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Active living gift guide

By Matt Mayer, MSc
Posted: December 2012

Give the gift of good health with these nifty ideas.

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Matt Mayer, MSc
The right gear can motivate someone to start getting active or kick it up a notch.

The holiday season can be a great time to kick-start healthy activity habits. And what could be more motivating than fun new stuff? Good for novices to veterans, here are active gift ideas to add to your own wish list or slip under the tree for someone you love.

  • Gym clothes - We’ve come a long way from the old T-shirt and shorts combo. New lightweight, super absorbent and comfortable workout wear is good for any exerciser, beginner or experienced. If you aren’t sure of their style, get gift cards. Lululemon has styles for him and her; Under Armour compression gear is excellent for cold weather training.
  • Exercise ball - The days of slouching in your chair are over. Using an exercise ball at your desk in your home office or at work is an excellent way to maintain good posture with some core exercise. Add back support with this Fit-Chair add-on.
  • Hydration kit - Drinking enough water during any workout is important. Especially for outdoor activity, you want easy to carry, accessible, and lightweight options.
  • Electronics - There are a plethora of training aids out there. Best options depend on your activities of choice.  
    • Heart rate monitor - Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, exercising at the proper intensity is the safest way to get the most of your workout. Monitors come in a variety of brands and styles, so do your research to find the best fit.
    • Exercise trackers - The options range from pedometers to more complex watch-like monitors that use GPS to track your distance, activities and calories. The Nike+ series, for example, include a variety of training aids. An added bonus of exercise trackers is the real time feedback that estimates how much energy you have expended in a day.
    • For those who enjoy swimming, Garmin Swim has an option to keep you motivated and help you improve your workout lap-by-lap.

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  • Home gym gear – Not everyone wants to go to a club to work out in public, but equipping your house with pricey cardio and weight machines may not be an option. Here are some economical ways to bring fitness home:
    • Kettle bells: Kettle bells come in a variety of weights and can be used in different ways to get a complete body workout. Add a workout guide for all levels.
    • Resistance bands: Excellent for upper and lower body exercises, resistance bands are simple to use – and you don’t need much space. Check out these training guides if you are looking for robust at-home workouts.

Each of these gift ideas come in a variety of different styles and brands, so use this guide as a starting point to explore the range.

Before starting any physical activity routine, please check with your healthcare provider.

Matt Mayer is an exercise physiologist.

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