Fitness Gifts to Give and Get

If you’ve waited until now to do your holiday shopping, your timing couldn’t be better. Here’s my list of great fitness-related gifts, no matter which side of the equation you’re on.

1. Heart rate monitor. For people who geek out on data, this is fascinating and a great training tool for gauging intensity and tracking fitness. Over time, it can show you fitness gains by letting you see that you can do more at a given heart rate than you could a month before. There are lots of models, some as cheap as $30, some at more like $300 if they are paired with a GPS device, which leads us to…

2. GPS watch. For runners, this is golden since it can give you pace, time and distance and HR all in one glance, can record multiple laps and is highly customizable to track things like altitude. They often come with software and therein the ability to analyze your data into oblivion. I have a Garmin Forerunner 410, which is one of the big names and costs ~$250.

3. A yoga kit, which might include a mat, a block, a strap, and a Shiva Rea CD. Shiva is a yoga goddess. I went to middle school with her, when she was already a goddess.

4. Fitness Timer, such as Gym Boss or Tabata Timer app. The Gym Boss is a timer you can customize to beep at certain intervals so you can do strength or cardio workouts without watching a clock. The Tabata Timer has a specific pattern of intervals (20 seconds hard, 10 seconds rest x 8) deemed by exercise physiologists to be a very effective high intensity workout pattern. More on Tabatas at a later date! A great fitness format for use during the busy and gluttonous holiday season.

5. 1-Week Fitness Center Membership, Class Card or Personal Trainer sessions. Do a little research on this if you’re giving it. Obviously you want a place that’s convenient and appealing to the recipient, or it could be a mode of fitness he or she hasn’t tried but is curious about. If you’re hoping to be the recipient of this, be sure to talk a lot about classes you’re dying to try or club you’d never join, but would love to visit. And hey! I’m offering gift samplers to my classes and a New Year’s Resolution Personal Training package, so get in touch.

6. Body care and Injury Prevention Gizmos such as a foam roller or massage stick. Or a straight up massage by the experts, for example, John Bagley LMP! John is the masseur to many of my clients–runners, boot campers, cyclists. He also does Thai Yoga massage, which is blissful.

7. Runner/Cyclist Safety kit: lights, reflective vest and a Road ID bracelet (or a homemade version). A great functional gift even if it does have a bit of an ominous cast.

8. Fitness Testing & Analysis Sessions. Some people really get off on knowing their VO2Max, their percent body fat or lactate threshold. Or maybe a stride analysis or a bike fit session is the perfect thing. I can turn you on to services like these too! If you don’t know what these things are, then just move on to…

9. Anthem Playlists – Mix tapes reborn with the explicit purpose of inspiring people to move. You can create various kinds of these- calming ones for the night before a race event, gradually crescendo-ing warm-ups, high energy songs with a certain level of beats per minute to encourage the user to hit a faster pace or cadence. As much as you can, choose songs with lyrics that inspire, challenge and make the user smile.

10. ___________? You fill it in–someone out there needs to know your idea.

Keep moving through these crazy mid-December days kids! It makes a positive difference in every way.

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