Most everybody has somebody in their life who would rather be out moving, breathing and sweating.
In some ways, the fitness buffs in our lives are the easiest people to buy for, because they're always wearing stuff out. But with the never-ending parade of fitness gadgets coming on the market, it can get overwhelming.
We combed through a plethora of healthy gift guides and came up with a few suggestions to help make your last days of holiday shopping a bit less of a workout.
The Magellan Echo Watch links to a smartphone so you can check exercise stats with a glance at your wrist rather than fumbling with your phone. The watch is compatible with applications such as MapMyRun, Strava and Wahoo Fitness, but it is not a standalone device. The watch works with your phone via a Bluetooth connection and also allows control of music from your wrist.
For runners and walkers, icy roads and trails often mean choosing between two evils. One, hit the road and risk slipping and injuring yourself. Or, two, the dreaded treadmill. Stabilicers SportRunners are chains for your feet. These ice cleats strap to running shoes, allowing you to log miles outdoors even when conditions are nasty. You'll have nine cleats from heel to toe on each foot, designed to improve traction throughout your stride.
Exercising outside is a great way to keep your fitness routine from getting stale over the winter. But if you run, walk, bike or do anything else that requires sharing the road with vehicles, it can get dangerous. With early sunsets, late sunrises and gray weather, motorists can have a hard time spotting runners and cyclists. The Amphipod Xinglet vest is designed to help reduce that risk. The vest has flashing red LED lights on the front and back, plus reflective material on the shoulders and waistband.
The FitBit Force activity tracker will keep you in check. It tracks the number of steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, stairs climbed and active minutes throughout the day. The wristband gadget will also track your sleep and wake you with a vibrating alarm.
She's conquered the "Facts of Life" and "Survivor," now Lisa Whelchel is taking on the fitness world. Her first workout DVD, "Everyday Workout for the Everyday Woman," offers a total body workout and is geared toward beginners.
Whether you're carrying a pack on a day hike or sending kids off for a day of school and sports loaded down with textbooks and athletic gear, a good backpack is important to maintaining good back health. AirBac claims its design not only reduces back stress by automatically adjusting to your body, but it will feel as if you are carrying half of the weight. The trick is a large air compartment in the lumbar area that changes the way the pack rides on your back and acts as a shock absorber. The packs come in various styles, including those for backpacking and hunting, and others for school and work.
Raise a glass — or a stainless-steel water bottle — to the accomplishments of the marathoner or triathlete in your life. The bottles come in a variety of colors and are customizable.
Giving a gym membership can be a waste of good intentions. For many people, a fully loaded gym can be a confusing and intimidating place where they're left to wander and guess the right way to exercise. Instead, consider hiring a good, certified personal trainer or sports-specific coach who can teach the right way to train toward their goals. Then, when they find themselves adrift in a sea of exercise equipment at the gym, they'll know precisely what to do.
One of the most common excuses I hear for not working out is, "I don't have anybody to work out with." It's totally unnecessary, of course, but whether you are ripped or just starting down the road to good fitness, exercise always is more fun and less intimidating with a trusted partner.
Offering yourself up as a workout buddy can be a great gift for several reasons: First, it's a cheap gift. Second, you're bound to benefit from it too. Finally, if it works out, the person who received the gift still will be enjoying it long after they've forgotten about all their other Christmas presents.