Gifts for Your Health!!
By Ryan Unverzagt
Gifts for Your Health!!
It is “that time of year” and it sure feels like it snuck up on me way too fast. I’m still recovering from pulling together my kids late summer birthday parties! But….here it is, December, that time for finding that perfect gift for the holidays. If you are one of those people who struggle to think of gift ideas, you might want to consider something fitness-related. In this covid-era, being vaccinated is the smart thing to do but also maintaining good health helps stave off many seasonal ills. Each year I try to compile a list of gifts that won’t break the bank but will let your loved ones know you care about their health. Here are a few things that I recommend:
- Heart Rate Monitor: This is a tool that I think everyone should own. Heart rate monitor prices can vary anywhere from $30 to well over $300 depending upon the brand and type. The best thing about having one is that it will track the intensity of your workout no matter where you exercise! You don’t need to rely on a cardio machine at the health club to check your heart rate. It’s also easier than stopping in the middle of your workout to feel your pulse and count while watching the clock.
- Exercise Ball: (A.K.A. Fit Ball, Swiss Ball, or Stability Ball) I’m talking about the big ball you can sit on at the office or perform multiple exercises for the “core”. However, you can do much more than abdominal exercises with a Fit Ball such as squats, stationary lunges and pushups. Every ball should have an exercise sheet included to show you how to use them. They also come in different sizes and colors, so which one should you buy? Most manufacturers will have a size chart printed on the side of the box. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends these sizes for height:
4’8” – 5’5”……….45 cm Ball
5’6”- 6’0”………..55 cm Ball (most common size in stores)
6’1” – 6’5”……….65 cm Ball (most common size in stores)
Taller than 6’5”…..75 cm Ball
Prices for exercise balls vary from $20 (typical) to $45 (burst resistant quality)
- Kettle Bell: You might be wondering, “What the heck is a kettle bell?” I can give you a visual. It basically looks like a cannonball with a handle on top. Kettle bells have been used for centuries in Russia, but are now becoming popular fitness tools in the U.S. Sizes typically range from 5lbs to 25lbs in stores, but can be ordered much heavier. Some kettle bells will be listed in kilograms (kgs), have a cast iron look and feel, or have some sort of covering or coating for a better grip. Kettle bells can be a bit pricy, ranging anywhere from $25 to over $180 for a single one. Kettle bell training does take more practice and skill than traditional weight training, so you should seek guidance from a fitness professional before diving into this type of training.
- Health Club Membership/Personal Training Sessions: This gift can be a tricky one because the recipient might be offended at such an offer thinking, “What are you trying to say!” However, if you have heard someone talking about joining a gym or thinking about personal training, this might be the gift to help them take that next step toward a healthier life.
I hope these ideas will be helpful in your quest to find a great holiday gift this season!