Holiday Gift Ideas - fitness edition

Sunday, December 5, 2010

So I did a top 5 gift ideas for techies recently and thought it would be a good idea to continue the series of posts asap as the holidays approach. Instead of a top 5 for fitness I decided to go for a top 10 as everyone's budget and focus varies. Most of these are products I use at home or items on my wishlist :) It's important to remember that for fitness/health gifts please be sure that the individual WANTS to get fit or lose weight before gift giving or you are going to offend the recipient!

1-Heart Rate Monitor
A Heart Rate Monitors is an excellent way for anyone to know their true calorie expenditure during exercise. Personally I own a Polar F4 (below). I totally recommend a chest strap version! You'll pay a little more but they are more reliable.
A Heart Rate Monitors is one of the best investments anyone embarking on a weight loss or fitness journey can make. This way you will KNOW the exact number of calories YOU are expending depending on your age/weight/duration/intensity (heart rate). This number varies so much from person to person and it's easy to overestimate the calories burned, especially if you are going by one of the cardio machines at the gym! For example Bob and I both have Heart Rate Monitors and when walking the dogs he burns almost twice as many calories as I do! Just because he weighs more and I'm fitter. Not fair ;)

For a year I used my Polar F4 everytime I ran, then I got more and more into running and decided to invest in a Garmin forerunner 305. This has all the same features as the Polar F4 but with the added GPS function so it can track your runs, distance, terrain (incline), etc. It has so many features too many to mention here, go look on Amazon for a full description. I don't run outdoors without this now! Personally my favorite feature is lap times, knowing how fast I ran each mile/lap on my 1/2 marathon. Or knowing when I am dropping below my desired pace helps me kick things up a notch! The only downside to these is they don't seem to work well when you aren't moving, so I kept my Polar F4 for indoor/treadmill workouts.

Bob also has one of these, not that he runs outside often but he does cycle. He got the added bike cadence sensor and mount. These are two purchases I am looking into as I get more into cycling outdoors. Basically if you know an outdoor runner that doesn't have a Garmin this would be a GREAT gift idea! These things ROCK! Seriously!

I've talked about it before but it still remains one of my favorite home workouts. If you are looking for a weight loss, fat loss, muscle building all round fitness system then this is it! I used it during 2009 and still turn to it occasionally for workouts when I need to switch my own brain off.

The only thing with P90X is you need a few pieces of equipment which you'll need to purchase separately. A pull-up bar, and either weights or bands. These could be purchased at a later date though. Honestly I loved this workout system and you get a full program of what DVD to do when, and a nutrition plan.

If you want an alternative home workout to P90X then I suggest TRX. I'd really suggest going to a class first to make sure this is the workout for you, but I do this and LOVE it! Nothing has working my core more than TRX. In the new year I will be teaching this in one of the gyms I teach at so that tells you that I am smitten by the TRX bug!
TRX is suspension training, so you are going to need room to hang this, and something to hang it from, though they do sell mounts and door anchors, but my favorite is an overhead bar or beam. If outdoors you can use a tree or kids climbing frame!

I LOVE TRX, it's the one workout I ache from EVERY SINGLE TIME! Even if you do other exercise a TRX class is a great way to add variety to your routine.

I lumped these all together cos they are personal choice. For example I prefer Brooks running shoes, but for clothing I tend to go towards Nike and champion. Whereas others may prefer Reebok shoes, or Adidas cltohing. Personal choice. The key I find is to get fitted properly for your shoes, by a professional running store! Not a department store, go to a running store and get analyzed for your size, foot pattern, strike and gait. For clothing you can wear anything sure, as long as it's comfortable but for maximum comfort go for the tech-dry stuff that wicks away sweat. I love Nike Dri-fit and the Champion equivalent which I believe is called double dry. That stuff works!!!

When all else fails you can't go wrong with a gift card. Whether it's a membership to a local gym (I can recommend Gold's), personal training sessions, your local sports store or Amazon.



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