As Christmas fast approaches, Santa will be getting his annual requests for health and fitness gear and technology to help even the least experienced exercisers to get moving. Here are some of the best fitness gift ideas from beginners, right up to seasoned fitness experts to help you get into the pattern of an active lifestyle every day:
This is a good one for those who are just starting out on a fitness journey. A pedometer can give you a sense of achievement just by going about your daily life. By taking the stairs rather than the lift, walking to the shops rather than taking the car, you can clock up some seriously big numbers on the pedometer which really boosts you, as well as pushing you to try and beat your previous target. Try the Yamax Power Walker, which stores your daily statistics for up to thirty days.
A fitness ball
Okay, so an inflatable ball may baffle some people as a good idea for a Christmas gift, but the ball – often just called a fit ball, or gym ball, is not only a great device on which to learn new exercises, but it’s also a great seat which improves posture, rather than slouching on an office chair. Just by sitting on a fit ball means you engage your core muscles and strengthen your muscles. It’s a great piece of kit for beginners, pregnant women, children, and it can also offer more demanding exercises for more seasoned fitness bods. Look for a burst-resistant ball from brands such as Everlast or Reebok.
Subscription to a fitness magazine
It’s amazing what a bit of motivation can do for your fitness credentials. Something as simple as a magazine full of ideas for workouts, new challenges, cool fitness gear, and inspiration stories can be just the ticket to ensure your new year is a fit and healthy one. There are plenty of fitness magazines of the market for a wide variety of fitness specialisms so you’re bound to find something – whether it be Runners World for a keen runner, or Health and Fitness Magazine, for a broader range of health topics.
GPS watch and tracker
Targeted more at those who already have an active lifestyle, a good GPS tracker can help monitor your progress, log you favourite routes and help you push yourself. Many now plug into devices so you can share data on social media. Try one like the Timex Ironman Wireless Fitness Tracker and Watch, which calculates lap time, distance, pace and calories burned.
Some great gear
Although you don’t need to have any particular gear to get fit, it does help if you’re looking and feeling good in what you’re wearing. So some good looking fitness clothing can actually help get you motivated to get moving. It might be a pair of quality running trainers such as the Asics GEL-EXCEL33 2, or a Skins compression top for a keen cyclist. For a beginner, think about some smart T-shirts and joggers from brands such as Adidas.
It might seem like a bit of a cliche, but a juicer is a great bit of kit for a health enthusiast, to encourage healthy living and ensure they get their daily dose of five a day. Living an active lifestyle goes hand in hand with making healthy food and drink choices, and this piece of kit makes it so easy to get a quick fix of essential vitamins and nutrients. Try the Philips 1861 juicer for one that’s not too pricey.
Listening to music is vital for a lot of keep-fitters, and so good headphones that don’t fall out of your ears are pretty important. They make for a fairly inexpensive gift, but one that will be welcomed by anyone with an active lifestyle. Try the Yurbuds Inspire Headphones which are guaranteed never to fall out of your ears.
Customised Yoga mat
A bit of a quirky gift for yoga and pilates lovers – give a personalised yoga mat. It saves using the grubby mats that are kept in the gym store cupboard and will boost your buddy to get out and do even more stretching!
For fitness folk who are enthusiastic enough to do their extra-curricular gym work at home, some dumbells are a good choice for the home gym. They don’t take up much space, so they are a good bit of kit to fill a few minutes lifting. There are plenty of different sizes and qualities to choose from, so it depends on the enthusiasm of the recipient as to how heavy you go. Try Bodypower Ergo Chrome for an affordable set of dumbells.
And one to avoid.......
Don’t buy anyone a set of bathroom scales. It sends out the wrong message, and if anyone wants to keep tabs on their weight, they’ll buy a set themselves.
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by Jessica Ward