When you make up your holiday gift list this year, think healthy. There are many fun, creative ways to give presents that promote health and fitness. Start by thinking of activities that you enjoy, and invite your friends and family to join you, recommends Howard Feldfogel, DO, Clarkstown Medical Associates.
“Anything that gets someone moving is good,” he says. “The goal is at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week to help you maintain your weight, keep off the weight you lose and help you and your heart stay fit.”
If you find a Zumba class or other enjoyable exercise class, offer to take a friend along. Give a gift of dance classes to a couple. Sign up for a healthy cooking class for you and a friend. Plan a weekend of hiking with someone—and bring along healthy snacks like trail mix with nuts and dried fruit and plenty of water.
Fitbits are a great present for those who are health-conscious and those who vow to start exercising soon. “I find my patients really use them,” Dr. Feldfogel says. “Sometimes it’s just the kickstart someone needs to get active.”
Other gift ideas:
- An insulated water bottle to encourage hydration during workouts
- A healthy cookbook for your friends who love spending time in the kitchen
- Fitness CDs for someone who never has time for the gym
- A juicer to get more fruit and veggies into someone’s diet
- Gift certificate to a health food store
- Trial class of yoga for a stressed-out friend
- A basket of fruit and nuts (instead of cookies)
- Personal training sessions
The best gift you can give a friend or family member who is trying to be healthier is encouragement, Dr. Feldfogel says. “Figure out what they like to do, and help them do it. If they like golf, buy them a round of golf. If they like dancing, buy them some lessons. And whatever you choose, consider joining in yourself. You’ll be giving the gift of fitness and friendship at the same time.”