In a memorable scene in the iconic movie The Princess Bride, Count Rugen invites Prince Humperdinck to tag along as he prepares to begin torturing the dashing, young Westley. The Prince declines the invitation citing his exhausting “to do” list which includes planning his wedding and subsequently murdering his wife. In sincere deadpan, Count Rugen replies, “Get some rest. If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.”
Funny, but true. Because the best gift you can give someone you care for is the gift of health and fitness. Whether it’s a pair of dumbbells, a gym membership or a heart-healthy cookbook, such health-promoting gifts will benefit your loved one for years to come. With Hanukkah and Christmas just around the corner, I’ve been scouring the fitness industry’s websites and blogs to gather together some gift ideas for this year’s holiday season. Here’s my advice. Remember to keep your recipients in mind – and buy gifts that are suitable to their interests and skills, not yours. You can’t force fitness and health – you can only put it out there and hope your recipients grab on. Try to find something that will peek your loved ones’ interests in order to achieve a good fit – and don’t be offended if your gifts are returned or exchanged.
The overall goal is to “pass the health” and here are twelve fun and practical gift ideas for healthy holidays:
- Personalize It! A workout bag, yoga mat, water bottle, popcorn bowl, or workout towel. A great place to start for monogramming your loved ones’ workout gear is www.personalizedmail.com.
- Cuisinart Easy Pop Popcorn Maker. A big hit at Coach Stacy’s Healthy U! Popcorn is a healthy snack and the Cuisinart popper is easy to use and a breeze to clean up.
- Nu Wave Elite Oven. Of course I have a vested interest in promoting this particular product, since my husband, Joe Fowler, hosts its infomercial. And in fact, the Nu Wave is such an amazing product we rarely use our conventional oven any more. The Nu Wave uses three types of heat – conduction, convection and infrared – so that food is cooked perfectly every time. Cooking is also faster, making your loved ones far less prone to junk snacking than they’d otherwise be. And cleanup is simple.
- Williams Sonoma Electric Egg Cooker. Love my egg protein but hate it when my eggs are not cooked right or are too difficult to peel. This little product takes the guesswork out of the cooking with a simple push of a button.
- Withings Blood Pressure Monitor. A handy little gadget for anyone with high blood pressure. The monitor retails for $129 and can be used with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Simply plug the monitor into an iOS device for an easy and accurate blood pressure reading that can even be emailed instantly to the doctor’s office.
- Himalayan Crystal Rock Salt Lamp. A soothing little stocking stuffer for a mere $15-$20 price range. The lamp works as an air purifier by emitting negative ions into the air and light therapy to reduce stress and increase energy.
- National Park Annual Pass. $80 will provide access to all National Parks and federal recreation sites for an entire year. A $10 lifetime pass is also available for seniors 62 and older.
- Hands-Free Dog Leash Running Belt. At last, the perfect product for dog lovers who like to walk and run unencumbered with their dogs. For serious dog runners with multiple dogs and good padding, try Larz Pet GearZ-Hands Free Leash ($56-85). You can design your own belt based on number of dogs in your clan. The Buddy System ($20) is great for smaller dogs. Many Pet stores carry this product, but test it out for comfort and control features.
- Cranium Hullabaloo Game ($23). This is a great gift to motivate your kids to be physically active. It’s a high-energy game, full of cool tunes, sounds, and surprises. This game will keep you bouncing, spinning, twisting and dancing.
- The new TRX Rip Trainer ($189.95). From the makers of the TRX, this is a challenging core workout that engages muscles throughout the body, with rotational moves to take its users to the next level of fitness.
- Corebody Reformer by Bowflex ($279). This is a portable fitness machine that combines three workouts in a single device – Yoga, Pilates, and Resistance Training. It also folds into a convenient tube and weights only 17 pounds for on-the-go use.
- The Jawbone UP or Fitbit. These are bracelets that sense your movement. You can also use them to track your food intake and moods for a clear and concise picture of your daily behavior. Both devices hold a charge for a full week and are waterproof, and feature alarms to alert you when you’ve been sitting too long!