Updated: Dec 5, 2022
As much as I love the holiday season, gift giving has always been a source of stress for me. That's why I made this guide! If you've got a fitness lover in your life, check out these suggestions.
I've never met a fitness lover who doesn't *love* a new piece of workout clothing! If you know their size and feel comfortable picking out clothing for them, this is a pretty safe bet, especially if they have a favourite brand. One of my favourite brands is Gymshark - they have a wide selection of clothing styles, their sizing tends to fit true to size, and most of their items are reasonably priced. They also have a decent return policy - a major requirement for me when it comes to online shopping!
This type of gift is great if you know their workout style (do they like weights or exercise bands? do they work out at home or at the gym?). Things like looped bands, gliders, mats, and mobility aids such as lacrosse balls or foam rollers, are all potentially great options. Keep in mind, however, that if the person you're buying for tends to workout at the gym, small equipment might not be your best bet, since they'd have access to anything they'd need at the gym.
If they practice yoga, consider looking for cork or foam blocks, or a yoga strap. A word of caution before picking out a yoga mat - some people have specific features they're looking for in a mat, and you might be better to confirm with them if they have a brand or a style that they would like. If they're brand new to yoga, or if they don't practice all that regularly, a regular yoga mat that you can find at sporting goods store, yoga boutiques, or online would probably work just fine. If they practice regularly, or if they do a lot of hot yoga, they might appreciate a more specialized mat that has better grip and durability. The mat I use is by a Canadian company called B Yoga. It's not an inexpensive brand (average mat prices go for around $100), but I've had the same mat for almost 10 years and am still very happy with it. The mat's primary selling feature is it's grip - when I bought it, there was no other mat that matched it (in my opinion!).
Okay, I admit: "Fitness Accessories" is a pretty broad category. But, depending on the person you're buying for, things like athletic socks and no-tie shoelaces (a super cool idea for anyone who participates in races!) make for great stocking stuffers, and someone with long hair can never have enough no-snag hair ties. Things like stylish water bottles can be great options, as can slim gym bags, backpacks, or a running belt that stores important items like ID, cash, and a set of keys.
A couple things to keep in mind if you're choosing athletic socks: they are often not a one-size-fits-all style, so be sure to look at their size guide. You'll also want to look for socks that are moisture-wicking, as they will not only help to keep feet dry, but also help prevent blisters from forming. Unless you know what style of socks they wear, I typically suggest people start with an ankle cut sock, because they are pretty versatile. The low-cut or no-show socks that are popular these days aren't great for some shoes, so I would only pick these if they were specifically asked for.
There is so much tech to choose from that appeal to a wide variety of athletics and fitness lovers! Of course, fitness watches tend to do it all - step and exercise counter, heart rate monitor, and sleep trackers are all pretty standard in most of the watches I've seen in the recent years, but if you know someone who isn't interested in a watch, there are a few options for standalone pedometers, sleep trackers, and heart rate monitors (I recommend the brand Polar if you're looking for an accurate and reliable heart rate monitor!) But there are some other options I've come across that seem pretty cool, including hats with wireless Bluetooth headphones (very helpful for anyone who trains outside in the winter!), handheld massage guns, and a smart jump rope from Amazon that counts your jumps, tracks your workouts, and even provides you with workout templates to follow (the brand is called Tangram).
My biggest tip when it comes to purchasing fitness tech is to read user reviews.
A lot of people feel funny about buying gift cards because they think it feels impersonal, but I tend to disagree. Gift cards to a specific store or business really shows that you are paying attention to their likes and interests. Plus, a gift card gives people complete permission to shop for something special for themselves that maybe they normally would feel guilty about buying.
For fitness lovers, gift cards to their favourite clothing brand or athletic store are great ideas, as are gift cards to health supporting services, such as massage therapy, hydrotherapy, or a class package of their favourite dance, fitness, or yoga class. Maybe you can make the gift card more special by signing up for some yourself, with the intention of doing some classes together! (Psst! Shameless plug incoming! Strong Soul Fitness + Health has a fully customizable gift card option: you choose the amount and when you want the ecard to be delivered to their inbox. Gift cards can also be used as a partial payment towards any service we offer, and they'll never expire).
Have other ideas? Feel free to share!! With a very active extended family, I'm always on the lookout for new gift ideas!! Happy Shopping!