By Elaine Munn
As 2012 comes to an end, no doubt many people will be committing to a healthier lifestyle in 2013. If this includes someone on your gift list, here are a few gift ideas that can help make workouts more enjoyable. You may even find something to put on your own wish list! (Prices are low-end, found at a local discount store.)
- Gym bag ($19.99). Keeping workout clothes and shoes packed and ready helps avoid arriving at the gym missing a sports bra or pair of shoes. Add a small bag with body wash, shampoo and conditioner for the post-workout shower.
- Shirts made of moisture wicking fabric ($12.99). The fabric wicks away sweat during workouts, which helps the body stay cool. Most are also seamless, which helps prevent body chafing. Socks specifically designed for workouts are a great stocking stuffer.
- Brita bottle water filtration system ($8.89). This reusable BPA-free bottle filters 20 ounces of regular tap water, reducing chlorine taste and odor. One filter that lasts approximately 2 months is included; replacement filters cost $6.89 for a box of two.
- iPod shuffle ($46). This affordable little device is made of lightweight aluminum, is only 1” X 1.5” in size and clips conveniently to clothing. With 2 GB of storage for songs and audio books, it has a fitness feature and AM/FM radio. (A computer is needed to sync the iPod with songs.)
- DVD ($9.69). No need to order expensive programs offered on TV infomercials. There are a variety of workout DVDs from famous trainers (Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper) as well as dance, yoga and pilates favorites.
- Stretch bands, kettlebells or dumbbells ($4.19). Some people may not be ready to join a gym. These items require little storage space and are perfect for strength training and muscle toning at home. Travelers can easily pack stretch bands in a suitcase for on-the-road workouts.
- Yoga mat ($19.99). Designed to avoid slipping during yoga poses, a yoga mat also provides cushioning and a clean spot for other floor exercises such as crunches, sit-ups and pushups. Price increases with extra length, cushioning and anti-microbial materials.
- Magazine subscriptions (Women’s Health, Shape, Prevention). An affordable gift that keeps on giving with once-a-month motivation and tips by fitness and health experts for people who work out. Magazines sold on newsstands usually have cards inserted for starting a new subscription. The magazine can be wrapped and given as a gift with a note informing the recipient that you started a gift subscription for them.
- Single Serve Blender ($16.99). Last Christmas I gave one to my mother-in-law who is in her 80s, as well as one to my 24-year old son, and both put them to good use. I included some nutritious post-workout smoothie recipes as well as flavored protein powder.
- Pedometer ($9.99). The American Heart Association recommends people walk 10,000 steps (about 5 miles) a day. The basic pedometer accurately keeps track of steps and distance; a model that also measures calories and fat burned is available for $5 more.
How do you stay fit? Send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org!