Christmas is the perfect time to express your appreciation to loved ones through meaningful gifts. While a tin full of holiday cookies or a subscription to the cheese-of-the-month club may be a kind gesture, it’s probably not the most welcomed gift for friends who are trying to stay fit and healthy all year round. We’ve got a health and fitness christmas gift guide slew of fantastic gift ideas that are both thoughtful and healthy. These gifts are ideal for your best friend, your hard-to-please great aunt or even your personal trainer.
1. Vertical Hydroponic Growing System
There are some great new options for people who want to farm their own fresh produce, but don’t have the time, space or desire to cultivate a traditional garden. These vertical hydro-gardens are fantastic. Normally, they take up about 4 square feet of space. They can hold anywhere from 10 to 30 plants. They have a bottom drum that holds a large amount of water and a fountain motor that circulates water to all the plants.
The hydro-gardener just fills the bottom drum with water and a bit of hydroponic nutrients each week. Then, the gift recipient can enjoy a harvest of tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, salad greens and more. These hydro-garden systems can be purchased online or at garden stores. If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person, there are many good tutorials online to help you make your own vertical hydro-garden. They’re ideal for indoor or outdoor use and ideal gifts for busy gardeners.
2. Cast-iron Cookware
Another great gift for a serious cook on your list is a seasoned cast-iron skillet. Cast iron is known as the original nonstick cookware. If it’s well-seasoned and maintained, cast iron can be a chef’s best tool. The pans heat food evenly and can be used on the stove top, in the oven or over an open fire pit. For vegetarians and vegans, cast iron boasts another benefit. When you eat food prepared on a cast-iron skillet, the food absorbs a little bit of extra iron. It’s crucial that the body get enough iron for immune support, brain functioning and stamina. Cast-iron pans are easy to find at kitchen stores. They’re also often sold at sporting and outdoor supply stores — anywhere you’d find camping gear.
Have a workout partner who’s always up for a healthy competition? Get a pair of pedometers and toss one to your buddy this Christmas. It’ll make for a fun year of seeing who can log the most steps each week. A basic, low-priced pedometer keeps track of how many steps you take while you’re wearing it. There are some newfangled, all-in-one pedometers that count your steps, calculate how many calories you’ve burned, measure the distance you’ve traveled, keep track of your steps per minute and teach you a foreign language. Well, maybe not the last one. Whether you choose the basic or deluxe model, a pedometer is a terrific fitness gift for someone you love.
4. A Better Blender
One of the easiest ways to get whole, raw fruits and vegetables into your daily diet is a morning smoothie. Nobody likes chunks in his green drink! If you’ve got a friend on your Christmas list who’s still using the blender he inherited from an old roommate, a blender upgrade might be the ideal gift. There are blenders out there these days that can literally pulverize an avocado pit into your strawberry smoothie. No kidding — an avocado pit! These same blenders can turn kale, celery, apples and berries into a silky smooth post-workout pick-me-up.
5. Loose Leaf Tea and an Infuser
A high-quality organic green tea is a very nice gift for someone interested in natural health and wellness. Green tea — and all true teas — have high levels of antioxidants that strengthen the body’s immune response and help eliminate free radicals. A nice infuser and perhaps a pretty mug make for a swell gift set.
6. Sleep Mask
Sleep is something everyone needs, although many of us don’t get enough of it. A soft sleep mask is an ideal gift for anyone on your list. Sleep masks can often be found in the cosmetics department of a drugstore or online. You can make a simple sleep mask by sewing a mask shape out of two comfortable pieces of fabric and filling it with a little bit of uncooked rice and some dried lavender flowers. Attach an elastic strap to the back, and you’ve got a gift from the heart that will help your beloved friend sleep well at night.
7. CSA Subscription
CSA is short for Health and Fitness Christmas Gift Guide community supported agriculture. Chances are quite good that there’s one in your area or the area of a person on your Christmas list. A CSA subscription is a way to buy food from local farmers on a regular basis. An individual can sign up to buy a “share” of the farm’s produce through a CSA box.
For those who buy shares, a box of seasonal produce or other farmed goods is prepared each month. Normally, the farmer will transport the CSA boxes to a central drop point in the community on a set day each month. CSA recipients pick up their boxes and enjoy farm-to-table foods at affordable prices. Often, CSA produce is less expensive than shopping at traditional grocery stores but fresher and normally pesticide-free. If you’ve got a foodie on your list, consider buying them a half-year or full-year share for Christmas. They’ll remember you with gratitude every month.
8. Top-of-the-Line Yoga Mat
For the yoga enthusiast on your Health and Fitness Christmas Gift Guide list, how about an upgraded mat? There are inexpensive yoga mats, and then there are yoga mats that are very expensive. If you have a flexible friend who you’d like to treat this Christmas with a health and fitness Christmas gift guide, consider a higher-end mat that’s made of more durable, slip-resistant, natural materials. Pack it in a personalized yoga mat carry bag for a special touch.
9. A Swanky Diffuser and an Essential Oil Assortment
High-quality essential oils are an ideal gift for your friend who’s into natural remedies and aromatherapy. A good starter kit might include lavender, sage, peppermint and sweet orange oils. There are also several good blends on the market — some to induce sleep, some to promote concentration and others to relieve tension. A diffuser is a wonderful companion gift to the oils. They come in various styles from rustic and homey to techy and contemporary. A rule of thumb when buying essential oils is to make sure that the label says 100 percent pure essential oils. Research brands so you’re sure you’re buying from a reputable source. Ask around and read reviews online. The best essential oil isn’t always the most expensive one.
10. A Relaxing Bath Experience
Few things say “I care for you” like a gift of sweet, soothing relaxation. For the person who has everything already, here are a couple of super easy DIY bath gifts that’ll be well-received:
Muscle Relaxing Salts
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup Epsom salt
- 1 cup sea salt
- 10 drops lavender or other calming essential oil (optional)
Combine the three ingredients well and put them in a pretty container with a lid. Handwrite instructions for use and list the ingredients. For a serious muscle-relaxing bath, add the entire contents to a hot bath. Swirl the water around and soak for 20 minutes or more.
Moisturizing Sugar Scrub
- 1 cup organic, unbleached sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil or other essential oil (optional)
Pour the sugar into a short, wide mouth jar. Then, pour the other oils in and stir. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and add a pretty bow around the jar. Handwrite instructions for use and list the ingredients. The scrub is to use directly on the skin in the bath or shower, then rinse. It’s also excellent to put next to the sink and use it as a hand scrub.
11. Good Fats
For a friend who’s super talented in the kitchen, a gift of culinary indulgence is ideal. Scour some thrift stores or high-end kitchen stores for some pretty jars and bottles that will look nice on the countertop. Then, head to the market and shop for the top-shelf brands of coconut oil, avocado oil and extra-virgin olive oil. Clean and dry the glassware. Then, pour the oils into the prepared containers. For the coconut oil, you’ll want more of a jar since it will solidify at room temperature. Bottles are perfect for the avocado and olive oils. Use some kitchen twine or sparkly ribbons, depending on your friend’s kitchen décor, to decorate the jars. It may also be nice to arrange all three jars on an oblong cutting board or serving tray. Any good cook will appreciate some high-quality oils as a gift at Christmastime.
12. Personal Trainer Sessions
If you have a loved one that has recently begun a fitness regimen and is interested in getting serious, consider buying her a six-pack. You know, six sessions with a good personal trainer so she can achieve some of her wellness goals. A gift of personal training sessions is a fantastic gift for a friend that’s dabbling in exercise but could use a little direction.
A gift card is nice. Another bottle of body lotion is useful. But, a loving gift of health and fitness is perhaps the best gift of all at Christmas. Spoil the ones you love with thoughtful blessings of wellness this year.
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