Wednesday, December 08, 1999

Gift ideas for exercise fanatics

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        For the endorphin fanatic on your Christmas list there's a slew of options guaranteed to put the ho-ho back into a ho-hum exercise regimen.

        Here are some suggestions for the best fitness gifts for '99.

        • N.E.O.S Explorer Performance Overshoe ($64.99) — Don't mistake these for galoshes or boots. They're made of 500 Denier nylon and designed to be worn over hiking boots and snow shoes for extra protection against winter's harshest elements. The lightweight, packable design includes a strap-locking buckle that allows for full range of adjustment and won't let in water or snow. The three-color outsole repels snow and mud from its tread. For more information or to order, call (888) 289-6367;

        • Muscle & Fitness, Hers and Oxygen These magazines are targeting “the serious” fitness-minded woman. Translation: Women who aren't afraid of visible muscle tone and definition.

        The magazines include coverage of such fitness contests as Miss International and Miss Fitness Olympia and their competitors. The premiere issue Muscle & Fitness, Hers ($3.99), due out this month, makes a great stocking stuffer. (The Weider company hasn't offered subscription rates.) A one-year Oxygen subscription is available at $19.95 for six issues: Oxygen, 6465Airport Road, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, L4V 1E4; (905) 678-7311.

        • Traveling On the Run, A Complete Guide to Fitness & Running Around the World (SIMS International; $14.95)by Stewart and Barbara Sims — This slim paperback, which is convenient and packable, was written for the traveler who is interested in keeping fit on the road. The book profiles 93 cities around the world and includes maps, major landmarks, hotel locations, running routes, running clubs, running stores, major race director phone numbers and emergency telephone numbers, including sports medicine doctors. Available at bookstores.

        • Donna Richardson's 3-Day Rotation 2000 (DVD $24.98, VHS $14.98) — This is one of the first workouts designed and produced specifically for DVD. Created for those pressed for time, fitness pro Donna Richardson leads three popular 20-minute segments featuring kick boxing, muscle conditioning/toning and dance aerobics. Each workout includes its own warm-up, workout and cool down. Available in VHS, but the DVD version includes an “instructor cam option” for choreography close-ups and an “instructor cueing-only” option, which allows users to hear Ms. Richardson's instruction only so they can substitute their own workout music. Available in stores where exercise videos are sold; (800) 745-1145.

        • Precor SmartWeights ($119 for pair) — The first remote-control device that actually gets people off the couch. SmartWeights are a unique fitness accessory that lets the exerciser control functions on his or her exercise equipment without reaching for the control panel, which some exercisers complain throws off their stride. The SmartWeights, which can be adjusted for 1 to 2 pounds of resistance, are designed to be used with Precor treadmills and elliptical trainers. They can be ordered through stores that sell Precor equipment, such as the Fitness Store.

        • 50 Ways to Build Muscle Fast, The Ultimate Guide to Building Bigger Muscles (Avery Publishing; $9.95) by Dave Tuttle — For the gym rat who wants to take his or her muscle development up a notch. Mr. Tuttle believes lifting weights properly is just a small part of the secret to maximum development. His strategy includes advice about how to adjust diet, lifestyle and nutritional supplementation to stimulate peak muscle growth.

        • The Timex Rush sports watches ($40-$43) — This new line of athletic wristwatches were created especially for women. Based on its research about women involved in a broad range of athletic pursuits, Timex set out to make operating Rush easier and more intuitive than other digital sports watches. Features include built-in setting prompts that guide the user through the watch's operations, an alarm, stop watch, pulse calculator, 10 pre-set timers and Indiglo night light/all day Indiglo. The watch is sleek, lightweight and designed to fit snugly on a woman's wrist. Available where Timex products are sold.

        • Yoga mat tote ($30) - The yoga mat keeps the feet from slipping and cushions the body during various yoga postures or “asanas.” For a handy way to transport it to and from class, consider getting a tote for the yogi on your list. Barefoot Yoga's Co. Mat Bag can accommodate a mat, keys, wallet, eye pillows and other yoga props. It comes in a top-loading drawstring or duffel size-loading zipper style, four fabrics (hemp, velvet, cotton jacquard and canvas) and 30 patterns/colors. Information: (877) 227-3366;

        • IMT Accessories Street Flyers ($130-$150) — You have to see them to believe them. They look like sneakers, but convert to in-line skates in an instant. This new line of in-line skates is the brainchild of 31-year-old Ike Tawil, president of IMT Accessories. Mr. Tawil came up with the idea when a security guard halted his shortcut through the lobby of the Empire State Building because he was wearing in-line skates. Determined to come up with a more convenient and flexible design, he placed a set of retractable in-line skate wheels within the sole of a street shoe. The wheels are designed to perform on both asphalt and concrete. The premier collection of Street Flyers is unisex and consists of six designs. Future Street Flyers will resemble lug or hiking boots. They're only available before Christmas for e-shoppers at, or Street Flyers will hit stores in early 2000.


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