By Beth Davis, CPT, Quad City Fitness Blogger and Personal Trainer
The holidays are almost here and the hunt for the perfect gifts is in full swing! I remember a few years ago receiving a HoMedics scale with the body composition scanner for Christmas. I know there is an obvious joke in there, but I loved it! Someone realized that fitness and health are important to me and cared enough to give me a gift I would use! While you might not be confident enough to hand someone a scale, there are other gifts that the fitness minded people on your list would appreciate! Aside from the obvious stability ball, exercise mat and the dreaded scale, I have some suggestions that would be great for the new lifter or seasoned athlete.
1. The Mover and Shaker
All protein shaker bottles are not the same! You get a freebie bottle with a protein you purchase and it also leaks or doesn’t blend well. There is no substitute for the Blender Bottle. It is great gift that will last years. The Blender Bottle is BPA free, has a wire whisk for smooth shakes and doesn’t leak! You can choose from colors, styles and sizes at www.blenderbottle.com. The classic 20-ounce bottle is $9.49, 28-ounce is $9.99 and 32-ounce is $10.49. It’s a staple for any one thinking about being healthier.
2. The Fitness Chef
I am pretty simple with my shake making but since I purchased the Magic Bullet, I have taken cooking to a new level! The Magic Bullet is a blender system that costs about $50. I prefer it to the NutriBullet for a couple of reasons. First, price is the biggest difference! The NutriBullet will set you back about $120 and for the price you aren’t getting much more then the Magic Bullet. You get various mugs with toppers to take your concoction with you or you can use it to make oat flour for various healthy recipes. It is the perfect system for making perfect smoothies and protein shakes. It grinds ice, oats, and nuts to a smooth consistency for baking or shakes. Save some money and get the Magic Bullet!
3. The Fit Traveler
Staying fit while on the road can be a challenge. I like the ability to prep meals in advance and bring them to help me stay on track. A big cooler gets cumbersome and the one pack meal coolers were great in grade school but not someone gone all day! The Isobag system is a sleek cooler pack that you can get in a 3 meal or 6-meal size. It comes with compact storage containers that fit perfectly in the bag with individual ice packs. There is even room for eating utensils and drinks all while looking like a small gym! The 3-meal variety is $69.99 and the 6-meal pack is $89.99. You can order different models and colors at www.isolaterfitness.com
There are so many options for bringing the best workout jams with you but the most cost effective and compact solution is the iPod Shuffle. For $49 you just can’t beat it! No arm sleeve is necessary and you can bring hundreds of tunes with you on a run or to the gym. The iPod shuffle clips on to clothing and stays charged for 15 hours! Pick from a number of colors and add an iTunes gift card and you have a perfect fit gift!
5. The Gym Rat
If you have an avid weight lifter on your list, Versa Gripps are a gift that will thrill any deadlift, pull up or rowing freak! I got a pair of Versa Gripps 10 years ago and they are still going strong! Not only are they a durable product, but they are great wrist supports as well. You can go online to www.versagripps.com and choose from different varieties, colors and sizes. I would suggest classic series wrist straps for $42. Unlike cloth wraps, they are comfortable on the wrist with no cutting or marks and protect from carpal tunnel syndrome.
6. The Newbie
The beginner to fitness may feel more comfortable at home with a DVD and no spectators! Starting out at home will help many people begin to feel some success at exercise. The beginner will need a few things to start to get some core strength and balance. There are a few staples I recommend for the home that would make a great gift basket. www.Spri.com is the site many fitness professionals use to get quality equipment. I would suggest a stability ball, exercise mat, 8-10 pound medicine ball, beaded jump rope and a foam roller. On Spri’s website and at local sporting goods stores or larger discount stores you can find a package of these accessories in the $30-$40 price range. Some accessory packages include instructional DVDs or packets. It’s a great gift for anyone trying to get started at home!
There are many fitness accessories in all price ranges but one of my favorites is getting people to the gym! Of course being a CPT, I am inclined to suggest that you get support with good technique and consistency with some personal training sessions. Giving the gift of a package of personal training session can help get some direction, help with technique and a start working towards a healthier lifestyle!
Happy and healthy holidays!