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New fitness tools to help stay motivated

February 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Many are gung-ho on exercise at the New Year, but after six weeks of working out, a bit more motivation is often required to stay moving. For many people, new equipment and gadgets can help.

Perhaps a new tool like Valslide Fitness might just be what the trainer ordered. It helps work the full upper body - abs, triceps and shoulders.

"It's basically a stability trainer. Because it slides, it creates mild instability," said Valerie Waters, celebrity fitness trainer and creator of the Valslide.

At $29.99, Valslides make workouts efficient. If you use them on your hands for upper body work, the foam top makes it easier on the wrist than regular gliding discs.

"It's just more comfortable on your wrist and it just feels better on your hands. I also find that when you place your foot on the Valslide your food adheres to the foam a little bit better," said Waters.

And if you've got very little time, space and money, the TRAINER series might be a good way to go because the exercises are right there on the equipment.

"It's a great idea because so many of us at the gym don't really know what we're doing for guidance and at home it's even harder to remember all the exercises," said Diego Courier. "You look down, you choose the next exercise, you follow the reps and the sets."

Also $29.99, the TRAINER mats or stability balls offer a variety of workouts for yoga, Pilates and even volleyball drills - something for just about anyone.

If you've got a bit more cash to spare and want to track progress, the BodyMedia FIT armband system is a high tech way to check.

"It slides up the back of your left arm and it has four different sensors in the back that crunch numbers and output everything from your steps taken, your calories burned, your overall physical activity levels to your sleep duration and efficiency," said Caryn Schlenbeck, SELF magazine correspondent.

Starting at $259, this device offers a dashboard that posts stats on your smartphone or computer any time of day, which helps with motivation.

"I found this to be a key tool for my clients not only to increase their movement but also to increase losing body fat," said trainer Julia Morichelli. "Whether you're chasing your kids, cleaning your bathroom or walking - just get out there and burn those calories."