By Celeste Edenloff
Whether you have a gym newbie on your Christmas list this year or a fitness fanatic friend you need to buy a gift for, here is a list of the top five items sure to bring a smile to their face.
In the land of snow and ice, if you are an outdoor enthusiast, getting a pair of traction devices for your shoes would be ideal. There are several different brands of traction devices to choose from, as well as different types of devices. Most will wrap around your shoe/boots and include either spikes or cleats. One brand, YakTrax, offer traction devices for hiking, running, walking and skiing.
Prices range from $20 to more than $60.
Foam rollers are a great tool for those who spend any amount of time in a gym or who may be out pounding the pavement racking up the miles. Foam rollers, typically used for massage therapy, are usually long and cylindrical in shape, although they can come in a variety of shapes, sizes and textures. They can help by rolling out tight muscles, which can speed up the the time for muscle recovery. Rolling out muscles is also a great way to improve circulation.
Prices range from $15 to more than $50.
There are a whole slew of trackers out there, as well as sport watches and smartwatches and it can get a little overwhelming. According to the Wearable website, www.wearable.com, here’s a list of the best fitness trackers for 2016.
•Best fitness tracker: Garmin Vivosmart HR+. Features include steps, sleep monitoring, 24/7 heart rate monitoring and GPS.
•Best general fitness tracker: Fitbit Charge 2. Features include steps, sleep monitoring, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, breathing training, VO2 Max.
•Best for simplicity: Misfit Ray. Features include steps, sleep, buzzes for smartphone notifications.
•Best for style: Fitbit Alta. Features include steps, sleep, customizable bands and notifications.
•Best for getting in shape: Moov Now. Features include steps, sleep, advanced sports coaching, run/bike tracking.
•Best for multisports: Garmin Vivoactive HR. Features include daily steps, 24/7 heart rate, GPS run/bike/golf tracking, notifications.
Prices range from $50 to $250.
Cold weather gear
There are the obvious gloves, mittens, scarves, earmuffs and hats. But there are other items that outdoor fitness enthusiasts could use as well. Most people who spend any amount of time doing activities outdoors knows you need to dress in layers. A great gift would be long underwear or some type of lightweight wickable base layer, such as cold-weather compression shirts and tights. Another great idea is socks. Wool or wool-blend socks make for great insulators, even if they get wet. Synthetic socks work well, too, but avoid cotton socks as they hold moisture in.
Fitness journals are a great way to keep track of workouts and help people to reach their goals. There are several types of journals to choose from including generic ones that track workouts, calories burned, nutrition, etc. to sport specific ones, like the Believe Training Journal for the running enthusiast in your life. The Believe journal is more of a personal diary that keeps track of goals, training, nutrition, races, as well as feelings, mindset, body image and more.
Prices for fitness journals range from $15 to $50.
Celeste Edenloff of Alexandria, a certified fitness instructor, enjoys teaching group exercise classes and running. She has participated in more than 160 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.