if you are not sure what to get your friends or family for the holidays, give them the gift of fitness and health. Here is the next level top 10 list of the best fitness gifts for 2008:
1.) A Foam Roller
If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of your day sitting at a desk. And when you actually do have time to workout, all you usually can fit in is the workout itself. Who has time for stretching?
That’s where a foam roller comes in. It’s a corrective self-massage tool that will dramatically help 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. I have used mine every day for the last several years and I swear by it! You can pick one up at Next Level Athletic Peformance 9562 River Rd. Marcy, NY 13403.
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. 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
You can’t beat a sporting goods store like Dick’s Sporting Goods 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 an organic food store
Rather then waste money on an overpriced restaurant, why not give a week’s worth of groceries to a 100% organic grocer 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 organic foods were 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!
6.) Supplements that Work: Protein Powders, Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin
I have helped hundreds of people lose thousands of pounds of fat. In my journey, I have found only three supplements to be a mandatory part of the optimal fat loss program: protein powders, fish oil, and multi-vitamin supplements.
Protein powders provide great liquid workout nutrition and a convenient meat alternative for on-the-go snacking. For a protein powder, look for a brand low in sugar and carbohydrates and with a mix of both whey and casein (fast and slow absorbing proteins). I like Prograde Workout available at www.nextlevel.getprograde.com.
Fish oil, or more appropriately entitled an essential fatty acid (EFA) supplement, is critical to providing key omega 3’s to maximize overall health, performance, and body composition. Studies show that krill oil provides the most effective dosing of EFA’s.
A multi-vitamin provides keys vitamins and minerals that are tough to obtain unless your diet is near picture perfect. I don’t know about you, but I like to cover my bases when it comes to my health. Be sure to choose a multi-vitamin supplement that is made from whole foods rather than synthetic materials, in addition to being made specifically for your gender.
My clients and I rock with VGF+25 and EFA Icon, both included in Prograde’s Health+ Package available at www.nextlevel.getprograde.com.
7.) Sport-Specific Gift
This one’s pretty basic: if you want to give a great gift to an athlete then get them something unique that compliments their sport, whether it be fitness equipment, apparel, or both.
8.) Fitness Book or Subscription to Fitness Magazine
Everybody need bedtime or bathroom reading baby! If you have just read a good fitness book that you know a friend or family member would benefit from, hook them up with their own copy. Better yet, people love magazine subscriptions. Personally, I am a big fan of Men’s Health and Women’s Health. These magazines are filled with tons of workout, nutrition, and lifestyle tips catered to each sex and I never miss an issue. I know it sounds funny that I read Women’s Health being a dude, but I work with a lot of women so I need to keep up with the lingo like skinny jeans and muffin-tops, ha ha!
9.) A Gift Certificate to White Whispers Day Spa
Everyone deserves to pampered! In our fast paced society a massage, facial, mani or pedi would brighten up anyones xmas! Call Valerie at White Whispers 315-735-8756 or visit the site at www.whitewhispersdayspa.com. Mention Next Level when you call!
10.) A Gift Card to a Fitness Boot Camp
Boot camps provide a fun and exciting team environment that guarantee better results than one-on-one personal training for only a third of the cost… it’s a total no-brainer.
Any good boot camp worth its weight offers free trials and money-back guarantees to all newcomers because they are so confident their program works that you’ll more than likely continue after a test-drive, This way there is typically no risk on your part… besides getting you butt kicked, in a good way ;)
So join a fitness boot camp with at least one other friend or family member or buy a boot camp gift card to give to your loved ones. As a boot camp instructor myself, I know firsthand that clients always get better results when they embark on a fitness journey with others.
And if you live in the local Utica area, come work with us for the best personal training in the Mohawk Valley by visiting www.nextlevelbeachbodybootcamp.com. We’ll change your life and have you looking beach ready this New Year, guaranteed!
Enjoy the holidays and have a very safe and happy New Year!
Yours In Fitness,