Without some forethought, it can be tricky to buy a “fitness” gift for someone. Are you inadvertently dropping a hint they need to workout more? That's like giving a vacuum cleaner or food processor to a woman (read: are you saying I should spend more time in the kitchen?). Not a bright idea these days. And no matter how many times your loved one says, they gotta drop 20 pounds, DO NOT buy them a book on “How to Lose 20 lbs in 2 Weeks,” or 10 sessions with your private trainer (unless they specifically ask for that).
Below are gifts I would definitely give a friend or loved one and, would gladly accept as well. These are health & fitness gift ideas that get my seal of approval:
1) Power Massager. I love handheld massagers. But that's like saying, I love sunsets. Really? Who doesn't. Giving this as a gift says, “I know you workout hard for that bod and I’m here to help you soothe those sore, overworked muscles.” Check out the BuffEnuff®. It's a powerful, cordless, percussion healing massager that uses percussive oscillitory motion. You can use it on yourself for some areas. But for your back neck and shoulders, you’ll need a partner, or your trainer, or your massage therapist to hit those can't-reach-yourself areas while you relax and feel the love. The package includes 1 battery, 1 charger, 2 crowns and a carry bag.
2) Vibrating Foam Roller (HyperIce Vyper). Taking the ubiquitous foam roller to the next level, Hyperice has built one that vibrates called the Vyper. Foam rolling has become somewhat of a trend lately. But for pros in the know, it's a necessity to get people moving better. It's something I highly recommend to every level of fitness enthusiast. Using the pressure from your own body weight, foam rolling releases painful trigger points, muscle tissue adhesions, helps move lymph fluid and speeds up muscle recovery. It's basically a deep tissue massage you do on yourself. It can be done pre-workout, post-workout or on a recovery day and, is a needed part of injury rehab. Foam rolling works to release tight muscles with body weight pressure. The HyperIce Vyper offers 3 vibration speeds so those trigger points don’t have a chance.
3) Luxe by Spibelt. Fannypacks are making a modern-day comeback. Sure, the mere word alone elicits images of your aunt Ruth on a tour bus to Vegas. But trust me when I say all fitness minded women deep down want one… a cool and stylish one. Check out the Luxe by Spibelt. With a high gloss metallic buckle that adds a little shine to your athleisure look, you can comfortably wear this from the gym or your jog to brunch. The soft, stretchy pouch is comfortable, lightweight and bounce-free. Plus there’s a headphone port because they know you need to listen to your favorite Spotify beast mode or chill time playlists.
4) Cookbooks for the diet du jour. Surely one of the fitness lovers on your list is trying to maintain a Paleo, keto (low carb) or vegan lifestyle. Books always make a good gift idea, if you know what your gift-ee is into. Just remember never give an actual “diet book” if you want to remain friends or more. A diet book screams, “hey your clothes are getting a little tight bae” or, "I'm noticing that spread you got going on around the middle." On the other hand, we all know, if you’re trying to stick to one of the afore-mentioned lifestyles, even the best of us run out of meal-making ideas and need some inspiration (especially with pretty pictures).
Here are some suggestions:
- For the CrossFitter or Body Builder in your life, try “The Shredded Chef: 120 Recipes for Building Muscle, Getting Lean, and Staying Healthy," By Michael Matthews. Price: $19.99
- For the eating fat to burn fat, low-carber in your life, try "The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook: 15 Fundamental Ingredients, 150 Keto Diet Recipes, 300 Low-Carb and High-Fat Variations" by Megan Flynn Peterson. Price: $14.57
- Paleo recipes are so Insta-everywhere. How about having them all in one place? Try the, "Paleo Cookbook: 300 Delicious Paleo Diet Recipes." Loaded with 300 low carb, high protein, gluten free, natural foods, there are recipes for every meal and occasion. According to the authors, this book simplifies the transition into the Paleo lifestyle. Some highlights include Paleo Lasagna, Caveman Chicken Nuggets, Teriyaki Beef, vegetarian recipes and yes, desserts! Price: $20.90
- Have a Paleo friend who struggles with finding time to cook? That’s why the crockpot (slowcooker) was invented my friends! Slow cooked meals are flexible. Like Ron Popeil said about his Rotisserie, a slow cooker really does let you just set it and forget it. Plus clean up way easy (just one pot). Perhaps the best part for the busy Paleo person is that you can cook meals for the whole week because no one really loves meal prep! Try, "The Complete Paleo Slow Cooker: A Paleo Cookbook for Everyday Meals That Prep Fast & Cook Slow" by Karen Frazier. This book offers 150+ recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that require 20 minutes or less of prep time. Get ready for savory dishes like Duck with Fig Sauce, Osso Bucco and Blueberry-Coconut Cake. Price: $11.52
- For the eco, animal, veggie loving Vegan in your life, try "Forks Over Knives - The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year." By Del Sroufe. This is based on the very popular documentary of the same name that probably convinced at least one person you know to go Vegan. Price: $10.79
- Finally, for your friend who's working out like a fiend but still eating like crap, (goes to the gym every day, doesn't lose a pound). This book will get them give a f*ck about what they put in their mouths, "Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck." Gwynth Paltrow gushed about it, so that means something right, (cough)? Thug Kitchen started their wildly popular website to inspire people to take charge of their plates, cook up some real f*cking food and eat some goddamn vegetables for a healthier lifestyle. How can anyone go wrong with that? Price: $20.36
5 ) Under Armour Athlete Recovery Sleepwear. Sleepwear for the athlete you care about. I admit, I haven’t tried these yet. But I sure am thinking about gifting this to myself if Santa doesn't get a set for me. I always need some cozy sleepwear - don't you? UA's Athlete Recovery Sleepwear products (for men and women) are made of soft, bioceramic print on the inside which "absorbs natural heat and reflects Far Infrared back to the skin, helping the body sleep better and recover faster." Far Infrared is a type of energy on the infrared spectrum that benefits the body. By harnessing these benefits, UA says their jammies can help you recover, sleep better and rest easier. Tom Brady is the product spokesperson and the website boasts that Ellen DeGeneres recommends it as a Christmas gift, so who am I to argue? We all need better sleep. The science on this is everywhere. So I say it’s worth a try.
Price: ranges from $79 - $99
6) Resistance Loop Bands travel kit. It doesn’t seem like much of a gift, but believe me, I buy resistance loop bands for my clients all the time and they are used daily. They're great to have in your home gym or travel bag. Whether it’s for Pilates, Yoga, Physical Therapy, HIIT workouts or just to sculpt a sexier butt, an assortment of loop bands can be used anywhere and everywhere. This kit here is made of new Eco-Friendly Durable TPR Latex and comes with an eBook and free online videos.
7) ThinkFit Insulated Lunch Boxes. You know how hard it is to manage your diet when you work long hours? My advice to people is always to pack your own lunch, making it so much easier control portion sizes. Here's a gift that says you know how hard someone is working on their fitness and their career. The ThinkFit double insulated lunch box thought of everything. It comes with 6 Portion Control Containers that are microwave and dishwasher safe, Reusable Ice Pack, Pill Box, Shaker Cup, Shoulder Strap and Extra Storage Pocket. Plus you can feel good knowing $1 from each sale will be donated to providing hope in impoverished neighborhoods.
8) Genetic Testing from 23andme. For the curious one in your life, give them the gift of learning about themselves deep down inside… at the DNA level. Getting my genetic test results back kept me busy and fascinated for many months. This isn’t the kind of gift you’d want to give to a co-worker, but a close family member or kid. They might not like all the results they see. But there are some things that are especially good to know like and potentially life saving or at least life extending. For example, my vitamin D levels have always been too low. Even taking 1,000 or 2,000 I.U.s a day barely moved the needle. It turns out I have a gene that doesn’t allow me to make vitamin D so I upped my dose and my levels are perfecto. A study found that people who are in the range of 40 – 60 ng/dl live the longest and people with low levels age faster. That was just one of the very helpful things I found out. You can also find out if your body detoxifies itself well and how many longevity genes you have and so much more. The best part is, it’s so easy. Just spit in a plastic tube, send it in and violà! Note: it takes around 8 weeks to get the results back so don’t be in a rush.
Price: $149 (new lower price - it was $199 when I did it!)
Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy & Fitness-friendly Hanukkah, Christmas or anything else you’d like to celebrate!