Give A Gift of Fitness

It’s the holidays.  Give the gift of fitness to someone you love.  Here are some great gift ideas to keep you and others motivated to get and stay in shape this year:
Fitballs:
These can strengthen the abdominals, knees and back. They can also be used with any stretching program. Find these balls at many discount and sporting good stores or do a search on ebay or google. Most balls come with instructions.
Step counters:
My favorite pedometer has calories, steps taken and distance. Order from the walking expert Robert Sweetgall at www.creativewalking.com.
You can receive a guide that will tell you everything you need to know to get walking.
Hand or leg weights or resistance bands:
Having weights or resistance bands available in the home will help your loved ones fit resistance training into their routine. Even 5-pound weights can help people increase their strength.  Increasing strength makes it easier to do daily activities.
Class registration:
Give a gift certificate for an exercise class. Sign yourself up at the same time and have fun exercising together. Try water exercise, pilates, yoga or any other class you might be interested in.
Exercise clothes and shoes:
Running shorts, shoes, socks, bicycle shorts or fun tops are a great gift. Many of the discount stores like Target and Walmart now carry good exercise clothing. There are many companies that specialize in exercise clothing.
Home exercise equipment:  
Give a gift certificate for exercise equipment.  Be available to help your loved one choose the best exercise equipment to use in their home.  A basic treadmill with a continuous duty motor of 1.5 horsepower is a good purchase.
One-day pass to a health club:
Give a one-day pass to a local health club.  This would give a non-exerciser the opportunity to check it out for one day.  They may end up joining!
By Jan Treftz-Allen, MS

More Healthful Gift Ideas:
Here are some delicious and healthful food gift ideas:
• Basket of fruit - arrange a basket of fruit including apples, pears, oranges and dried fruits.
• Apples in a pot - arrange a 3 pound bag of apples in a crock pot. Include this recipe:?Rinse, core and quarter apples and place in crockpot with 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Cook on low for 6 hours or until soft. Mash and refrigerate until ready to serve.
• Variety of flavored vinegars - these are great for salads, vegetables and rice dishes
• Healthful cookbook
• Large salad bowl with utensils and dried herbs.

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