You know that old adage about health, that we take it for granted until we no longer have it? The holidays are a good reminder to make it a priority. This season, give the gift of health to someone you love, even if it’s yourself. Start with these ideas.
UnderArmour sports mask
Masks are absolutely necessary, even more so when you’re working out and breathing hard. This high-performance face covering from UnderArmour has a water-resistant outer shell and a smooth, breathable spacer fabric. It even has built-in UPF 50+ sun protection, perfect for long daytime runs. $30, underarmour.com.
Apple watch series 6
The Apple Watch has become so sophisticated, telling time has become the least of its functions. It’s primarily a health and fitness gadget now—it measures your heart rate and blood oxygen levels, takes an ECG, tracks your daily activities and measures your favorite workouts. And it even takes calls. $399+, apple.com.
Weighted jump rope
Remember jump rope from grade school? Well, it just happens to be one of the least expensive and most effective exercise tools for your home gym. Jumping rope burns more calories than swimming, cycling or rowing, and this weighted version will give every major muscle group a workout. $99+, crossrope.com.
A set of kettlebells
Kettlebell workouts are popular for a reason: The combination of weight training and high-intensity cardio burns fat and sculpts the body, while improving core strength, balance, flexibility and coordination. $24+, roguefitness.com.
Strength and flexibility go hand in hand, so when you’re done with your weight-bearing exercises, don’t forget to stretch. A stretch strap elongates the spine, unwinds the shoulders and chest, and opens up those hamstrings, allowing for a greater range of motion. $13, gaiam.com.
Resistance bands and tubes
Here’s another small addition to your home gym that packs a wallop of benefits. Through a combination of different tube strengths and resistance, this series of bands increases muscle definition and builds size. And it hardly takes up any room. Ultimate ProGym, $40, gofit.net.
GRID foam roller
This multidensity foam roller is the best massage you can give yourself. It relieves muscle pain and tightness, improves mobility and increases circulation, perfect for workout recovery or when you’re just sitting on the couch bingeing Netflix. $35, triggerpoint.implus.com.
The best aid for muscle recovery is a hot bath with mineral salts. Kneipp’s plant-based bath salts are free of toxins and chemical additives, and rich with trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium and zinc. They’re blended with essential oils for extra health benefits. $4+, kneipp.com.
Hydroflask water bottle
Hydration is key for any fitness activity, and there’s no better water bottle than a Hydroflask, which keeps beverages cold or hot for hours, thanks to its double wall stainless steel construction. It comes in various sizes and colors, and it’s dishwasher-safe and virtually indestructible. $30+, hydroflask.com.
Who doesn’t want a healthy smoothie at a moment’s notice? BlendJet is the mobile cousin to the hulking Vitamix, in a size compact enough to stash in your bag. It’s lightweight, durable and USB-rechargeable, and it cleans itself, too. $50+, blendjet.com.
Glass tea infuser bottle
For the tea lover on your list, this double-walled glass infuser bottle will be a constant companion. The infusing basket’s large enough for loose tea, fresh fruit, herbs and whatever else you’d like to infuse into your drink. The company’s credo is, “Take care of your body and respect Mother Nature,” and it does so by using sustainable materials like bamboo. $35+, purezentea.com.
The temptations you find at the grocery store can make or break a diet. Enter Hungryroot, a service that delivers groceries that sustain and nourish. It sources the best ingredients free of hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, colors and preservatives and delivers them to your door, along with easy-to-follow recipes. Gift cards $75+, hungryroot.com.
Daily Harvest is a meal-delivery service built on organic fruit and vegetables, which come in smoothie or bowl forms (along with soups and snacks). The giftee will surely appreciate the convenience of ready-to-make meals that are both delicious and nutritious. Dailyharvest.com.
Eat More Plants cookbook
If you have someone on your list who likes to cook and wants to explore a more plant-based diet, registered dietitian Desiree Nelson offers more than 100 recipes including blackberry ginger muffins, an edamame hula bowl with almond miso sauce and a socca pizza with zucchini, olives and basil. $26, amazon.com.
This story appeared in Las Vegas Weekly.