The holiday season is upon us, and you may still have a few names left on your shopping list. Give more than a gift this season – give something that can promote good health at the same time.
Here are 10 ideas that may help make healthy living easier or more fun:
1. The video-game lover: Xbox Kinect. ($199 to $250) The Kinect has motion-activated sensors so you can play video games without a controller — they can, after all, cause injuries. Instead of sitting in a chair, you can get out of your seat and jump, step and dance around — and, it is hoped, get your heart rate up. Get some games to go with the console, such as Kinect Sports or Dance Central.
2. The workaholic in your life: FitDesk bike. ($200 to $290) Sitting at your desk to work adds extra pounds around your waist, according to a study published in October in the journal Preventive Medicine. Instead, pedal away while getting some work done. The FitDesk Space-Saving Semi-Recumbent X Bike has a spot for your laptop so you can type away while burning calories.
3. The stressed-out person: Spa gift certificate. (Prices vary) Everyone loves a good massage and facial because they feel oh-so wonderful, but studies have shown that massages can also boost the immune system. Help make your gift recipient's immune system the best it can be by getting him or her a gift certificate to a favorite spa for some rest and relaxation.
4. The farmer's market lover: Community-supported agriculture (CSA) membership. (Prices vary, some are around $500 for a year) Buy local and eat healthy all year long with a CSA membership, like the one from LocalHarvest. Though prices and selections vary by farm and CSA program, most provide baskets of fresh, seasonal produce that can feed two to four people every week. The person who gets your gift will find it easier to opt for healthful eating if wholesome food is coming to him or her weekly.
5. The yogi: Yogitoes yoga skidless towel. ($55) Yoga can improve brain function and bone density, health experts say. Help keep the yogi in your life safe from slipping by getting him or her a colorful skidless towel to lay over the yoga mat. The towel can also be used as a yoga mat.
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6. The (would-be) runner: Nike+ Sportband running monitor. ($59) Promote endurance training, which studies have shown help the heart pump more efficiently when coupled with resistance training. This monitor makes it easy for (future) marathoners to track the distance they've run and the calories they've burned, and it’s worn like a watch. (It keeps time, too).
7. The one who's always on the go: Watergeeks water bottle with filter. ($24) Make it a cinch to stay hydrated with a stainless steel water bottle from Watergeeks. Each bottle comes with its own replaceable mini-filter that can be used up to 400 times to remove chlorine and contaminants.
8. The music-lover: Auria earpods. ($19.99 to $29.99) These earpods allow you to hear what's going on around you while listening to your favorite tunes. The makers of these earpods also say they won't fall out while jogging.
9. The "Top Chef" hopeful: Healthy recipe books. (Prices vary) If your friend or family member loves to cook, help them do so with an eye on health. For example, "Double Delicious! Good, Simple Food for Busy, Complicated Lives" ($14.99 to $28.99) teaches you how to include fruit and vegetable purees in every-day foods for an added boost of nutrients. Or, check out the "Sneaky Chef" series ($11 to $18) to find how to sneak wholesome ingredients into everyone's favorite meals.
10. The gym rat: Savasa gym bag. ($24.99) Give motivation to go to the gym with an attractive gym bag. These bags are embroidered and machine-washable, and have a spot to carry a rolled-up yoga mat. And you can also tell your friend that your gift is not just a bag, but the gift of anti-aging – after all, a study from researchers in Scotland found that exercising now can help us look younger 20 years from now.