Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Last-Minute Gift Ideas For Fitness Fanatics

Normally I'm really on top of all my Christmas shopping and have everything done way ahead of time. Last year I had all my Christmas presents taken care of before Thanksgiving (New record!). This year, not so much.

As I've been trolling the Interwebz trying to find gifts for friends and family, I've also stumbled upon a lot of awesome fitness finds that I think would make awesome gifts.

Bonus: You can get most of these things online which saves you from battling holiday crowds at the mall! Just make sure you pick that rush delivery option if you're really under the gun.

Awesome Stocking Stuffers:

ID Bracelets:

There are lots of different options for carrying ID while running, but a new one I've recently tried is the FinishSafe tag. After you create a free profile online with your emergency contact information, FinishSafe will send you tags in a variety of sizes that you can use on your luggage, your keychain or your shoe. For an extra $7 you can order the FinishSafe sprint bracelet in a variety of colors to wear the tag on your wrist or ankle while running. If something happens to you, medical personal just enter the PIN number from the tags and can pull up all your information. Since your information lives in an online database you can update it easily whenever you want. Cost: Tags: free. Sprint band: $7.

Gym Bag Essentials:

I used to think gifts of shower gel, lotion, etc were all really lame, cop out gifts, but I've come to appreciate them more and more as I spend more time at the pool. It's just easier to keep a second set in my gym bag so I don't have to keep re-packing them. I'm a big fan of Bodycology lotion in Island Coconut because it smells like the beach.

Sessions with a Coach:

Whether it's a running coach, biking coach or swimming coach, a few sessions with an instructor can help improve technique, form and overall efficiency. I would love to have one or two sessions with a swim coach to help me with some of my stroke technique. I'd also love to have a running coach design me a customized training plan. Cost: Depends on the person and the service.

Under-the-Tree Presents:

Medal Holders:

These are fun and easy gifts to give to people who race a lot and have tons of medals just laying around. Medal holders give racers a nice way to display all the medals they've earned for their hard work. I got this one from Meli at Running on the Wall. I really like the design and the colors, plus she does personalization if you want your name on your holder. Since the brackets aren't super wide, I had to really squish some of my wider medal ribbons to make them fit. Cost: $16 - $50.

Compression Sleeves:

I've been asking Santa for compression sleeves the last couple of years and I think this is the year I'm finally going to get a pair. Compression sleeves help speed recovery after runs and most runners love anything that will help them get through some post-race soreness. Cost: $20 and up on Amazon.

Arm Warmers:

Perfect for when it's chilly at the race start, but not cold enough to warrant long sleeves. You can wear arms warmers for as long as you need to warm up and then push them down and run in your tank top or regular shirt without having to worry about taking off a jacket or pulling off long sleeves mid-race. Cost: $6 to $40+ on Amazon.

BodyMedia FIT Armbands:

It's no secret I am obsessed with numbers when it comes to fitness. I love measuring weight, speed, number of laps in the pool, really anything that I can possibly count in order to gain some sort of insight into my fitness. So it's no surprise I am a big fan of the BodyMedia FIT armbands. These little armbands that you wear throughout the day track calories burned, the peaks and valleys in your sleep cycle and a whole bunch of other fun data. Then you can upload it all to your computer to play around with it. The newest armband in the line, the Core, is smaller and sleeker than previous models. The company sent me a band to test and I promise a full review later, but I really love it so far. Cost: $180 to $260.

If the person you're shopping for has everything you can think of, you can never go wrong with a gift card to a running store or sporting goods store. I've picked up a lot of my favorite Under Armour gear that way!

If price weren't an issue, what would your ideal fitness gift be?

Per the FTC guidelines, some of these items were sent to me to test and review. I decided to include them here because I thought they'd make good gift ideas!

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