20 Gifts for A Fitter New Year: 2013 Holiday Health and Fitness Gift Guide

With the end of the holidays and a focus on new beginnings, we all resolve to make this year better than the last. After all, we all want to start out the new year healthier than we ended the old one (which, let’s be honest, shouldn’t be too hard to do). For many of us (and those we love), that means a new resolve to take better care of our bodies whether through more conscientious eating or more consistent exercise or a greater awareness of what we do with our time and our lives. It always helps such endeavors to have tools readily available to help jump-start our “new” lives or to simply make improvements on what we’ve already accomplished.

So, do you have a fitness junkie on your gift list? Or maybe someone who’s interested in taking things up a notch, but doesn’t know where to start? Or possibly someone who is on the cusp of discovering the joy of choosing a healthier lifestyle? There’s something for everyone in this fitness gift guide from the exercise newbie to the philosophical foodie. Give them the gift of better health and greater happiness in the coming year.

  • For the Fitness-Minded 1 of 21

    Let your loved ones know you've got their backs as they dive into a healthier new year.


    image credit: Lizzie Heiselt

  • Transition Towel 2 of 21

    Keep your loved one's carseat clean and dry with this over-the-seat towel that doubles as an impromptu changing room. The towel features a zip-on hoodie to keep it securely fastened to your carseat, as well as a belt loop so it keeps you covered for quick wardrobe changes on the go. Brilliant, useful, awesome.




    image from

  • What to Eat and Why 3 of 21

    A couple of great books came out this year that will interest anyone who is curious about the food they eat. Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss details how the food industry manufactures and markets the food we eat and how that has impacted our health.


    $20 (hardcover)


    Michael Pollan's Cooked is a fascinating look at how humans became the cooking animal at least until we decided to watch cooking shows instead.


    $18 (hardcover)


    image credit: Lizzie Heiselt

  • Inspiring Jewelry 4 of 21

    A necklace or a bracelet with a charm on it is a great gift to inspire any athlete or to remind the rest of us in a subtle and beautiful way of what we hope to accomplish.

    There are so many options out there, but I really love Tina Steinberg's "Spirit Collection," the selection at, and the simple style of


    $15 and up, various retailers

    image via Tina Steinberg

  • Health Tracker 5 of 21

    Bracelets that track how much you move, how much you sleep, and how you are doing in achieving your goals are getting to be pretty popular. If there's someone on your list who is all about the "quantified self," health trackers like these from FitBit may be just the thing for them!


    $60 and up,

    image via

  • Charitable Donation 6 of 21

    Does your giftee already has everything? Or they are more civic-minded? Consider donating to their favorite health-, food-, or fitness-minded charity in their name. Some ideas: Every Mother Counts, Feeding America, Soles 4 Souls, or Partnership For a Healthier America.


  • Cookbooks 7 of 21

    One of the greatest things you can do for your health is to cook your own food and good cookbooks can help you (or your giftee!) make healthy, delicious, and nutritious food every day of the week. A couple of thoughts: The Runner's World Cookbook, with 150 recipes for the hungry and healthy.




    The Family Flavor Cookbook has 125 recipes can help feed a family simply, healthily, and tastily.




    image via The Family Flavor

  • Subscription Boxes 8 of 21

    Maybe your giftee is the adventurous type? Or maybe you want to give a gift that gives throughout the year? Giving a subscription box will is a great way to keep your giftee up on the latest, newest foods and gear, specially picked by those in the know.


    $10-75, check here for several options


    image via Bulu Box

  • Inspirational Poster 9 of 21

    Maybe they're not crazy about wearing their fitness on their sleeve, but they're happy to put it on their wall! A well-designed poster can motivate and inspire on a daily basis. Check out the many options on Etsy for some ideas, like this one from Hairbrained Schemes.


    prices vary


    image via Hairbrained Schemes on Etsy

  • Running Jacket 10 of 21
    Screen Shot 2013-11-30 at 11.02.59 PM

    Now is the time of year when a good running jacket is worth its weight in gold. Thankfully, this particular one from adidas is super light!




    image from Sport Chalet

  • Jump Rope 11 of 21

    Jump ropes aren't just for school kids! They're a great piece of gear that's easy to pack and easy to use — maybe good for a traveling fitness buff, or anyone looking to spice up their everyday cardio workout with something a little more fun and a little more challenging.




    image from

  • Blender 12 of 21

    Whipping up a delicious kale smoothie, packed with fruit and greens, is no problem with the right blender. I use a Blendtec, but there are lots of options — and probably one in your price range. 


    $360, Harvest Essentials


    image via Blendtec

  • A New Class to Try 13 of 21

    Part of getting in shape is finding what kind of exercise speaks to you. If your giftee hasn't found "The One" yet, give her/him a chance to try something new. Sign them up for a new class at the local gym.


    prices vary


    image credit Lizzie Heiselt

  • Skin Care 14 of 21

    Dry winter air and cold weather can do a number on a runner's skin. Keep them moisturized this season with a skin care kit like this one from Burt's Bees.


    $15, Burt's Bees


     image via

  • Sprout Kit 15 of 21
    Screen Shot 2013-11-30 at 11.32.34 PM

    Give your giftee the gift of freshly sprouted greens, straight from their own kitchen, with a sprouter kit. 


    $17, Williams-Sonoma


    image via Williams-Sonoma

  • Safety Lights 16 of 21

    It's dark out there. Runners, cyclists, or anyone who is trying to keep themselves healthy and active in the dark of winter could use a little help being seen. Headlamps, like this one from Black Diamond Equipment, are a good option to help them see and be seen.




    image via Black Diamond Equipment

  • Lunch Box 17 of 21

    Lunch boxes! Another useful thing that's not just for kids! Lunch boxes make it easier to pack a healthy, well-portioned breakfast, lunch or dinner. 




    image via

  • Race Sign-up 18 of 21

    Maybe your giftee has been eyeing a new distance or a themed race for ages, but hasn't been able to pull the trigger yet. Sign them up for one yourself and sign yourself up while you're at it. 


    prices vary


    image credit Lizzie Heiselt

  • Gym Bag 19 of 21

    A stylish gym bag can make getting to the gym at all so much easier and enjoyable. Send your giftee into the world of communal showers and sweat-soaked towels with something they can call their own and use to keep their own gear just the way they want it.




    image via

  • Yoga Mat Sling 20 of 21

    Stuff a stocking with a yoga mat sling that makes it easy to take their workout on the go. 




    image via

  • Ball and bands 21 of 21

    It's like a home gym, but more fun, easier to store, and more versatile. An exercise ball and resistance bands, like these from WaiLana Pilates and Yoga, can add a new dimension to an old workout. 




    image via

Article Posted 3 years Ago

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