Monday 14 December 2015

Health and Fitness gifts

This week, let’s talk fitness presents.
In 10 days, it will be Christmas Eve, and giving someone you love a gift of health and fitness would be perfect. There are so many different fitness gadgets, clothing and ideas, where to start? If you follow fitness trends, then wearable fitness technology is a great place to look. The other is with gear that helps you avoid injury and increase performance. Nutrition is yet another area to consider which could be a gift that keeps on giving.

Here are 12 great ideas for the health and fitness people in your life:
1. Let’s start with the obvious: Fitness trackers. I have tested the Fitbit, Nike Fuel Band and the Apple Watch. My personal choice is the Apple Watch. Other options include the Microsoft Band, the Misfit, Striiv and Jawbone’s Up24 to name a few. They all measures steps, distance and time. Some record calories, hours slept, the quality of your sleep and heart rate. Most of them sync to your Android, Apple iOS and Windows Mobile devices and tie to a number of different fitness apps. Prices have a broad range of less than $50 to more than $350.
2. A gift that is overlooked by many is a subscription to one of the many great health and fitness magazines. What makes this gift a great idea is the fact that most subscriptions come with both a printed copy and access to a digital subscription for your tablet, smart phone or computer access. Here are a few great magazines to consider that have both printed and digital subscriptions: "Outside," "Men’s Health," "Health" and "Muscle & Fitness." This gift is affordable and you can always find gift discounts and deals.
3. Here is another subscription idea to gift that is fun, healthy and even educational. In recent years, home-delivered healthy meals are catching on. These pre-portioned healthy meals can be ordered for two to four people and come with ingredients, recipes and are health conscious. Companies like Blue Apron deliver these pre-measured fresh ingredients to your door with instructions for a fresh healthy meal each week. They have a gift option of one, two or 4 weeks at roughly $10 per meal so with 4 people, $40 is cheaper than a night out for dinner. Choose how many people you’re cooking for, then pick either vegetarian or meat options and they can get cooking.
4. A truly healthful gift is buying a loved one a few yoga sessions. Local yoga studios are very accommodating and flexible and getting someone signed up is easy. Schedules offer many options for when a class can be taken and there are many different types of yoga to choose from. Hot yoga is becoming very popular locally, so perhaps that option would be appealing for a health conscious person in your family. We are truly blessed with amazing yoga instructors in our area, so give this wonderful gift that will keep on giving after the holidays.
5. Buy a Certified Personal Trainer for someone you love. Now this gift idea could also be seen as punishment, so be careful. Also you can’t really buy a CPT, but you can sign someone up for a set number of sessions. We have a number of very skilled fitness professional in our area, so check with local gyms to find a CPT to jump start your loved one’s fitness for 2016.
6. We all have people in our lives that struggle with health issues. They lack energy or have digestive problems, all areas that can be treated with a great alternative, acupuncture. There are a few local acupuncturists in our area to choose from. One that I highly recommend that offers gift certificates with a tiered pricing based on number of treatments is Morgan at Urban Acupuncture. Acupuncture is a very old and effective method to support your health and well-being.
7. The gift of good nutrition that is not a diet fad is primal eating. There are a number of great books on primal cooking, very good cookbooks and even books on using primal eating for training and improved endurance. Primal eating is a very good way to get back to basics with eating whole organic foods, cutting grains from your diet and eating clean.
8. This gift idea is a favorite for me. Running glasses are so important and having the right sports sunglasses is key. Finding a pair that has swappable lenses for the various lighting conditions is a nice feature. Gifting a lightweight open-rimmed model that wraps the face well is perfect for avid runners. I would recommend you select glasses that have either polarized or photochromic lenses, giving the runner the very best visual acuity so they can wear them in both dawn or dusk conditions.
9. Get those very active loved ones in your life a myofascial roller this Christmas. The one I use, and I think it is one of the best on the market, is the Grid. It can be found locally at most sporting goods stores in the area. The pricing ranges from a mini grid around $30 to $100 for a full kit. These rollers are great for working out all the sore muscles and kinks you get from a hard workouts. A few minutes using a roller can make aches and pains melt away and promote healing and recovery from sore knotted muscles.
10. Back to wearable technology, this gift idea is relatively new: High tech workout clothing from Athos. This gift is great for the hardcore athlete in your life that has everything. This sports apparel is cutting edge, functional and has great reviews. These shirts and shorts communicate with a Core bluetooth device to your smart phone that measures movement and other key analytics. This clothing is pretty amazing and perfect for someone who really wants to dive into proper form and injury prevention. Starting price on this gift is a bit of an investment starting around $400.
11. Gift fun and fitness this year with an all-season fat-tire bike. These fat-tire bikes, or "fat bikes" as they are sometimes called,ave a unique feel to them and they are surprisingly quick, stable and comfortable to ride. These bikes have great gearing, aluminum frames and typically use a 26X4.6 tire. Prices on these bikes have come down recently and you can get into a fun and basic model for around $500 or go all-out and spend a few thousand for that loved one. Fun winter riding, great in muddy spring conditions or frankly ride anytime of year.
12. Last but not least, how about some spa time to pamper the athlete in your life or active family members? Gift a Coeur d’Alene Resort Spa gift certificate that can be used after a hard day on the slopes or perhaps after the News Year's day Hangover Handicap 5-mile run. Regular visits to a spa have many benefits. From relieving stress to detoxifying your body a couple of hours at a great spa can be a wonderful gift. This is also a great gift to help mom de-stress after all the holiday prep and crowed control.
When you think of gifts this year, think health and fitness. Giving someone you love a gift with health and wellness in mind is a wonderful way to say happy holidays and a great start to a new year.
Judd Jones is a director for the Hagadone Corporation.

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