A friendly reminder to drink more water today. I did say earlier in this live blog that along with stretching, drinking water is one of the best things you can do to improve your health on the cheap.
Not only does it help your gut health, clear up your skin, and keep your body fighting fit, it will also improve your mind. A study published by the University of North Carolina (opens in new tab) found even mild dehydration can cause “disruptions in mood and cognitive functioning”. Want a healthier, happier 2023? Drink more water.
Coincidentally, Hydro Flasks – TikTok’s trendiest vibrant-colored water bottle that keeps your drinks cold for 24 hours – are on sale right now at Amazon. Keep it in your gym and work bag to ensure your body and brain are at their peak at all times.
Still looking for a good stationary cycling deal? The excellent NordicTrack Commercial S15i is down from a hefty $1,299.99 to just $699.99 at Best Buy (opens in new tab), a massive saving of $600.
Of course, you might have your own bike you want to bring indoors and use by clipping it to a turbo trainer. In conjunction with an app like Zwift or Tacx, smart turbo trainers like the Garmin Tacx Boost can allow you to continue your training even when adverse weather conditions or personal time constraints might be unsuitable for long outdoor cycles. It’s available with 20% off from Backcountry.com (opens in new tab).
In an interview with MuscleTech (opens in new tab) back in January, Witcher and Superman star Henry Cavill – the internet’s favorite handsome Warhammer player – said the fitness gadget he couldn’t live without was his Polar running watch.
Polar do create some awesome running gear, specializing in particular in GPS and heart rate tech, and it’s running a Cyber Week sale on its site offering up to 33% off almost everything. The Polar Vantage V2 is its best watch and one I’ve personally gotten a lot of use out of. It’s seen me through trail runs, half-marathons, hikes and surfing with ease, although it really excels in providing rock-solid running metrics.
The Vantage V2 is $100 off on the Polar site right now (opens in new tab), so you can equip yourself just like Cavill.
Back to the home gym equipment, and one thing we haven’t talked about yet is rowing machines. They can be roughly sorted into three types, based on the method of resistance used: fan, magnetic and water.
Fan-assisted rowing machines use the cord to turn paddles on a fan, the idea being the harder you work, the more air resistance you’re met with. Water-based machines (my favorite) do the same thing with paddles in a water tank, to more accurately replicate the feel of rowing on water. Finally, magnetic machines like the super-popular, sleek-looking Hydrow use levels of magnetic resistance to work against you.
Below you can find deals on the excellent Sole SR500 from Dick’s Sporting Goods (opens in new tab), $140 off Sunny’s Obsidian Surge 500 water rower on Amazon (opens in new tab), and an amazing deal of $500 off the Hydrow at Best Buy (opens in new tab), widely regarded as one of the best rowing machines ever made.
While there are lots of good deals on fitness kit this Black Friday weekend, don’t forget about the ways to improve your health that will cost you absolutely nothing, like stretching.
I am a firm believer that everyone should stretch for at least a few minutes every day, preferably in the morning. It’s not just about flexibility – although mobility is a huge part of it, especially for older people. Stretching lengthens the muscles, which shorten naturally as we age, and improves circulation, which again begins to decrease as we age.
It reduces the risk of injury, as we’re less likely to tear longer muscles. It’s even been shown to improve your mood, increasing serotonin levels according to research from Colorado State University (opens in new tab). Along with drinking more water, stretching is one of the simplest, most cost-effective ways to improve your health at any age and increase your body’s longevity.
Anyway, here’s a good deal on the Alo Warrior yoga mat (opens in new tab).
Black Friday may be over, but the fitness discounts are hanging around until Cyber Monday on 28 November, so I’m back on this blog updating you periodically throughout the day.
We were stood on the sidelines and clapping quietly after seeing this weekend’s Garmin discounts on golf watches. Garmin, without a doubt, makes some of the best golf watches around, which are very useful for improving your game by providing you a virtual scorecard, a GPS map of the course, and club advice with their virtual caddie systems.
There’s two options below from Dick’s Sporting Goods: a premium S60 for $349.99, and a cheaper S10 for $149.99.
I did say I’d get back to the second of my top Garmin picks this year, didn’t I? The Garmin Fenix 7 is the do-it-all premium adventure watch that arrived this year, but its the Fenix 6 family that’s receiving mega discounts over Black Friday.
Right now, the Garmin Fenix 6S Pro is half price at Kohl’s, down to just $349.99 (opens in new tab). Anyone looking for a new, top-of-the-range adventure or running watch might be tempted by our pick of the best running watch of the year, the Forerunner 955 Solar, but at this price, the Fenix 6S Pro rivals even that. It’s smaller than the enormous Enduro range, which is too much watch for most, but packs all the smarts you could want and is rugged enough to take bouldering, surfing, skiing… you can really throw it around.
It’s genuinely an amazing watch at an amazing price, and if I wasn’t testing different fantastic watches every day, I’d be snapping this up for myself. Check it out below:
As fitness discounts go, this year’s crop of Black Friday Fitbit deals has been stellar. If you’re willing to spend a little more for the Fitbit brand name, then the below deals (at Walmart and Amazon, respectively) have discounted two of the best Fitbit smartwatches for Black Friday.
You can pick up the Fitbit Versa 4 for $149.95 at Walmart right now (down from $229.95) (opens in new tab), and the Fitbit Inspire 2 – with a one year subscription to Fitbit Premium thrown in for good measure – at Amazon for under £50 (down from £99.85) (opens in new tab). We don’t expect either discount to last long, mind, so get your skates on.
It’s not quite home gym-y, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t talk about my choice for “best Garmin deal of the day” so far. It’s tied between an expensive Fenix model (more on this later) and this cheap Garmin Forerunner 45.
It’s absolutely perfect for beginner runners doing Couch to 5K or short Parkruns, and it’ll take you all the way up to half-marathon distances and beyond thanks to the training programs on its integrated Garmin Coach feature on the Garmin Connect app. With multi-band satellite positioning, music control, a week-long battery life and 24/7 heart rate monitoring, it’s a steal.
IF you’re looking for an entry-level wearable running device, it’s worth checking out all the cool things you can do with Garmin Connect, because at a touch under $120, the Forerunner 45 is a better deal than most Fitbits. Check it out below.
A good set of weights is always better when you’ve got support to use them with. A weights bench opens lots of doors, from preacher curls to chest presses and reverse flys, allowing you to train your arms, back, chest and shoulders more efficiently.
This Amazon deal from Flybird offers its adjustable weights bench half price, from $239.99 down to $119.99. Plus you get to keep the model, who will clean your house on Thursdays.*
Next up on our home gym list is weights, and I’m tired of spending ages winding the spinlock clip around my ancient York dumbbells. However, I also don’t have the space to keep an entire rack of weights. I need something that allows me to click the desired weight into place straight away.
Enter the Bowflex SelecTech, that operates with a simple twist mechanism. It’s currently down to just $349.99 at Amazon, saving you $200 (or $100 per dumbbell):
If you want to go further, you could ask Alexa to rack your weights for you. No, we’re not kidding. The very definition of “wellness tech”, you can also save $200 at Amazon right now:
However, you don’t have to spend hundreds to get a good deal on resistance training, nor do you even have to lug any weight around. The best Black Friday purchase I ever made was two years ago, when I got a full set of resistance bands for my Dad. It cost me just shy of £30 ($35), and they came with five tubes, a door hook and handles just like this set.
Together, you can create the effect of any kind of cabled gym equipment. You can curl, press, row, or squat, doubling or tripling up the bands for additional resistance as you need it. Even the strongest gym bunny will struggle with a few of the thicker bands attached to the handles. The elastic resistance also means they’re easier and safer for older exercisers than weights, and you can take them anywhere.
I have my own set, and my Dad used these for months: a glowing recommendation if ever there was one.
Of course, some people prefer to get their cardio kicks outside, myself included. Although the deals are undeniably attractive, I won’t be buying any of the machines below: I’ll be picking up a new pair of kicks to train for my first-ever marathon.
I’ve been testing Eliud Kipchoge’s record-breaking marathon shoe, Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% 2, but there are no deals on today. However, my every-day running, absolute favorite shoe is discounted today: the Saucony Ride 15.
I used the Saucony Kinvara 12s for a year and ran them into the ground. I then moved on to the Saucony Ride 14s, and fell in love all over again. As an everyday shoe for hard surfaces, Saucony Rides can’t be beaten thanks to its reactive PWRRUN midsole. I’ve tested the Ride 15s on several five-mile stretches and found much the same, so I’m sorely tempted to pick up another pair for personal use.
On the lower-priced end of the cardio machine spectrum is something that’s proving very popular right now: an under-desk treadmill. The best under-desk treadmills allow you to get your steps in at home while watching Netflix or, as the name suggests, at work when combined with a standing desk.
This kind of “passive exercise” is what 2023 is going to be all about for me: the idea that you don’t need to get super sweaty or have run miles to have earned the right to feel proud that you’ve achieved something. It could be a low-intensity walk, or a few minutes stretching, or a shorter gym session than you originally planned. Finding a way to move a little bit every day is enough, and devices like under-desk treadmills enable you to do so.
Amazon’s top choice here is the UREVO 2-in-1, now down to $319.97 in a lightning deal (opens in new tab). Flip the safety rail up for a jog up to 7.8mph, or leave the rail down to turn the treadmill into a walking pad, allowing you to get a ton of low-intensity exercise in. This is a lightning deal, so you don’t have long to claim it – best hurry!
Let’s kick off with what might prove to be the biggest expense in your fitness browsing: a big cardio machine. Dick’s Sporting goods and Best Buy are both offering some big money off the price of exercise bikes and treadmills, including Peloton.
Do you get a Peloton in 2023? For the last couple of years, the company has suffered a string of mishaps: security woes regarding the cameras, recalls, deaths (both real and fictional) and mass layoffs. Our deep-dive investigation into Peloton showed that yes, it does hold value for its customers and can be an addictive way to work out – if you’re willing to pay the hefty subscription fee on top of the cost of the machine.
We can help offset some of that, at least. Dick’s Sporting Goods (opens in new tab) is offering $300 off the price of the standard Peloton Bike, as well as a massive $1,100 off a Horizon 7.0 treadmill that will also connect to the Peloton ecosystem. That way, at least, you can cancel the subscription if you choose to do so and still have a usable machine.
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