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iPod & iPhone Sports Gifts for Exercisers

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When you're shopping for gifts for someone who loves to exercise, iPod and iPhone accessories can be treasure troves of gift-giving ideas. Whether it's giving your friend or family member a portable music player to accompany their workouts, a cool new case, or something even more exotic, no matter their preferred sport, exercisers love iPhone and iPod gifts.

Here are some ideas for sports-related iPod and iPhone gifts for the exerciser in your life this holiday season.

1. iPod nano or iPod Shuffle

4th Generation Apple iPod Shuffle
image copyright Apple Inc.

Before any of the other gift ideas make sense, be sure your recipient has an iPod. The iPod nano or iPod Shuffle are great gifts for enthusiasts of sports like:

  • Running
  • Bicycling
  • Weight lifting
  • Rock climbing

If you're buying for a runner, give extra attention to the iPod nano, which can be used with Nike + to track things like heart rate and mileage. More on that below.

iPod nano review | iPod Shuffle review

Compare iPod nano prices | Compare iPod Shuffle prices

2. iPod Sports Case

DLO Action Jacket for iPod Shuffle
image copyright DLO

Everyone needs a case to hold their iPod, especially exercisers. Getting an exerciser a good iPod sports case can help them keep the iPod close their body, dry when it rains (or if there's a lot of sweat), and make it easier to carry on their workouts.

Pay particular attention to sports cases with armbands. Cases with armbands are great, since they free the hands during exercise.

3. Nike+ iPod Kit

nike + ipod
image copyright Nike Inc.

This US$30 gizmo is a godsend for runners. The Nike+ iPod kit allows you to plug a little device into the bottom of an iPod (recent iPod touches, nanos, and iPhones have the device built in, so check what iPod your recipient has before buying), track important elements of a workout like calories burned, speed, and distance, and then upload your workout data to your computer. It works best with Nike+ shoes, which have a special area for the sensor that works with the iPod device, but it can (I believe) be used with any shoes.

Other companies offer similar devices, including Adidas's $70 miCoach SPEED_CELL (compare prices) and the $60 Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker (compare prices).

Compare Prices

4. Fitness Bands

Nike Fuel Wristband
image copyright Nike Inc.

People who are serious about exercise and nutrition don't just track it at the gym. They want to keep track of what they're doing throughout the day, too. Now they can with these fashionable fitness wristbands designed to be worn at all times. The most well-known products are made by Nike, called Fuel (US$150), Jawbone ($130), called UP, and Fitbit, called Force ($130). Both let the user track the number of steps they take each day, the calories they burn, food eaten, and, with the Jawbone and Fitbit models, sleep habits. Both bands interact with apps and online reporting systems to allow the exerciser in your life to see trends and fine-tune their habits and workouts.

Compare Prices On:

5. iOS-Compatible Wi-Fi Scale

Wi-Fi body scale by Withings
image copyright Withings

Exercisers serious about tracking their results no doubt already spend a lot of time with their scales and tools to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI). Thanks to some iOS-integrated, Wi-Fi connected scales, that tracking is now much easier. The Wi-Fi Body Scale by Withings (US$150) tracks weight, BMI, and lean and fat mass. The Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale ($130) offers many similar features. Both have apps and online tools that the scale can transmit data to so that your exerciser can track their improvement.

Compare Prices On:

6. Heart & Pulse Monitors

Scosche Rhythm Armband Pulse Monitor
image copyright Scosche

Runners especially will enjoy having these lightweight devices to track their heart and pulse rates. They can track this information and then transmit it wirelessly to an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPod nano that's equipped with Nike+, as well as to apps and online tracking systems (the options depend on the exact monitor used). Expect to spend between $70 and $130 on them.

7. Cycling Computers

iBike Dash Cycling Computer
image copyright iBike

Cyclists who are serious about tracking their speed, distance, and improvement will enjoy an iOS-aware cycling computer that helps them chart their rides. These devices, like other app + hardware combinations, include some hardware you install on a bike that transmits data to an app that records rides.

A few options include the $150 iBike Dash Cycling computer (compare prices) and the $60 Wahoo Fitness Blue SC Cycling Speed/Cadence Sensor (compare prices).

8. Oakley Airwave 1.5 Goggles

Oakley Airwave 1.5 Goggles
image copyright Oakley Inc.
As the Internet and apps become part of our lives even when we're not in front of the computer, some pretty amazing products are appearing. One such product is the Oakley Airwave 1.5 Goggles. These are ski goggles, but they're a lot more than that, too: They have a heads-up display in the goggles that can display all kinds of data about your recipient's runs as they ski. This data includes their speed, the number of jumps they take, and how much time they spend in the air. They can even control the music they're listening to and see incoming calls and text messages. Your recipient needs an iPhone with them when they're skiing, but if they've got that, their ski trips will change forever.
Compare Prices

9. Running Apps

RunKeeper Pro
RunKeeper, LLC
Great workout playlists aren't the only thing that iPods offer exercisers. For iPod touch and iPhone owners, apps can also help make workouts more effective. The iPhone apps for runners not only offer run tracking, but also use GPS and reporting to help the people on your gift list take their exercise to the next level.

10. Cycling Apps

iMapMyRide
image copyright MapMyFitness LLC
If your budget doesn't allow for the $150 iBike cycling computer, check out these apps for cyclists. All the apps use the iPhone's GPS to track routes and distance and none will set you back more than $10.

11. Fitness Apps

iFitness iPhone App
Medical Productions
Just as their are a plethora of iPhone apps for runners, devotees of other types of exercise will find apps to assist them. We've reviewed one such app, iFitness, will help exercisers add muscle and cut fat, but there are many other options, too.

12. iTunes Gift Card or eMusic Subscription

iTunes gift card
image copyright Apple Inc.

No matter what kind of iPod people have or what sort of exercise they prefer, they always need a good soundtrack. Help them get that soundtrack by keeping them in good music that they'll love with an iTunes Gift Card or eMusic subscripton. EMusic delivers more songs for the money, but has a smaller selection, so you might want to check out their offerings before giving to someone whose musical tastes you don't know very well.

iTunes Store Review | eMusic Review

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  7. iPod & iPhone Sports Gifts for Exercisers - Holiday Buying Guide 2013

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