Still searching for the perfect holiday gift for your fitness minded friends? Some people are just harder to buy great holiday gifts for than others. Your fitness focused friends either already have “everything,” or, they’re super picky and oh so “niche,” making holiday gift shopping a challenging task.
Well fear not, I’ve created a gift guide you can use for this holiday season or event an upcoming birthday, that ranges from basic staples every serious fitness enthusiast should own, to more creative items that your “everything” friend probably doesn’t already have…. yet.
Let’s start with the down and dirty. Fitness Equipment:
- Suspension Trainers like the Jungle Gym or TRX. Any self-respecting fitness enthusiast simply must have some kind of suspension trainer for excuse-proof workouts anywhere they go. Suspension training uses your own body weight to provide resistance and unlike machines or benches, this workout keeps your core firing which helps you tone your abs during every exercise. Suspension training straps can be attached to sturdy objects like steel frames, ceiling beams, studs, doors, or wall-mounted anchors, even a firm tree, making your workouts truly portable. The Lifeline Jungle Gym XT comes with two eight-foot suspension straps with easy to grip handles and foot cradles, two door anchors and an attachment to combine the two straps into a single unit. Plus a wall poster to help you get started.
The TRX Home Gym Suspension Trainer includes two anchoring solutions and six digital workouts. The TRX Go, beginner models and Pro Kits are also available.
2. Depending on how entrenched you are in the fitness world, you may or may not know that whacking a tractor tire repeatedly with a heavy sledgehammer is actually a workout and not just something a hostile farmer might do for anger management. Enter, Most Fit’s Core Hammer. The problems with the original workout are pretty obvious. First you need room for a big ol’ tire and then room to swing a real sledgehammer which could be just a tad dangerous. With the MostFit Core Hammer you can get the same workout without the hassle or danger. And most importantly, you gift-ee probably doesn’t have one.
3. The Bosu is another staple for a home gym. It’s used for balancing on (either side). I’ve said it before, balance training is one of the most overlooked and important components of our fitness. The Bosu will also give anyone an ab burn for days when you do your sit up variations and crunches on the dome side. And, it’s arguably the best prop for push ups. Using the flat side up, your core will quiver!
4. Want to keep a whole family fit? Put together a portable Outdoor Boot Camp Kit. All you need are some cones, an agility ladder and jump ropes (tip: it’s tricky to jump rope on grass, so if you’re doing this at a park, use the jump rope on a even, solid surface).
For many, the holidays are all about gadget gifts. Here are some great gift suggestions:
5. Fitness Trackers. If you didn’t hear the news, for the last couple years, wearable technology is the number one fitness trend going. People get hooked on their trackers, and that’s a good thing. If looking down at your wrist reminds you to get up and stretch, take a walk, drink more water and eat a little less, then technology is doing it’s part to help people live healthier lives. Some of the most popular brands out there are Fitbit, Garmin, and Polar which was the the first brand to make heart rate monitors a common fitness accessory. Here’s a great resource to help you pick the best one. Then of course, there is the Apple iWatch if you want a gift that goes above and beyond a fitness tracker .
6. Wireless bluetooth speakers. Fit people often like to do some, if not all of their workouts outside, like bootcamps, water workouts and beach workouts. But when you’re sweating or don’t want earbud wires flinging around during your burpees, having a small, portable speaker that connects to by bluetooth cranking your tunes, keeps your workouts in high gear. They work with your laptop too. You can find the Pill Beats 2.0 on Amazon ranging between $167 to upwards of $400 if you want the blingy versions. Or the UE ROLL Volcano for around $90.
7. For the athlete on the cutting edge, the Oakley Radar Pace: Smart sunglasses with earbuds and a microphone that offers a real-time, voice controlled coaching system designed to improve an athlete’s training and performance, complete with analytics. The glasses are aimed at serious athletes, mostly runners and cyclists, and those who want to bring their workouts to the next level.
Everyone needs hydration
8. Something every level of athlete needs, handy hydration accessories: Camelbak is the best known brand in this arena. This year they launched some new products I had the pleasure of testing out. I’m using all of these for everything from my morning coffee on the go to, hikes with my dogs to my indoor Cycling classes.
· The KickBak Insulated Tumbler for pre-work out coffee and post-work out refueling/hydration. (right side)
· Chute Vacuum Stainless Steel – great for everyday hydration. It has double wall vacuum insulation so it keeps your water cold for up to 24 hours no matter how hot it is outside/in your car. (middle)
· Podium Chill 25oz – simply an amazing water bottle featuring an easy, twist-open cap and insulation that I’m using for all my fitness classes now (left side)
· Ultra Handheld Chill – a running handheld soft bottle that straps to your wrist which makes it WAY easier to carry (bottom)
A newer kid on the block is the Hydroflask, customizable hydration bottle that is so sturdy it can even double as a foam roller!
9. For the Fitness Fashionista. It’s time for me to come out and admit it. I’m pretty much over Lululemon these days. Oh, I can hear the gasps! Yes, they still make cute stuff and their running shorts are still my butt’s favorite, but damn they’ve got sick competition under the athleisure-wear tent these days! There are so many, not as well known and newer brands, many of which are less expensive for similar or better quality making athleisure wear you can live in. Carbon38 is an online store that curates the cutest and most fashionable brands. (They also offer a $25 discount on orders over $100 if you know a brand ambassador, ahem. You can use my code: JILLBROWN50, and they offer free shipping). If you’re buying a gift for a yogi-gal, then check out Alo Yoga or Yoga Smoga. Both of these brands opened up their flagship stores right smack in the middle of Beverly Hills if that gives you an idea of who their primary market is.
For your flashy, fun loving legging friends, check out brands like Onzie, Terez and Nux Active. Many of their most popular styles are on Carbon38 as well as their own sites.
For the vegan yogi, check out Green Apple Active. No joke, this brand makes their soft, you-wanna-live-in, yoga clothes from bamboo. Their clothes are biodegradable, eco-friendly and vegan! Some of the most comfortable clothes I’ve ever worn
10. For the urban cyclist. New Balance’s C-series 600, is where street style meets function. It’s a sleek urban cycling shoe with a bootie construction for an easy on/off fit. It has a hidden pocket to safely tuck laces away from your gears and a reflective pattern that keeps you seen. Designed to withstand miles of urban peddling.
Fun & Games
11. Sports or Dance Lessons. Gifting your friend or spouse sessions with a private trainer or a gym membership, unless they specifically asked for it, may send an unintended message like, “what are you trying to tell me? Is this a hint you think I need to lose weight?” You never know how someone might interpret this type of gift. I recommend something a little more interesting for a holiday gift. Consider: Ballet, Ballroom, Latin or Bellydancing lessons. Sailing or Tennis lessons. For the adrenaline junkies in your life, consider Race car driving lessons or an experience at a track. Snowboarding / Skiing lessons or a season pass to a ski resort. And for the less mainstream person, consider Acroyoga, Circus or Flying (trapeze) classes.
Self Care & Therapy
12. And finally, everyone fit gets injuries or at least sore muscles. Self massagers and trigger point therapy tools can be a very “healing” gift for someone you care about. Foam rollers:
One other idea is a mechanical massager. I use this one regularly, the MyoBuddy. It vibrates, spins and heats up that gives quick, deep relief to sore muscles. It isn’t cheap, but if you add up how much your massages cost at a spa, this can save you some money in the long run.
Wishing you and your loved ones a happy, sporty and especially a healthy holiday season!