CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- This time of year, when holidays collide with resolution-filled Januarys, can be particularly difficult because we tend to vacillate between two extremes -- indulgence and health. While these two don't sync up very well, nothing stops us from trying to satisfy these compelling desires.
We want to make every celebration, but we don't want to gain an ounce. We bake cookies and stock the kitchen with the most delicious foods, then feel guilty when we eat them. We skip our workouts to shop, wrap and mail, and this adds an extra dose of emotional stress to our holiday spirit.
Yes, it's tough. In fact, as I sit here, inactive at my desk, I am tempted to fetch some sweet treat to go along with my coffee. With this challenge in mind, the following information is my attempt to make the holidays a little more active and a little less stressful. When you can't say no to calories, you better make sure you're prepared to burn them.
Now, whether you are hard core into training or simply on the verge of becoming active when the new year arrives, I've decided to highlight a few gifts I find worthy because they support and enhance an active lifestyle.
2010 fit list
While it's not new, this pedometer is still ahead of the rest. The Fit Bit is a cool little tracker that clips onto your clothes or slips into your pocket and monitors your movement in three directions. It knows when you've been active, it knows when you're asleep. That's right -- with 95 to 97 percent accuracy it tracks your sleep patterns and tells you how long it took you to fall asleep etc. The Fit Bit also tells how many calories you're burning -- and eating. In other words, it knows when you've been bad or good, so be good for ... well, you know the rest.
Yoga is one of the best ways to accomplish stress management while strengthening bones and joints. There is an amazing new yoga tool called the Alpha Loop -- a combination yoga belt and mat carrier invented by two West Virginians. The brilliant yet simple design allows the user to configure Alpha Loop quickly and easily into multiple loops for foot hold and hand grip. This design was based on a mathematical concept called the knot theory. The outcome is a single knot closed loop device that is buckle-free.
Whether you are a gym regular or a fitness fanatic on the run, the TRX Suspension Training System will give you all you can handle. Created for the U.S. Navy SEALs, this portable, versatile system uses your own bodyweight to challenge you on every level and in every plane. Weighing less than 2 pounds, the TRX equipment allows you to perform a variety of exercises to build power, strength, flexibility, balance and mobility.
If you want someone to move, give them their favorite workout music. There are many styles and rhythms; the key is to choose the kind that will get their motor running. Great music will make you dance, walk, shuffle, skip, hop, sway, shake and bounce.