The Gift of Fitness

It’s the time of year when we hang multi-coloured lights on our houses, swap milk for eggnog in our lattes and when shopping becomes a part time job.  Do you know what to give everyone on your list?  Another tie for the business man in your family, a tacky mug for the golf enthusiast, or a box of chocolates for the neighbour?  This year, give something different: give the gift of better health.
The gift of fitness will fit into anyone’s stocking- parents’, your spouses’, your co-workers’ and your kids’.  After all, who wouldn’t want a healthier heart, a trimmer waist or more energy for Christmas?
The gift of fitness in priceless- but that doesn’t mean it has to be expensive!  Here are a few fitness gift ideas to show that you truly care.
Practically Free
An active outing during the Christmas holidays.  Plan to go for a walk, hike or to the swimming pool.
A mixed CD of energizing workout tunes.
An exercise video.  You can find a DVD for every fitness level, from gentle yoga or tai chi to high intensity kick boxing or boot camps.
Home exercise equipment.  A stability ball, a set of hand weights, a skipping rope and a resistance band make a great home gym.  Medicine balls and balance tools are also great ways to spice up a home workout routine.  When purchasing a stability ball, look for a high quality burst-resistant ball.  They hold their shape better, and will deflate slowly, not pop, if the cat plays with it.
A pedometer.  A step counter is a fun tool to gauge activity level during the day.
A month’s gym membership.  Perhaps you can go as well!
New workout attire.  New clothes to wear to the gym may be the extra incentive to actually go!  A sporty rain jacket, warm exercise pants or a thermal top are great gifts to keep warm and dry during the west coast winter months.
Over $50
A heart rate monitor or GPS watch.  Heart rate monitors are great a great way to gauge the intensity of a workout.  A GPS watch is a fun tool to track mileage and speed when going for walks, runs, or bike rides.
A gift certificate to a ski hill or golf course.
A few sessions with a personal trainer (at Ascend Fitness), or a gift certificate to Boot Camp.   A personal trainer or group class will kick start this New Year’s resolution.  Check out the great training deals offered until December 2011!
A treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical trainer.  Cardio equipment is especially useful for the rainy days.
Why spend your valuable time searching for the perfect gift only to end up buying another ornament for the mantel or a sweater that does not fit?  No matter how big or small your budget is, this Christmas, show that you care by giving each person on your list the gift of better health.  Your thoughtful gift may be all the encouragement and motivation your loved ones need to devote some time to take care of themselves.

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