It’s almost Christmas. If you’re still reading this, that means you either forgot your holiday shopping or was putting it off for the last minute. Well, don’t panic just yet. We still have some fantastic gift suggestions that will fit inside those Christmas stockings and bring holiday cheer to any fitness buff, without breaking the bank.
One of the best-loved gifts in the world (for fitness buffs at least) is a wet bag. It doesn’t matter what sport the recipient plays, they all sweat. Unfortunately, wet and sweaty clothes are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, among other things. And no one really wants to put gross, used clothing right in a gym bag.
There’s always a need for a bag to put post-workout clothes in, away from your other things. That’s where wet bags come in. These usually come in a variety of colors and easily fold down to a smaller size when not in use.
Cost: $15 on average, but ones that come with mesh inside lining and odor-trapping features can cost as much as $45
Foam Roller Water Bottle
This took two different gym staples and combined them into one. Your friend won’t have to worry about staying hydrated. He also has a portable foam roller to use to warm up before exercise and cool down after. Two birds, one stone – foam roller water bottle. It really is rather ingenious.
Cost: between $15 to $49 for mid-sized bottles
Kettlebells provide extra movement to the usual exercises, for a better cardio workout. The swinging motion also creates a more fluid movement that’s easier on the body while activating posterior chain muscles that dumbbells cannot.
A kettle grip is simply a dumbbell adapter. It’s a portable clamp-like tool that attaches to any standard dumbbell to convert them to kettlebells. It eliminates the need to buy or look for varying kettlebell weights.
Cost: around $35
Yoga Toe Socks
Yes, socks are not the most exciting of gifts. They’re always underappreciated until one cannot find a pair, or worse, is wearing the wrong kind and suffering through blisters. Socks can save feet from a world of pain.
Yoga socks, in particular, helps in strengthening the toes and feet while doing stretches. Most come with holes in the toes area that also help with flexibility. However, beginners will do better with full socks with grip to help with balance.
Cost: between $10-$20, but high-end branded ones can go as much as $30 per pair.
Runners, hikers and backpackers will all benefit from this highly practical gift. Whether out in the early morning or during evenings, they’d benefit from having enough light not just to illuminate the path, but also to ensure passing vehicles see them.
The best flashlights for the job have:
· Long battery life
· Multiple lighting modes
Cost: $15-$30 for battery-powered ones. Rechargeable kinds are also available but cost more.
Cooling Mesh Towel
The current COVID-19 situation has forced many fitness enthusiasts to think of alternative ways to get their workout hours in while avoiding the crowded gym. If your gift recipient is one of the many ramping up the hikes and other outdoor activities (or even going for it in a makeshift home gym), they’re probably working up a sweat.
This is why cooling towels are awesome. They’re simple to use – just throw one around the neck for instant cooling relief. These towels are usually water-activated. That means they only need to be soaked in water and wrung out and they’re good for use. They’re definitely the better alternative to just pouring water over the head. If that doesn’t sell you on the idea, know this: even tennis great Serena Williams uses one.
Cost: between $8-$15, but there’s one for $20 that goes over the head and not just the neck
Massage is an effective way to reduce muscle soreness, relieve tension and ease tightness. It also helps in increasing blood flow and can help reduce the effects of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). A massage gun is still our number one pick for convenient, effective and cost-friendly myofascial release.
(Read more about the benefits of percussion massage guns here.)
Some people, however, may want something smaller to tuck inside pockets for easy access after quick runs (or while taking a quick one-minute, finger flexing break from typing on their keyboards.)
In this case, massage balls are a good substitute. What should you look for in a massage ball?
· Size – Bigger muscle groups (like hamstrings or the back area) will need bigger-sized massage balls, too. In this case, choose a lacrosse or baseball-sized ball. Golf-sized balls are better for the hands and feet.
· Weight – Heavier balls have a lesser tendency to slide off.
· Shape – Smooth round balls are common. But there are also massage balls with bumps and small spikes that help with grip, especially when sweaty.
· Grip – Super smooth balls will slide around if you exert pressure on them, that’s why it’s always better to go for rubber ones with better surface grip.
· Hardness – This one can vary according to preference.
A quick shower may be enough to remove the sweat and dirt after exercise, but what many fail to realize is that it also strips the body of natural oils. An after-sport shampoo helps protect the body from drying out and potentially suffer from inflammation and irritation.
Designed to protect the scalp, an after-sport shampoo moisturizes the skin and encourages hair growth. It should also provide the essential vitamins and nutrients needed by the scalp.
Cost: usually under $10
Also called resistance bands, these “giant-sized rubber bands” make for a low-impact substitute for weight training. They’re also great for endurance building and offer variety to otherwise repetitive workouts.
They usually come in sets, with band resistance varying from light to heavy.
Cost: around $10 per set
The holidays are upon us. This festive season, make sure that fitness and health are still part of the celebration. We hope this list helped you find something to put under the tree for your favorite fitness buff.