En­sure the gear you in­vest in is more than sim­ply dec­o­ra­tive. Th­ese in­no­va­tions will up­grade both body and mind (and they look pretty damn cool, too)

Men's Health (UK) - - Editor's Letter - MH_TECH_ISSUE_2017

Re­cal­i­brat­ing your body doesn’t start and end with your smart­phone. When it comes to op­ti­mis­ing mood, per­for­mance and mus­cle, there are plenty of gad­gets fit for pur­pose. Our half-cen­tury will make you a hap­pier, health­ier man. It’s time for a re­boot

Words by Lee Bell Pho­tog­ra­phy by Luke Kir­wan

01 THE BACK UP

Keep your cam­era and lap­top se­cure in this 2.3kg ruck­sack. As well as be­ing wa­ter­re­pel­lent, it boasts an origami-style di­vider sys­tem that folds around your gear for cus­tom-fit pro­tec­tion. Mean­while, its spe­cially en­gi­neered straps dis­trib­ute the load, pro­tect­ing your pos­ture on those tax­ing ex­pe­di­tions, ac­cord­ing to Alan Hedge, pro­fes­sor of er­gonomics at Cor­nell Univer­sity. Plus, it holds your gym kit just as ef­fec­tively. Thule Covert DSLR Roll­top Back­pack £ 170 thule.com

02 THE HOME SUS­PEN­SION

In­vest­ing in gym-free kit is a smart move. With a study by the Amer­i­can Coun­cil on Ex­er­cise find­ing that TRX work­outs torch an av­er­age of 400 calo­ries per ses­sion – with sig­nif­i­cant de­creases in waist cir­cum­fer­ence and body fat per­cent­age – it beats queu­ing for equip­ment. TRX Home Gym Sus­pen­sion Trainer £149 trx­train­ing.co.uk

03 THE PACE MAKER

Con­ven­tional wis­dom dic­tates you need to change up your run­ning shoes ev­ery 12 months. If you’re in the mar­ket for some fresh kicks, New Bal­ance’s lat­est of­fer­ing is for­ti­fied with patented Revlite blown-rub­ber cush­ion­ing to im­prove en­durance. Not only will this re­duce your risk of shin splints and rolled an­kles, but its moulded trenches of­fer more speed-boost­ing pop all the way to the fin­ish line. It’s equally at home on road, syn­thetic tracks and tread­mills over half-marathon dis­tances. New Bal­ance Vazee Pace v2 Run­ning Shoes £70

new­bal­ance.co.uk

04 THE COUN­TRY TRAILS CRUISER

Ac­cord­ing to Dr Jamie Burr – an ex­pert in hu­man health at the Univer­sity of Guelph – off-road ad­ven­tures can help pre­vent heart disease and sleep dis­or­ders. Driv­ing a 4x4 through the odd rough patch is even thought to place a sim­i­lar ex­er­tion on your body to jog­ging. And should you de­cide to park up for a quick run, the new G-class SUV dis­trib­utes torque evenly, which is very good news for your DOMS. Mercedes G-class from £89,355 mercedes-benz.co.uk

05 THE OVER-EAR INNOVATORS

Mu­sic is the best weapon against pro­cras­ti­na­tion, so says Stan­ford Univer­sity School of Medicine, which found that plug­ging in su­per­charges the neu­ral lobes that im­prove fo­cus. The MH40S are the best cans for the job. Not only will their mem­ory foam pads can­cel out noise, they’ll do it with a crys­tal-clear au­dio pro­file, thanks to their 45mm neodymium driv­ers. Master & Dy­namic MH40 Leather Over-ear Head­phones £379 master dy­namic.com

06 THE PEAK PI­O­NEER

Ca­pa­ble of reach­ing 23mph with a 10-mile bat­tery range, this mo­torised snow­board might just be the ac­cept­able al­ter­na­tive to adults com­mut­ing to work on mi­croscoot­ers. Just. Not only will it help you build the core sta­bil­ity you’d get shred­ding real pow­der, re­search pub­lished by Ap­plied re­searchin Qual­ity of life found that 90% of snow-sport en­thu­si­asts sur­veyed re­ported an im­prove­ment in men­tal health. With time spent in na­ture shown to re­duce stress, even the lo­cal park can help you hit your peak. Leif es­now­board £ 1200 leiftech.com

07 THE LO­GIS­TI­CAL LOCKDOWN

While a daily spin will slash your risk of heart disease, hav­ing your bike nicked will have the op­po­site ef­fect. Here, then, is a se­cu­rity gad­get that stands up to bi­cy­cle thieves by emit­ting a high-pitched alarm when dis­turbed. Us­ing your smart­phone, you can also check when and where your bike was last ac­cessed – handy af­ter a few drinks. Nokē Smart U-lock £ 150 noke.com

08 THE BLOW TO THE SYS­TEM

Based on a weapon used by Hindu and Per­sian war­riors in the 13th cen­tury, the steel mace is a full-body train­ing tool that en­gages sta­biliser mus­cles around the joints to in­crease core and ro­ta­tional strength. Just a few rounds will im­prove grip and mo­bil­ity. Set For Set Steel Mace Per­sonal Fit­ness Tool £65 set­forset.com

09 THE SHOT TO GO

Wa­caco’s on-the-go cof­fee maker uses mess-free pods, and at 350g is one of the light­est porta­bles on the mar­ket. With a 70ml ca­pac­ity, you get two shots, while the abil­ity to swap pods means you can tweak caf­feine lev­els. And since cof­fee is be­lieved to re­duce the risk of Parkin­son’s, this could be your daily jolt of longer life. Wa­caco Mini­presso NS Portable Espresso Maker £45 bearand­bear.com

10 THE BRIGHT SPARK

Any de­camp­ment to the great out­doors is in­com­plete with­out a hot re­fuel amid the wilds you’ve just con­quered. At 4kg and 29cm wide, the new Primus Kin­jia stove is a sturdy hik­ing com­pan­ion. Not only will a good feed re­store your glyco­gen lev­els, eat­ing out­doors can also boost im­mu­nity. Bon ap­pétit. Primus Kin­jia Stove £ 135 out­doorgear.co.uk

11 THE TUNE-UP

En­gi­neered to with­stand wa­ter and grit, B&O’S wire­less head­phones are its most ro­bust yet. The cus­tom Sweat­guard mem­brane can even help pre­vent hu­mid­ity from en­ter­ing the ear dur­ing a heavy ses­sion. They can also speed your re­cov­ery – this break­through courtesy of re­searchers at Narayana Med­i­cal Col­lege, who dis­cov­ered that keep­ing the rhythm go­ing fol­low­ing a de­hy­drat­ing work­out speeds up the sta­bil­i­sa­tion of blood pres­sure, help­ing you fo­cus on PBS not pains. It’s mu­sic to your ears. Beo­play H5 Head­phones £ 199 beo­play.com

12 THE FISH OUT OF WA­TER

From cast­ing be­gin­ner to an­gling ex­pert, the Te­ton Smart Rod fuses tra­di­tional Ja­panese tenkara bam­boo cane with an ul­tra-light­weight tele­scopic rod for pre­cise line-throw­ing and swivel tips to help you land a mon­ster catch. But it’s not just about the catch of the day – In­di­ana Univer­sity Bloom­ing­ton found that cast­ing a rod ev­ery now and then can help ease ten­sion. Tenkara Rod Co Te­ton Smart Rod £ 130 tenkarar­o­dco.com

13 THE CLOSE EN­COUNTER

Whether you’re seek­ing out the per­fect bivouac dur­ing a coun­try ex­pe­di­tion or sim­ply bird­watch­ing, Ce­le­stron Sky­mas­ter Binoc­u­lars’ 25x mag­ni­fi­ca­tion, ul­tra-sharp fo­cus and multi-coated op­tics for clear ter­res­trial and as­tro­nom­i­cal panora­mas will help you get a closer view of pretty much any­thing. Ce­le­stron 25x70 Sky­mas­ter Binoc­u­lars £90 ce­le­stron.com

14 THE HARD HIT­TER

Ac­cord­ing to re­searchers at Illi­nois State Univer­sity, ham­mer­ing – a form of ‘ra­dial strength­en­ing’ – helps to toughen your wrists. Which sounds like a good ex­cuse for a bit of DIY. Up tools your­self and make hit­ting the nail on the head eas­ier with Crafts­man’s mag­netic (and fool­proof) ham­mer. You can even use the ad­justable claw and er­gonomic grip to prise stub­born nails from your walls with­out leav­ing any un­sightly dents. Crafts­man Claw Flex Ham­mer £23 crafts­man.com

15 THE RE­BOOTED ROAD­STER

This cus­tomis­able and highly adapt­able up­date on BMW’S clas­sic bike com­bines her­itage and good looks in one pow­er­ful pack­age. Pow­ered by an air-cooled two-cylin­der, flat twin engine, the R Nine T pro­vides a max­i­mum out­put of 110bhp for dy­namic per­for­mance. What’s more, the phys­i­cal­ity needed for a two-wheeled trip can help you burn up to 600 calo­ries per hour. BMW R Nine T from £ 12,200 bmw-mo­tor­rad.com

16 THE DEEP-WA­TER DRAGON

If you’ve ever fan­cied get­ting your St­ingray on, this two-per­son sub­mersible could be the thing for you. The sub’s quad thrusters of­fer six hours of dive time at depths of up to 100m and speeds of four knots. Sci­en­tists at the Univer­sity of Can­ter­bury found that spend­ing time in vast blue spa­ces low­ers stress lev­els and im­proves well­be­ing – just try not to dwell on the pric­etag. Deep­flight Dragon Per­sonal Sub­ma­rine £ 1.2m deep­flight.com/dragon

17 THE ONE-STOP CHOP SHOP

Is the pull of the great out­doors get­ting harder to ig­nore? Then now’s the time for a week­end in the woods. Re­search shows the fresh air will essen­tially scrub your res­pi­ra­tory sys­tem free of pol­lu­tants, and the vi­ta­min D boost will ramp up your im­mune sys­tem. This 3-in-1 ti­ta­nium multi-tool – axe, ham­mer and 7in fold­ing saw – can be used to build shel­ter, make a fire and open your pack­ets of trail mix. Camil­lus Cam­trax Hatchet £42 camil­lusknives.com

18 THE SMOKE OUT

Pro­duc­ing per­fectly smoked cuts with­out the need to turn your gar­den into a fire pit, Char-broil’s dig­i­tal of­fer­ing is ideal for shoul­der joints, ribs and fish. With four cook­ing racks and a wood chip oven pro­vid­ing up to eight hours of smoke, it negates your risk of in­gest­ing car­cino­genic burnt bits. What’s more, you can set the timer, down­load recipes and even ad­just the smoke in­ten­sity, all through your smart­phone. Char-broil Dig­i­tal Home Smoker £350 char­broil.eu

19 THE BE­SPOKE BUT­LER

The new voice-con­trolled Google Home is pitch­ing it­self as your per­sonal valet. To this end, it can open your playlists, scour the day’s news head­lines and give you a run-down of your up­com­ing meet­ings (via Google Cal­en­dar). Your new AI fixer can also fill you in on al­most any­thing you need to know, mak­ing it the ideal dig­i­tal des­ti­na­tion for all of your IRL re­quests – ex­cept, that is, Ali­cia Vikan­der’s phone num­ber. The Google Home £ 129 store.google.com

21 THE FULL-THROT­TLE FIX-UP

With a top speed of 200mph and the abil­ity to hit 60 in 3.5 sec­onds, Jaguar’s new F-type is un­ques­tion­ably a very fast car. Where this model re­ally over­takes its com­pe­ti­tion is in its range of in­no­va­tions, from its fuel-ef­fi­cient, tur­bocharged engine, to its in-built throt­tle­sharp­en­ing Dy­namic Mode. But if you do need a com­fort­ing health ben­e­fit to con­vince you to in­vest, a study in Or­ga­ni­za­tional

Be­hav­iorand­hu­man­de­ci­sion­pro­cesses found that get­ting be­hind the wheel of a sports car ramps up testos­terone, which in turn sup­ports mus­cle build­ing. Now that’s a li­cence to drive. Jaguar F-type 18MY £49,900 jaguar.co.uk

22 THE PB SOUND SYS­TEM

De­vel­oped by Dan­ish de­signer Ce­cilie Manz, B&O’S wire­less, sur­round-sound speaker is the best-look­ing home gym ac­ces­sory go­ing. Brunel Univer­sity sci­en­tists found that up­lift­ing mu­sic can boost car­dio per­for­mance by up to 15%: the per­fect ex­cuse to put the new QOTSA al­bum on re­peat. B&O Play Be­olit 15 £399 beo­play.com

23 THE TRAIN­ING PART­NER

Per­form­ing any lat­eral move­ment in run­ning shoes can leave you sus­cep­ti­ble to in­jury. You need kicks that are fit for the task. Un­der Ar­mour’s 2.0 shoe comes with a re­spon­sive cush­ion­ing sys­tem to help you set un­der a bar­bell, and an ex­ter­nal heel counter to keep you sta­ble in the deep­est of squats. Charged Ul­ti­mate 2.0 Shoe £90 un­der­ar­mour.co.uk

24 THE LONGEVITY MULTI-TOOL

The Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia found that brief mo­ments of stress may ac­tu­ally pro­tect us from the ef­fects of age­ing. En­sure you stay on the healthy side of dan­ger with a 3-in-1 ad­ven­ture es­cape tool – it’s water­proof and im­pact-re­sis­tant, while its high-pow­ered torch will send out an SOS for 28 hours. Au­toxs­cape Self Res­cue Tool £60 in­gea­r­auto.com

25 THE HOME REVO­LU­TION

Cy­cling might be a good way to torch calo­ries, but it’s hard to reach your po­ten­tial when you’re stuck in traf­fic. Set up Kickr Trainer at home and not only will its sen­sors track your vitals, but, ac­cord­ing to the Cleve­land Clinic, you’ll get your heart rac­ing with­out putting pres­sure on your back, hips, knees and an­kles. Wa­hoo Kickr trainer £ 1000 wa­hoofit­ness.com

26 THE SPIN SES­SION

You may know about Clea­r­au­dio’s care­ful meld­ing of alu­minium and syn­thetic com­pounds to create truly crisp sound. What you might not know is that, ac­cord­ing to stud­ies from Ruhr Univer­sity Bochum in Ger­many, lis­ten­ing to hi-fi mu­sic can re­duce the per­ceived in­ten­sity of pain – be it a HIIT ses­sion, or the thought of re­turn­ing to work on Mon­day. Clea­r­au­dio Con­cept Turntable £ 1000 clea­r­au­dio.de

27 THE VR VA­CA­TION

Google’s lat­est VR en­deav­our is the first head­set not to make you look like a scuba diver. With its foam-and-fabric con­struct, it is lighter and more com­fort­able than its more rigid com­peti­tors. Best of all, re­search from the Ox­ford Health NHS Foun­da­tion Trust found that sim­u­lated en­vi­ron­ments can help those suf­fer­ing from men­tal health strug­gles over­come anx­i­ety. The fu­ture, it would seem, is bright. Google Day­dream VR £75 vr.google.com/day­dream

28 THE CY­CLE CROWN

You go to great lengths to pro­tect that frag­ile frontal lobe while cy­cling, so it makes sense to do it as com­fort­ably as pos­si­ble with the new He­don Cor­tex Hel­met. Trimmed in gen­uine calf leather, cop­per and brass, it’s a stylish re­minder that a de­cent lid will re­duce your risk of head in­jury by a life-sav­ing 70%, as per data from the Univer­sity of New South Wales. He­don Cor­tex Hel­met £ 199 he­don.com/prod­uct/naut

29 THE RE­COV­ERY REVO­LU­TION

Re­search in the Jour­nal of Ath­letic Train­ing shows that foam rolling can help to ease lac­tic acid and soothe train­ing strain. The Vyper roller takes this up a notch, with al­ter­nate pres­sure and unique vi­bra­tion fre­quen­cies to stim­u­late deep-mus­cle re­pair. Warm-up, re­cov­ery and ther­apy modes will have you back in the gym sooner. Hyper­ice Vyper £ 160 hyper­ice.com/viper

30 THE ALL-SEE­ING EYE

You might be try­ing to get your ca­reer as an In­sta­gram #in­flu­encer off the ground. Or per­haps you’re hop­ing to per­fect the mus­cle-up by cap­tur­ing what you’ve been do­ing wrong. Ei­ther way, with 360-de­gree, 4K stream­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties and two hours of bat­tery life, Sam­sung’s new light­weight cam­era forms a per­fect train­ing guide. You can, of course, edit your footage be­fore shar­ing, be­cause if it’s not the 17th edit you’re up­load­ing, have you even tried at all? Sam­sung Gear 360 £219 sam­sung.com

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