5-fitness-brands-kicking-butt-on-social-media-97304fa605.jpgWalk into any convenience, grocery, or drug store and you’ll find no shortage of magazines whose covers feature scantily clad models and celebrities showcasing their rock-hard, oiled up abs alongside a headline that reads something like: “To get this body, all I did was drink more water and cut out sugar!” Well I’m calling <insert expletive> on that. Being fit takes work. Hard work. And it’s not necessarily all about obtaining those elusive abs. It’s about being healthy. And that’s why, to me, there is a wide range of “fitness enthusiasts” out there. So, at the risk of offending the people in my life, I’ve created a list of “fitness enthusiast types” and what gift might be a hit for them under the Christmas tree this year.

Type #1 – The Corey: Fitness Competition Guy

When I logged into Facebook the other day, my Newsfeed presented me with the following image: a black and white photo of a shirtless and very tattooed guy posing and flexing to show off his massive muscles. The guy was Corey and we went to high school together 20+ years ago. According to his Facebook posts, he was working tirelessly to compete in a “physique” competition. This is what I call a “hard core fitness enthusiast” and as such, might like something along the lines of the following:

  • Timex Men’s Ironman Road Trainer Digital Heart Rate Monitorironman.jpg
    When you’re competing in a physique competition, tracking your heart rate and caloric expenditure is essential. With the Timex Ironman Road Trainer, your hard-core fitness enthusiast can do so effectively, while also presetting their desired heart rate exercise zone, which will alert them when and if they fall out of that zone. It won’t cheer for them when they do more reps than ever before, or lift a personal best, but it has an INDIGLO® night-light for nighttime work outs, and comes with a waterproof heart rate sensor, which is ideal considering the amount of sweat it must take to get to performance-ready shape.
  • Kaizen Naturals Whey Isolate Protein Powderprotien.jpg
    Fitness competition and protein powder. Need I say more? Protein is essential to build muscles and if you’ve ever known an athlete, or a gym-rat, you know that protein powder is a staple in their diet. For the fitness fanatic on your list, Kaizen Naturals Whey Powder is a sure win. It’s made of all natural ingredients and is easy to mix, making it the ideal supplement to your fanatic’s daily diet.

Type #2 – The Tanya: Glutton for Punishment

Tanya is one of my best friends, which is surprising considering the fact that our ideas of “fun” tend to vary greatly. For example, her plans for the Remembrance Day holiday were to do the Grouse Grind hike – nicknamed Mother Nature’s Staircase – “a couple of times” after a few games of squash. I did nothing of the sort. This is a girl with 0% body fat and magazine-cover abs who loves fitness. But it doesn’t dictate her whole life. For this type, here are some options:

  • Yurbuds Inspire Women In-Ear Headphonesyur.jpg
    I’ve done the Grouse Grind with Tanya. I’ve also hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with her, and what I learned is that for her, and for the majority of fitness enthusiasts out there, music is essential to kicking my butt. But to listen to music while physically active, a good set of headphones is essential. Enter the Yurbuds Inspire for Women. I’ve actually had the opportunity to review these earbuds in the past and was pleasantly surprised. While they do come in pink, their only other “girly” feature is that they were designed by women for women’s smaller ears, which makes them super comfortable while delivering fantastic sound.

vitamins.jpg

  • FemMED Weight Management, Energy and Multi+Antioxidants Supplement Colllection
    Typically speaking, this type of Tanya Fitness Enthusiast doesn’t need anything to assist with weight management, but I do know that energy, multi vitamins, and antioxidant supplements are a staple in their diet. The FemMD line is designed specifically for women and is designed to improve mental and physical performance while helping to support good health, making them an ideal gift for the “Tanya’s” on your list.

Type #3 – The Jayne: Mother of Four

When you think of a mother of four children, all between the ages of 7 and 11 (with no twins), the image of my sister in law Jayne likely isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Nope, Jayne is a rock star. She manages the lives of four small humans while somehow fitting in a gig as a yoga instructor, and most recently, as a paddleboard yoga instructor. For the fit moms out there here are some options:

  • STOTT PILATES Hot Yoga Plus Matyoga.jpg
    While my sister in law Jayne happens to be a yoga teacher, yoga itself is exceptionally popular among moms out there (and anyone who lives in Vancouver). It’s something that can be done anywhere, which means you can practice while the kiddies are napping, and requires very little in terms of gear. Really, the only thing that you need is a yoga map, like the STOTT PILATES Hot Yoga Plus Mat. What makes this yoga mat unique is that it is made with absorbent microfibers suited to humid and wet conditions, which is kind of a necessity when doing hot yoga, or in my case, any yoga.
  • everlast.jpgEverlast Ultimate Total-Body Workout Kit
    The moms of the world out there are a busy bunch so the idea of taking the time to go to a gym is a foreign concept. That’s where the Everlast Ultimate Total-Body Workout Kit comes in hand. Gift the mom in your life with this and she can tone and strengthen while the kids are napping with three key pieces of equipment – an Upper Body Strength Bar, Supreme Push-Up, and Power Ab.

Type #4 – The Patricia: Rain or Shine Grandma

Another rock star in my life is my mom, Patricia. She lives on an insanely steep hill and starts each and every day with a 45-minute walk up its steep incline and then back home. At 65, she could very likely kick my behind walkingshuffle

up that hill. In fact, she and I hiked up Mount Vesuvius in Italy a few years back! But she also loves life, and enjoys great food and fine wine. For this type of fitness enthusiast consider:

  • Apple iPod shuffle 5th Generation 2GBshuffle.jpg
    I’m so proud of my mom. A couple of years ago she decided she needed to embrace technology, so bought an iPad and (finally) more recently upgraded her 1990s flip phone to an iPhone. Yup, we text. And I know she’s not the only “hip” grandma out there. For her and others like her, an Apple iPod shuffle is a great choice. There’s not much to fiddle with on a shuffle, which makes them super easy to use; and that means grandma can cruise up that steep hill, or do whatever else it is she does to stay fit, while listening to music that’ll keep her motivated.
  • LifeCORE Fitness Rowing Machinerower.jpg
    While the fact that my mom stays fit by walking is awesome, I’m her daughter, and it bothers me to know that she’s out there rain or shine, summer and winter. Sometimes, walking isn’t as safe as you’d like to think it is. That’s why the LifeCORE Fitness Rowing Machine is a fantastic gift for the fit moms and grandmas in your life. Rowing is a fantastic workout, and the LifeCORE rowing machine does a fantastic job of targeting multiple muscle groups while keeping mom/grandma out of harms way. Sorry mom.

Type #5 – The Stacey: Seasonal & Occasion Oriented

Yup, this is me. There was a time in my life when I actually had the time to dedicate a minimum of an hour a day at the gym, but those days are long gone. I work a full time job, and have additional freelance gigs on the side. To say I’m busy is an understatement. So, I’m that person who steps things up when summer is around the corner, or I need to look like a million bucks in a bridesmaid or cocktail dress. In short, I’m the “fitness enthusiast” who knows exactly what I need to do to be fit, but who chooses to put those skills to work only when something pressing is around the corner.

  • Jawbone UP24 Activity TrackerJawbone.jpg
    I’m the kind of person that wants the gadgets that will keep me in check when I’m on a fitness kick, but I’m also a little frugal when it comes to such things – new shoes tend to take priority. That’s why the Jawbone UP24 Activity Tracker is a great option for those fair-weather fitness enthusiasts like myself. It is reasonably priced, but does everything I want it to do. It tracks sleeping habits, eating and movement patterns, calories burned, and monitors the intensity of my workouts. And because it is IOS compatible, it leaves me no excuses when it comes to getting fit.
  • Plantronics BackBeat Fit In-Ear Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphonesplantronics.jpg
    To me, music is everything in a workout. If I don’t have great music pumping in my ears, not only will my mind wander, but I’ll just throw in the towel way too early into my sweat session. Noise cancelling headphones are a must, and something the “fair-weather” fitness enthusiasts on your list will love. A great option is the Plantronics BackBeat Fit In-Ear Headphones. They deliver fantastic sound and are Bluetooth compatible, which means you don’t have to have your music source plugged into your headphones … and that means you can work out without extraneous cords getting in your way.

Whether the fitness enthusiast in your life sits on the couch most evenings, but tears it up at the gym when they want to, or spends every spare minute of their time improving their physique and tracking their caloric intake, there is something that you can put under the tree this year that will be sure to make them smile.