Healthy Living: Gift of exercise is fitting for holidays

’Tis the season for peace, love and joy. It’s also the season for giving and receiving.


That being the case, I thought I’d offer suggestions for some great holiday gifts. Whether it’s for dad, your wife, a friend or even yourself, the perfect healthy holiday present is a great way to show your loved ones how important they are.

It is important to remember that, in some cases, tact is essential. If you give an obese cousin a gift certificate to Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, you might come across as insensitive. But done the right way, with the right gift and the correct amount of discretion, you will be thanked indefinitely.

If you’re interested in giving a gift of exercise, you need to consider the cost. If your price point is limitless, think about a piece of fitness equipment. There are great options for treadmills, exercise bikes and resistance equipment. My biggest piece of advice is, don’t go too cheap. If you buy cheap equipment, you’ll get cheap equipment.

You can pick up good used equipment if cost is an issue, but the key is to visit a reputable fitness dealer and ask tons of questions.

Are you looking for something a bit smaller and easier on the budget? Simple little items such as jump ropes, resistance bands, medicine balls, exercise (Swiss) balls or even a new pair of running shoes make a great fit gift. They even make great stocking stuffers if you’re just looking for one last present.

While those may be great exercise items, there are plenty of other things that can please the health conscious in your family.

Consider a gym membership. But remember, unless the membership is asked for, just handing your wife a gym card might upset her. Try giving his-and-her memberships and go together. Mention that you’re looking to improve yourself and you’d like her help; that way, you both benefit.

A set of exercise DVDs can make a great present. I received the P90X set a couple years ago, and to this day, it’s still one of my favorite gifts.

As I mentioned earlier, you can give the gift of food: in the form of a healthy meal plan. But again, a more tactful approach is important. If you order Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Meals for the whole family, you give the gift of health to everyone, without insulting anyone.

Rather than a fit mini recipe this week, I wanted to take a moment and ask that if you have the means, give a little healthy food this holiday season.

There are thousands of families looking for a meal, and food banks around the country are doing their best to reach everyone. So, when you’re loading your grocery cart with fruits and veggies, consider grabbing a couple cans of soup or vegetables to donate. The appreciation you’ll receive externally and internally will far outweigh any other gift you’ll get this season.