Worrying about what to get the physically active? Get a grip.
Push-up grips by Nike. A guy can never have too many push-up stands. I keep a pair at the office, in my bedroom, and in the car. You never know when you'll get the urge to go down for 50. The advantage over regular push-ups: a deeper drop and fuller range of motion so you can really tax the muscles of the shoulders, arms, back, and chest. Plus, you won't dirty your hands. I like this particular model, at $20, because the grips are comfortable and the bases detach easily for compact storage and transport. (Available at Sports Authority and www.nike.com)
I Want to Look Like That Guy. This informative and entertaining documentary follows Stuart MacDonald, a schlumpy, ordinary guy, as he tries to achieve six-pack abs and look like the ripped Adonises in fitness ads. Bodybuilding champ Jeff Willet tutors MacDonald in weightlifting, goal-setting, nutrition supplements, and stringent dieting. After shedding 50 pounds and dropping his body fat to single digits, MacDonald enters a bodybuilding contest. How does he do? And what hard truth did he learn? Buy the DVD and find out. ($29.95, plus shipping, at www.jeffwillet.com)
aero Sling Elite. Like Thoreau, I believe in keeping it simple. That's why I'm an advocate of body-weight exercises - push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups. This ingenious device uses body-weight resistance to challenge muscles through a wide range of motion. The instability of the straps taxes the core and recruits ancillary muscles. It can be attached to doors, hooks, pipes, and trees. By adjusting the anchor point and your distance from it, you can alter the load. The sling is portable and can be used with yoga and Pilates. ($189, plus shipping, at www.aeroslingelite.com)
TrekDesk Treadmill Desk. For a kinetic guy like me, sitting at a desk all day is agony. The TrekDesk, which bridges any size treadmill, makes it possible to exercise and accomplish brain work at the same time. Health authorities recommend that we take at least 10,000 steps a day to stay fit and trim. With a treadmill desk, you can get in your steps while also doing online research, answering e-mail, or balancing your checkbook. By moving instead of sitting, some users have shed 50 pounds and more in a year. The desktop is spacious, the height adjustable. ($479, including shipping, at www.trekdesk.com)