Fitness Gifts That Keep on Giving
We're here to help if you're searching for the perfect gifts for the health- and fitness-minded people on your shopping list. Look for these sure-to-please options, which cost $10 to $1,500, at stores, in mail-order catalogs or online.
Six sessions with a personal trainer or sports pro. Most people who work out can benefit from sessions with a trainer, who can help them fine-tune their regimen and goals.
High-tech protective eyewear
A must-have for racquetball, tennis and squash players. Look for durable, wraparound frames.
New workout clothes
Opt for stylish name brands or bare-bones, rugged active wear, depending on the recipient.
A thoughtful gift for anyone into precision timing or who has a heart or health condition that requires monitoring.
Reflective vest, gloves and belt
Must-have safety gear for anyone who exercises outdoors at dusk or dawn.
These make good gifts for people who work out at a gym or health club, play tennis or racquetball, or skate. Look for bags made of durable material. Small-zippered pockets are helpful for storing wallets, keys, glasses and other items.
Anyone who walks in the spring, summer and fall can snow-shoe in the winter with easy-to-use walker-weight snowshoes.
Walkers, runners, golfers and tennis players can always use sunglasses. Sturdy frames with wraparound earpieces are best for active people. Lenses should be polarized and block 90 percent to 100 percent of UV rays.
Fleece vests or jackets
Walkers, runners and cross-country skiers will appreciate the warmth and versatility of front-zipped fleece jackets.
Packs with large inner compartments, zippered outside pockets and places to hold water bottles are the most useful. Padded back panels and quick-release waistbands are helpful features.
Hundreds of videos feature celebrities and exercise experts. Choose tapes that match the recipient's interests and fitness level.
State-of-the-art swim goggles
Lap swimmers need anti-fog, leak-proof goggles.
High-performance sports watches
Give watches that are rugged and water-resistant to 100 meters and that glow in the dark. A lap-timer function is a nice extra.
Many people prefer the privacy and flexibility of working out at home. Those who do may want a weighted jump rope, chin-up bar, dumbbells, resistance rubber bands, exercise mat, portable steps, stationary bicycle, treadmill, upright rider or stair climber.
The walkers on your gift list can use pedometers that monitor time, distance, calories burned and number of steps.
Fitness-log computer program
These gifts are great for people who like to track their progress and performance. Be sure you get one that matches the recipient's operating-system requirements.
Personal water-carrying systems
Bikers, hikers, snowboarders and other outdoor fanatics rave about these systems, which help keep them hydrated while they exercise.
Go low tech for those who want locker-room footwear or high tech for those into kayaking.
Sports-store gift certificate
A certificate from a favorite sports store is always a safe bet.
Tickets to a professional sports event
Get the best seats you can afford.
Choose a publication that focuses on the recipient's favorite sports activity.
Heat and cold packs
Flexible heat packs that can be warmed in microwave ovens provide long-lasting, penetrating heat for sore muscles and stiff necks. Some packs can also be frozen and used to treat pain and sprains.
Trial membership at a health club
Buy a one-, three- or six-month membership at a club convenient to the recipient.
Gift certificate for a one-hour massage
Pamper someone who's physically active.