The holiday shopping season is underway, so you may be searching for that perfect gift for a friend or family member. You probably know someone who plans to start an exercise program, try to lose weight or otherwise improve their health in the upcoming year. The right gift from you could help them get a good start on their New Year’s resolutions. With so many options for books, exercise equipment, apps and other gadgets, it can be difficult to pick the right gift.
Most health and fitness gift guides include things that people might need to get started and succeed on a weight loss or exercise program. Free weights and other exercise equipment make it convenient to get fit at home. Kitchen tools make preparing healthy meals and snacks quick and easy. Activity trackers are popular for monitoring exercise and providing motivation. A growing number of websites and mobile apps provide nutrition analysis of meals to help with weight loss or meeting training goals. Almost all of these allow sharing with others over social media networks to foster a group dynamic, providing support and even a little healthy competition.
All of these apps and devices can be helpful to someone starting a health improvement project and make great gifts. But an even better gift is something that really will help your friends and family members be successful. Here are several Health and Fitness holiday gift ideas:
1. Time. The most common reason that people quit an exercise program or struggle with eating healthier is because of time. That includes time to exercise, obviously. But it also includes time to plan, shop for and prepare healthy meals and snacks. This year, give the gift of time. Commit to helping your friend or family member plan time to focus on their program and dedicate yourself to taking on some responsibilities to help them do that.
2. Help. In addition to helping find time, you should actually do things to facilitate your friend or family member’s health improvement program. Taking on chores and projects around the house, picking up the kids after school, and helping with shopping and cooking are examples of things you can do to help.
3. Support. Anyone who makes a major lifestyle change needs the support of others to be successful. Your role can be to provide encouragement, ask about progress and take your friend’s program into account when planning meals and other activities together. You should also be ready to provide a gentle (or not-so-gentle) nudge when you see them getting off track.
4. A buddy. People who take on an exercise program with others are more likely to stick with it and be successful. So get involved with your friend or family member. Going for a walk together during a break at work or developing a healthy eating plan as a family is an excellent way to play along. Chances are, these healthy changes will benefit you too.
These gifts may not have the wow factor of a shiny exercise gadget, but they are the things that will really help your friends and family members be successful. And that’s the best kind of gift to give. After all, no one ever quit an exercise program or failed at losing weight because they didn’t have the right nutrition app or the latest activity tracker. The real reason people struggle is because of factors like time and support from family and friends in the real, not virtual, world. Make your holiday gift something that will really help!