7 Great Gifts for Health and Wellness

7 Great Gifts for Health and Wellness

When looking for gifts for loved ones it is always rewarding if the gift is something they enjoy that at the same time improves their overall health and wellness. We have found a variety of great gifts ideas that help the user work on improving their health and wellness. Some are for the more serious athlete, others are for those who want to decrease stress, or increase their overall activity level without wearing a traditional looking fitness tracker. There are also gifts for those who suffer from Blood Pressure problems or nausea from motion sickness, pregnancy or other causes. We hope you and your loved ones have a Happy and Healthy New Year in 2017 and that some of these gifts help with that.

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Muse Brain-Sensing Meditation Headband

muse-sort-nyt-logo-1-4 The Muse Brain-Sensing Meditation Headband is a great gift for anyone who wants to decrease their stress level. It acts as a personal meditation coach and is used in conjunction with the Muse app on your phone plus your own headphones. Muse fits comfortably across your forehead and behind your ears and measures your brain signals. Once Muse is in place it checks for proper fit and takes a baseline reading. The app then guides you through a series of meditation exercises. Whilst you meditate you listen to different soundscapes and the soundscapes respond to your brainwaves. For instance in the beach soundscape when you are calm and focussed you hear gently rolling waves and even birds singing, as your mind wanders the ocean becomes stormy and the waves crash louder. Unlike many other stress reduction devices, you don’t need to look at the screen whilst you are meditating, you can close your eyes and relax. I find the changing soundscape a much less intrusive way of reminding me to refocus than seeing changes on a screen or hearing a voice prompt. The sessions start short at 3 minutes, and you are encouraged to increase your time meditating as it becomes a habit. You can review your meditation settings and set reminders to help meditation become a regular routine.  I have found it a great tool to help me to meditate and I’m always much more relaxed after a Muse session. Available from Target, Amazon and other retailers for US$179.99

Spire- Mindfulness and Activity  Tracker

kubik-160425-spire_0973_side_table_2_final-2-1Spire is a tracker that not only looks and feels different from your standard activity tracker, it also has a different focus. Spire looks and feels like a well worn pebble and it monitors not only your steps but also your breathing.  The battery lasts for up to a week and it charges via a beautiful cork and metal induction charger, that can also acts as a USB charger for your phone. Spire’s focus is on measuring your breathing -your state of mind affects how you breathe, but how you breathe can also change your state of mind.  The Spire app includes focussed mini-meditation sessions. During the day Spire senses when you are becoming stressed and sends real-time notifications to remind you to take a deep breath or suggest ways to calm down. At the end of the day you can see what periods of calm, focus and tension you have had. Spire aims to improve your health by making you mindful of your breathing patterns and encouraging slow, deep breathing. Studies have shown that slow, deep and consistent breathing can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and increase the flow of endorphins in the blood stream. Available from Spire.ioAmazon and Apple Stores for US$99.99

Jabra Sports Pulse Special Edition Bluetooth Headphones with HR Monitoring

pulse_close-up-product-in-ear Music always makes it easier to work out. When you are actively training a good set of wireless Bluetooth headphones that will stay in place however hard you work is a must. The Jabra Sports Pulse special edition headphones  include 4 pairs of ear wings and 6 different pairs of EarGels (3 sizes of foam and 3 of silicon) to find your perfect fit. As well as providing great sound and a secure fit they also help you to fine tune your workout by measuring your Heart Rate. To get the most from the headphones use them with Jabra’s Sport Life™ app. With the app you can set personal goals based on distance, time, or calories burned. You can select a target pace or heart rate zone and even set up interval training. The app will keep you updated with audio coaching. You can also use the headphones and app to do 3 fitness tests: The Rockport Test- designed to measure your VO2 max level, The Orthostatic Heart Rate Test and The Resting Heart Rate Test.
They connect via Bluetooth and charge via USB with up to 5 hours battery life. Available from Jabra.com, Amazon and other retailers RRP  US$159.99

 

ReliefBand

home-reliefband ReliefBand was originally created as a single use device for chemotherapy patients, over time others learned of it and it became popular with boaters and in hospitals for other types of treatments.  I have always had nausea when flying or boating – it’s a fact of life for me.  I recently flew and I’m happy to say that with my ReliefBand I had no nausea and flew very comfortably.  You simply put on some gel similar to ultrasound gel on your wrist, put on the ReliefBand and then activate it so you can feel the pulse.  It begins to take effect in moments.  It is FDA cleared and endorsed by the medical profession for conditions related to nausea and vomiting including morning sickness and chemotherapy.  Read our full review. Available from  Relief Band’s website, West Marine, and Amazon.

 

Withings Wireless BP Monitor

Withings-WirelessBPM-Main-iOS-ENThe Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor  is a device designed to make it easier to measure, record and share blood pressure (BP) readings at home. It is incredibly easy to set up and use, . It charges via an included USB cable, and once charged it is totally wireless. It is used in conjunction with the Withings Health Mate app and gives immediate feedback on whether or not your reading is in the optimal range. The monitior automatically tracks measurements over time, sends reminders to take your BP, and makes it easy to share results with your doctor.  If  loved one has pre-hypertension, hypertension, or risk factors for it, the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is a great gift to make home blood pressure monitoring quick, easy and painless. Read our full review. Available from Withings.com, Amazonand other retailers RRP $129.95  (at time of press only $73 on Amazon)

 

Timex IQ+MOVE Women’s Gift Set

 

image004The IQ Move series is new from Timex this year. They are a series of analog watches with built-in activity trackers that are available in womens and mens styles. The Taupe/Turquoise womens gift set includes a taupe leather strap and an interchangeable turquoise silicon strap. It has a 36mm dial with INDIGLO® Night-Light and is water-resistant to 50M. It uses Bluetooth to synch with the Timex Connected app (compatible with iOS and Android). You can check your progress to goal in the app or with a quick glance at the sub-dial on the watch face. It also measures periods of deep and light sleep, as well as time awake, sleep efficiency percentage and average length of sleep. The IQ+ Move uses a traditional watch battery, so no charging is required. Available from BestBuy.com , Best Buy stores and  Timex.com  for US$149

 

Amazfit Ceramic Activity Tracker

silver_infinity_necklaceFor the woman (or man) who wants to track their activity but doesn’t like the look of traditional activity trackers the Amazfit Ceramic Activity Tracker is an elegant alternative. It is a smooth, shiny glazed ceramic disc inspired by the traditional Chinese jade pendant. It comes in white or black and can be worn in a variety of ways. My favorite way to wear it is with the optional Silver Infinity Necklace . I love how smooth the tracker is to the touch. As all the electronics are hidden inside it looks just like a fashion statement rather than an activity tracker. The tracker charges via an included induction charger and you can choose from a variety of fashionable wrist straps for times when you are actively working out and prefer to wear it on your wrist. It works with a smartphone app, it will track steps and also tracks sleep when worn on the wrist.  Available from Amazon and other retailers currently $55.99 for tracker charger and wristband, necklace $16.99

For additional gift ideas check out all our Gift Guides

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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
Review of the ALLDOCK 2015  Universal Charging Station by Dittrich Design

Review of the ALLDOCK 2015 Universal Charging Station by Dittrich Design

alldock

What we love…

Elegant design, hides cable clutter, well made,  one handed docking option, fast charging of 4 devices

Summary

I really like the design of the walnut ALLDOCK 2015, it is a much more elegant design than most charging stations and and looks good enough to have on display in my living room or on my office desk. It is powerful enough to charge even 4 iPads at once and versatile enough to use with a variety of different devices. The one-handed docking works very well and like how the one-handed docking adapter and Apple Watch mount via hidden magnets

Our Rating

recommended-by-the-imums

German Design Studio Dittrich Design launched the original ALLDOCK Charging Station via a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014, and have recently launched a new and improved version the ALLDOCK 2015 on Kickstarter. I had the opportunity to test out the medium sized ALLDOCK 2015 in walnut and the optional one-handed docking adapter, ALLDOCK micro-USB cables and Apple Watch Mount.

The number of products that charge via USB in my household seems to multiply almost daily so we are constantly charging devices and accessories. Between iPhones, iPads, Kindles, digital cameras and a huge assortment of accessories we are constantly juggling charging stations and wires and often end up with a tangled mess! The ALLDOCK 2015 from aims to change all that with a sleek, elegant design that hides all the cables.

Design

It is in essence a wooden box with a wooden grid on top, and a 4-port charging station hidden beneath the grid. The walnut has a nice grain to it and it is finished well, smooth to the touch with nicely rounded corners and hidden joints. The wooden grid rests on an interior shelf so the top of the grid is flush with the top of the box. The grid simply lifts off to access the charging station underneath if you need to change the cables in use. There are 4 slots in the grid with three cutouts in each slot. Charging cables can be threaded out through any of the slots, additionally the centre slots are designed to fit the “one-handed docking adapters” and the right side slots can fit their Apple Watch Mount ( and appears to be designed so they can add extra mount options in future.)

I tested out the one-handed docking adapter, ALLDOCK micro-USB cables and Apple Watch Mount with the ALLDOCK. Both the one-handed docking adapter and the Apple Watch Mount attach to the charging station via hidden magnets- which keeps them in place without detracting from the sleek look of the charging station. I really love the one- handed docking- it is much easier than fiddling with inserting a cable in a charging port. Having the capability to add the Apple Watch Mount to the charger is a nice feature. The ALLDOCK micro-USB cables are much shorter than regular charging cables so you don’t have any excess wires curled up inside the box. You can use regular cables too but may need to use some type of tie to keep the excess cable tidy.

The 3 front slots are all the same width- approximately 15mm and worked well with my iPhone and Android phones in cases and without, it also fit my iPad Air 2 and iPad mini in fairly slim cases. The rear slot is wider- approximately 19mm and is wide enough to fit my iPad 2 or 3 in a protective case such as the Trident Kracken, the iPad 3 in a Gumdrop case was a snugger fit but did still work and felt stable in the slot. You can also bring charging cables out to the side for items such as headphones or digital cameras that don’t fit in the slots.

Charging:

The ALLDOCK 2015 has had an upgrade to the charging unit as well compared to the previous model, so that it is more energy efficient. It has 4 charging outlets each capable of delivering up to 5v/2.4A, and the total output is 5v/10A, this means that you can charge 4 high demand devices such as 4 iPads at the same time at full charging speed.

 

Summary

Overall, I really like the design of the walnut ALLDOCK 2015, it is a much more elegant design than most charging stations and and looks good enough to have on display in my living room or on my office desk. It is powerful enough to charge even 4 iPads at once and versatile enough to use with a variety of different devices. The one-handed docking works very well and like how the one-handed docking adapter and Apple Watch mount via hidden magnets. The wood of the case is beautifully finished with a smooth finish, rounded edges and hidden joints. The front slots work well for smartphones or newer tablets such as the iPad Air or mini and will work with the tablet in a case if it isn’t too bulky, the rear slot will fit an iPad 2/3/4 even in a protective case.

  • The ALLDOCK 2015 is available now on Kickstarter and it is a great time to get it at a discount. I would recommend the ALLDOCK 2015 for anyone looking for an elegant, versatile, powerful charging solution for multiple devices, I would also recommend adding on the one-handed docking adapters. The Apple Watch Mount is a nice add on if you have an Apple Watch. You can use your own cables, but getting the short micro USB or lightning cables will make it easier to organize.

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).
Activité Pop Smart Watch by Withings – Review

Activité Pop Smart Watch by Withings – Review

Activité Pop Coral Pink KEY Visual_HD

What we love…

Stylish, doesn’t look like an activity tracker!, waterproof, automatic sleep and activity tracking, long lasting battery

What we’d love to see…

sensitive swim tracker and the ability to store more data in the watch

Summary

The Activité Pop is the perfect solution for those who want to track their activity and sleep but don’t want to wear an activity tracker! It is stylish, has the look and feel of a nice watch rather than an activity tracker, its durable, waterproof, has a vibration alarm and automatically records sleep and activity.

Our Rating

 

recommended-by-the-imums

Do you like the idea of tracking your activity and sleep but don’t want to wear an activity tracker ? Then the Activité Pop from Withings may be just what you are looking for. At first glance the Activité Pop is just a colorful and stylish watch, but hidden inside is a tracker that works with your smartphone to monitor your activity and sleep. Activité Pop is available in 4 colors- Shark Grey (dark grey), Bright Azure (blue), Wild Sand (light grey) and Limited Edition Coral Pink available exclusively from Best Buy. I tested the Coral Pink version.

I’ve been using the Activité Pop for the last month and although I’ve had comments complimenting me on my new watch, no-one has guessed it is an activity tracker! When wearing an activity tracker I find I’m prone to losing ones attached to my clothing or shoes, so a wrist worn device works best for me. However, I still really like to wear a watch, so wearing an activity tracker in place of my watch is a big compromise for me. The Activité Pop is a great solution, as I still get to wear a stylish analog watch but with all the functionality of a fitness tracker.

Activité Pop Coral Pink1

Activité Pop has minute and hour hands and a smaller sub-dial that tracks the % of your step goal that you have made for the day. It is used in conjunction with the Withings Health Mate app, which is a free app available for both iOS and Android, I tested the iOS version.

Activité Pop connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone. The time on the watch is automatically synched to your phone time, so if you change time zones (or the clocks go back or forward) when your phone time resets so does the watch. The watch has an alarm feature that you set via the app, it wakes you up with a vibration rather than a sound. I found this less intrusive than an audio alarm and has the added bonus that it doesn’t wake my husband sleeping beside me on days when we need to get up at different times. Because the alarm is set via the app rather than directly on the app you do need to remember to synch the Activité Pop and app after any changes e.g. if you have set the alarm to only go off on weekdays make sure to synch it on Friday.

Within the app you can enter your personal details such as height, weight, gender and age, plus set a goal for your activity level. It measures your steps taken and automatically calculates calories burned, % of steps goal met, and distance walked. It also automatically tracks your sleep. It automatically detects walking running and swimming.

It records when you went to bed, when you got up, how long you slept for and how quickly you fell asleep. It color-codes each part of your night into 3 categories: awake, light sleep and deep sleep, you can see how long you were in each phase and see a graph of how you slept throughout the night.

In Use

I have found the Activité Pop very comfortable to wear, the silicon strap is soft and flexible. As it is waterproof I don’t have to worry about taking it off when I shower or swim which means I won’t forget to put it back on! I love that it has the look and feel of a watch rather than looking like an activity tracker. It runs on a standard watch battery so I don’t have to constantly re-charge it, just replace the battery when it runs out. Withings estimate the battery life to be approximately 8 months, I have not yet replaced it.

I did find the HeathMate app a little confusing to navigate at first – it took me a while to find out how to set the alarm! However, once I got used to its layout it was pretty straight forward to navigate. I tend to keep the app on “timeline” view- where you can see your sleep and activity data for today, plus you can scroll down to see data for previous days, weekly totals and badges earned. You can tap on individual days sleep or activity  graph to study it in more detail. For times when you did more sustained bursts of activity these are listed individually showing time, distance and calories burned.

I was quite excited about the feature that automatically tracks whether you are walking, running or swimming, but I was a little disappointed to see that the swimming feature didn’t seem to work for me. I don’t know if you need to have a particular stroke style to trigger it, but I did go swimming at least 4 or 5 times wearing it without it registering that I was swimming. I wasn’t swimming laps- which I suspect would have been more likely to work but I was snorkeling and recreationally swimming in a hotel pool.

The data from the Activité Pop is stored in the app, so it does need to contact your smartphone on a regular basis to download the data from the watch. I did find if they were not connected for several days that I had some gaps in my data, so I would recommend synching daily.

Overall I really like the Activité Pop- it is stylish, has the look and feel of a nice watch rather than an activity tracker, its durable, waterproof, has a vibration alarm and automatically records my sleep and activity without me needing to think about it. I like the fact it has a long lasting watch battery instead of needing frequent charging. In future models I would like to see a more sensitive swim tracker and the ability to store more data in the watch so you can synch less frequently without loosing data. The Activité Pop is the perfect solution for people who want to track their activity and sleep but don’t want to wear an activity tracker!

Activité Pop is available from Withings.com, Amazon, Best Buy and other retailers RRP $149.95

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.

 

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

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