Shed For the Holidays: Working on Fitness

by Rachel on December 15, 2009

It’s probably becoming pretty damn clear that I am way more into the material aspects of Christmas than anything having to do with the little baby Jesus (tender and mild like my Christmas beef tenderloin is going to be). Of course it’s not just about the gifts…it’s also about the food, the decorations, the music, and the family stuff. (Family stuff is last, because you know how my family is.)

Anyway, today I thought I’d share some gift ideas for the gym-goer! I love theme gifts and the idea of putting together a few inexpensive and related things, or adding a couple $2 items to a big-ticket one. That’s just how I do. And with fitness gifts it’s easy! You can always throw goodies in a cute, cheap, gym-worthy bag.

Since they are good for the planet, BPA-free, and encourage drinking, a SIGG water bottle is a good gift! You can get them at Whole Foods, on Amazon, and a bunch of other places; my mom got me one last year for Christmas and I kept it at my desk to refill from the water cooler. There are a lot of cute colors and designs out there; I really like these styles from Lululemon though!

If you want to turn it into a big gift, you could pair this with a water-filtering system. If that’s not in your budget, just toss in some water-flavoring packets! Hello, hydration!

If you have a lot of tunes and good taste (or read my weekly playlists) gift music! It’s such a good way to help someone rev up her workout. But my rule with this is that you have to put the music on a super-cute flash drive that is part of the gift. Of course, any bright color will do, but I am partial to this ear of corn…

If you have $50 to spend on someone special, I definitely recommend the ipod Shuffle.

I got my aunt and uncle refurbished Shuffles for $40 each last year (they don’t know the difference, or care) because they were working so hard at their healthy-living goals, yet they didn’t have TUNES! And if you are suffering tune-free, let me tell you, the new $55 Shuffle is fabulous. (Yes, I got one. I was too nervous wearing my Touch on long outdoor runs…there were a couple scary moments when it flew off.) It allows you to have playlists now, you don’t have to set it to shuffle, it holds 1,000 songs, it’s the size of a key, and, oh, it talks! I die every time the weird electronic voice says, “Lay-DEE GA-GAH.” You can pair it with a cd of new music, or, obviously, an iTunes gift card.

I am not personally really into workout DVDs — how am I going to meet a gym crush in my basement?! — but most people are, and there are a couple that I do really like and would (will) definitely gift! First, if you know anyone who likes dancing for fitness, I really like Masala Bhangra! I am the worst dancer, but after seeing Sarina Jain in NYC and actually getting to do this right along with her, I was a convert. It’s fun, not overly-complicated, and good cardio.

Plus, I prefer to do any dancing in the privacy of my own home. Definitely a good gift for anyone older who wants to be fit. If your mom loves Zumba, this is a good pick.

For someone who loves reading US Weekly for the celeb workouts, check out the Valside. This was created by Valerie Waters, a Hollywood trainer, and they are so cool and useful. My Shred teacher at Equniox would have us use them from time to time. They are basically slippery disks you place under your hands or feet and perform exercises that challenge your core and whole body.

Also a good gift for someone who has to fit working out into travel, because they are easy to take along! You can order them on Amazon.

For someone who isn’t afraid to hit the weight room, I would definitely gift a kettlebell and DVD!

I have the Sarah Lurie DVD (she’s the master) from (since it was for me, I just downloaded it rather than buy a hard copy) and it’s a really good 45-minute total-body workout. This is good for anyone who likes hitting a strength training class a couple times a week. It’s not terribly hard, but it works, especially your lower body — get ready to squat! It makes me feel very strong when I do it (but the kettlebell is coated in bright yellow, so I don’t feel beastly). You can order the set with two kettlebells and two DVDS, but honestly, I think it’s a bit overpriced/unnecessary. I’d just order one DVD and buy a 5-10 lb kettlebell from a sporting goods store. Oh, and this is one time you might actually have a use for those silly little terrycloth wristbands, so grab some oh-so-ironic ones from American Apparel and give them, cause they do protect your wrists from getting banged.

The other great gift I like to give to fit-minded people is a subscription to a health magazine! This is a gift that they will get all year, and personally, I live for my fitness magazines. First, I just have an unhealthy need to get good mail, but second, when I first started losing weight, I can say 100 percent of my motivation came from magazines. And not just motivation, but knowledge! Before magazines, I was like, “Um…what is fiber?” I read them ALL, and I think the best are Self (perhaps I’m biased as a former intern), Shape, and Women’s Health. Self is good for beginners and, I’d say, for more goodie-goodie types. Shape is good for probably future trophy-wives who have really good hearts. (Shape also has the best recipes.) Women’s Health is the least fluffy (everyone I know describes it this way!), but lately I’ve been hooked! Odd, because I’m sooooo fluffy, but it’s really, really good. Magazine subscriptions are usually pretty inexpensive, and way cheaper than the newsstand prices. (Get some for yourself while you’re at it, to save on those in-line-at-the-store-OMG-who-is-on-the-cover-I-LOVE-HER impulse buys that add up to like $6000 a year.) And to not show up empty-handed, just wrap up the Jan issue of the magazine with something else small and fitness-related!

No matter what you pick, they’ll love you all year!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 amanda December 15, 2009 at 5:07 pm

I am huge beachbody fan for DVDs. I have Insanity, p90x, and ChaLean. However, I use to hate workout videos. BTW, your gift ideas are excellent!!
.-= amanda´s last blog ..Art of being creative =-.


2 Rachel December 15, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Ahhh I am just dying to do P90x!!! Do you like?


3 Julie December 17, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Hi Rachel – I loved P90X, but I’ve personally found ChaLEAN Extreme to be a better fit for me as a woman. ChaLEAN is five days a week instead of six and the workouts average about 35 minutes compared to the average one hour routines in P90X. What I like about all Beachbody programs is they’re complete. They combine resitance training, cardio, interval training, and a sound nutrition program to get the results you set out to achieve. Beachbody also has an awesome online support system to help keep you motivated and accountable. I also found that you can actually make money with Beachbody. I didn’t know this until I was half way through P90X, so I thought I’d give you a heads up. Go to to learn more. Keep ’em motivated, girl.


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