Hey everyone! December 22nd…hard to believe this month is almost over! It’s also hard to believe I’ve stepped away from the blog for so long! I’ve been busy, but everyone’s busy these days; sorry for the lack of postage. 😉 Hopefully regular blogging (and Holiday Challenging!) will continue even over Christmas and New Year’s.
Well,if you’re a last-minute shopper like me (maybe I’m just not a good gift giver? It’s always hard to find the right thing for the people who love most!), I thought this would be the perfect moment to showcase some great gift ideas for the fitness lover in your life (or for you as you begin to make more healthy lifestyle changes!).
1. The TRX
This is hands-down my favorite fitness tool because of its portability, emphasis on core strength, and because it makes works fun and easy to vary. You can do SO much with the TRX all while strengthening your core and other stabilizing muscles that sitting at a machine won’t develop.
Plus, any company whose slogan is “Make Your Body Your Machine” is pretty incredible in my book! 😉
2. An Exercise Mat
Although this might seem like nothing special or out of the ordinary, it’s a very practical tool, whether for yoga classes or for at-home use. Exercise mats help to prevent slipping and give a slight cushion for floor work, especially if up on your tailbone balancing (like in a V-Sit) or for doing push ups. Cheap, easy to find, this is a win-win gift for anyone who doesn’t already have one at home!
3. A Gymboss Timer
This is a great little interval timer to keep you moving through your workouts without taking time out to grab your watch, hit the stop/reset/start buttons. You can set it for all kinds of intervals; for example, you can set it to beep every 20 seconds, or for 50 seconds and then 10 seconds. This way you’re able to do your repetitions (like as many push ups as you can do in 50 seconds, rest for 10, as many squats as you can do for 50 seconds, rest for 10, etc) without losing focus or taking breaks that turn into lounge sessions on the couch! Although it’s not a must-have (there are always ways to modify!), a Gymboss timer will make your workouts more effective, hand’s down.
4. A Jump Rope
Did you know that 10 minutes of jumping rope is equivalent to 30 minutes of running? Crazy, but true! Jumping rope is a GREAT way to rev up your heart rate and burn calories, all while working your core (keep your abs tight as you jump!) and improving balance and coordination (which is a great benefit to working out too). It’s tough, people are intimidated by it, and you will get tripped up in the beginning, but if you stick with it you will become a better jump roper! Plus, it’s easy to travel with and if you don’t have much time for a workout, you’ll work your shoulders, biceps, legs, core, and heart muscles in a fraction of the time anyway. Pick one up at any drug store or sports store (like Sports Authority in the States or SportChek in Canada). While any jump rope will do, I recommend a speed rope.
We all need some extra motivation at times, and a lot of inspiration can come from good fitness magazines out there. A subscription to a magazine isn’t a gift we often think to give, but how fun to wait in anticipation each month for a good read! There are many great magazines that can be matched to the fitness-lover-in-your-life’s passions, such as Runner’s World, Rock & Ice, Women’s or Men’s Health, Cooking Lite, etc. Have fun with this one!
6. Vibram Five-Finger Shoes (VFFs)
A fad? Yes. A passing trend? Possibly. A great new fitness show to try with research to back it up? Totally!
I received my VFF’s for my birthday in June and love them. Since the snow’s hit, I don’t wear them too often these days (they’re a new staple in my summer for me), but they work great indoors (note to self: wear them more inside!). If you haven’t heard much about these shoes, they mimick running (or walking, working out, etc) barefoot, with the idea that the muscles in our feet and legs have atrophied because of overcushioned shoes that do the work for us. I recommend reading a bit about them first so you can make your own decisions, but they are definitely more than a hoax or gimmick (unlike those Shape-Up shoes that claim you can get toned by wearing their shoes with rockers – totally NOT true! Don’t fall for this one!). You can read more about my thoughts and a review on them here.
7. Personal Training Sessions
The truth is, if it were financially and feesibly possible, that everyone should have a personal trainer! Whether it be for the purpose of gaining knowledge (“I go to the gym, but once I’m there I don’t know what to do!”), motivation (“Ugh. I hate working out! I just cannot get myself to the gym before/after work!”), or to see real change (“I feel like I’ve hit a plateau; I need to get over this hump and make some changes in my workout plan.”), everyone could benefit from seeking out another qualified individual to help them toward their fitness goals (even personal trainers like me!). The truth is, you work harder, learn more, and normally see better results when working out with someone, and with the accountability factor higher, you’re able to stick with it and stay more consistent. So why not give the gift of a few training sessions for your mom, sister, friend, or brother? You could simply write out a gift certificate for them or else head to the gym and arrange it. Or, you could revisit my site come the first week of January and check out my new online personal training option! If your friend, spouse, co-worker, etc is in the Calgary area, I would love to train them for a few sessions as a gift! Whether online or in-person, I would enjoy giving the gift of health and fitness to those you love the most. Check out my “Contact” page for prices and check back in January for more info on the online training system! (Just make sure the person you’re giving this as a gift to wouldn’t be offended by the thought but would rather be appreciative of the gesture.)
Although I could go on and on, here are a few last-minute gift ideas to get your started! I’d love to hear from any of the fitness lovers out there: What’s on your fitness wish-list? I would love a Garmin-405 to calculate my distance and pace while running through a GPS system (ie: on trails and anywhere!), but that’s a bit out of our price range. 😉 But I guess that’s what makes it a wish list!
Happy shopping, readers! I hope you are able to let the stress settle and choose to have joy and give joy as you buy things as a present for others ultimately to show that you care for them. And remember, giving the gift of a great memory through movement (going out near the ocean for a good walk, taking a picnic as a family somewhere, playing frisbee in the sun, going skiing as a group) is as precious and real a gift as a fancy new piece of equipment.
Live well and be well! Peace & joy,