Health and Fitness

Still Time!!! 10 Fab Holiday Fitness Gifts

Did you hear the one about the doctor who sat his patient down to tell her, “Your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are dangerously high, you’ve gained 15 lbs since your last visit, and these lab results show that you’re pre-diabetic, but…My God! That’s a GORGEOUS piece of jewelry you’re wearing!  What is that…emerald?”

No?  Me neither.

Here’s the deal.  They’ve got enough bling.  This holiday season, why not be a catalyst for REAL change in the life of someone you care about, by giving the gift of health?  The list below makes it easy.  (And it’s not too late…nearly all are available to order online from through the links provided, with free 2-day shipping for Amazon Prime members.)

10 Great Fitness Gift Ideas (…categorized by excuse)

Something for every budget. All used or field-tested by this author, these are the fitness products I recommend to my own family and friends:

Excuse #1:  I want to exercise more, but don’t have time to re-do my hair between workouts.

  • Save Your Do Gymwrap ($25 – $30).  We talked about this whole hair argument in a previous post, and while we’re all in agreement that preserving a hairstyle should never trump working up a good healthy sweat, there ARE tools that can help make it easier.  This is one of them.  I tested it in a 1-hour kickboxing class, and it actually did keep my hair in place and much dryer, than without.  Gift this to all the women in your family currently crying the blues about their post-workout hair.

Excuse #2:  “I don’t see the point in changing my diet.  Besides, our family has been eating like this for generations.  And Uncle Floyd, who drank a half-pint of whiskey a day, lived to be 97.” (Don’t you love it when people pull out that one genetic freak in the family tree, to justify their poor lifestyle choices?) 


  • Forks Over Knives  ($15).  Every household should own a copy of this DVD.  During that lull between Christmas and New Year’s, schedule a family movie night around it, to spark discussion and debate around how the whole clan can rally to support one another in making healthier food choices in 2013.  (Trust me, it will give even the most hardcore junk food addicts pause.)  Just buy it.  Today.
  • Now Eat This! Italian: Favorite Dishes from the Real Mamas of Italy–All Under 350 Calories , by Rocco Dispirito ($17).  A beautiful coffee-table cookbook, worth it for the cover and inside photography alone.  (Have you seen Rocco?  It’s like kitchen porn.)  I find incredible the fact that every recipe is under 350 calories, yet supposedly still packs the flavor any foodie would expect from traditional Italian cuisine.  I’ve tried a few, and they’ve all been delicious.  This is a great “gateway” cookbook gift for those just starting to make lifestyle and eating shifts, because it relies on healthier versions of familiar comfort foods, instead of calling for drastic dietary changes overnight.

Excuse #3:  “I don’t have an hour to work out every day.”


  • Ugi Fitness at Home Kit ($150).  30-Minute Functional Fitness workout developed by a celebrity personal trainer.  Each workout (there are 5) integrates strength, core training and cardio.  Comes with your choice of a weighted, squishy ball (6lb, 8lb, 10lb or 12lb) and eating plan.   Perfect gift alternative to a year’s health club membership or personal training sessions, at a fraction of the cost.  Personally, I love this workout, and use it as an add-on for yoga days, or in place of my 1-hr boxing workout, when I’m pressed for time.  (Some say it works them harder than their 45-minute spin class.)  Portable and can be done anywhere:  office, beach, hotel room.  I loaded the DVD on my iPad, so that I can throw my ball in the car and take this workout with me wherever I go…

Read the full list here

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