Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Gifts for the Fitness-Lover this Holiday Season

I thought about writing this post last night, after my mother asked if there were any non-baby items I would like for Christmas.  In a snapshot, I've been in the hospital for a week for preterm labor, and now am home resting and waiting for the twins to make their appearance.  I'm SO excited to meet our babies, and also very excited to be more mobile and able to exercise again.  So I've had a lot of time to think about what fitness-related gifts I would love to have for post-baby fitness.  I've also included a few things I already own that I love.  Side note: there are no affiliations here; I make absolutely nothing on blogging at the moment, and certainly not on any of these products.  This is just for fun and if someone I know decides to treat me to one of these gifts, then hurrah--and if you like this list and want to share with a loved one, please do!

Fitness and Running Gifts for the Holidays 2015
These are arranged into least to most expensive.  Not all are running related, and I admit most but not all, are geared towards women.

1.  Raw Energy Cookies, $ priceless
If you'd really like to save money, get a mason jar and fill it with ones of my easy raw cookie bite recipes.  Add a gift tag and ribbon, and there you go--a tasty energy-packed treat to fuel the athlete in your life.  Easy and homemade=everyone wins.  Try this raw cookie dough bite recipe!

2.  Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry, $12
This is a book I actually got for my husband as a birthday gift, and it's really great.  Any runner would benefit from this book focused on running health and improvement.  If you live in the Monterey Bay area, swing by The Treadmill family-owned running store in Carmel for a copy.  While you're there, get some great running expertise and shoe fitting targeted to your body's needs.  Also, a gift card to a local running store is a easy go-to choice!

3.  Sparkly Headbands by Sparkly Soul, $15
These are a fun holiday option!  Supposedly they are nonslip and guaranteed to fit every head shape.  I love all the shiny options, especially this Oregon Duck-colored one ;)  I have a ton of headbands and have lost a ton of headbands--for me Lululemon ones with silicone like the no-longer-available Skinny Satin Pirouette band are my favorite, though most of my simple Nike ones have stuck with me as well.  These are so stylish though and could be used while working out, or out and about town or dressed up for a date night.  You can find them on or Amazon.

4.  Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller, $35
Again, go to The Treadmill to snag this and learn how many different ways and areas of the body to use this on.  For me, foam rolling has proven more effective than stretching even, though I try to do both.  Whether you're pregnant, running marathons, or anything in between (or both!) aching muscles will really benefit from getting rolled out.  Also available online on Amazon, etc.

5.  Beach Babe DVDs, Tone It Up, $27 to $37
A friend recommended the Bikini Series videos on YouTube, and that's how I discovered the mega-successful Tone it Up girls.  I'd love to do their bundle service or fitness subscription package or retreat, but the DVDs are a great starting point.  They have fun free sample YouTube videos, and I've loved every workout so far.  It's not too challenging--good for a beginner getting into strength training or just delving into HIIT training, for some of their workouts.  For new moms stuck at home, I imagine squeezing in a few short videos shot in beautiful beach locations could be a good mood-booster! is where you can find fitness accessories, resources, nutrition or packages.

6.  Nike Handheld iPhone Case, $40
I found this on Sports Chalet, though I know there's probably tons of different versions.  I love this one, though I also like this Nathan one that's even cheaper, at $26.  This one is for the iPhone 5/5s so for all you fancy iPhone 6ers, you may have to search for an updated version.  Normally I don't run with my phone but I predict that may change when I have two babies at home and want my husband or whoever is with the girls to be able to reach me at all times!

7.  Barre or Fitness Class Packages/Gift Card, $50-$200
This is one of the best ideas ever--a few classes or a package for barre, yoga, spin, etc--however the fitness lover in your life loves to sweat!  I'm hoping to be able to pick up barre classes again in the not too far future.  Also a gym membership would be a good option--I'd love a month or two at the Monterey Sports Center--Cielle is my favorite barre teacher there.  CarmelBarre is another great option for the Monterey Bay area, with tons of class times and different teachers.

I was front desk girl at Studio Barre in Carlsbad before moving to Monterey, and Studio Barre has the best barre classes I've ever taken.  I recommend Studio Barre if there's one near you!

8.  Run Fast Neck Warmer by Lululemon, $68
I know, I know, almost $70 for a neck warmer?!?  This is a definite splurge but I CAN say that Lululemon's rulu fabric is magical.  It's warm and soft and as someone sensitive to so many materials and textures (I'm that weirdo that cannot handle denim or anything scratchy), I can say it is absolutely great.  It is reflective and can be pulled up over the head like a hood or cinched around the neck.  I think next winter in Virginia, I would definitely find a use for this!

9.  Nike Roshe Run Hi Sneakerboots, $100
Soo I'm weirdly obsessed after my kinda sister-in-law that works for Nike had a pair.  It feels like a slipper plus running shoe, and while I wouldn't recommend them as a regular running shoe, the older version did serve me well two winters ago when I would walk or jog or a combo of the two to get to work at Elegant Elephant Baking Co. in Eugene.  While my husband was deployed, I worked for this fantastic gluten-free bakery and biked, walked or drove from my parents' house.  When a rare week of snow came, I was able to wear them to travel to work and not freeze.  I had SO many people compliment me on them even though, as my twin points out, they remind her of elf booties.  Anyways, the pair I had I purchased on eBay since I couldn't find them anywhere, and they were always a half size too small, which I refused to admit.  Finally I gave up and sold them on eBay, especially since pregnancy has made my shoes a bit tighter.  When I saw the new updated version, I knew I had my new most-desired item.  So hopefully Santa will bring a pair of these in size 8 ;)  You can purchase them on or Zappos, etc.
10.  Fitness Band or Smartwatch $80-crazy
The ones I am interested in are the Vivofit 2 for a fitness band, or for smart watches, the Garmin Vivoactive or FitBit Surge or Apple Watch.  Amazon seems to have the best prices, though I've seen sales on Best Buy, etc too.  They all have great qualities though none are perfect--basically it depends on what your preferences are, and what's most important (heart rate monitoring and gps capabilities bring up the price).  When my wonderful neighbor that owns and loves the Vivoactive offered up her unused Vivofit 2 for me, my husband was off the hook for a SmartWatch Christmas gift, but maybe eventually I'll splurge for that Vivoactive or Apple Watch!

11.  Run All Day Backpack by Lululemon, $118
I used to work for Lululemon when I lived in Carlsbad (as well as at BodyROK teaching SPX Pilates and Studio Barre--I lived fitness!).  Say what you what about this yoga company, but they do have impressive quality.  I still live in the same clothes I purchased working there 4 years ago, and almost all of them have stayed in great shape. Some of the tops have worked startlingly well through a twin pregnancy too, so i'll have to see how the stretchy material rebounds post-pregnancy.  Anyways, I've "made-do" with a few small backpacks that I pretended were running ones, like my beloved Dakine pack that is basically disintegrating after 10+ years of frequent use.  I would LOVE this one, which is reflective, water-resistant and in true Lululemon style, features tons of pockets and hidden functional features.

12.  Waterproof iPod Shuffle by Underwater Audio, $140 Bundle or $175 Sports Bundle
For the swimmer in your life!  Since swimming was pretty much the only approved exercise for my third trimester, I fantasized about being able to listen to music or audiobooks while repeating endless laps.  I cannot honestly say how well they work (they do have good Amazon reviews) but it sounds pretty great.  I'd love to use this while aqua jogging too, instead of how I used to put my iPod in a  plastic baggie and clip it on top of my bun, and hope the guy in the next lane didn't splash too much.  (Seriously, I've had a lot of time to watch people's swimming forms and sometimes it astounds me how much water people can whip about with their arms and legs doing freestyle/front crawl.  Though they are probably burning more calories with the excessive flailing, so I guess they win after all).

And there you go!  As you can tell, I really like black and green fitness-anything, ha.  I'd love to know your can't-live-without gadgets or fitness gifts.  Have fun gifting and sweating this holiday season--hopefully I'll be joining you soon!  Hopefully I'll be up and about developing more healthy recipes for you on your health and fitness journey as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment