Top fitness, health and sleep gifts for the holidays

Looking for a smartwatch or a cool sleep or health item with a tech edge to gift this holiday season? Here’s a roundup of some options.

Finding a

for that fitness lover, health-focused family member, or sleep-deprived friend can be time-consuming. There are plenty of tech options available and here’s a roundup of some of the best and most useful choices for everyone from your favorite teen to your aging parent. 


Image: Fossil

The Fossil Gen 5E smartwatch is a sleek new device available in two sizes, 42mm or 44mm. It has an optimized activity tracker, sleep tracking, cardio fitness tracking and phone app updates. It runs on Wear OS by Google. 

$249 at Fossil


Image: UA

Under Armour has developed a face mask for athletes to use while training and working out. It has a moldable nose bridge to secure it in place and mitigate airflow to the eyes so that glasses won’t fog as easily. It’s reuseable. It comes in four sizes: SM/MD, MD/LG, LG/XL, XL/XXL.

$30 at Under Armour


Image: Palo Alto Innovation

The Sandman Doppler is an all-in-one charging station and alarm clock with Amazon Alexa built in. It has six high-speed USB charging ports and the manufacturer, Palo Alto Innovation, plans to roll out updates in Q1, including two programmable smart buttons to let users set up their own routine. 

$200 at Palo Alto Innovation


Image: UA

This is the first basketball shoe that Under Armour has developed specifically for a female basketball player. It was built for elite female players to give them an advantage on the court.

$110 at Under Armour


Image: Jabra

These earbuds have up to 28 hours of battery life and they’re ideal for sports, music and calls. They’re waterproof and engineered to fit snug in your ear, so they’re perfect for a long run or workout.

$200 at Jabra


Image: Eggtronic

The Einova Mundus Pro is a UV-C disinfecting device to kill germs and bacteria on high-touch items like wallets, keys and phones. This is a UV-C disinfecting tray that holds more than just a phone with dimensions of 19.5 x 19.5 x 5.2 inches. A full cycle takes eight minutes, but four minutes will substantially sanitize devices and the novel coronavirus is killed in one minute, according to studies the company has cited. The top of the tray is a fast Qi-certified 10w wireless charging dock.

$119 at Eggtronic


Image: Joovv

This portable light therapy device provides red light therapy for improved cellular function, increased blood circulation and optimizing sleep. It delivers red and near infrared (NIR) wavelengths. 

$545 at Joovv

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Bay Area weighs 2-week quarantine for residents who travel over the holidays

People eat while sitting at a vista point by the Golden Gate Bridge Friday, March 27, 2020, in Sausalito, Calif. The surge of coronavirus cases in California that health officials have warned was coming has arrived and will worsen, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday, while the mayor of Los Angeles warned that by early next week his city could see the kind of crush that has crippled New York.(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
People eat while sitting at a vista point by the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito, Calif. (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

San Francisco Bay Area residents who travel out of state this holiday season to visit family and friends may be met with a 14-day quarantine advisory when they return.

A group of public health officers from across the Bay Area — including the large cities of San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland — are considering implementing the coronavirus quarantine as pandemic fatigue continues to drive travel outside the area, Marin County Public Health Officer Matt Willis said Tuesday.

The proposal will likely be a “strong recommendation,” not an order, Willis said. If adopted widely, the decision could affect the region’s more than 7 million residents, as well as potentially millions more who might travel to the area.

Once a hot spot for coronavirus infections, the Bay Area is now in much better shape than most of the U.S. and has largely avoided the “third wave” plaguing other states. San Francisco’s positive coronavirus test rate was 0.8% at the end of October, making it the lowest rate of the 20 most populous cities across the U.S., according to The Times’ coronavirus tracker. It also has the lowest death rate per capita from COVID-19 of those same 20 cities.

Marin County’s rate of positive coronavirus test results is about 1%, according to the most recent county data. The county is currently in Tier 3, or the orange tier, of the state’s color-coded reopening blueprint, which means prevalence of the virus is moderate. A number of the region’s counties are in either the orange tier or the yellow, which is the least restrictive.

That means there’s a lot to lose, Willis said.

“Everyone has worked really hard to reduce the transmission and lower case rates,” he said, “and the question is, how do we hold on to those gains.”

With colder weather moving activities indoors and more businesses reopening, and with the upcoming holiday season and the election, “there’s a lot coming together that makes us vulnerable in the remainder of the year,” Willis said, “and the last thing we need is for people to be importing the virus from outside.”

Once a traveler quarantines for the specified time and shows no symptoms, they can resume regular activities, Willis said. There’s a possibility that a traveler could take a coronavirus test within a shorter time frame, perhaps five to seven days after a trip, but he said the science was still out on whether the person would need to quarantine for an additional week.

A decision on a quarantine advisory for travelers could come as early as Thursday, Willis said. That day, the Assn. of Bay Area Health Officers — made up of health officials from San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito and Marin counties, as well as the city of Berkeley, which has its own health department —

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Man Utd to provide 5,000 free school meals in October holidays

(Reuters) – Manchester United said on Monday that they will be provide 5,000 free school meals during the October half-term holidays to help forward Marcus Rashford’s campaign to end child food poverty in the United Kingdom.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Champions League – Group H – Paris St Germain v Manchester United – Parc des Princes, Paris, France – October 20, 2020 Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Rashford has campaigned for the government to provide food vouchers during school holidays to children who normally receive free meals during term time if their parents receive welfare support.

Dozens of local organisations all over the country came forward last week to supply free school meals in response to the 22-year-old’s plea on social media.

Now, working together with the charity FareShare, meals will be prepared and packaged individually at Old Trafford by club staff before being shipped to local Manchester United Foundation partner schools.

Six local schools will receive the meals while others will be delivered to local charities.

“Many of Manchester’s children are going hungry and they are particularly vulnerable during school holidays when they cannot benefit from the meal voucher programme,” Collette Roche, Chief Operating Officer at United said.

“In parallel with the brilliant work being done individually by Marcus Rashford, we’re proud that the club continues to step in alongside FareShare, the Foundation and their partner schools to help fill this void.”

Rashford forced a government U-turn in July when he won his battle to ensure free school meals during the summer holidays. He then proposed extending the campaign for families receiving financial assistance from the government.

Parliament on Wednesday rejected a Labour Party motion to extend free school meals until Easter 2021 from the cut-off before the half-term and winter holidays, prompting the England international to launch his campaign on social media.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday he fully accepted that children going hungry during school holidays was a problem during the COVID-19 pandemic but said he had not spoken to Marcus Rashford over his plans to tackle it.

Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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As the holidays near, the coronavirus is spreading rapidly, putting families in a quandary

“Covid doesn’t care that it’s a holiday, and unfortunately covid is on the rise across the nation,” she said. “Now is not the time to let our guard down and say it’s the holiday and let’s be merry. I think we need to maintain our vigilance here.”

The coronavirus pandemic numbers have been going the wrong direction for more than a month, topping 80,000 newly confirmed infections daily across the country, with hospitalizations rising in more than three dozen states and deaths creeping upward. Now, the United States is barreling toward another inflection point: a holiday season dictated by the calendar and demanded by tradition.

The anticipated surge in interstate travel, family gatherings and indoor socializing is expected to facilitate the spread of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. This isn’t like the run-up to Memorial Day or Independence Day: Barbecues outdoors, or pool parties, aren’t on the itinerary of many people.

The fall and winter holidays are homey by nature. Respiratory viruses thrive in dry, warm indoor conditions in which people crowd together. The statistical peak of flu season typically comes close on the heels of Christmas and New Year’s. Colder weather is already driving people indoors.

The government’s top doctors have said they believe the recent national spike in infections has largely been driven by household transmission. Superspreader events have gotten a lot of attention, but it’s the prosaic meals with family and friends that are driving up caseloads.

This trend presents people with difficult individual choices — and those choices carry societal consequences. Epidemiologists look at the broad effect of a contagion, not simply the effects on individuals. Thanksgiving, for example, is an extremely busy travel period in America. The coronavirus exploits travelers to spread in places where it has been sparse or absent.

“I am nervous about Thanksgiving,” said Andrew Noymer, an epidemiologist at the University of California at Irvine. “I’m nervous because I know what happens when you multiply the risks by millions of households.”

The scientists are not telling people to cancel their holiday plans, necessarily. But they are urging people to think of alternative ways to celebrate. They do not say it explicitly, but they are encouraging a kind of rationing of togetherness.

“This is not the cold. This is not the flu. This is much worse. People are dying. Our well-being as a country depends on us getting this thing under control,” Alexander said.

Public-health officials doubt an elegant way exists to finesse the 2020 pandemic-shrouded holidays with minimal disruption — for example, by working through a checklist of best practices that include timely testing, scrupulous social distancing and disciplined mask-wearing. Instead, people will need to make serious adjustments as they calculate the risks and rewards of holiday gatherings.

“There’s no easy answer here, just like with everything else. It’s not about safe or unsafe. It’s about figuring out how to balance various risks and keeping risks as low as possible,” Harvard epidemiologist Julia Marcus said.

“This is not a

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Lowe’s bulks up on fitness brands heading into the holidays


Home improvement retailer Lowe’s Cos. (LOW) is adding a number of fitness brands to the merchandise lineup heading into the holidays, including Echelon Fitness, Spirit Fitness and Body Flex Sports.


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Echelon Fitness offers items like connected stationary bikes and “smart” rowing machines. Spirit Fitness and Body Flex Sports sell treadmills, elliptical machines and more. 

These are among the “unexpected brands” that Bill Boltz, Lowe’s executive vice president of merchandising, said the company will stock for the holiday season.

See: Walmart will spread Black Friday deals over multiple days as retailers try new ways to drive holiday traffic

Customers are “making their homes work harder and smarter for them this year” due to the coronavirus, he said in a statement. Lowe’s says that it aims to sell the items that will help shoppers’ homes meet all of the needs of this “unique” year.

In addition to fitness equipment, the second largest home improvement chain in the U.S. has also added a number of toy brands, like Crayola and KidCraft Toys. And items like air hockey tables, record players and projectors are available.

Lowe’s, like most other retailers, is already jumping into the holiday shopping season, with promotions scheduled to begin on Thursday and last until December.

Starting on Oct. 30, Lowe’s will also offer free fresh Christmas tree delivery. And the home improvement retailer is offering a variety of contactless ways for customers to pickup their purchases.

An NPD Group report says that home improvement projects and purchasing, which has increased during COVID-19, are expected to continue well into the future.

Also: Target giving workers a $200 bonus

“The heightened attention paid to where we live, and spend so much of our time, has resulted in increased consumer demand for home improvement solutions, but also an expanded customer base,”  said Shay Krafft, NPD’s president of U.S. home improvement & major appliances.

“The home improvement industry has an opportunity to strengthen these new consumer relationships that will support future success.”

Lowe’s stock has gained 48.8% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index (SPX) is up 7% for the period.

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With the holidays coming, Covid cases likely to surge during ‘six weeks of superspreader events’

Thanksgiving kicks off the annual season of celebration, but it will be no holiday for the coronavirus.

With the United States climbing toward what epidemiologists are calling a third peak of pandemic infections, public health experts fear gatherings of families and friends could make an already bad situation worse.

“Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, we’re having what I see as potentially six weeks of superspreader events, right, in which we’re going to be getting together with family and friends,” Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious diseases expert at the Emory University School of Medicine, warned. “And we can see a lot of disease happening.”

Del Rio sounded the alarm during an NBC News Facebook Live interview with Dr. John Torres, NBC News contributor, as the number of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. surged past 8 million and deaths due to the coronavirus climbed to a world-leading 218,097.

“So, I’m really worried that we are facing some of the toughest times in this pandemic in our country,” del Rio said.

He said President Donald Trump was sending the wrong message to Americans with his cavalier attitude toward Covid-19, his repeated boasts about being “immune” since he was released from the hospital and his refusal to consistently wear a mask at public events and campaign rallies.

“The president got infected and did remarkably well for his age,” del Rio said of Trump, who is 74. “He was treated with everything but the kitchen sink, but he’s recovered. He’s done well. So the president at this point in time is saying, ‘Hey, this is no big deal. If you get infected, nothing happens.’”

In other coronavirus news:

  • Trump made the inaccurate claim that “85 percent of the people wearing masks” still catch the coronavirus, during an interview Thursday on the Fox Business Network. He cited as evidence a federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. But a day earlier, the CDC tweeted that “the interpretation that more mask-wearers are getting infected compared to non-mask wearers is incorrect.”

  • While the White House has been pushing for approval of a Covid-19 vaccine before Election Day, the drugmaker Pfizer said it will not apply for emergency use authorization for its vaccine candidate until at least the third week of November. “We are operating at the speed of science,” Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said.

  • Hawaii is saying aloha to tourists again, but only if they test negative before they get on the plane.

  • The Navajo Nation in Arizona is using the sun and the wind to power the digital tablets hard-pressed students on the reservation are using for virtual education due to the pandemic.

Many of the new infections erupted in Midwestern states, such as Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Indiana, that have been reporting record numbers of Covid-19 cases.

“What’s happening in the Upper Midwest is just a harbinger of things to come in the rest of the country,” Michael Osterholm, an infectious diseases expert at

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