard of it and, of course, is small enough to slip into a stocking.

-- Roy M. Wallack

Control your iPod

Timex Ironman iControl: Sports watch that can remotely control an iPod, letting you tuck it away in a pocket as you run, paddle or ski.

Likes: Ends the hassle of fiddling with an iPod while on the move, athletically or otherwise. Just tap buttons on the watch to pause/play, change volume and scroll up and down your playlist. Winter-friendly buttons are easier to use with gloves than the iPod's control wheel. Small, lightweight, water-resistant watch includes regular sports functions such as a 50-lap memory, training log, countdown timer, two interval timers, three alarms and night light. Easy assembly; works immediately without set up by plugging a transmitter into the bottom of recent-generation iPods or iPhone.

Dislikes: Has no heart-rate monitor capability and crowds out the Nike Plus speed/distance system (since its transmitter takes up the iPod's sole docking port). Also, the watch cannot shut off the iPod).

Price: $125. www.timex.com and store.apple.com.

Rope tightener

Nite Ize Figure 9: Instant rope securing/tightening device with an attached carabiner.

Likes: Quick way to secure recreational items without tying knots or using stretch cords. Handy for pitching tents/tarps and strapping kayaks and surfboards to truck beds and roof racks. Just clip the carabiner to a fixed point, wrap the rope around the other end and pull tight. (Instructions are etched into the device.) The large Figure 9 secures loads to 150 pounds and can clip to a standard roof or bike rack. The small version can hold 50 pounds.

Dislikes: None.

Price: $3.99 (small), $5.95 (large). (800) 678-6483; www.niteize.com

Resistance workout

Spri Xercuff Plus: A strength-resistance device made of a loop of industrial latex stretch-cord tubing with two attached cushioned Velcro handles.

Likes: Simple but effective all-body resistance in a 4-ounce package. Although originally designed for leg-resistance exercises to be used by kickboxers (the cuffs can strap around your ankles), it does a surprisingly good job on upper body muscles too, such as pec flies and one-arm rows. Many other exercises available on instruction chart and on several 30-second tutorials on the website. Five color-keyed resistance levels available.

Dislikes: None.

Price: $20.95. (800) 222-7774; www.spriproducts.com.

Discreet pedometer

Sportline ThinQ: Credit-card sized pedometer, touted as the world's thinnest, at three-sixteenths of an inch wide, that can stay hidden in pants or pocket.

Likes: Dream-come-true for stealth fitness walkers and people on the cutting edge. Sleek, 2-ounce design, made possible by a new measuring system, records steps, distance, calories.

Dislikes: No built-in clip for traditionalists (there is a corner key chain loop). No night light.

Price: $29.95. (800) 338-6337; www.sportline.com.

Irvine-based Roy M. Wallack, an endurance cyclist and runner, can be reached at roywallack@aol.com.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Rope tightener

    Rope tightener

    Nite Ize Figure 9: Instant rope securing/tightening device with an attached carabiner. Likes: Quick way to secure recreational items without tying knots or using stretch cords. Handy for pitching tents/tarps and strapping kayaks and surfboards to truck beds and roof racks. Just clip the carabiner...

  • Resistance workout

    Resistance workout

    Spri Xercuff Plus: A strength-resistance device made of a loop of industrial latex stretch-cord tubing with two attached cushioned Velcro handles. Likes: Simple but effective all-body resistance in a 4-ounce package. Although originally designed for leg-resistance exercises to be used by kickboxers...

  • Discreet pedometer

    Discreet pedometer

    Sportline ThinQ: Credit-card sized pedometer, touted as the world's thinnest, at three-sixteenths of an inch wide, that can stay hidden in pants or pocket. Likes: Dream-come-true for stealth fitness walkers and people on the cutting edge. Sleek, 2-ounce design, made possible by a new measuring...

  • Women find boost in ability and other benefits in strength training

    Women find boost in ability and other benefits in strength training

    Francesca Guagliano likes the toned arms, the camaraderie and the thrill of competition that she gets from her twice-a-week strength-training classes at her gym, CrossFitLA in West Los Angeles. But most of all, she likes being able to carry the dog food.

  • 5 key strength-training exercises

    5 key strength-training exercises

    You want to add some strength training but don't want to pay for a trainer or classes. What exercises should you do, how heavy and how much? Answer: Make them functional movements and make them hard. That's what stimulates the body to get stronger.

  • At Charlton Flats, in Angeles National Forest, spectacular views

    At Charlton Flats, in Angeles National Forest, spectacular views

    Just 35 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, this Charlton Flats walk features spectacular mountain views and is a great introduction to the many Angeles National Forest hiking trails along the Angeles Crest Highway. Before you go, pick up an Adventure Pass at a sporting goods store.

  • How to stay healthy at those grueling music festivals

    How to stay healthy at those grueling music festivals

    Coachella may be a foggy memory, but those who tread the music festival circuit have a busy few months ahead. Notable festivals still to come include Bonnaroo in Tennessee, Outside Lands in San Francisco and Electric Daisy in New York and Las Vegas.

  • Field of ... yoga? Fans strike some poses after Dodgers game

    Field of ... yoga? Fans strike some poses after Dodgers game

    If there's a chance to go down to the field after a Dodgers game, you might expect it would be to shag some balls or run the bases. But in this case, hundreds of people rolled out Dodger blue yoga mats for a little warrior pose and cobra.

Comments
Loading