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Fitness & Health Christmas gift guide 2016

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So Christmas is next Sunday. Hope you’re ready for it! I’m a Christmas-a-holic and therefore always completely over-organised which means all of my Christmas shopping is not only done, it’s also wrapped (with the exception of the baking gift baskets which I do in the last three days before the big day). Some has already even been hand delivered to friends and couriered to relatives so their presents are sitting under their trees.

However, shopping for Christmas presents doesn’t always come easily, and sometimes buying a fitness and health gift can be a real struggle if you don’t want to give them protein supplements or a boring t-shirt. Here are some ideas to help you out.

christmas tree

Big budget (> $50)

If you want to go all out this Christmas and really want to splurge, these are my top picks for gift ideas that are really something super special.

  • A wellness retreat – From half day retreats to month-long stays, there are some incredible retreats around New Zealand and overseas that cater to a range of tastes. Gift them a concentrated opportunity to do yoga, learn to write creatively, eat vegetarian meals, go on a juice cleanse, meditate, or spend more time in the outdoors.
  • Personal training sessions – People rarely think about gifting PT sessions to others, but it can be a great way of getting personal attention to help solidify their goals and tailor-make a training routine specially for them (regardless of whether they have just one session or choose to continue working with the trainer on an ongoing basis). PT not the right area of expertise? Maybe a nutritionist, massage therapist, ice skating coach, yoga teacher or martial arts instructor would be more to their liking. Get creative!
  • Courage My Love legskins (RRP $190) – I wasn’t going to recommend any specific brands in this post but I ended up making an exception with this as I believe in spreading the word about quality NZ-made products (to be clear, I have not been paid by these guys; I just legit love them!). I’ve bought two pairs of legskins on sale in the past and they are just so beautiful that online images don’t do them enough justice. Made in New Zealand from fabrics that feature designs by real Kiwi artists, they feel great, look great and are literally next level for anyone who is addicted to buying yoga/exercise tights. Check them out at www.couragemylove.co.nz.

retreat

Smaller budget (< $50)

When I was a kid there would always be stuff hanging around the house that you could just pick up and go play with at any given whim. Fast-track to adulthood and these items tend to have disappeared from our lives. Now we just slog it out at the gym and force ourselves to go running on the streets (Jokes. I know some of us like doing that stuff). But seriously here are some gift ideas to help spice up boring fitness routines and encourage stress relief.

  • A ball – These don’t just encourage fitness, they encourage social fitness. Because throwing a ball to yourself is a bit of a boring experience. Basketball, netball, volleyball, rugby ball, beach ball, soccer ball… something that can be kicked, passed, or thrown towards a dog or another person.
  • A kite – This may seem silly, but I betcha that anyone who doesn’t get excited about this straight away will half-heartedly traipse outside at some point over the summer to use it just for the sake of being able to say they gave it a go, and by the end of their excursion will have had a great time. You can get a simple one or go crazy all out and get an acrobatic kite for someone who’s more difficult to impress (and likes a challenge!).
  • Aromatherapy – Different scents can help calm the mind, invigorate the senses and relieve stress or anxiety. There are different ways to gift this; moisturisers, oil burners, scented candles, bubble baths, body washes, incense sticks, diffusers… find quality products with genuine non-synthetic ingredients.
DIY gifts

Went over budget already or didn’t have a big one to start with? Here are a few ideas for gifts you can make yourself that come with the added effort bonus of being made with love:

  • Bliss balls – Make them, wrap them in some clear cellphone and chuck some curling ribbon around the top to pretty it up. They typically require no baking and are made raw, so if you usually burn everything you cook this is a great option. To make it a complete no-brainer, here’s even a couple of recipes for them: Peanut butter protein power balls, Raw chocolate bliss balls, Coconut blueberry bliss balls.
  • Mindfulness jar – Get crafty and make your own personal snowglobesque glitterstorm. These are a tool to help reduce stress and anxiety. Or keep the kids entertained. Or they just look really pretty. Whatever, they make a great gift. Take a clear glass jar or plastic bottle, fill to the top with water. Select three different colours of glitter and drop several pinches of each colour into the jar. Add a little food colouring if you want to change the colour of the water, add a little glycerine if you want to change the viscosity and slow down the swirling. Seal with a lid and watertight tape. They can be used as a timer for deep breathing practice (the glitter represents thoughts/feelings/emotions. Shake it up, then take deep slow breaths in and out through the nose until the glitter settles).

Images / NZ Real Health

Ange is a personal trainer, yoga teacher, wife, and mother (with second bubba on the way!) based in Auckland, New Zealand.

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