Illustrations by Lisk Feng

In Southern California every woman needs a sun-protective, quick-drying, light layer to throw on for a chilly run or morning Stand Up Paddleboarding session. The Head to Sea Hoodie is a stretchy, silky top made of UPF 50 fabric, with thumbholes, reflective seams, and a loop to secure the company’s signature safety whistle that comes with each product.

(Graced by Grit)

Whether you’re hitting the trail or the gym, these Backbeat Fit Headphones — behind-the-ear wireless sports headphones from Plantronics — will stay in place and the sound quality won’t let you down. Waterproof and sweat proof, they also boast a long battery life.

(Bruce Ashley Photography / Backbeat)

A form-fitting gym tank is no good if it doesn’t stay in place — and flatter. The Athleta Stealth Tank is one that scores well on both points, with plenty of support, ruching to disguise waistline imperfections, and a banded bottom that keeps it from inching up during downward drag.

( Athleta)

Squeezing in workouts away from the gym is (relatively) easy with the latest model of the popular bodyweight-powered suspension trainer. The latest version has antimicrobial handles, adjustable foot cradles and sets up easily at home or in a hotel room.


The Manduka eko 5mm mat is thick and supremely grippy — and it’s easy on the knees and will allow hot yoga enthusiasts and boot-campers alike to keep going when things get sweaty. Guilt-free, it’s biodegradable and made of non-Amazon harvested natural tree rubber.

(Targophoto / Manduka)

Onzie workout capri pants come in some of the coolest prints around and are comfortable and breathable enough to wear long after class is over.


Runners will love the Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate Fitness Wristband for its ability to track their heart rate as well as the pace, distance and elevation of their routes. Fitness newbies can use the activity tracking, reminders to move, and guided breathing sessions. And all will appreciate the smart-phone notification for calls, calendar and text as well as the long battery life.


The swimmers and surfers on your list will appreciate a new wetsuit that they can use virtually year round in Southern California. This neoprene suit, the Men’s R1 Front-Zip Spring Suit, from Patagonia, has an easy-to-get-into front zipper and a stretchy recycled polyester lining.


Moisture-wicking black leggings are a great workout staple. But basic doesn’t have to mean boring. These Splits59 Jordan Tight leggings have flattering diagonal mesh cutouts, leatherette-looking panels at the calves, and a hidden key pocket.


An eye-catching sports bra makes the transition from studio to street in style. The Fabletics Dash Bra II, a low-impact seamless bra, is no-nonsense in the front but party in the back, with its multiple crisscross straps.


The newfangled bike, which combines an elliptical machine with two wheels, is a fast, fun stand-up ride you can do all day. The new lightweight ARC model from Solana Beach-based Elliptigo has a lively, compact stride and adjustable stride height to fit to the rider’s size and style.


Individual-toed Injnjis prevent skin-to-skin chafing and make running and hiking safer, less sweaty, and more comfortable. The new midweight Injinji Spectrum toe sock has extra cushioning for the trail and breezy palm-tree graphics that reflect the company’s sunny San Diego roots.

(Injinji Spectrum)

In running, good form makes you faster and less prone to injuries. With the Lumo Run, the tech whizzes in Mountain View managed to squeeze a running coach into tiny pod that clips to your running shorts. It reminds you, with real-time audio feedback and post-run metrics through your phone, to "increase your cadence," "lean forward" and "take shorter strides" to maintain a smooth, efficient 180-steps-per-minute pace.

(Lumo Run)

If you’ve got to have music when you ride, dump your headphones (they’re unsafe in traffic) and slip a BoomBottle H20+ into your water-bottle cage. From Irvine-based Scosche, this waterproof, floatable, remote-controlled 12W 50mm speaker blasts up to 11 hours on a charge and includes a battery status indicator.


Red blood cells are key for an endurance athlete; the hemoglobin that makes them red carries oxygen, and the more of it is in your blood, the faster and longer you can go. The Ember from Cercacor Labs in Irvine packs a hospital grade hemoglobin tracker into a compact, non-invasive (no blood needed) version for triathletes, runners and cyclists, who can now accurately gauge how their training and elevation is affecting their fitness.

(Cercacor Labs)

Electrical muscle stimulation, which has joined stretching, massage and icing as a fatigue- and soreness-reducing recovery method at all levels of sports, used to be something a trainer applied to your battered body. Now, with Huntington Beach-based Marc Pro, you do it yourself: Just stick the electrodes where it aches, plug in the wires, and dial up the juice.

(Marc Pro)

When the running-shoe world was going "minimalist" a few years ago, Hoka One One raised eyebrows by going "maximalist" — putting twice the cushioning underfoot. The Clifton 3, upgraded this year with a roomier toe box, features the surprisingly lightweight monster-truck soles with the cloud-like cushioning that make cracks and bumps disappear.

(Hoka One One)

Invented by Vincent Marcel, an El Segundo chiropractor and avid triathlete, the head-turning Infinity bike seat cuts out chafing by cutting out the middle of the seat.

(Infinity Seat)

Phil Campbell, a San Jose-based running and cycling coach, lays out his time-saving, brutally effective Sprint 8 workout in his new book, "Sprint 8 Cardio Protocol." The HIIT approach -- that stands for High Intensity Training -- couldn’t be simpler: Whether you run, ride, rollerblade, swim or row for fitness, do eight 30-second all-out sprints. About 20 minutes long, with a three-minute warm-up and 90-second cool-down between each sprint, that workout spurs a science-validated surge of growth hormone that builds muscle, cuts fat and delivers body-changing improvement fast.

(Phil Campbell)

You can’t tell it’s an electric bike, can you? Style comes first with San Francisco based Faraday, which hides the normally bulky battery in the down tube and 250-watt motor in the front wheel hub of the new Porteur S, all making hills a breeze. But the function is superb too with built-in lights, bamboo fenders and a super-comfortable seating position.


In an age of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink wrist computers, this long-time quartz-crystal-powered favorite of Navy Seals stands out. Marin County-based Luminox, makers of original adventure watch, gave the luxurious XL1839 a crystal of Sapphire anti-reflective glass, a leather band, night-vision illumination and waterproof-ness to 660 feet, as far down as any sane human will go.


Saje Natural Wellness, a company based in Canada and preparing to open stories in Valencia and Malibu, aims to connect people with the healing power of plants.The Saje AromaGem in Gold Ultrasonic Diffuser and Best of Saje Deluxe Diffuser Blend Collection might be the way to go.


Give the gift of 24 days of small beauty and wellness indulgences, including bubble bath, body butter and herbal bath salt, with the Susanne Kaufmann Advent Calendar.

(Susanne Kaufmann )

It's possible that the only thing standing between you and a successful meditation practice is your inability to get comfortable. The Studio Select Zafu Meditation Cushion may be the solution.


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Credits: Illustrations by Lisk Feng. Credits: Ricardo DeAratanha, Vera Castaneda, Calvin Hom, Rene Lynch, Kathy Pyon, Steve Elders, Ruthanne Salido, Alice Short, Alene Dawson, Kavita Daswani, Roy M. Wallack, Melinda Fulmer, Jessica Ritz, Ben Muessig, Jeanette Marantos, Terry Gardner, Janet Kinosian, Davis Alexander, Amy Scattergood, Ingrid Schmidt, Kenneth Turan, Tre’vell Anderson, Amy Kaufman, Meredith Woerner, Glenn Whipp and Evan Wagstaff. Design and development by Lily Mihalik.