Wednesday wishlist: health and fitness

Each Wednesday of the holiday season, I’ll be sharing neat gift ideas with you.


Your loved one needn’t be a fitness junkie to enjoy some of these gifts. There’s a mix of items in this week’s wishlist, including ones for tech-savvy folks, curious minds, and those in need of a good massage (but then again, who isn’t?). Clockwise from top-left:

Lululemon Bang Buster headband. Adorable and practical! Despite the recent brouhaha over Lululemon and their pants, I still love their headbands: silky, well-fitting, and quality-made. Mine effectively wicks away moisture, keeps my bangs out of my face, and, like all cute workout gear, motivates me to get my sweat on.

23 and Me DNA testing kit. Space-age-y, affordable, consumer-ready genetic science — what isn’t cool about this? You provide the company with a saliva sample and they’ll send you back information on health-related predispositions and ancestry. I do recommend reading reviews and their privacy policy thoroughly. If it checks out, I’d think this would be a nifty present for the smartypants in your life.

A wrist fitness tracker. Imagine pedometers turned wearable and high-tech. These wearable devices  simplify that ever-effective strategy of logging your diet, exercise, and sleep — but, more impressively, their technologies interpret your results, allowing you to map out your progress over time. Among the most popular offerings: the Up by Jawbone; the Fitbit Flex (pictured) and its clip-on version One; the MyBasis B1, and the Nike+ FuelBand. Some of the devices even conveniently pair up with scales, such as the Fitbit Aria — though I wouldn’t be so quick to gift a weight management device!

Land’s End Duffle Bag. When it comes to gym bags, I say function over form. What’s the point of having a chic, expensive duffle bag that’s ultimately going to be dirtied with gym shoes and shoved in a locker? Luckily, Land’s End offers a basic, lightweight bag that’s insanely cheap and fantastically sturdy — all-around guilt-free gear. You can even have it monogrammed for a personal touch.

A heart rate monitor. When it comes down to it, we often don’t need much more than a good pair of running shoes to stay healthy. My Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor, however, is indispensable when I want to get serious about my fitness. I’m able to pace myself better, quantify my performance, and more accurately estimate my calories burned. Pretty neat!

Trigger Point “The Grid” Foam Roller. I can’t imagine my life without a foam roller. Is that silly to say? This baby, however, works miracles on sore, knotted muscles with its grooved surface. All it takes are a few strategic movements on it to majorly relieve pain and tension. While a certificate for a massage might serve the same purpose, I’d say that this item is one that can keep on giving over time.

MEElectronics Sport-Fi M6 in-ear headphones. A few years ago, I sifted through dozens of reviews for workout-appropriate earbuds and chose these. They stay securely in your ear thanks to the memory wire wrap, deliver great sound, and buffer out the majority of outside noise — and, of course, they’re affordable at under $20 a pop. When my old pair finally gave up the ghost, it was an easy decision to re-purchase.



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