Every year I seem to get down to the wire on my gift-giving for certain people. I am past giving a gift just for the sake of having something under the tree. Gift cards work, but are so impersonal! Everyone, however, usually has a wellness concern, big or small that can be supported with a thoughtful gift. Last year, for instance, I gave my son a chin-up bar for the door to his room, and my daughter-in-law, who is gluten intolerant, a collection of gluten-free baking mixes. For stocking stuffers I get travel-sized lotions, tooth paste and other personal-care items, and a scented votive candle or two and fill in with nuts, apples and oranges (and, OK, some chocolate!).
Here are some last-minute items to consider.
Pedometer. Walking is one of the fastest, cheapest, and easiest ways to get fit. A pedometer keeps track of the number of steps you take each day. This gift easily clips onto a belt or waistband. A good goal is 10,000 steps a days, which is approximately 5 miles.
Fruit & Nut Basket. An arrangement of fresh fruit is a beautiful holiday gift that’s packed with vitamins and fiber. Add a jar of nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, and you have a gift that’s both delicious and healthy.
Stability Ball & Exercise Bands. Adding resistance training to an exercise regime builds muscle strength and endurance. Exercise bands are inexpensive, portable, and easy to use, and can provide a whole body workout in only 20 minutes a week. A Stability ball can improve core strength, balance, and flexibility. Be sure to include an instructional video.
Cook Books and Recipes. Consider sharing your healthy recipes with those you love. Fill a pretty recipe box with your favorite healthy recipes and give a personalized holiday gift your friends will cherish for years. Or buy a cookbook specializing in healthy recipes (personal favorite - Mark Bittman's "Food Matters") Send a friend a subscription to a fitness magazine to help keep them on track all year long.
Board Games. Playing board games keeps the mind sharp. Games like Risk, Pictionary, Scrabble and Boggle are good choices because they activate strategic, spatial, and memory parts of the brain. Board games are also great ways to socialize, which can help form new neural pathways in the brain. For a virtual option for keeping the brain fit, try a subscritpion to Lumonosity.com.
Teas. Tea is a healthy gift brimming with antioxidants and flavonoids. Green teas are believed to increase the body’s defenses against certain types of cancer. Try giving a assortment of black and green and herbal teas in a festive holiday basket.
Gift certificates. Giving a gift certificate for a massage, Reiki session or other wellness service is always appreciated! For information on gift certificates for Reiki or a comprehensive Wellness Assessment , please email me at email@example.com.
Coming in January 2013, Creating Wellness® Over 40, a virtual group wellness coaching program for women over 40. For more information go to www.MyraOneyHealthCoaching.com
Myra Oney is an AADP Certified Health and Nutrition Coach at the Ajna Wellness Center in Croton on Hudson. She is dedicated to providing information and services to people who are serious about creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She is available to speak and give workshops to community groups and businesses, as well as for individual and group coaching. For more information go to her website www.MyraOneyHealthCoaching.com or email her at Myra@MyraOneyHealthCoaching.com