Category: Holiday Exercise

Photo by Caley Dimmock on Unsplash

Fitness Gifts That (Hopefully) Don’t Suck

This time of year, there is an infinite number of holiday gift guides out there and I swear I’ve looked at all of them to try and find ideas for the hard-to-buy people in my life (ahem, husband).

And now I have another list to add to the lists. My list has to do with fitness, as you might guess. If you and your loved ones aren’t into that, this is easy…you can move on to more pertinent lists. Otherwise, read on.

One note – Please, please, please don’t give someone a fitness-oriented gift in order to encourage a non-exerciser to exercise. Like, don’t give her a FitBit and say, “Hey, maybe now you’ll lose a few pounds!” She will hurt you.

I could tell you stories about spouses who have hired me to train an un-interested love one. That is not an experience one forgets.

I’ve tried to make sure there’s nothing stupid on this list but, of course, that’s very subjective. Some stuff is expensive, some isn’t. If you have any comments or suggestions, leave one in the box or email me. I’m pretty much always here.

Bose Wireless Headphones

Okay, these are expensive…around $199 which is a lot, I know. I have these and I really, really love them. They offer great sound and they stay in my ears no matter what I’m doing.

What I Love

  • No wires
  • They work even if your phone is in your pocket or in another room
  • The battery life is really long
  • It only takes minutes to charge them
  • If you lose one or both you can find them with the Bose app

These are by far the best headphones I’ve ever used.

Apple Watch

Yes, these things cost 2 arms and a leg, but I love love love mine and it’s great for exercisers or wannabe exercisers. Here are the things I love:

  1. Reminders – It gives you little nudges each day encouraging you to close all of your activity rings. The activity rings go like this: Complete 30 minutes of exercise, burn a certain number of calories (which you set) and stand up at least once per hour for 12 hours. You can change these settings, of course.
  2. Rewards – When you do meet all your goals, your get a visual pat on the back from your watch. I don’t know why, but that makes me feel good.
  3. Heart rate monitor – It also includes a heart rate monitor – I’m not sure how accurate it is and sometimes it’s a little wonky, but I do like not having to where a chest strap.
  4. Tracking activities – You can track tons of activities like walking, running, cycling…pretty much whatever.
  5. ECG Capabilities – Now this is pretty cool and available on the new Series 4 and will be available on the others soon. Basically, you can hold your finger on the side of the digital crown and it will take your ECG reading.  This is actually endorsed by the American Heart Association as well as approved by the FDA.

There are tons of bells and whistles that you can read about, should you be interested. The new series, the series 4, actually includes GPS so you can use your watch without your phone (the other versions require your phone if you want to use the GPS stuff). I have a series 2, which is fine.

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphone

I don’t have these, but I definitely covet them. Why, you ask? It’s because these are bone-conducting headphones. That means they don’t go in your ears, they send the sound directly through your cheekbones…That way, your ears are free to hear what’s going on around you so you don’t get hit by a car, bike, bus, etc.  Pretty cool.

FitBit Smart Watch

Of course, no fitness gift guide is complete without some kind of FitBit – and they have a number of models. The latest one trying to keep up with the Apple Watch and other smart watches is the FitBit Smart Watch.

There are tons of bells and whistles here:

  • Tracks your activity, heart rate and sleep all day
  • Stores more than 300 songs and you can even add Pandora
  • There are 15 exercise modes – like running, swimming, walking, etc.
  • It has GPS
  • You can install some of your favorite apps

There’s more and it costs around $199. I wouldn’t mind this in my stocking…

The Workout Mirror

Okay, so this thing is absolutely the coolest thing and I really want one. It’s a mirror you can hang on your wall…and? It’s also a screen where you can connect with real time workout classes. You can see yourself and you can see the instructor. You can also train live with other members of the mirror community and you can sync a bluetooth heart rate monitor so Mirror can use your biometric data to optimize your workouts.

You won’t be surprised at the price:  $1495. I know. I still want it. And you have to pay a fee to access the workouts, but if you think of how much a gym membership costs, it might be worth it.

Workout Apps and More

One thing you may not have thought about was gifting someone a workout app. Obviously, not everyone will love getting something like this, but here are some great apps out there that offer tons of ways to exercise. Some are free and some offer a subscription service. You can use these on just about any device or hook your device up to your TV and blow it out the old bloomer leg.

  • Pump One Fitness Builder – I’ve been using Fitness Builder for years – They have over 1,000 workouts & 7,000+ fitness images & videos to choose from and if you do the Plus membership (a subscription service) you can access a log to track your measurements, stats and more. They also have a separate app called Fitness Class with tons of workout videos from a wide variety of instructors. I really love this App and use it all the time. Read more about it.
  • Sworkit – This is another great app offering a variety of workouts like yoga, strength training, cardio…you name it and they have it. They have some free workouts, but of course, you can upgrade to the premium app to get even more workouts and access to workout plans. That costs $4.99 a month. It’s really easy to use – You just pick a workout, pick the amount of time you want to exercise and start. There’s no music, so you can use your own and follow along with the instructor.
  • Cathe On Demand – Cathe Friedrich is big in the video fitness world and she has an app with all of her workouts there. There are more than 300 workouts and she also has tons of premixes (where the original workout is mixed and matched for new options). Most of her workouts are geared towards more advanced exercisers, though she does have stuff for intermediate exercisers. This one is more expensive at $19.97 a month, but it’s worth it. I’ve been doing Cathe workouts for going on 20-something years and they are always very high quality.
  • Beach Body – If you’ve heard of P90X, you know who Beach Body is. They have this sort of format they use for a variety of different series. There’s P90X, which is a very advanced program, but then they also have yoga workouts, a kickboxing series and interesting challenges you can try. This isn’t my favorite App – Some of the workouts are repetitive and some of them are just plain old too hard…I get bored easily, but it’s easy to subscribe, give it a try and cancel. It’s $14.99 a month.
  • Aaptiv – I love using this one on my phone because there are a wide variety of workouts – Outdoor running or walking, strength training, treadmill, elliptical…it goes on and on. Most of the cardio workouts include some kind of interval training, but they fit any exerciser with beginner, intermediate or advanced workouts. Different coaches guide you through each workout but my favorite part is the music. They use real music from the original artists, which makes every workout just a little easier. The cost is $9.99 a month.
  • Lazy Jar for FitBits – If you or someone else has a FitBit, you’ll get a kick out of this app. You pick a set of weekly goals, such as walking a certain number of steps and then set a penalty that you have to pay if you don’t meet your goals. That’s a cute idea, but I wonder if I would actually pay up?

I could go on and on, but these are the ones I use the most. Give a shout out if you have one you like and I’ll add it to the list.

Fun Gifts That Aren’t Too Expensive

  • A personalized Yeti – My mother-in-law got one of these last year and she is still talking about it. I’m not kidding.
  • Wine socks – I know, socks are so…so…socky and something my grandmother used to give me. But I got these socks last year and I love them. On the bottom they say, “If you can read this, Bring me a glass of wine.” Has nothing to do with fitness.
  • Funny fitness sweatshirt – This is for the person in your life who, well, isn’t really into fitness and likes to let other people know about it.
  • Yoga dice – If you know someone who loves yoga, this gift is a really cute one. As the name suggests, it’s a little container with dice that have yoga poses on them, so they can roll the dice and make their own workouts.
  • Fitlosophy Fitbook Journal – For the person who keeps track of everything, this is a 12-week goal-setting journal where they can log workouts, meals, and more.

Got any other ideas? Leave a comment and tell us what you’d like to get or give for the holidays.