15 honest reviews of products we've tried this month | Nike
Every month The Huffington Post Canada's Living team will review products or experiences that have sparked our curiosity, made us sweat or is the latest, trendiest thing in the world of healthy living.
The world of fitness apps, workout gear and niche classes — it can get overwhelming if you're looking for a new way to get fit or live healthy.
This month, we focused a majority of our reviews on workout gear (from bras to pants to a long-sleeve T-shirt) to fitness bands that monitor steps, sleeping habits and your mood.
We also tried a workout app that seems to be on every fitness lover's radar. Yes, we're talking about Sweat With Kayla.
Check out our list below and let us know what you want us to try out next!
First impressions: Wow, look at these colours. The pants are beautiful and while I'm not so much focused on what workout gear looks like, this is definitely something for the trendy bunch.
Pros: These pants fit like glove. A problem I often have with any type of running or training pants is the fit, and how, during your run or workout, they seem to slide down. On the flip-side, nobody wants to work out in pants that are too tight either. These Nike pants also include mesh panels and a Dri-FIT feature, making them ideal for running outdoors.
Cons: Although they are $56 on the site right now, the full price of these pants is $80. While they're not ideal for someone on a budget, they're definitely a pair you can invest in.
Final words: If you're running outdoors regularly and throughout the year, these are the pants to add to your wardrobe.
Pros: Everything you need is in one box, and it all syncs via bluetooth. The wrist band feels almost weightless on your hand and was designed with indents on the back to allow for airflow between the band and your skin.
The best part of Healthbox is the community that comes with it. Under Armour is the parent company of My Fitness Pal, Map My Run and Map My Fitness, which all sync up to the company's new record app. The app also allows you to create challenges between friends who also have the product. You can create challenges based on weight loss, exercise duration, steps taken and so much more.
This feature alone will get you moving, because there's nothing more motivating than a little competition among friends. The app's dashboard page also gives you a quick look at your daily stats, how many steps you took, how many calories you consumed or burned and even how long you've slept. Click into any of these categories and you get a closer look at the real time tracking. And, unlike other fitness trackers, this system also includes a heart rate monitor you can wear across your chest.
Cons: The band doesn't automatically detect when you switch from running to walking to biking or yoga, so if you're working out you'll want to scroll over to the fitness tracker and indicate the workout you are doing for better accuracy.
Charging the band is also a bit of a struggle since it connects only with a magnet. On more than one occasion I thought my band was charging when in reality the magnet was not in the proper position. I'd also love to see the app allow for more flexibility with challenges as it currently restricts you to the six built-in options.
Final words: The price is very steep, but considering most digital scales and some fitness trackers run for over $200 a piece, this package is worth the splurge.
First impressions: I've tried several sports bras in my time with very few that can actually support my size. As a 34E, I often have a hard time finding sports bras from generic stores that can provide support.
Pros: This sports bra holds everything together. Ideal for running and any type of cardio workout (like skipping!), I found this bra to be very supportive. The bands were a good size, the straps didn't dig into my shoulders and the shape of the bra is pretty decent as well.
Cons: Like most bras, it's a little uncomfortable at first and because it's a tighter fit, you feel a little squished in the beginning.
Final words: If you have a large bust, this is the sports bra for you. Your running and burpees are about to change.
First impressions: Finally, a fitness band that goes with all of your outfits.
Pros: Unlike the other fitbit I tested, this band actually looked pretty sleek and was ultra intuitive. With a flick of the wrist the band would light up displaying the date and time. With a forceful swipe you can view your steps, how many calories you've burned, distance travelled and notices from your phone. The band's charger is also equipped with a clip to ensure it stays put and keeps charging.
Cons: Since the band sits flush on your skin I often felt irritated by it. After a workout, my wrist would get sticky and sometimes even turn red.
Final words: This band is great for beginners who are looking to incorporate a little more activity into their lifestyle.
Cons: There are so many features on this watch that they make the watch really confusing to use. The band gave me both a bruise and rash since the plastic band stuck to my skin while the metal face kept bumping on my wrist bone. The band claims to be equipped with SmartTrack (the technology that made the Alta so intuitive) however it failed to record numerous workouts.
Final words: This band nearly turned me off fitness bands all together.
First impressions: These ones in particular are incredibly comfortable.
Pros: For my test-drive, not only did I run with these shoes (no problem), but I also decided to go on a 13km hike. The foam on the bottom kept my feet pain-free for hours and although I did sweat, the shoes were very dry.
Cons: I really don't have cons about these shoes, but I would've gone with another colour.
Final words: If you're in need of good walking shoes for the summer, these are definitely worth it.
First impressions: I hate kale chips with a passion, but was intrigued by these when I saw flavours like "The Big Chipotle" and "Bollywood Blast."
Pros: If you have any allergies, these chips are gluten-free, nut-free and peanut-free. But besides this, they're pretty delicious as an afternoon snack. Under 200 calories per package, one serving has three grams of sugar (from dates) and 13 grams of fat.
Cons: "The Big Chipotle" is a little salty in one go, so we suggest sticking with "Nearly Naked" as a starter.
Final words: For $4 you can't go wrong. Just make sure you eat it in one go.
What is it:Spokehaus: An indoor full-body cycling workout
Price: $28 per class
Review By: Joy D'Souza, Living Editor
First impressions: This is like clubbing but on a bike.
Pros: You can burn almost 1000 calories in one 45-minute session. You also get to listen to fun, upbeat music and you work out your entire body, not just your legs.
First impressions: Those before and after transformations can't be real.
Pros: Four seven-minute intervals mean you're done a workout in just 28 minutes. The e-book explains each exercise in detail and tells you when to do each workout. Since the routine exploded on Instagram, participants can search #BBG for a massive (and supportive) online community.
Cons: While the guides are now available on an app, users have complained about the steep price: $19.99 a month.
Final words: These workouts will leave you noticeably stronger, but don't expect chiseled abs or toned arms if you don't clean up your diet too.
Pros: It's zero calories, approved by Health Canada, non-prescription and it actually worked.
Cons: Though it's natural, it's not recommended for pregnant woman or persons under the age of 18.
Final words: I don't usually have a hard time sleeping, but one night I was feeling restless and decided to try this. The bottle suggests taking dream water 30 minutes before bed. Within 20 minutes I started to feel my eyes get heavy and shortly after I fell asleep.
Pros: Tracks steps, calories and sleep. Affordable, small, minimalist, light and the removal battery means you don't need to charge it.
Cons: Limited functionality, lacks established social network of users, had issues syncing with my phone.
Final words: If you're looking for a bare bones fitness tracker, the Mistfit Shine is a decent entry-level device. It counts sleep, steps and calories but uses points and level-sets you against a daily average to make it easy to work towards a target.
It also functions as a pseudo clock when you double tap the device which is nifty if you're not in the mood to pull out your phone. But its neatest function is how you can check daily progress by tapping the face which gives you this cool vibe, like you're Tony Stark's Iron Man suit powering up.
Users already familiar with any fitness tracker or smartwatch will want to pass on the Shine as 99 per cent of the device's functionality is already found or done better in existing devices.