POSTED BY ERIN O’MALEY, D.C.
10 days until Christmas! Are you still trying to finish your shopping? Here are some ideas inspired by my home gym collection as well as my own holiday wish list that would be great gifts for those on your list of all levels of fitness. Of course, if your loved one is not already a fitness buff, you may be concerned that your gift will be interpreted (correctly or incorrectly) as telling them that they really need to get in shape. Truly, the greatest gift you can have is your health, and if you match your loved one with the right piece of equipment that makes fitness fun and a real treat for them, they will appreciate it forever. This could probably just as easily been titled something along the lines of “10 Recommendations for the Minimalist Gym”, but ’tis the season.
A good jump rope is hard to find! You want something with durability, swivelability, good handfeel, adjustability, and not too kinky. A quality jump rope is a great gift for anyone looking to get fit because they can start doing it at any level, it’s super effective, and they can take it anywhere. If you’re short on time, maybe traveling, and aren’t sure you can fit in a workout today–Man up! No excuses! You can get some serious sweat on jumping rope in less than ten minutes! See, this is an extremely thoughtful gift. It’s also the perfect gift for your friend whose New Year’s resolution is to start doing Crossfit.
9. Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence by Dr. Eric Goodman
I’ve recommended this book to multiple friends and family members and personally bought it as a gift for 3 people this year (Don’t tell them). It’s is a very effective core strengthening technique that anyone can use anywhere with minutes a few times a week. It balances musculature, stabilizes the spine, and teaches your body to move as nature intended. The photos and step-by-step instructions are superb. It’s an excellent gift for anybody who suffers from back pain and needs to increase their mobility or who wants to maintain healthy core strength and stability, so I think it’s a great gift for everybody!
If someone on your list takes a Turbo Kick class with me, these gloves will take their jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts to the next level! Each glove is just under a pound. I’ve used mine for 8 years and they’ve held up great. They would be handy for a number of cardio routines, including P90X, ChaLean Extreme, and most of the other BeachBody programs. I imagine they would also be a cool gift for the Zumba enthusiast in your life, although I’ve never seen them used that way.
The Indo Board is a handy little piece of equipment that can be used for fitness, functional rehabilitative exercise, or balance training and can be used to improve the fitness of children and senior citizens alike. Like a Bosu Ball, the Indo Board can be used to add a balance component to a multitude of your more traditional exercises to engage your core more fully and improve your balance–but it has a much higher cool factor. It’s compact, portable, and so fun. The website is full of resources for exercises to try with the board. You can *do tricks* on it! It would neat gift for your surfer or skater during the long winter months, and the longer Indo Yoga Board would be a stellar gift for a yogi, simulating the ultra core-engaging activity of moving your yoga practice to a stand up paddle board.
6. ChaLEAN Extreme by Beach Body
I pretty much love any of Chalene Johnson’s workouts and I always stay active, but this strength training program has definitely changed my body composition in 12 weeks as advertised. The premise is simple: Lift heavier, build bigger muscles, burn more calories, eat more food, and get lean. You can start lifting with 2 lbs or with 25 lbs as long as it’s enough to fatigue your muscles. It doesn’t matter if they’re 18 or 70 or if they’ve never lifted a dumbbell in their life. It’s a rotation of 3 strength circuits, interval training, cardio drills, abs and stretching. I love that the circuits change monthly, so you don’t have time to get bored with it and it keeps you from reaching a plateau. I’ve been able to stick with it while on vacations, staying in hotel rooms, and during my move from Florida to Massachusetts by using the resistance bands instead of dumbbells.
This is a whole lot of gym in a little space for a pretty little price. Each dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 lbs. The .5 lb increments before 25 lbs is a great feature. Weight is adjusted quickly and smoothly during transition to the next exercise. It totally eliminates the clutter of an entire weight rack.
No, it’s not a piece of equipment for your home gym, but I have found no way superior to assemble a post-workout shake or snack. My dad got me the Magic Bullet years ago and I thought it was the weirdest gift ever until I started making shakes and smoothies and nothing else compares. Cleaning a blender is such a hassle. With the Magic Bullet, you just unscrew the blade from your beverage cup, rinse it off, and screw on either the lip of the cup, or a cover to throw it in your lunchbox. Simple, and it takes up very little counter space. (Upcoming, I’ll share some of my recipes.)
Intelliskin makes fantastic products some of which are at the top of my Christmas list this year. Intelliskin makes shirts and sports bras that improve posture and performance during sports, workouts, or just activities of daily life. They look pretty badass, too. Their website explains how they work, “Our garments are designed to stimulate and send specific cues to the brain that cause your tight muscles to relax and the opposing under-used muscles to simultaneously contract and tone. The flow of information back and forth from the nerve receptors in the skin to the brain provide subconscious “coaching,” instructing muscles to work together, function and protect joints from injury more efficiently. Muscle memory and improved postural awareness are created by maintaining improved alignment and balance during repetitive daily movements.”
2. Resistance Band Set
I got a great 4-piece set as a Christmas gift from my mom years ago. I no longer see the brand I have available anywhere, but there are plenty of options. My bands have held up and they’ve come on every vacation with me. They’re inexpensive and you can modify just about any upper or lower body exercise you would do with a set of weights for the bands. You can also make the resistance as light or heavy as you require. They sure aren’t as cute and sweet as they look! The only somewhat negative aspect is that you can’t track the exact weight you’re using as you can with dumbbells, but they’re still definitely one of the most useful gifts I’ve ever received.
1. Mini Trampoline
Trampolining is possibly one of the healthiest and easiest activities to incorporate into a routine, so I think a mini trampoline is a marvelous gift for just about anyone. It’s low-impact on the joints. Even the most exercise-resistant individual on your list probably wouldn’t be opposed to bouncing on a trampoline for a few minutes a day, and they’ll receive tremendous benefits for minimal effort. It is basically impossible to feel depressed and tired when bouncing on a trampoline. Trampolining can increase lymph flow, increase circulation of oxygen and nutrients to tissues and organs, support healthy cardiovascular function, improve balance and coordination, and increase strength and bone density.