Best Fitness Gifts - Does Your Loved One Exercise? Here's What to Get

Fitness gifts aren't for everyone, of course, but if there's an exerciser in your life, chances are there's something he or she wants to make workouts more effective and more fun.  If you need gift ideas for the fitness enthusiast in your life, below are some thoughts on what exercisers really want this year. 

Heart Rate Monitor

Polar Heart Rate
Amazon

A heart rate monitor is an excellent tool for any exerciser who wants to get the most out of his or her workout.  There are a variety of options out there, but you'll definitely want one that has a heart rate strap so your exerciser can see a continuous heart rate at a glance.

This is one of my favorites and it's great for almost any level exerciser. Buy from Amazon »

Wireless Headphones

Jaybird Sport Headphones
Amazon

There's nothing more annoying than tangled headphone cords.  Usually, the first 5 minutes of my workout is actually just getting them untangled - Which isn't a real workout, unfortunately.

I got these JayBird Bluebuds and I've never looked back.  If your loved one is a headphone junkie, please consider helping him or her go wireless.  He/she will thank you. Buy from Amazon »

The Polar Loop Activity Monitor

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Polar

 There are plenty of great activity monitors out there, but I love the Polar Loop for a variety of reasons, such as: 

  1. You can actually size it to fit your wrist perfectly and it's easy to get on and off. I've used a FitBit and I like it, but it's a pain to strap on.  The Polar Loop actually works like a watch.
  2. With the touch of a button, you can scroll through the different areas it monitors - Steps taken, activity levels and just general activity.  Somehow it also knows the difference between running and walking, so you get credit for your workouts.  You can also use it to monitor your sleep patterns if you're into that. 
  3. It's compatible with Polar H6 and H7 Bluetooth Smart heart rate sensors and you can use your Loop with the heart rate monitor and the Polar Beat App to track your heart rate, which is pretty cool.
  4. The Polar Flow App gives you a dashboard that shows you exactly how you spend your time each day.  Sometimes, it's scary how much time I spend sitting.

As activity monitors go, this is one of my favorites and a great holiday gift idea. Buy from Amazon »

TRX Suspension Training

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Image Courtesy of Pricegrabber

If you have friends or family who love to try new and challenging workouts, the TRX Suspension System offers just that.  This network of straps connects to a door or ceiling (with an anchor) and allows the exerciser to leverage his own body weight for a variety of strength, endurance and power exercises.  What's great about the TRX is that it's different, it allows you to work your body with very little equipment and you can take it anywhere. Prices vary, but it's usually around $140 to $190. The package comes with everything you need - The strap system, a wall/ceiling anchor and a variety of videos.  There's also a package with the door anchor included, which is more travel friendly. Buy from Amazon »

Kettlebells

Kettlebell
Amazon

Kettlebells are the latest trend in fitness and a good choice if your exerciser loves a challenge.  There are a variety of kettlebell options out there, from medicine-ball like bells to basic iron models.  Kettlebell training isn't easy, so he or she should have some instruction before diving into a workout.  You might consider getting them a video if you're not sure of their fitness level. Buy from Amazon »

Foam Roller

Foam Roller
Amazon

Do you know what's annoying about exercisers?  They workout so much, they want you to massage them...or worse, to pay for a massage.  Outrageous!

Okay, actually, I like massages, but the foam roller is an excellent addition to regular massages, allowing your exerciser to roll out any tension in the muscles.  A relaxed exerciser is a happy exerciser. Buy from Amazon »

Personal Training Sessions

Woman lifting weights with a trainer
Getty Images/Mike Harrington
Keep in mind that not everyone would be thrilled to get personal training sessions. So you shouldn't get someone sessions just because you want them to exercise or be healthy. However, this can be a great gift if your loved one has expressed interest in training but is reluctant to spend the money or intimidated to try it. In fact, many of my clients give friends and family personal training sessions for birthdays and holidays.

Each trainer will charge a different fee for sessions, but expect to pay around $50 to $100 per session. You might want to give one or two sessions and let them decide if they want more, or offer to train with them in group sessions. More »

Gym Membership

Woman running on treadmill in gym
Xavier Arnau/E+/Getty Images

Like other fitness gifts, a gym membership isn't for everyone.  Giving someone a gym membership because you want them to workout may cause instant relationship problems (perhaps, even violence).  However, if they've been talking about joining a gym, you're in the clear.  Before you commit to anything, find out exactly what they're looking for - Location, amenities, classes, etc.  Another option is to get them a coupon for free tours of gyms nearby and let them browse before you buy. More »

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