29 October 2018

FEATURE: Autumn Fitness

Keeping the Santa belly at bay

Holy shit, guys... as we write this in late October, several days BEFORE Halloween, it's only snowing! We know, pretty unheard of for our little corner of the UK, and something of a forewarning for how the coming winter will turn out. If you're preparing for a chilly one and have already hung up the running shoes and stockpiled tins of Celebrations, calm down. There will still be chance to exercise this autumn and winter and we've lined up a mixed sports-bag of kit to help you do just that.

Bellabeat Leaf Urban 

We start with something smart. This fancy looking wearable might appear to be a snazzy bit of jewellery, but it is actually a whole lot more. Made of wood composite and stainless steel, the Leaf Urban is a women's health tracker, designed to monitor your activity, stress levels, sleep patterns, and reproductive health. Working in conjunction with a smartphone app (as there are no screens or buttons on the wearable itself), you can wear it as a necklace, bracelet or badge.

Unlike most other activity trackers we've reviewed, you might actually want to wear the Leaf Urban... and be seen wearing it. It looks great, and seems to measure very accurately everything it claims to. We were most impressed by the stress and sleep tracking, as the info displayed by the app was both useful and fascinating. Being reminded to take it easy on yourself every so often was also nice, and if that doesn't help improve your autumnal health, nothing will.

£129.99 from www.amazon.co.uk

Flyte Clean Energy Drink

Regular readers might know of our well-documented love of the ol' caffeine at Test Pit Towers, which, if we're being honest, extends beyond coffee to the likes of energy drinks such as Red Bull. However, we'd be the first to admit that too much of that sugary shite is terrible for you, so we were happy to be introduced to Flyte; the co-called "clean" energy drink.

Available in two flavours - Green Mango and Red Berries - Flyte boasts a natural and organic caffeine hit, drawing sweetness only from juices and stevia leaves (whatever they are). The point seems to be that this is a healthier, environmentally friendlier way to get your mid-morning burst of alertness and energy, and we must admit that it tastes pretty great. Red Berries is just what you might expect, but Green Mango is unique and refreshing in equal parts. If you get the op, give it a try.

Visit flytedrink.com

MyRebounder Mini Trampoline

Kids, as well as adults, can suffer from a winter fitness slump, so this fun thing might help to keep them moving. The MyRebounder Mini Trampoline is a folding 40 inch diameter bouncy pad designed for children aged three to seven to jump on indoors. The legs pop out and can be folded away, while it ships with a handy carry case to keep it safe and clean while in storage.

Considering this thing is designed for kids, it's pretty much as strong and robust as an adult mini trampoline... and we should know, we did bounce about on it ourselves. The kids, meanwhile, had a tonne of fun in the house on rainy (and snowy) days, and because the MyRebounder Mini Trampoline is well padded and very sturdy, it gave the parents present a lot of peace of mind. A good winter indoors activity, all told.

£89.95 from myrebounder.co.uk

Cocofina Coconut Water

What's that Jackie Chan film where he uses a coconut as an IV drip? Anyway, he did right, as coconut water is isotonic, fantastic for rehydration, and tastes pretty nice, too. Perfect as a sports and general fitness drink, Cocofina were kind enough to bung us a few samples from their range, and we found them all quite eye-opening.

As well as the healthy, vegan, and organic coconut water, we were sent a few small sachets of coconut oil, good for both cooking and, incredibly, your skin and hair, as well as some tasty snack bars blending fruit with coconut, and also a surprising juice of coconut and high strength turmeric. It's all good, it's all healthy, and to compliment your winter work-outs, we recommend it all.

Visit www.cocofina.com

Kalenji Kiprun Trail Running Shoes

If you've decided to actually get out there during the colder months and tackle a trail run or two, you'll need a pair of kicks to keep you comfortable and safe. Sold by bargain sports outlet Decathlon, the Kalenji Kiprun Trail Running Shoes are a good option for those concerned with buying a decent pair of rugged running shoes while on a budget.

The Kiprun shoes are designed for long-distance runners and have been specially created to deal with stoney and rough terrain - and that they did, perfectly. Serious runners might turn their noses up at trail shoes for less than 60 quid, but they've held up fine so far and we've been putting them through their paces on chilly Saturday morning park runs for a few weeks.

£59.99 from www.decathlon.co.uk

Magic Body Fashion Yoga Pants

Yoga? Yo-don't? If you're looking for a new work-out regime during the bitterly cold winter, yoga is a seriously good choice. If you can already attest to the effectiveness of the Downward Dog, you'll know how important a decent pair of yoga pants are when attempting to get into that position, and Magic Body Fashion sent us an awesome pair.

These stretchy pants are comfortable, flex with you, and also help to shape your tummy and legs while you exercise. Breathable and easy to wash, they should be your first port of call if you're a woman looking for new yoga-ing kit.

£32.50 from www.magicbodyfashion.com

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