It’s the season of giving! So, we asked our Coaches to get together and share their favorite fitness gifts — to both give and receive.
Giving gifts is always fun, and the more thoughtful the gift, the better. And when it comes to fitness-minded folks or to help give your loved ones the fitness bug, there are so many great options. Let’s get right to them…
Coach Stefanie’s Favorite Fitness Gifts
Gym membership—probably topping my fitness gifts list would be the the granddaddy of them all, the gym membership. Why is this such a spectacular gift? Well, to start, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Think about it… what is the number one thing most people list when asked what they are grateful for… it’s usually their health.
Personal training sessions—directly after the all-time best fitness gift of a gym membership would be personal training to help you get acclimated to the gym and the fitness world in general, to help improve your form, or to help you finally achieve some long-awaited fitness goals.
Fitness photoshoot—talk about a catalyst to get you going and keep you on your plan. This may be one of the most motivating gifts you can give someone. Not only will they want to get into the gym and stay on track with their diet and fitness goals, but the photoshoot itself will be a fun experience, and the photos taken will create a lifetime of lasting memories to showcase all their hard work and progress.
Workout clothes—there’s nothing like a bangin’ new outfit that makes you feel great and actually makes you want to get out of the house and to the gym! When you think about it, can you ever really have too many workout outfits? Probably not!
New kicks—it’s a great idea to keep your workout sneakers up to date and performing well. If your shoes aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do for you (support and cushion), then you risk injuring your knees, ankles, hips, and feet. Keeping your shoes performing well for you is important. Yes, it’s hard to get a new pair of shoes when your current pair may still look new. Yet you might be wearing your shoes past their expiration date. Experts say that you should replace your shoes according to the following schedule:
- Running: running shoes should be replaced every 300 – 450 miles or every 6 months. With constant running, running shoes can lose their rigidity and cushioning properties, leaving you with the potential for injury.
- Weight training: about once a year or if they look worn or are no longer supportive. It’s important that shoes used for weight training maintain their stability, otherwise they are not useful for that activity. Monitor how you feel after training to ensure you’re not missing out on the proper support you need.
- Crossfit and other training: every 6 months or if they become non-supportive. Cushioning, as well as stability, are important for effective training athletic wear, and if you don’t keep your sneakers up to date, you could put yourself into jeopardy for sustaining an injury.
- Alternate shoes—it’s also a great idea to have more than one pair of shoes, so you can switch them up as needed. Your feet also won’t have time to get used to just one pair of shoes, and the variety will do your body good.
Fitness apps—apps are a way of life in this day and age, and the fitness world is no different. While there are many freebie fitness apps to choose from, some of the better (and more robust and functional) apps may require a monthly subscription. Consider giving a 6-month or perhaps a year-long membership to someone’s favorite app. These apps could really help them attain their goals and maintain their success long-term. And if it’s an app you also use, you can often connect with friends to share your workouts, successes, and struggles—even if you live in different states.
Home workout items—these fitness gifts can come in handy even if someone already belongs to a gym. Having a few pieces of equipment around the house can help someone further their workout goals even when they’re not going to the gym.
Massage—with all that working out, having a great massage or deep tissue sports massage may be the perfect gift. Massage has many benefits, such as releasing trigger points, alleviating pain from sports injuries, helping reduce tension, stress, and anxiety, promoting muscle growth, increasing circulation, and more. Massage may seem like an indulgence, and many folks may not want to spend the money on themselves, so this could quite possibly be the perfect gift.
Fitness trackers—Fitbits, heart-rate monitors, Garmins, and more. These fitness trackers can really help folks stay on track and can even make workouts more fun. Fitness trackers make it possible to track your progress and make constant improvements.
Gift cards—a gift card will allow the recipient to get exactly what they want. A versatile and yet fitness-related gift card may just be the perfect present to give and will allow someone to get something they may have been wanting but that just wasn’t in the budget.
Coach Cristina’s Favorite Fitness Gift:
Jump Rope—an oldie but goodie! If you have not jumped rope recently, you may have forgotten just how challenging it can be. In just a couple of minutes, you’ll almost certainly be breathing hard and have even broken a sweat. (Signs you’re getting a great cardiovascular workout despite the limited time and money invested.)
Unlike a treadmill, elliptical, or other high-tech cardio machine, jump ropes sell for under $15, and a good one should last for years—if not decades.
Coach Tim’s Favorite Gifts
I know this is supposed to be a list of Christmas fitness gifts, so you might be surprised by some of my ideas. Trust me, though, whether you’re on the giving or receiving end, you won’t be disappointed. As you’ll see, one of the resonating themes among my suggestions is buying time, which you can then allocate to people, places, and things that are truly important to you. Without further ado, here are some of my top gifts for fitness lovers!
Instant Pot®—I had heard a lot of chatter about how amazing the Instant Pot was. While I was a bit skeptical, I’m now a believer. On average, I use the Instant Pot 6 days out of 7 (and we cook all our meals at home). It has become my preferred cooking weapon of choice. Heck, I’ve already given it as a gift! It’s super-convenient and versatile—it can do everything from making roasts, chili, soups, and one-pot meals to searing and sautéing to boiling eggs to steaming veggies and much more. It not only saves time (cooking food way faster—like 70% faster) and energy, we find that meals (which I would have previously braised or made in a slow cooker) come out much more tender, more flavorful, and all-around better tasting.
Gratitude Journal—for me, fitness has evolved beyond six-pack abs over the years. In other words, my concept of fitness is no longer just about looking a specific way, being able to lift a certain amount of weight, or obtaining a degree of cardiorespiratory fitness. It’s also about mental, spiritual, and emotional health and well-being. These days, practicing gratitude is a daily exercise for me, as it is arguably one of the most powerful tools for building mental, spiritual, and emotional fitness—not to mention the fact that it can also positively impact your health, sleep, energy levels, resilience, and immune function to boot. A daily gratitude journal is a great tool to harness the power of gratitude.
Food Delivery Service—if you want to free up an enormous amount of time without sacrificing your priority on clean eating, then I highly recommend checking out food delivery services in your area—as a gift for yourself or for someone else. My wife and I have been using Instacart (which shops for and delivers our groceries) for over a year now, and in 2018 alone, I have “saved” roughly 200 hours. That’s time I have been able to reinvest in my family and in doing things I find far more important than waiting in line. Another great option to try is one of the many meal delivery services that are available.
Kettlebell—while I’m a self-proclaimed “gym rat” (I love working out), I don’t always have time to go to the gym. Having said that, I don’t have time to not work out. What I mean by that is the benefits of exercise are too many, too powerful, and carry over to so many aspects of life that I can’t afford to ignore my physical fitness. In fact, one of my non-negotiables in life is that I have to do some form and degree of exercise/activity every day. While I don’t have a fancy home gym, I do have a few random pieces of equipment, and a kettlebell is one of my top choices (and a fantastic addition to any fitness gifts list). Kettlebells take up almost no space, they’re super-versatile, and they look pretty awesome. I like Onnit’s kettlebells. They are super high quality, and they come in some pretty rad designs.
Gear—You won’t find a “wish list” with my name on it that doesn’t feature some form of fitness gear, and here are a few brands that top my list:
- Barbell Apparel for high-quality, athletic-fit, and comfortable performance gear.
- No Bull for high-performance running and training footwear—available in tons of colors.
- Rhone for premium men’s activewear that is built for movement and designed to endure.
Coach Sue’s Favorite Gifts:
While it’s always fun to give and receive gifts (including some fitness gifts), we’ve been noticing a trend with many of our family and friends—and that is trying to reduce the amount of stuff that comes in rather than accumulate more. Others just tend to buy what they want when they want it, leaving their wish list rather empty.
In fact, many have asked for either “nothing” or an experience—such as tickets to a concert, performance, or event—which can be fitness related or not. Tee time at the local golf course and spa facials are two examples we’re giving this year. (Shhh…)
Yet our favorite health-giving gift to give (and receive is):
Time and Connection—with as hectic as our lives have become, for our loved ones that we want to see and connect with throughout the year, we get out our calendars and commit to spending time together as we’ve discovered that if it’s not scheduled, it doesn’t happen. For January, for example, we have a family ski trip planned. (Even though I don’t ski, we have an entire day together—some of us are just colder than others.) Every year, my mom receives one day a month for us to help with projects around her house or enjoy a fun activity or event (whatever she wants to do). For my closest friends, I commit to heading out for a hike up in the beautiful Rocky Mountains several times a year. With crazy work schedules and long distances between us, that commitment means I give and receive my absolutely favorite gift—time outside with friends!
What does this have to do with fitness? Well, social support and connection are two of the most important aspects of a healthy life—and it’s hard to be fit if you aren’t healthy!
No matter which gifts you choose to give, rest assured fitness and health-inspired gifts are one of the best gifts that person will receive. The gift of health and fitness and the ability to maintain or increase that gift will be a present that keeps on giving and giving and giving!