Finding gifts can be difficult. If you are going to buy gifts for the health conscious person, here are some ideas to get your holiday shopping started.
Finding gifts can be difficult for some people. If you are going to buy gifts for the health conscious person, here are some ideas to get your holiday shopping started.
Pedometers can do more than just count your steps. They can count your steps walking around the block, step aerobics, walking on the treadmill and some will also count how many calories you burn. Many of the pedometers on the market today are an iPod or MP3 player with a pedometer thrown in extra. When looking for a pedometer, look at the accuracy and the ratings of the pedometer since that is why you are buying one, not the music. Many of these MP3 pedometers don’t have the accuracy of a regular pedometer.
The Omron HJ-112 pocket pedometer was tested and reviewed by Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise in April 2009 as one of the most accurate pedometers. It is a favorite among runners and a 2009 Consumer Reports best buy. $25.
The Omron HJ-720ITC Pocket Pedometer comes with Omron Health Management Software. You can download your walks and workouts to the software on your computer to see graphs and charts of your progress. $32.00.
Yamax CW-701 is an upgrade from the SW-701 and has much better accuracy than the previous model. It has a memory for two weeks that lets you compare your progress this week compared to last week. It also has a clock and calorie burn calculator. $36.00.
Heart Rate Monitor
Heart rate monitors are great for measuring your heart rate while exercising and running. Helping you make sure you’re at your target rate and has alarms to alert you if you get above or below your target rate. Some have calorie burning calculators included and others don’t. Wrist monitors are harder to use than the chest monitor types since you have to use both hands to get readings with the wrist versions. All of these listed have the chest band monitor, which makes it easier to use if you’re cycling.
Omron HR-100C is a favorite among runners and Consumers Reports. It has a high/low rate alarm. It has a bracket so you can attach it to a bike or treadmill and watch it as you workout. $33.00. You can change the batteries yourself.
Timex T5G971 has heart rate zone alarms and memory recall that shows your peak and average heart rates. You can change the battery yourself without having to send it back to the manufacturer like some monitors. $48.00.
Combination Heart Rate Monitor and Pedometer
Garmin Forerunner 305 is a GPS speed and distance pedometer with a heart rate monitor with distance, pace and speed data. Can be used for multiple sports like cycling and cross-country. Includes training center software.
You can work out almost any part of the body using a stability ball including balance, stabilization and strength exercises. Stability balls come in different sizes ranging from 45 to 80 centimeters (cm). The different sizes are to fit the person using them. The box will say a certain size ball is for people of a certain height, but that can’t always be accurate since people are all built differently. The only way to actually tell is to sit on a properly inflated ball and bend your knees to form a 90-degree angle. Your hips should be even or slightly higher than your knees and your heels should be directly below your knees. This can make it difficult to buy as a gift for someone. If you want to buy this as a gift, go by the size on the box and use the chart below as a general guideline. It would be best to buy this locally and make sure about the exchange or return policy in case this doesn’t fit the person properly. These prices are for the Ball Dynamic FitBALL® Soft Sport Edition and have a hand pump included
Ball Dynamics is one of the best-known fitness ball companies. They sell just the ball or the ball with a pump in several versions. The Soft Sport version is a lighter weight and costs less. It will stay completely round with a weight bearing capacity of 1,250 pounds.
Less than 4’ 8” tall get the 45-cm ball. $26
4’ 8” to 5’ 3” tall get the 55-cm ball. $28
5’8’ to 6’ tall get the 65-cm ball. $31
6’ to 6’ 7” tall use the 75-cm size. $34
Duraball Pro is a sturdy fitness ball and one that holds the air you put in it. Too many times when you fill up a fitness ball, it loses half of its air by the next day. $60 for the 45 cm ball
Exercise or Yoga Mats
Exercising on an uncomfortable surface can ruin your mood to exercise. A good mat can reduce fatigue and chances of injury. Mats can be made of foam or rubber or latex materials. They fold up for easy storage or taking with you. Mats should be made so they don’t slide on tile or wood floors.
Harbinger 340400 3-part exercises mat is 2" thick x 24" by 60". $43
Harbinger 340100 Durafoam exercise mat measures 3/8” thick by 24” by 72”. $21
Ironman Tri-Fold Premium exercise mat is 2” foam by 2’ by 6 ‘.
Everlast folding exercise mat is 1 5/8” thick by 72” by 24” and is great for stretching, yoga and exercises. $48.
If someone is allergic to PVC or latex materials, there are eco yoga mats from various companies.
Other Healthy Gift Ideas
Gift certificate to spa
© 2009 Sam Montana
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Aromatherapy For Relieving Stress
Amazon.com for some prices
February 2009 Consumer Reports for pedometer and heart rate monitor reviews