4:00 PM EST, November 26, 2012
The holidays are synonymous with many things, including get-togethers with family and friends, shopping and, at the tail end of the season, resolutions. One of the more common New Year's resolutions is a commitment to getting healthier. This year, holiday shoppers can combine the tradition of gift-giving with the tradition of making New Year's resolutions by giving a loved one who wants to improve personal health a gift that can make keeping that resolution that much easier.
When holiday shopping this season, consider the following gift ideas for that health-conscious friend or family member who's looking to turn over a new leaf in the new year by adopting a healthier lifestyle.
* Gym membership: Fitness centers tend to see a spike in enrollment at the dawn of a new year, as men and women who want to get healthier take the first step by signing up for a gym membership. The holiday season can be a great time to sign up for a membership, as many fitness centers waive their initiation fees in an effort to attract more customers. When trying to help a friend or family member get back on a healthy track, offer to pay a portion of their membership fees or, if their preferred club is charging an initiation fee, offer to pay that instead. Recipients might feel more obligated to go to the gym if they know a loved one helped pay for it.
* Cardiovascular machine: Many people cite a lack of time as the primary reason they don't exercise enough. Getting to and from the gym takes time, but having a cardiovascular machine, whether it's an elliptical machine, an exercise bike or a treadmill, at home removes this hurdle, increasing the chances that people will exercise more often. And the potential benefits of routine cardiovascular exercise are considerable. According to the American Heart Association, as little as 30 minutes of daily cardiovascular exercise each day can significantly reduce an individual's risk for heart disease.
* Bicycle: Few activities are more enjoyable and simultaneously beneficial as riding a bicycle. Many people still enjoy riding a bike just like they did when they were children, when they might not have known just how healthy riding a bicycle was. Cycling improves cardiovascular fitness, lowering a person's risk for heart disease while helping to build and tone muscles. In addition, men and women with preexisting joint conditions often find riding a bicycle is a great low-impact exercise that encourages them to get off the couch in a way that doesn't aggravate their conditions. Many adults received a bicycle as a holiday gift when they were children, and those looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle might be just as excited to receive a bicycle once again.
* Cookbook: Adopting a healthier lifestyle does not have to be all about exercise. In fact, eating healthier is just as important as exercising more. A common misconception about eating healthy is that healthy foods don't boast the flavor of those irresistible, yet ultimately unhealthy, foods we can't get enough of. However, a healthy diet can be flavorful, so help health-conscious men and women get started with a cookbook filled with healthy and delicious recipes. Before buying a cookbook, find out if the book's eventual recipient has any specific dietary restrictions, including if he or she needs to eat gluten-free or has been told to avoid red meat. Then find a cookbook that suits them but does so in a way that allows them to embrace healthy eating.