Every December, as we finish the last of the leftover turkey, patients begin to talk about the holiday season and gift shopping. This conversation invariably leads to suggestions for gift ideas related to health, exercise and fitness. The suggestions below offer a wide variety of fitness related gifts, some expensive and frivolous and others reasonably priced and practical. I hope it makes your shopping a little easier.
Dry Tech Exercise Clothing
Dry Tech is the best thing that has happened to exercise apparel since “jogging suit” was donned by all the “cool dudes” in the 70’s and 80’s . It is has great style and even better function. The specially made material is light weight and breathable and wicks moisture from the skin to the outer layers. Therefore, it will not get heavy with sweat which can weigh you down and cause friction with your skin which can lead to chaffing and blisters. The following exercise apparel is now available in Dry Tech:
Exercise Mat: An exercise mat is helpful if you decide to exercise at home. Also, if you participate in yoga or Pilates classes, a mat is required equipment.
Hand Held Dumbbells and Sandbag Leg Weights: These are essential for those interested in home exercise. For the average beginner, 3-5-8-10 pound (two of each) weights will be adequate. Dumbbells are good for shrugs, biceps, and triceps, bent over rows and lats, and lunges. Sandbags, which can be purchased as graduated weights from 1 to 5 pounds, are good for leg extensions, hamstring curls, hip hikes and hip abduction.
Resistance Bands: These cheap and versatile bands are also essential for a home program. The bands come in different colors to represent the amount of resistance with yellow being the easiest and black the most difficult. They can be used for upper and lower body. For specific band exercises visit this previous column in “Health & Exercise Forum”
Fitness Club Membership: Location is important for convenience. The type of gym, such as, cross fit, exercise machines vs. traditional free weights, must be considered. Equipment and other services such as personal trainers, swimming pool, sauna, hot tubs, Pilates, and yoga classes are also important to some.
Personal Trainer Gift Certificate: This can be an opportunity for someone to either get the proper advice from a professional to begin a fitness program or to revamp and tune up an old stale program. Word of mouth is a good way to find a reputable certified trainer.
Electronic Fitness Monitors or Wearable Tech Monitor: These devices use GPS technology to help the user track their activity to get more out of their exercise routines. They monitor activity, heart rate, distance, location, calories, and more. Some examples are:
Weight Loss and Activity Monitoring Apps – basic Apps are free and more advanced versions are under $10.
Nutritional Counselor Gift Certificate: Sometimes you need professional help to get started and stay focused. Just as with a personal trainer, a qualified and licensed nutritional counselor will assist you in establishing a safe and effective program to meet your nutritional and dietary goals. Again, ask around to see who has a good reputation or who may be a good fit for the recipient of your gift.
These gifts can be purchased at most local sporting goods stores or on-line.
EVERY MONDAY – Read Dr. Paul J. Mackarey “Health & Exercise Forum” in the Scranton Times-Tribune.
This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an associate professor of clinical medicine at The Commonwealth Medical College.