One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions is to get in shape. But even if you haven’t made a commitment to lose a few pounds or train for a marathon, it’s always a good idea to adopt generally healthier habits. And you help someone on your holiday list this year achieve this with the perfect holiday gift that involved clever tech, like fitness trackers and smartwatches, earbuds, and more.
How tech can help you reach fitness goals?
Tech products aren’t just for sedentary activities. They can actually help coach and motivate you as you strive to get more fit and healthier. So any gifts for fitness fanatic on your list this holiday season will appreciate, and be able to make use of, lots of tech gadgets to pump them up for a great workout session, jog or run, exercise class, and more. And there are useful non-tech gadgets, too.
Health and wellness gifts for tracking fitness, coaching, and motivating
Any fitness fanatic either has, or will want, a fitness tracker or smartwatch. And there are lots of options from which to choose, from basic fitness bands that track activity, sports, steps, and sleep to more feature-rich watches that add heart rate tracking, on-screen workouts, built-in music storage, smartphone notifications, and more.
With a simple fitness tracker like the Garmin vivosmart 4, you can track activities, heart rate, and sleep, as well as get a reading of your oxygen consumption via Vo2 max. You can also get scrolling notifications from a connected smartphone on the small vertical screen.
Or, opt for a smartwatch with a larger screen like the new Fitbit Sense that can be used for following on-screen guided workouts, selecting exercises, and controlling music playback (including tunes stored directly in the watch) along with built-in GPS so you can leave your phone at home or on the car or gym locker. It has neat additional features to measure stats that play a critical role in your health and well-being but are sometimes forgotten, like detailed sleep tracking, heart rate, and even EDA Scanning for better stress management and skin temperature measurement. Amazon Alexa adds voice control as well. It even comes with a few few months of Fitbit Premium to get even deeper insights into your health.
Health and wellness gifts for listening to music and coaching
A good pair of headphones can really make a difference when working out, and some of the best options are wireless ones that eliminate dangling cords that can get in the way of your body movements. Some, like the JBL Under Armour True Wireless Sports Headphones are designed specifically to wear while working out. These are both sweat- and water-proof and feature Bionic Hearing so you can totally immerse yourself in your upbeat workout playlist while still staying aware of your surroundings – especially handy if you like to go for morning or night runs outdoors. They feature Sports Flex Fit ear tips that fit securely in your ear, no matter how rigorous your workout. And you’ll get up to five hours per charge with an additional 20 using the charging case.
When working out, I really love the Apple AirPods and the new Apple AirPods Pro add noise cancellation, Transparency mode for hearing your surroundings, a customizable fit, and that magically seamless connection to your Apple device, including providing battery status by simply opening the charging case nearby your phone, or instantly syncing with music from Apple Music or even an Apple Watch. With Audio Sharing, you can work out with a friend while sharing the same audio stream on two sets of AirPods, which is a really neat motivator and so you don’t have to choose between chatting and music when working out with a partner.
Health and wellness gifts for exercising, sports
Not every gift has to be uber-high-tech. There are also products you can get for someone to add to their workout room, basement, or garage. This could include a yoga or pilates mat for doing workouts in classes or even at home in front of the TV, boxing and martial arts training devices, strength training devices like weights, medicine balls, and resistance bands, and full-fledged cardio machines, like a treadmill or rowing machine.
Exercise bikes like the Bowflex VeloCore are growing in popularity thanks to the convenient built-in console that makes it easy to stream coaching and outdoor virtual classes from around the world using a JRNY membership (sold separately). It has 100 resistance levels and even a Learning Mode for those just getting started.
Resistance bands don’t look like they will do much, but having used them in a few fitness classes, I can attest to just how much they can help with a workout. You can get sets with multiple bands of different sizes, or individual bands that would make great stocking stuffers.
Another great option for someone you know who’s looking to explore new and exciting fitness activities is a pair of training gloves. Having done Krav Maga for a year, and with a son who has been studying Taekwondo for the last four, I can confidently say that boxing offers an intense workout. You can grab just the gloves or help someone set up in their garage or basement workout room with everything they’d need for a boxing cardio session including a punching bag, pads, and hand wraps.
Health and wellness gifts for managing pain
Especially for someone who’s new to working out, it isn’t always easy. I know after not having hit a gym or workout class for years, my body was thoroughly aching after my first week. So pain management devices are a great gift, too.
A massage device is a great gift idea to help pinpoint those areas that are feeling it the most, like the thighs, back, and neck. The Hyperice Hypervolt Percussion Massage Device, for example, has five interchangeable heads to use on different parts of the body and provides a targeted massage to relieve sore muscles, along with three speed settings. It has a rechargeable battery so they can take it with them on business trips to ensure they’re feeling spritely in the morning before heading to a meeting after a workout session at the hotel gym or a morning run.
I bought a TENS machine at a trade show a few years back after a convincing demo that showed how amazingly one could make you feel after providing a targeted massage using electronic pulses. You can choose from different intensity levels as well as programs that simulate everything from deep kneading to knocking and shiatsu.
For women, there are devices that can even help alleviate some of the pain during their menstrual cycles so they can continue to work out and fend off the cramps. With the Livia Menstrual Pain Relief Device, for example, you can press a button to stimulate the nerves and block pain from passing to the brain, helping you get through that 30 minutes on the treadmill or weekly workout class.
Health and wellness gifts for eating right
I have learned that working out and getting more exercise isn’t enough: a big part of the equation is eating right. And there are lots of great gifts you can get for the person who’s trying to achieve fitness goals that will help them adopt better eating habits.
A great option is a juicer or blender or making healthy smoothies or fresh fruit juices in the morning or at night. There’s even a new category called “bluicers,” including the Breville 3X Bluicer Pro, that combines the functionality of the two. Then there are cookers and steamers that can help them make homemade and healthier dinners in a fraction of the time so there’s no excuse for not having time to go to the gym.
Even a small kitchen appliance like an air fryer can be a cool idea, so they can still indulge in some of their favourite foods, like French fries and fried chicken, but cook them in a much healthier way using far less oil.
Top it off with a smart scale that can communicate with the smartwatch or fitness tracker they use, logging their weight in the companion app so they can follow their progress over time, seeing the pounds shed slowly and the body fat percentage decrease. I have been using the Fitbit Aria smart scale for years, which records my weight and body fat percentage into the Fitbit app every time I step on it so I can view progress (or lack, thereof!) over time. But there are options like the Beurer BF70 Bluetooth Digital Smart Scale that reports weight along with BMI, metabolic rate, and calorie requirements, storing data for up to eight family members in the app.
When you think about getting the perfect holiday gift for the person on your list who is a fitness fanatic, or just wants to live a healthier lifestyle, you don’t have to limit yourself to the obvious options like a basic fitness band, weights, or pair of sports earbuds. There are some innovative options in those categories that add features and functions to help you train better and track additional wellness stats, like Vo2, menstrual cycles, and more.
Plus, you can look beyond that to buy pain management gear, and even small appliances, that the person might not realize how much they’d use until they had one.
See plenty of holiday gift ideas at Best Buy Online.