Whether you’re shopping for a loved one or a Secret Santa gift for the holiday party at work, give a little thought to what you’re giving. So many times people buy the nearest item out of convenience but let’s be honest. How many of us really eat that chocolate, use the candles or like the lotion we’re often gifted with? I personally have shelves of gifts that I can’t wait to regift to someone else. With that in mind and health in the limelight with the Affordable Care Act health exchange benefits going live on January 1st – give the gift of health. Some things money just can’t buy such as good health but with a thoughtful gift such as one from the list below, it sets the stage for the gift of health which is one that keeps on giving. Both affordable and considerate here are 9 #HealthyLivingGifts you should consider giving this year.
Rediscover the kid inside of you with a hula hoop or jump rope. It’s an instant cardio work out and is a lot harder than it appears. 20 minutes a day of this will definitely put the gift recipient on a heart healthy track.
2. Yoga mat & exercise DVD
Who said yoga was just for women? This Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline includes breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures and is widely practiced for health and relaxation. And if yoga isn’t for the gift recipient, the mat is helpful for other exercises done on the ground.
This one is easy. Ditch the chocolate and cookies and give a tasty treat that doesn’t cause the waistline to expand or spike blood sugar levels. Dried fruits are some of the healthiest alternatives to refined sugar and they are an excellent way to satisfy a sweet craving. Nuts are packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, and disease-fighting vitamins and minerals.
What a great and unexpected gift this would be. Many people think they need fancy gym equipment or a gym membership to work various muscle groups. These are discrete and easy to travel with so one can exercise regardless of where they may be… at work, at home or away on travel.
Adding a few extra weights to the ankles during routine walking or exercises is a great way to add some extra resistance. Don’t underestimate what 2.5 or 5 lbs ankle weights can do for the cardio and muscle group workouts. That along with a pedometer can keep this gift recipient on track for a healthy new year.
You’ll be surprised how many people truly aren’t familiar with some cooking basics. Gift someone with the fundamental tools and a blue print for cooking healthIER. Even if the cookbook isn’t touched (although unlikely), the measuring cups will be helpful for helping people keep track of serving sizes which can make a difference in how much and how often they eat.
7. Exercise ball & instructional DVD
This is one of the most underutilized and misunderstood exercise gadgets. With its several ways to be used to exercise it is something that welcomes the novice exerciser and still challenges the more experienced one. Its a reasonably priced gift that comes with instructions but if you’re giving this to a novice exerciser, make sure to add the instructional DVD.
8. A digital scale
A digital scale may seem like a nice to have but its really a need to have. Only 2 out of every 10 Americans have a functional scale in their homes. Maybe that’s why 2 out of every 3 Americans are overweight or obese. To make progress, one will need to know what their baseline is. Aria (pictured here) by Fibit is an example of a digital scale that tracks your weight, body fat percentage, and Body Mass Index, and can even paint a picture of your long-term progress instead of short term blips for up to eight people. It wirelessly syncs stats into online graphs and mobile tools that help one stay motivated and on track. So whether your gift recipient is building muscle or shedding pounds, they can stay motivated by setting goals, and earning badges. Their data is private by default and gives up to date information on their progress, i.e “Almost to that 10lb weight goal.”
Even before many people actually start exercising, they want to at least look the part. This gift set is more than just looking the part but will be helpful for those who actually exercise. Staying hydrated will be key as well as a towel to wipe away the sweat or to lay down on the ground for other exercises.