Gifts Fit for a Fitness Lover

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About the Author: Josie Rubio is a senior editor with VIVmag.

Looking to protect a loved one’s noggin? This watermelon Nutcase helmet makes a fun gift.

With the holidays rolling around, fitness-related items are on my wish list, as I plan to shed a few holiday pounds in the new year. This year, I’m doing a holiday fitness charity challenge, and the good feelings of logging in a workout and the “yikes!” moments of logging a second (or sixth) cookie into my food journal are keeping me in line. (But Jelly Bellies are really “beans,” right?)

Here are some ideas for your own wish list or for fitness enthusiasts in your life. Of course, springing an exercise-related gift on someone who has expressed no interest in working out might be taken as a not-so-subtle hint to lose a few. So tread carefully. But for the health-minded, these gifts are sure to delight!

On-the-go The compact, easily transportable FitKit ($34.99), designed by personal trainer Amie Hoff, contains an exercise band, resistance tube, jump-rope and a stability attachment, plus an ID tag, reflective arm band and pedometer with a safety alarm. There’s also a FitKit50+ with floor markers for balance and stability. Every kit also comes with a code to access the FitKit Exercise Library, with resources for a total-body workout.

If you want to do yoga absolutely anywhere, Yoga Paws makes it possible, eliminating the need for a mat. Billed as “the yoga mat you wear,” the nonslip gloves and footies Yoga Paws ($39.95 for a full set) keep you in place and provide padding, whether you’re on a mountaintop or in a studio. The paws can also be used with a mat for extra slip prevention.

As previously mentioned in VIV Says, revisiting some childhood playground favorites can be a fun way to stay fit. Portable and economical Punk Ropes ($7 each) come in fun options, such as Totally Awesome and Orange Crush. Check out the sizing before ordering any of these jump-ropes designed for speed and find out how you can incorporate them into your workout.

Yoga It may be cutting it too close to the holidays to order Gwyneth Paltrow’s Beyond Yoga for goop quilted one-shoulder top ($75) — according to Paltrow’s goop, it will ship after Dec. 21. (If you’d like to order one for me, though, I’ll gladly accept it after the holidays.) For the fashionable yogini, the Diane von Furtsenberg yoga mat ($49.99), available at Target, is a chic option. Printed on one side and red on the other, the nonslip mat comes with its own carrying strap.

Last winter, I developed dry, callused spots on my knees from doing camel pose in Bikram yoga. To avoid this “camel knee” phenomenon, consider Buddha Nose Skin Serenity Balm ($24) or Moisturizing Body Oil ($32). After exfoliating with a CleanLogic pumice stone ($2.99), I use the balm, with its soothing scent, or the aromatic oil. Buddha Nose, which uses certified organic products, is a yogi favorite for its balms, scrubs and sprays.

Cycling It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be biking without a helmet, but if you want to show a loved one that you care about his or her noggin, check out the fun designs of Nutcase helmets ($60), from a watermelon design to a Caution sign (good for the accident-prone).

For the bicycle commuter, Chrome’s Bravo laptop bag ($160) offers durable, weatherproof protection. Guaranteed for life, the rolltop bag can expand to double in size.

For more of our favorite bike accessories, check out a previous VIV Says post. And we have both a major splurge and a stocking stuffer option in the latest issue’s “Goodies for Housebound Cyclists.”

Runners “Read for the Long Run” in the latest issue of VIVmag has three books to offer inspiration to those training for a 2013 marathon. For runners who want to document their own stories, the training journal ($24.99) helps women train for events ranging in length from 5k to full marathons. Designed by Lauren Fleshman, U.S. champion track and field athlete, and Róisín McGettigan, an Irish Olympian, the training diary can help runners set goals and get motivated.

The pair started sport apparel company Believe I Am to motivate and provide visual cues to help women reach athletic goals. The Strong Necklace ($60) also makes a nice gift for that inspiring athlete you know.

If you need some musical inspiration for the treadmill, yurbuds Inspire sport earphones ($29.99), available at Target, are designed to fit smaller ears, while never hurting or falling out. The sweat- and water-resistant headphones are available in six colors.

Snow Admittedly, I’m not much of a snow person. Strapping myself to two planks, then careening down a hill with only two poles to guide me doesn’t sound like a good time. But Athleta’s winter gear might at least lure me outside the lodge.

The waterproof, insulated Slalom Stretch Ski Jacket ($269) is made with lightweight, wind-resistant fabric made out of recycled materials, and it’s fully seam-sealed so water and snow can’t seep in. And in the case of an emergency, the jacket is equipped with Recco Avalanche Rescue Technology that can send out a beacon for rescuers. Meanwhile, back at the lodge, you can opt for the cozy Hut to Hut cable-knit hoodie dress ($148).

If you’re looking for wintry stocking stuffers, check out the brightly colored wool Mara Beanie by Pistil ($34) or the Polartec Power Stretch Gloves ($39) with special fingertips for touch screens.

What fitness products are on your holiday list this year?

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