December 22, 2018
THE BIG DAY is nearly here, and if you are anything like me, you are now desperately searching for last minute gifts.
Buying gifts for the health and fitness enthusiast in your life can often be difficult — but to help you out and get you inspired, I have selected my top Christmas gift ideas that anyone into fitness will absolutely love.
Simple, but my personal favourite.
It’s hard to go wrong when buying some fresh training gear for a loved one or friend, as fresh exercise wear can provide you with that added motivation heading into the New Year.
An Irish brand that seems to be on everyone’s fitness Christmas gift list this year is Gym+Coffee who really have a great selection of activewear for everyone.
As well as that they have a great community that run lifestyle events dotted throughout the year that aims to attract people with similar healthy interests.
You can’t go wrong with new footwear as a gift idea. For the friend or family member that enjoys a weekend run or even has the Dublin Marathon in their plans for next year, runners are a good idea.
Or for the outdoor adventure type, a new pair of hiking boots is a super gift idea for those hill walks in 2019.
Build a healthy hamper
Putting together your own hamper for a friend or family member is a really nice touch.
A good way of doing it is picking up small affordable bits and putting them all together. Everything and anything can be considered here from some fitness supplements, workout resistance bands, a new shaker, yoga mat, foam roller or workout gloves.
I find D8fitness a really good store and online shop that can cater for all those small items that can be put together for a nice Christmas fitness hamper.
Now I am not talking about a big clunky home treadmill here, but simple and effective exercise equipment that can be used at home or even on the road.
If you are a regular reader of my column then you will know how I value equipment like a simple set of resistance bands or mini loop bands. These are very affordable and extremely versatile when it comes to different exercise movements.
Other than that I am also a huge fan of the TRX, the kettlebell or a simple set of Olympic rings. A home pull up bar is another great idea that can be set up between a door frame.
Just like above, I find D8fitness a great place to get looked after here.
Health and fitness books
Is it just me or has almost every health and fitness blogger published their own book or eBook at this stage?
A lot of these books just repeat the same thing but some are really worth considering. All of them, of course, will have great workout ideas and recipes to follow but to me, the ones you want to watch out for are the ones that promote the right path to health and fitness which to me are sustainable, realistic, enjoyable and simple to follow and implement.
My favourite book this year is ‘Move, Train, Nourish — the sustainable way to a healthier you’by Dominic Munnelly and Grainne Parker.
Healthy retreat away
One of the biggest points I mention in a lot of my wellbeing talks and articles is that ‘sometimes we have to slow down to speed back up again’.
Doing things that help the mind slow down, de-stress and unwind are vital.
Nowadays we really are always on the go and constantly switched on so it really is important to slow down every now and again.
Physical fitness is very important but how you train and look after your mind is just as, if not more, important.
Bringing in things like mindfulness, yoga or even meditation are areas that can improve your stress levels, fatigue or burnout. A healthy mind helps a healthy body.
The Cliffs of Moher retreat is an amazing venue that caters for all of the above and offers healthy weekends away in fabulous surroundings with amazing food on offer as well as incredible body recharging activities from yoga, meditation and hikes.
Another favourite of mine and one that makes the list nearly every year.
Year after year the rapid change in technology is incredible and these watches seem to get better and better as time goes on. The choice is now endless at this stage with different brands, specs and even colours at this stage.
These are a must-have for anyone who is interested in logging and keeping track of their data. Whether you’re training for a specific race in the New Year or just looking to be more active in general, a fitness watch can help you closely monitor your activity and training.
Track your daily steps, heart rate, map routes, and even receive smartphone alerts on some of these devices. My top four brands to consider are Garmin and Polar, Apple or Fitbit.
Just like the training watches above, headphones seem to be improving as time goes on with consistent improvements in sound quality, moisture resistance and reliability.
These make my list every year. They won’t break the bank and are a simple click of a button away to purchase which gets rid of all the hassle of making a last minute dash to the shops.
I find all of the four below to be very useful:
Gym membership/Personal training voucher
The timing might not seem right for talking about the gym on Christmas day but this really is a good gift for someone to get them on the right healthy track for 2019.
Working with a trainer one-on-one can really ignite that fire one needs to get them going in January.
If your friend or family member isn’t the gym type but still likes to keep fit then look at what they enjoy and get them a voucher from that particular club or hobby. This could be anything from mountain biking, rock climbing/bouldering to maybe even some yoga sessions.
I’d like to finish this article by wishing you a very happy Christmas. I appreciate you reading my columns throughout the year and I look forward to continuing to help you with advice in 2019.