11 Thoughtful Gifts for Runners

iStock.com/skynesher
iStock.com/skynesher

There are a lot of exercise options out there, but one of the most popular—running—remains the simplest. That doesn’t mean you can’t accessorize or improve comfort. Check out 11 gifts for the pavement-pounding enthusiast in your life.

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1. Smartwool Phd Insulatd Training Gloves

A look at a pair of Smartwool PHD insulated gloves that are used for running
Amazon

Cut down on the effects of brisk winter with the Smartwool PhD glove, which offers wind resistance, reflective stripes for visibility, and touchscreen-compatible thumb and forefinger pads.

Find It at Amazon for $60 and also at these other retailers:

2. Garmin Forerunner 35

A Garmin Forerunner 35 smart watch displays its heart rate monitoring feature
Amazon

There are dozens of fitness and smart watches out there. While we can’t tell you there’s a clear number one, we can tell you no one is going to be disappointed with the Garmin Forerunner, which tracks your running paths, distances, and speed without having to use your cell phone. You can also monitor your heart rate without use of a chest strap. Reading all this data is easy with the vibrant, simple display.

Find It at Amazon for $158.

3. Osprey Duro 6 Running Hydration Vest

The Osprey Duro 6 vest provides hydration for runners
Amazon

Know a trail runner? Deck them out in this hydration vest that lets them tote up to 1.5 liters of water as well as food and other supplies without the need for arm straps or other compartments. A sensible strap system makes sure the vest doesn’t bounce during movement.

Find It at REI for $110.

4. Nike Elite Cushioned Socks

The Nike Elite sock offers cushioning for runners
Nike

Nike’s wool-blend sock was designed with runners in mind. The “splash zone” over the toes resist water, while the zoned cushioning makes sure your feet don’t take a beating.

Find It at Nike for $26 and up.

5. Extreme Sport Jelly Beans

A look at the packaging for the Extreme Sport Beans from Jelly Belly
Jelly Belly

Who knew jelly beans could be beneficial to athletic performance? Jelly Belly’s Extreme Sport Beans give long-distance runners a burst of energy thanks to caffeine and electrolytes, all in an easy-to-snack jelly bean for eating on the go.

Find It at Jelly Belly for $8.

6. FlexFixx Footfixx Massage Ball Therapy Set

A look at the FlexFixx FootFixx massage ball set
Amazon

If you run, your feet are destined to hurt. Help ward off chronic foot problems with this massage ball therapy set that works out stressed foot muscles. Each ball and roller in the set targets a different area of the foot for all-over relief.

Find It at Amazon for $19 and also at these other retailers:

7. Nordictrack C990 Treadmill

A woman runs on the NordicTrack C990 treadmill
Amazon

For runners faced with subzero temperatures or pressed for time, a quality treadmill can make sure they stick to a routine. Avoid lower-quality treadmills with the C990, a well-built, adjustable-incline unit that brings commercial gym reliability at a reasonable price. The 7-inch, web-enabled touchscreen lets users follow workout programs. Pavement hard on the feet? You can opt for underfoot cushioning that lightens foot impact on the treadmill surface. It’s the complete package.

Find It at Amazon for $999.

8. Higo LED Slap Armband

A woman wears the Higo LED slap armband
Amazon

Sometimes schedules necessitate getting a run in at night, but visibility can be a concern. Light up so drivers can see you with this LED armband that easily “slaps” over your wrists or arm without the need to tie or secure straps. You can even set the bands to blink to make sure you don’t go unnoticed while jogging along roads.

Find It at Amazon at $7 and also at these other retailers:

9. Remodeez Odor Eliminator

Remodeez Odor Eliminators are tucked inside shoes and sneakers
Amazon

Stinky soles are a badge of honor for runners, but their spouses, kids, and pets probably don’t appreciate the stench. Kill unwanted odors with these reusable odor eliminators, which use activated charcoal to absorb rather than just cover unwanted smells.

Find It at Amazon for $10 and also at these other retailers:

10. The Complete Runner's Day-by-day Log 2019 Calendar

A look at the front cover of the Runner's Log 2019 calendar
Amazon

Give runners a sense of accomplishment with this daily log that allows them to record run stats and read motivational quotes to keep them moving.

Find It at Amazon for $10 and also at these other retailers:

11. Goodr OG Sunglasses

A pair of Goodr OG sunglasses sit on top of a beer cooler
GOODR

Avoid harsh sunlight with these delightfully retro glasses that disguise a high level of performance. Goodr’s line resists bouncing against your nose and won’t slip off during sprints.

Find It at Goodr for $25.

7 Ways to Take Advantage of the Bullet Journal Method

iStock.com/Neustockimages
iStock.com/Neustockimages

If you haven't heard of the bullet journal, it's the productivity method du jour—one that combines the features of a planner, calendar, to-do list, diary, and more. It's not a specific product (although the founder of the method, Ryder Carroll, has created a special notebook for it) as much as a way of creating a journaling system that works for you.

Proponents say the method helps you focus your time and your goals, in part through periodic "migration" sessions that force you to review how you've been spending your days. And yes, it's popular on Instagram—because many bullet journalers have filled their notebooks with colorful flair. (But that part is entirely optional.)

While core components of the bullet journal system like monthly spreads and daily logs are great, many bullet journalers like to add other features that fit their own life. After all, the beauty of the method is the customization and flexibility. We've rounded up a few ideas for new and not-so-new bullet journalers alike to try.

1. Track—and fuel—your creative projects.

Let's say that, like most people, you have a day job. But at night, you're writing the next Great American Novel—or at least some short stories. You might get an idea related to one of those projects on your morning commute or while taking a walk in the park at lunch. There's no time to pull out the manuscript, and if you email yourself the idea it might get lost in a jumble of newsletters and other alerts.

Instead, just start a new page for the project in your journal, note it in your index, and scribble away. You can come back to it later, and fill in other, non-sequential pages in the journal as the mood strikes. Your journal probably isn't the best place to write whole stories, but it's perfect if you just had a mini-breakthrough you want to take down, or even as a way to keep track of potential prompts and inspiration.

2. Improve your habits.

Habit trackers are some of the most popular add-ons to the regular bullet journal time-oriented spreads. You can make yours cute—tracking the number of glasses of water you drink a day by coloring in a big glass, say—or more minimalist, perhaps by listing the habits you want to build (yoga, waking up early) on the left next to a chart of days and coloring in the days you manage to do the habit. You can also create a page just to log you often you do one particular thing—drinking alcohol, for example. Some people even use their bullet journals to track food and digestive symptoms, either by creating a section for a food journal or just noting in their daily log when they eat a certain food and how it makes them feel.

3. Save money.

You can create a custom spread for your monthly budget, track all your expenses, or just track your purchases in a particular category (say, eating out) if there's a particular type of spending you're trying to curb. The design can be as crafty as you like—whether you're coloring in bricks that represent each $50 saved toward a house or just filling in columns noting every time you make a purchase. The key is that, as with health habits, writing something down can serve as a powerful motivator and/or deterrent, since you know you'll have to come face-to-face with yourself at the end of the month.

4. Plan your meals.

Nothing combines health and finance goals quite like planning your meals. You can make your meal plan a section of your weekly spread: Carroll, the bullet journal's creator, likes to set up a list of meals on the left page of his notebook and a shopping list of ingredients on the right. Dividing the items by categories (like meat, produce, and pantry staples) can speed things up at the store, too. It's great to do this at home so you can check the fridge and see what you're missing. Then, when you're done shopping, note how much you spent at the bottom of the list. You can track that to develop insights about your grocery budget.

Over time, you can also create lists to help you with meal planning, perhaps "Favorite Weeknight Dinners," "Easy Work Lunches," etc. Some people also like to create a master grocery list of frequently bought items they can consult whenever they're at the store, just in case they forget to write staples down on their weekly shopping list.

5. Remember the good things.

In our flurry of to-do lists, project deadlines, and meal plans, it can be easy to forget about the things that brighten our days, whether it's an especially funny joke from a colleague or a milestone in a child's development. Create a "memories" page (don't forget to log it in your index!) where you record the great stuff that happens, and pull it out to reflect whenever you're having a gray day. Some bullet journalers like to put pages like this toward the back of their journals to separate them out from the time-oriented spreads. A memories page is also a great opportunity to bust out some thematic artwork.

6. Track your reading lists.

Another great way to encourage better habits is through a reading log. Like a memory log, many people like to put this toward the back of their journal, although ultimately the placement is totally up to you. You can keep track of all the books you read this year, perhaps with notes on what you thought of them—a definite resource when you're drawing up those year-end best-of lists to share with other reading pals!

7. Pair it with an app.

While the bullet journal is touted as "the analog method for the digital age," most of us don't want to go full-on analog. There's now an official companion app that will help you organize and search your old bullet journals, help you learn the method, offer prompts, and serve as a log for when you're away from your journal. It's designed as an addition to the journal, not a replacement, so you still need to put in that time with pen (or pencil, or watercolor brush) and paper.

Bullet journals also pair well with apps like Evernote—for example, you can use Evernote on your smartphone to snap photos of text you scrawl down to save digitally for later use. (Maybe those on-the-fly notes on your novel go into an Evernote notebook that you consult when you have a bit more time, for example.) That's a good option for longer-term projects that might span a couple notebooks.

Many people also use both bullet journals and an online calendar, using the latter for fixed events like birthdays and doctors appointments and the former as more of a way to time-block the day and focus on goals. After all, the beauty of the bullet journal is that unlike digital space, the paper in your notebook is finite—which helps you realize that so is your time and energy. That makes it easier to plan accordingly.

This Ingenious Hanger Makes Hanging Pants a Breeze, No Clips or Folds Required

Hurdle Hanger
Hurdle Hanger

Get ready to clean out your closet. No, we don’t mean going all Marie Kondo on your clothes. There’s a new type of clothes hanger that promises to change the way you store your clothes, taking the headache out of hanging up your pants.

The Hurdle Hanger, which has currently raised more than $33,000 on Kickstarter, calls itself the “one-second pants hanger.” Rather than relying on cumbersome clips or requiring bulky folding techniques, the hanger design employs one very simple change: It hooks into the belt loops of your pants.

The angular hanger is open on one side so that you can slide the bar through the belt loops of your pants, letting you secure your pants in one smooth motion rather than struggling with the pant clips that will just wrinkle your waistband anyway.

A person slides the Hurdle Hanger through the belt loops of a pants to hang them.
Hurdle Hanger

Just slide the hanger bar through the belt loop (or loops) farthest from you, then hang the belt loop closest to you from the hook. There is another hook midway across the bar that secures the middle belt loop, keeping your pants from drooping while they hang. In another subtle touch, you can use the same hook to hang smaller items, like belts or hats, off the side.

The Hurdle Hanger is an example of smart design at its finest—the kind of idea that, when you see it in action, makes you think, “Wait, how did no one think of this before?” It takes a once-cumbersome task and makes it seamless, eliminating at least some of the burden that may be keeping you from accomplishing the chore of hanging up your clothes. No more messing with clips or trying to shove pants through the cramped hole in the hanger to fold them over.

There are already open-end pants hangers that make it easier to slide a folded pair of slacks into your closet, but the belt loop hooks take the Hurdle Hanger to another level. You might even get inspired enough to start hanging your jeans.

A 10-pack of hangers is $20 on Kickstarter—though anything that makes you actively excited to organize your closet is priceless.

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