From special socks and tights to shoes and bracelets, Janet Lee, of Shape Magazine, gave her take on the latest items on the market, and whether they really work, or are more hype than hope.
The following descriptions were prepared with information provided by the manufacturers:
Resistance Wear Weighted Vest
The vest can be used in any intensity of exercise routine, whether you are engaging in a relaxing walk or intense cardio workout.
The vest is lined with CoolMaxâ, a patented lightweight fabric that channels perspiration away from the body for faster evaporation.
The outer shell is an advanced stretch material designed to conform to each individual body type and fits much like a sports bra. The vest takes the weight off the abdomen and forces you to use your abs for an overall better core workout. Research shows that the vest can help burn up to 60 percent more calories than exercising without the vest and can cut workout times in half. By having the vest's weight concentrated on the upper body, the user obtains a full-body workout, including those hard-to-reach areas of the upper and lower back and the abdomen region along with the legs and gluts
$79.99 for the vest only. Interchangeable weights are sold separately and range from ½-pound weights for $7 to 10-pound weights for $40 (ResistanceWear.com)
Power Balance Wristbands
This wristband is a perfect fit for your everyday activities. Power Balance is performance technology that uses holograms which are embedded with frequencies that react positively with your bodies natural energy field to improve balance, strength, and flexibility.
Some frequencies act positively with your body while others act negatively. When the hologram comes into contact with your body's energy field, it allows your body to interact with the natural and beneficial frequency stored within the hologram. This results in improved energy flow throughout your body. Power Balance also assists in giving you the energy to workout longer and recover faster, which will help you obtain the lifestyle goals you have set. These bands are the perfect confidence tool and performance boost to reignite those faltering New Years resolutions!
Power Balance wristbands come in silicone and neoprene.
CW-X Compression Tights
Provide engineered gradient compression for your lower body which help maintain healthy circulation, prevents dehydration, and swelling.
The elastic fibers apply pressure to the surface of the skin, which aids to the circulation of blood.
The tight is the CW-X Insulator Expert tight. It shapes the body through the use of proprietary, patented, Conditioning Web technology (i.e., no one else can do this). The Conditioning Web consists of Lycra panels sewn into the tight in specific areas to support the knees and major muscle groups of the legs. They keep the muscles in proper alignment through any activity (running, aerobics, etc.) and so that the muscles don't "jiggle" during impact, so they don't have to pull themselves back into shape after each step, for example. Because of this, the wearer experiences less fatigue and accelerated recovery benefits (and less lactic acid build up, less soreness). The body of the tight is made from (proprietary) thermal regulating AutoSensor fabric, which keeps the wearer from getting too cold or too hot. It also has a UPF of 50+, so it blocks over 90% of UVA/B radiation, is antimicrobial, and wicks moisture.
Reebok Easy Tone
The Reebok EasyTone sneaker slims with each step. The balance pods (like half of a stability ball) which are in the soles of the shoe create natural instability while you walk and increase muscle activation in the gluteus maximus by 28%, the calves by 11%, and the hamstring by 11%.
They look just like regular gym sneakers (so your secret is safe).
The MBT "anti shoe" has several pro body benefits that have resulted in an increasing number of studies supporting the numerous health benefits of this creation and prove why natural movement is so healthy.
The 2 style we have here today, the Fora and the Biridi are part of the new Athletic collection that launched this month. The Athletic line is a 20% lighter design, contains innovative geometry to maximize performance, and a specific 3-D mesh upper construction provides maximum breathability. MBT has revolutionary technology, which is superior, exclusive to MBT, and patented worldwide. MBT's patented and scientifically proven sole creates a natural instability underfoot which is similar to walking on soft, uneven ground. This automatically increases muscle activity in the body. Something that cannot be achieved by walking in conventional shoes. MBTs improve posture and gait, saves time by allowing people to integrate exercise into their daily lives, acts as preventive training, strengthens core muscles, tightens glutes, offers superior comfort, relieves stress from joints and improves circulation. MBTs mimic the feeling of walking barefoot in sand - from the very moment you put them on immediately your core muscles are engaged - just by standing!
$215 - $350 (MBT.com)
Avia (avi-motion) Toning-in-motion Sneakers
Negative heel engineering of this lightweight shoe promotes muscle activation while the forefoot flex grooves allow for natural dorsiflexion, the movement which decreases the angle between the dorsum (superior surface) of the leg, so that the toes are brought closer to the shin.
The Archrocker® approved design enhances the users rocking motion from heel to toe in the gait cycle.
The Shear Cantilever® System accelerates the heel area's ability to rebound to its natural state in time for the next heel strike.
But -- do they REALLY work?!:
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