The UwaterG4 MP3 player for swimming by Fitness Technologies lets you listen to music underwater. (By H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY)
McLean, VA (written by Janice Lloyd & Rebecca Lurye/USA Today) -- Skipping your workout can be a huge temptation when the sun blazes overhead and a cool oasis beckons. USA TODAY picked six great gadgets that will help you forget the heat and stay active this summer.
Born to ride
Taking your music on long bike rides gives you the extra kick you need to climb hills and endure long flats. FoxL is a super-light Bluetooth system by Soundmatters that fits on handlebars. It is 5.6 inches long and weighs 9.5 ounces. The stereo sound is rich - and safer than wearing ear buds attached to a phone or MP3 player. The lithium battery might last longer than your legs: It has up to five hours of life and is rechargeable. Spend a couple seconds syncing your iPhone or Blackberry and hit the road. If you're hooked on a bike computer and have it mounted on one side of your handlebars, this unit fits beside it or on the other side. Speakers, $199; mounting kit, $34.
Running on hot asphalt or playing a game on artificial turf quickly overheats and tires feet. The makers of Balega's Drynamix socks describe them as having an "air-conditioning" fabric system. The moisture management fibers and design work to keep feet cool and dry. Styles include crew cut, low cut and no-show. They have names such as Ventilator, Enduro, Ultra, Pro Pacer and All-Out Trail. $9.95.
Drink on the go
Staying hydrated has always been a hot-weather must, but knowing how to carry fluids has gotten trickier as some materials used in the bottles have been found unsafe. Now both Nike and Under Armour make BPA-free sculpted bottles with flip-top openers. The design makes them super-easy to hang on to and open with one hand. These are dishwasher safe and come in fun, bright colors. $20.
Having a cool-looking pair of shades is half the fun. One style (Penny Lane) is a throwback to the '60s, but Zeal Optics has glasses for every activity level and stamps each with "ecological responsibility." The Boulder, Colo., company uses bio-powered resin frames (green-speak for making the resin from castor plant oil instead of crude oil, which releases carbon dioxide during manufacturing and harms the ecosystem). The glasses are polarized, reduce the sun's glare by 99% and cut 100% of UVA, UVB and UVC rays. Prices range from $100-$200.
One of Teva's new products is the Blue Line, a super-grippy water adventure shoe that is stylish enough to wear later to the bar or movies. We love the classic look and the major upgrades, especially the "sticky bottoms" made with Spider Rubber. Teva says it's their highest-performing water shoe yet: The bottoms adhered to a grease-covered aluminum ramp during testing. So no problem for these brutes to cling to mossy stones in a river or hang on to a damp sailboat deck. The fabric keeps your foot dry and also breathes. $90.
Sounds of summer
Get lost listening to one of this season's best-selling authors during lap swims or crank up your favorite tunes while waiting for a wave to ride. Fitness Technologies claims to make the smallest waterproof MP3 player. UwaterG4 weighs less than an ounce, holds 4G of data (1,000-1,200 songs) and is guaranteed for up to 10 feet underwater. Attach it to eye goggles for lap swims or an armband for other water activities. The earplugs are equipped with a 36-inch red cord and a twist-and-lock jack that keeps out water. $79.95.