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CindySays: Gifts keep on giving through a healthier lifestyle

By Cindy Boggs

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Hard to imagine, but here we are diving into holiday shopping while we are still digesting Thanksgiving leftovers. The clock is ticking and we are nearing panic mode. Those around us don't seem to be concerned, which makes us even more frantic.

Need inspiration? I find mine comes from necessity. I like to need the things I want. That way there is a reason behind the gift.

If you love activity or are buying for those who do, then you may appreciate my Fit Gift List for 2013. These are my top choices because they support and/or enhance an active lifestyle. Choosing an item from the lists below just may connect your loved one to a healthier and more energetic life -- and that is a gift that keeps on giving.

Nutrition-related

  • Juicers/blenders/shakers are perfect for when you're trying to supplement your diet with nutrient-dense concoctions made from fresh fruits and vegetables. A juicing book might be good too.
  • Fish oil is the perfect gift for anyone interested in heart-healthy supplementation.
  • Personalize a yummy basket of goodies for a loved one with dietary restrictions or needs, such as heart-healthy, vegan, gluten-free items.
  • Give the gift of a healthy cooking class or cookbook to learn how quick, easy and economical it can be to eat well.
  • A freezable lunch tote to make packing your food for work a safe and easy option.
  • Spiral vegetable slicers and other culinary tools make preparing vitamin-packed foods fun and easy.
  • Activity-related

  • Using a public mat in a yoga class is counterintuitive to health. A personalized yoga mat assures there will be no mistake whose mat is whose.
  • One of the coolest fitness tools is the kettlebell, which burns calories and strengthens muscles simultaneously. It's a great gift either for home use or for the fitness buff using it in the gym.
  • Foam rollers are the poor man's massage therapist because they work out post-exercise muscle soreness, increase circulation and hasten recovery.
  • Present a gym membership to a loved one who just can't seem to get motivated but wants to be active and needs professional support.
  • For someone who wants to move their fitness to the next level, consider giving sessions of personal training.
  • You'll never go wrong wrapping up equipment that supports an active life. Examples include bike helmet, backpack, survival kit, lantern, hiking boots, ski gear, gardening tools, polarizing sunglasses, GPS navigation, hula hoop, skates, baseball glove and golf gear.
  • Ear buds that stay put in the music lover's ear will motivate any runner or walker -- and are now available for the lap swimmer.
  • Thrill the techies on your list with an activity tracker. They'll love the instant gratification of having feedback of their efforts at their fingertips.
  • From the novice to the athlete, a massage therapy certificate will be one of the most appreciated gifts. Massage benefits can never be underestimated in their ability to manage daily stress and aid in circulation and muscle recovery.
  • There are plenty of healthy apps available to assist in the quest for an energetic life. They can count calories, motivate, track activity, de-stress and even offer up healthy recipes.
  • A gift from the heart

    Whether the people on your list are young or old, active or not, wrap up a fit gift for the ones you love. While good health will never magically appear beneath your tree, the tools and the motivation to acquire it certainly can.

    Cindy Boggs, wellness presenter and author, is an ACE-certified instructor/trainer. Send your questions about fitness, training or health to cindysays@aol.com. Look for her award-winning fitness advice book, "CindySays ... You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World" on her website, www.cindysays.com.


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