This year, choose gifts for your friends and family that will help them feel good and get their new year (and those resolutions) off to a great start. They'll be giddy with excitement to try out these practical-but-fun health and fitness gifts:
#1. Multitasking Miracle Worker: The Pressure Cooker
Move over, crock pot, rice cooker and steamer: A pressure cooker can do all that and in less time. Your loved one will have no problem whipping up home-cooked dinners in a matter of minutes – and with less mess since most everything, from browning to sautéing, is done in one pot.
#2. Stylish Fitness Tracker: Smartwatch
It's mind-boggling how much a smartwatch can do – telling time is the least of it. A smartwatch is like wearing a tiny smartphone on your wrist, but even better. That's because, in addition to keeping you connected via phone, email or text, many of them also monitor vitals such as heart rate, activity level and sleep quality. Some even have cutting-edge technology to detect if you have an irregular heartbeat.
#3. DIY Massage: Foam Roller
Fitness gurus swear by foam rollers to increase flexibility, loosen muscles, and reduce muscle pain and soreness after a tough workout. This gift is perfect for the person in your life who's always begging for a shoulder rub or cramping up after a run.
#4. Zero Germs: No-Touch Soap Dispenser
Washing hands is important year-round, but even more so during cold and flu season, when everyone around us has the sniffles. A dispenser with a sensor means no more touching a germy pump – simply wave your hand underneath to get a squirt of soap for proper handwashing. Germophobes, techies and anyone who doesn't want to waste PTO being sick will love this handy gift.
#5. Heart-Healthy Workplace: Sit-Stand Desk
Have you heard that sitting is the new smoking? Recent research suggests that sitting for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity can be as dangerous to your health as smoking or obesity.
For the 80 percent of Americans who have stationary jobs , it's difficult to be as active as we'd like. Enter the sit-stand desk. This adjustable desk lets your loved one stand, shift and sway and take sitting breaks as needed. But make sure whether you're sitting or standing that you set up your work station effectively.
#6. Dinner Delivery: Meal Subscription
Meal planning, grocery shopping and prepping ingredients can seem daunting when your week is already overloaded. And you know what that means: Fast food, takeout and yet more pasta. Try giving someone a meal subscription – they'll receive ingredients and recipes delivered weekly. Suddenly a healthy, homemade dinner seems doable.
#7. Sweet Dreams: Sound Machine
Almost half of Americans don't get the recommended seven hours or more of sleep a night. So, there's a good chance that your loved one could use help catching more z's. A sound machine, also called a white noise machine, can create an environment conducive for sleeping. It produces soothing sounds that drown out background noises like traffic, TV and even a snoring bedmate.
#8. No-Guilt Junk Food: Air Fryer
Fried-food junkies will rejoice when they get an air fryer. It crisps up favorites like fried chicken, French fries and cheese sticks with just a fraction of the oil used with traditional cooking methods. It's one of our five healthy food trends to try this year.
#9. Celebrity Trainer: Online Exercise Classes
Is there someone in your life that would flip for a chance to work out with Jillian Michaels or Tracy Anderson? You don’t have to drop hundreds to make that possible. Celebrity trainers offer exercise classes through live streaming online or via apps.
#10. Safer Strolls: Traction Cleats
The best cure for the winter blues is getting outdoors. But walking or running when sidewalks are slippery from snow and ice can be dangerous. The solution? A pair of traction cleats your loved one can slip on over snow boots or running shoes. The cleats grip surfaces, reducing the risk of falling.
#11. Trendy Gear: Subscription Box
Getting new gear is a surefire way to amp up someone's fitness motivation. Sign your loved one up for a year's worth of subscription boxes. Most services also allow you to purchase just one box as a gift.
These boxes deliver inspiring goodies monthly or quarterly for a variety of interests, from yoga to running to CrossFit. There are also outdoorsy boxes for those who love hiking and climbing.
Want some of these gifts for yourself, too? Spread the word to friends and family on social media.