It’s said that giving is better than receiving, but the maxim has a flaw: it assumes that the giver and the receiver are never one and the same. We all know that generosity feels good, and there’s sound scientific basis for it: research shows that the act of giving activates the neural networks associated with pleasure – the same ones triggered by food or drugs – in a phenomenon known as the “helper’s high”.But that doesn’t mean you can’t help yourself. After all, receiving gifts feels pretty good, too, and no one is more familiar with your taste, habits and predilections than, well, you. Besides, you’ve had a tough few months and, as any good psychologist will attest, work is not its own reward. Self-care doesn’t come naturally to us all, however. So, if you can’t quite find it in you to love yourself, we’d advise cutting out the following pages and giving them to a relative with the relevant items clearly marked. You’ve been a very good boy this year, after all.
Fitbit Sense Smartwatch
This new smartwatch from Fitbit doesn’t just clock the movements you make but how your body responds to them. Along with the usual tick list (including 20-plus exercise modes), the Sense evaluates your electrodermal activity and heart rhythm to assess your stress levels. Its six-day battery life is handy, too.
Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds with Personalised Sound
Scientists believe that the shape of your ears is as unique as your fingerprints, and the way they process sound is personal, too. NuraLoop’s gym-friendly, sweat-resistant in-ear buds address this by fine-tuning their output to provide a truly personalised sound. They also offer 16 hours
of battery life and highly effective noise cancellation
Nike Metcon 6 Training Shoe
If you’re serious about raising your bar in 2021 – while reducing the stress on your back – you need kicks that are fit for the task. Nike’s peerless training shoe is designed for workouts of any intensity, from heavy barbell work to pacy plyometrics and even (short) runs. They’re breathable and light, and the closest thing you’ll get to stealing kit straight out of an athlete’s locker.
Pixel 4A Android Mobile Phone
The Pixel 4a packs the best of Google’s smartphones into one box of tricks. The 12.2-megapixel rear camera takes top-notch HDR+ photos and videos, with free unlimited storage on Google Photos. Its battery learns which apps you use the most, reducing the power used by the others.
BOOM 3 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
From back-garden WODs to sprints in the park, outdoor training has been the default for many of us this year. But don’t let winter’s somewhat less clement weather throw you off your game. This wireless portable speaker has 15 hours of battery life and a fully weatherproof casing. The myBOOM Studio even allows you to customise the fabric pattern, so you can match it