Fitness and wellness kit that looks as good as it feels

From strength-training to sleep – there’s an elegant answer

Set of Hock Loft dumbbells (five pairs weighing 2-6kg) with walnut and stainless-steel stand, $6,675
Set of Hock Loft dumbbells (five pairs weighing 2-6kg) with walnut and stainless-steel stand, $6,675

Winsome weights

Working out becomes something of an aesthetic as well as an athletic pursuit in the hands of Hock, the German maker of luxury fitness equipment founded in 2009. Minimalist, sculptural style defines the Loft dumbbells, key to its product range. Sold in pairs (1-6kg, from $525 to $1,050) or as entire sets (five pairs weighing 2-6kg each, $6,675) complete with stands in oiled walnut and brushed stainless steel. Heftier Diskus dumbbell pairs weighing from 8kg ($1,400) to 20kg ($2,050) have raised ergonomic handles (full sets, 8-18kg, $14,050; 10-20kg, $14,700). Robusto hand weights in beautiful oval shapes fit neatly into the palm for use while stretching or running, and are available in simple wooden finishes ($325) and hand-sewn leather (from $325) in caramel, sand, anthracite and orange. CHRISTINA OHLY EVANS

Geo Blue Combo yoga mat, £64 ($1 from each sale supports urban youth yoga programmes)
Geo Blue Combo yoga mat, £64 ($1 from each sale supports urban youth yoga programmes) | Image: Andy Barter

An Earth-friendly yoga mat

This eye-catching Geo Blue yoga mat (£64) is as practical and eco-friendly as it is a delight to look at. Its ultra-absorbent microfibre surface is made from recycled plastic bottles and its base is of tree rubber. As a boon, it’s also machine-washable, so it is perfect for Bikram and other hot classes. BEATRICE HODGKIN


A smart runner’s companion

The Run Angel (€90), a wristwatch-style device, looks like a fitness tracker, but is in fact a safety aid aimed at runners, walkers, cyclists and hikers. Most of its interior is a large acoustic chamber. A touch of the button and its primary feature – a 120-decibel squeal – ensues, and will continue if necessary for an hour. Technically, that is equivalent to standing in front of the speakers at a gig, and although it doesn’t seem anything like that loud, it’s exceptionally penetrating, so knowing I had this gadget would make me feel a lot more secure when exercising. The Run Angel isn't just an audible alarm. It also flashes SOS in Morse code, visible at night. And via the phone you should always have with you when running somewhere remote, it will send texts and emails to designated guardians detailing your exact position if you have an accident. A life-saver. JONATHAN MARGOLIS

Run Angel, €90
Run Angel, €90 | Image: Hugh Threlfall

A singular skipping rope

A handsome piece of technological wizardry, the Tangram Smart Rope (€79.95) contains LED lights that flash the skip-count in the air as the rope flicks past the user’s eyes. It can also be linked to an app that gives a full performance readout. One, two, three… RAPHAËLLE HELMORE

Tangram Smart Rope, available in chrome, gold and black, $79.95
Tangram Smart Rope, available in chrome, gold and black, $79.95 | Image: Andy Barter

A wellness-tracking ring

I can’t abide Fitbit-type bracelets, but I always felt I’d make an exception for a health tracker I could use unobtrusively 24/7. The Apple Watch is a good tracker, but I don’t wear it at weekends (the constant notifications are antisocial) or keep it on in bed. Motiv has been a US-only product until recently. Finnish company Oura, meanwhile, has beaten Motiv to it in these parts and its smart rings are quite awesome, both in functionality and engineering. I also prefer the look of Oura’s rings (from €314). It took me no more than a few hours to get used to wearing the Oura, and within a day I felt we’d be together for life. This tiny, seamless thing, which contains 80 electronic components  – including a battery with power for a week – is extraordinary. But it’s the richness of data it collects – both by day and, most interestingly, through the night – that has blown my bedsocks off. Sleep time (precisely accurate), number of wake-ups, deep sleep, REM, heart rate through the night, respiratory rate, temperature… it’s all there – plus really insightful analysis and interpretation. JONATHAN MARGOLIS

Oura ring, from €314
Oura ring, from €314



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