Lean, Mean Gifts for the Fitness Zealot

By Brent Rose on at

Got someone in your life who's addicted to exercise? Someone who proselytizes the active lifestyle? There are so many fitness-related items out there it's hard to separate the muscular wheat from the sweaty chaff. But we've selected a few of our favourite items you could get your fit friend, if you can catch them.

Merrell Road Glove
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard about this whole "barefoot running thing". It's not just a craze; it's changing the way a lot of people run, and mostly for the better (though you do have to be very careful and work into it slowly). We've been testing minimalist running shoes all year, and the Merrell Road Gloves have been king since the spring. £70 from Amazon

Nike+ Kinect Training
It's winter time, and most places in the UK are cold and horrible right now. Maybe you don't want to run around outside and get frostbite on your lungs. We hear that. Nike+ Kinect Training for the Xbox 360 is a pretty awesome way to work out without leaving your living room. Nike worked closely with Microsoft so the Kinect sensor can detect little nuances and the digital coaches can keep an eye on your form. £30 from Amazon

Sennheiser PMX 685i
We've been sticking all kinds of thing in our ears this year. Some of these things even play music! Earbuds for running have some special requirements. They've got to stay in place. They've got to be comfortable. They have to be tough. And, of course, they have to sound great. The Sennheiser PMX 685i are handily the best running earbuds we've ever tried. (this'll have to be an IOU, because they aren't out until January 7th, 2013, but they're worth the wait). £55 from Amazon

Camelbak M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack
Y'know what you need when you're working out? Water. Or you will die. The best way to ensure that you stay hydrated as you exercise is to make it super convenient, so you don't even have to think about it. Hands-free systems like Cambak's are perfect for long bike rides, hikes, and even runs. The M.U.L.E. is more for a long day hike. It can hold 3 litres of water and a metric tonne of gear. £80 from Amazon

Diet is easily one of the most important components of fitness. Just because you work out a lot, that doesn't mean you don't have a sweet tooth. Ice cream has that high-carb high-fat one-two punch to the gut. Y'know what's better? Fruit. And it doesn't have to be boring. The Yonanas machine (which has the worst name ever) turns frozen fruit into gelato-like soft-serve. It's incredibly delicious, super easy, and healthy, too. We're in love with this thing. £55 from Amazon

iFitness Ultimate II Race Belt
Runners (and bikers) need a place to keep their important items like keys, phone, ID, cash, nutrition gels, etc. This specialized bumbag keeps all of that stuff from bouncing around as you run, and it's water resistant to keep your buckets of sweat off your valuables. And, of course, it gives you a nice attachment point for your race number. £26 from DMP

Garmin Forerunner 910XT
Somebody you know into triathlons? Get them this and they'll love you forever. The Forerunner 910XT is simply the ultimate triathlon watch. It's GPS enabled and tracks your time, distance, pace, speed, and elevation. Heartrate too, via accessories. It can even count your strokes while swimming and help your form. Expensive, but awesome. £260 from Amazon

Fitbit One
Fitness doesn't just happen when you're at the gym or going for a run. Simply moving around throughout the day gets you some exercise, but how much exactly? There are a lot of activity trackers out there now, but the Fitbit One has an altimeter, so it doesn't just count steps, but also floors climbed. Sleep-tracking, Bluetooth syncing, and even a silent alarm. Plus, it's tiny and non-obtrusive. £80 from OutdoorGB