Sunday, December 11, 2011

Top 10 Last Minute Christmas Fitness Gifts for 2011

If you’ve hit a wall on what to get your friends or family for the holidays, then why not get them a fitness gift. Heck, you could even put some fitness gifts on your own holiday wish list. After all, who doesn’t want to look or perform better? Here is official my top 10 list of the best last minute fitness gifts for 2008:

1.) A Foam Roller

If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of your day nailed to a desk. And when you actually do have time to workout, all you usually can fit in is the workout itself. Really, who has time for daily stretching?

Well that’s where a foam roller comes in. It’s a phenomenal corrective self-massage tool that will dramatically bolster injury prevention and improve performance. It’s ideal to use for at least five minutes post-workout to promote healing of the small micro-tears in your muscles that result from high-intensity training to jumpstart the recovery process. Plus, a foam roller both kneads out and lengthens your muscle and connective tissues thus alleviating, if not eliminating, nagging aches and pains in your back, knees, hips, shoulders, and elbows.

If you’re going to get a foam roller, get a good one. The cheaper options tend to wear down into a limp noodle for larger individuals after a couple of months. I get all of my foam rollers from Perform Better. My brand of choice is The EVA Premium Foam Roller (about $30), I have used it every day for the last several years and I swear by it! You can get it at the following link:


2.) Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are by far the most simple, convenient, and affordable equipment option in the fitness industry. They supply total portability for killer workouts that can be done anywhere. If

you are a busy professional who does a lot of traveling, bands are the perfect lightweight training tool to take your workouts with you on the road as they can fit in the smallest of bags without a

problem. If you are a busy Mom looking to workout in the comfort of your own home, bands can make this happen too. Bands provide the perfect compliment to your body weight circuit training workouts for added variety, allow for multiple levels of resistance with practically zero transition and set-up time, are easy on the joints, and are fun to use!


3.) A Gift Card to a Sporting Goods Store For Fitness Equipment and Apparel

You can’t beat a sporting goods store like Academy or Sports Authority to get the best fitness equipment and apparel on the market today. I always recommend going with a gift card here because everybody has their own preferences, particularly when it comes to clothing sizes and styles.

4.) A Gift Card to Whole Foods or Other Premium Grocery Stores

Rather then waste money on an overpriced restaurant, why not give a week’s worth of groceries to a 100% organic grocer like Whole Foods to a friend or loved one. After all, everybody’s got to eat, but how many of us actually eat the right stuff to support our fitness goals?

I must admit, several years ago I thought Whole Foods was just for rich people or hippies, but boy was I wrong. I shop there almost exclusively these days, particularly when buying produce to avoid foods that are typically loaded with hormones and pesticides at other regular run of the mill grocery stores. The key is to go in with a budget in mind (e.g. spend $50 bucks on protein, $20 on fruits and veggies, and $10 on miscellaneous items) only buying what you need.

5.) A Gift Card to a Massage Therapist

Most of us are crazy busy and super stressed out during the holiday season and nothing eases the tension like a good massage. This is about as can’t miss of a gift as it gets, unless you know someone who doesn’t like to be touched. It’s nice to be pampered on occasion, and though the foam roller I mentioned above can do wonders for the majority of your body, nothing can alleviate tension in your upper back, neck, and head like a good massage therapist!

Jeff McDaniel
FastFit Training & Fitness

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