Health and wellness gifts are always a good idea, but that’s especially so for the holiday season. One of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions, after all, is to get in shape. It’s not surprising after weeks of indulging (as you should!) in sweets, treats, and big holiday meals as well as enjoying some much needed R&R to end off a year. You can help someone on your holiday list this year achieve their health, fitness, and/or wellness goals with the perfect holiday gift.
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
Any fitness fanatic either has, or will want, a fitness tracker or smartwatch. And there are lots of options from which to choose. These range 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 Fitbit Charge 5, you can track activities, heart rate, and sleep. You’ll get details like Active Zone Minutes, stress tracking, blood oxygen saturation, and more. A nice hybrid between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker, you’ll also get smartphone notifications if desired. Up the ante with more detailed health metrics and analysis through a Fitbit Premium subscription (it comes with a free trial period.)
Or, opt for a smartwatch with a larger screen like the new Apple Watch Series 8 that can be used for following guided workouts from Apple Fitness+, controlling music playback from Apple Music. With built-in GPS, you can leave your phone at home or in the car or gym locker. Like other premium smartwatches, it can monitor other health and wellness aspects, too, including heart rate, calorie burn, sleep duration and quality, and more.
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 Endurance Peak II are designed specifically to wear while working out. They feature adjustable Powerhooks to stay securely on (and in) your ears and are water- and sweat-proof. With long battery life thanks to the included charging case, you’ll easily be able to get through weeks of workouts, walks, and more without needing to constantly recharge them.
When going for my weekend trail walks, I love wearing the Google Pixel Buds Pro true wireless earbuds. They are among the most responsive I have ever used in terms of on-bud controls for skipping tracks, adjusting active noise cancellation and volume. The sound is crystal clear with great sonic detail. And if you own an Android phone, particularly a Google Pixel device, you get some really cool features. These include Google Assistant support and the neat app to run hearing tests and even fit tests to make sure you are using the right sized eartips.
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 are growing in popularity thanks to many that include a convenient built-in screen or mount for placing your own tablet for streaming coaching and virtual classes. Check out our detailed exercise bikes buying guide to find the right model to meet the needs of your special friend or family member.
Resistance bands don’t look like they will do much, but in using them for the past few years during many of my daily workouts, I can attest to just how much they can help intensify simple moves like squats, side walks, and even ab exercises. You can get sets with multiple bands of different levels so they can start with the least resistant and gradually move up as they build strength and muscle.
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 six, 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. Tip: even without a bag, having gloves adds another dimension to even shadow boxing workouts.
Check out the fitness gear section of our home gym buying guide for more ideas on gifts the fitness fanatic will gladly use at home.
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. Even after a few years, I’ll experience pain and soreness that makes a heating pad my best friend. So pain management devices are a great gift, too.
Handheld and percussive massagers are a great gift idea to help pinpoint those areas that are feeling it the most, like the thighs, back, and neck. The Hyperice Hypervolt 2 Percussion Massage Device, for example, has 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.
Many of the virtual trainers I have worked with over the years laud the benefits of a foam roller for helping relieve tense muscles, both before and after a workout. It’s an affordable gift option for helping manage pain if you’re on a budget. And it will be just as appreciated for any fitness fanatic who doesn’t yet own one.
Massagers are always welcome gifts as well, and there’s a variety from which to choose, including Shiatsu, neck, back, foot, and whole body. Check out our massagers buying guide to learn about the available types and what (and who) each would be good for to find the right one.
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 developing better eating habits. 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 for a healthier snack to quench hanger pangs. 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, Seeing the stats and my progress over a period of years within the app is really motivating.
For a more intense option, the Withings Body Cardio Wi-Fi/Bluetooth smart scale that tracks not only weight but also standing heart rate and body composition, and can recognize up to eight users.
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.