Best Fitness Gifts for the Exercise Lover

Boost Their Workouts

If there's an exercise-lover in your life, chances are there's something he or she wants to make workouts more effective and more fun. A fitness gift can keep you in their thoughts as they enjoy a good workout the rest of the year.

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 as more and more fitness bands and smartwatches include wrist-based heart rate detection. But these are far less accurate than using a heart rate chest strap. With a dedicated heart rate monitor, you can see your heart rate continuously and be alerted when you are in or out of your chosen heart rate zone.

There's nothing more annoying than tangled headphone cords. You can spend the first five minutes of your workout just getting them untangled and arranged so they don't interfere with your movements. JayBird Sport earbuds are a good choice for the headphone junkie who is ready to go wireless.

There are plenty of great activity monitors out there, but Polar does it well for the exerciser in several ways.

  • You get 24/7 activity monitoring for steps, activity levels, calories burned, sleep, and wrist-based heart rate. It also knows the difference between running and walking, so you get credit for your workouts.
  • It gives you smart coaching and tells you the benefits of your fitness and training activities. Plan your workouts in the Polar Flow app and sync them to the A370 to get guidance. You can choose a sports profile for every exercise session.
  • It's compatible with Polar H6 and H7 Bluetooth Smart heart rate sensors and you can use your heart rate monitor and the Polar Beat App to track your heart rate with greater accuracy.
  • It connects to your phone's GPS for distance and route. You also get notifications for incoming calls, messages, social media, and calendar appointments.
  • Get vibrating inactivity alerts when you've been sitting too long.
  • The Polar Flow App gives you a dashboard that shows you exactly how you spend your time each day.

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. 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.

Kettlebells are 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 your recipient should have some instruction before diving into a workout. You might consider getting a video as well if you're not sure of her fitness level.

A 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.

Woman lifting weights with a trainer
Getty Images/Mike Harrington

It can backfire if you give someone personal training sessions just because you want them to exercise. However, this can be a great gift if your loved one has expressed interest in training but is reluctant to spend the money. 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 your recipient decide if they want more, or offer to train together in group sessions.

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Gym Membership

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

Like other fitness gifts, a gym membership isn't for everyone. However, if your recipient has been talking about joining a gym, you're in the clear. Before you commit to anything, find out exactly what your recipient is looking for—location, amenities, classes, etc. Another option is to get her a coupon for free tours of gyms nearby and let her browse before you buy.

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