Earlier this year, I made a commitment to try and get back into shape. So I joined a gym, set up a great workout playlist and downloaded it to my phone, and used a bunch of tech gadgets to help me along with the way, including 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 Fitbit Versa 2 that can be used for following on-screen guided workouts, selecting exercises, and controlling music playback (including tunes stored directly in the watch so you can leave your phone at home or on the car or gym locker). Plus there’s the option to sign up for the Fitbit Premium service to get more details about your activity, sleep, and overall health, which any die-hard fitness enthusiast will appreciate.
Health and wellness gifts for listening to music and coaching
A good pair of headphones can really make the 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 Jabra Elite Sport, even include coaching features that can deliver information through your ears, like letting you know if you need to speed up to reach your target heart rate or slow down to stay in the zone. And some can be voice-controlled so you can switch songs or activate a new playlist while sweating it out on a treadmill or cycling through the city so you don’t need to stop and fidget with the watch or your smartphone.
When working out, I really love the Apple AirPods, which are a perfect gift for the fitness fanatic on your list who is also an Apple iPhone and/or Apple Watch user. They seamlessly connect to either devices, offer long battery life, and have convenient touch controls. As soon as you pop them into your ears, your Apple Music playlist will start playing. And you can download music to the Watch and leave your phone in the locker or at home while you listen hands-free. Plus there’s the added advantage of being able to charge them through your iPhone cable or other Lightning-equipped portable chargers you might have on hand.
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 orpilates 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, rowing machine, or exercise bike.
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. For those on your list who love fitness but don’t necessarily have the time to head out to a gym weekly, these might be a great gift. 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 at the gym. 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. 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 Withings Body+ Wi-Fi Smart Scale & Body Analyzer that works with a multitude of health and fitness apps, including Fitbit as well, and can sync with the Apple Watch.
When you think about health and wellness gifts for a fitness fanatic on your list, they don’t have to be limited to the obvious options like a basic fitness tracker, 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.