Christmas is just around the corner and time to finish checking off that holiday gift list is running out quickly. Still stumped on what to get the fitness enthusiast in your life? Worry no more! Here is your last-minute gifting guide for the runner, yogi, Crossfitter, bodybuilder or GX class addict in your life!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. I only recommend products I have tried or believe would be beneficial. All opinions in my product reviews are my own, honest thoughts.
Shoes are a pivotal part of the game for any runner to help absorb shock and protect those their feet from the toll running takes on their feet over time. The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine recommends replacing shoes after 300-500 miles or walking or running, which can vary based on the runner. For a fairly active runner, that could be as soon as four to six months. Solid running shoes can be an investment ranging from 60-100+ dollars, so many runners go much longer than the recommended timeframe for replacing them (making it a perfect and practical gift idea). Since shoes can be very specific to the individual (size, style, their training needs, etc.), a gift card to their favorite shoe store is, quick, convenient and makes everyone a winner.
Get them Jamming
Does your runner like to listen to tunes or audio books while they run? A set of wireless Bluetooth headphones will change their listening game and keep them wire and hassle-free during their workout. You can find a solid pair for $20-40 in stores and online (I ordered myself a $20 pair online last year and they have been one of the best gym gear investments I’ve ever made). If you want to go above and beyond, get them an audiobook subscription or gift card so they can listen to a book on a long distance run or offer to cover 6-12 months of a Pandora or Spotify premium account so they can listen to their favorite tunes ad-free while they run.
A Race or running experience
Offer to cover the cost of an upcoming race or running event. Even better, offer to do one together. You don’t have to be a serious runner or athlete to have fun at a 5k event like a Color Run, Bubble Run or even a Glow Run and the cost is usually about the amount you would spend on a t-shirt. You will get to help create a lifetime memory and opportunity to bond with your runner.
If you’re looking for a few extra goodies to toss under the tree or in their stocking, the running world is full of extra gadgets and accessories. You could get them some moisture-wicking socks, headbands or sports apparel, compression accessories or a running belt to store their phone and keys on a run. You also can’t go wrong with a certificate to your local salon for a pedicure to help them pamper those tired tootsies!
a Yoga Mat
Before you roll your eyes and mumble “duh”, yes, a mat seems like the most generic thing to spring to mind. But a quality mat can have an impact on someone’s experience in their practice, both at home and in class. There are also a lot of different kinds of yoga mats out there with different qualities to offer, so what someone is looking for in a mat can be unique to the person and their experience level.
There’s a sense of personal investment that comes with owning and caring for your own mat. If your yogi has life enjoys attending weekly classes but hasn’t taken the leap to invest in their own mat yet, getting them a simple starters mat could be a fun and thoughtful gift for them to add into their routine.
You can find fun and colorful yoga mats (like this one from Fit Spirit) in lots of fun colors, designs and for as little as $10-15 to get your yogi started with their very first mat.
If your yoga has owned and worn through some cheaper starter mats in their practice, it might be time for an upgrade to a nicer mat. Higher quality mats can offer surfaces with better grip, a variety of thicknesses for cushioned support and greater long-term durability. There are a lot of yoga mats and brands out there, and prices can range from$30-$100 for a higher end mat. I always make it a point to read through consumer reviews on current mats available on the market
The mat I currently use in most of my weekly practice is the Jade Yoga Harmony Mat. I’ve had it for a couple years now, teaching and practicing on it regularly throughout the week, and it has held up wonderfully. It’s 3/16”thick, which provides excellent cushion for my more delicate joints and back without compromising stability in challenging poses. The grip is excellent. It retails for $74.95 and was worth every penny for the amount of use I have gotten (and will continue getting) out of it.
The Mobile Yogi
If the yogi in your life is constantly on the go for work or pleasure, a travel mat that doesn’t take up much space in a suitcase might be the perfect gift. Travel mats are designed to be lighter and more compact than more typical mats for better portability (and some can be folded up instead of rolled to fit better in luggage). Prices can range from $23-70 depending on your budget, so once again, it never hurts to check out some reviews from travel mats out there on the market.
The mat I currently use when I’m traveling is the Manduka eKO Superlite mat. It weighs 2.2lbs and is a mere 1.5 mm wide. It can also be folded up like a blanket, making it easy to pack into a suitcase. I’ve had this mat a couple years and taken this with me on numerous trips around the states as well as my trip to Scotland in 2015. It retails for $35-40 online and I’ve had a great experience with during my travels (as well as at home, for yoga and basic HIIT and calisthenics). Its grip does have a little bit of a breaking in period, so I would keep that in mind before busting it out right away in a hot and heavy class.
A new class experience
A new class setting can be invaluable in broadening a yogi’s horizon to new challenges and opportunities to learn. You could get them a certificate or pass to attend a certain number of classes in a local yoga studio. If they already attend a particular yoga studio, getting to take classes in a different studio could offer them a new or different perspective to freshen up their routine and if they’ve never attended class in a formal yoga studio, it could be an exciting new experience. There are also a number of unique styles of yoga in non-traditional settings, like aerial yoga, acro yoga, restorative yoga or paddleboard yoga that could be a fun and unique experience they will always remember.
There are a lot of yoga accessories out there that for aiding or enhancing a yogi’s experience in their practice. Just like with a mat, you might want to take your yogi’s current practice and level of experience into consideration for what accessories might actually be useful to them.
Just because of the specific nature of certain props like yoga wheels, bolsters, sandbags and blankets, unless your yogi has specifically mentioned wanting one of those items, I might avoid them because they are more cumbersome to carry to class or store at home and have more specific uses than other props.
Props like yoga blocks and straps are commonly used props for all levels of experience, both at home and in class. Many gyms and studios provide during class, but I like having my own strap in class and my own blocks at home.
A yoga eye pillow may help them drift away in their end of class meditation or a mat towel help keep them grounded in a hot yoga class.
Yoga mat bags are also super practical and can be personalized to your yogi from bright and colorful patterns, monogramming, cozy handmade knit or crochet bags to larger, more functional bags to tote a mat and multiple props.
You really can’t under-emphasize the importance of a good shoe. And there are different shoes designed to help support the specific activity of the athlete so a basic sneaker or running shoe won’t offer the kind of stability a Crossfitter may need for a snatch or clean and jerk. Crossfitters might even swap out shoes within a workout based on what movements they are doing that day (Olympic lifts, deadlifts and low-bar back squats, powerlifts, etc.). Some of the popular shoes among Crossfitters (Reebok Crossfit Nanos, Nike Metcons, and many good old-fashioned lifters) can be steep, ranging from $80-200. Even if you can’t spring for that much on one gift, they may still appreciate a gift card contributing towards their next footwear investment. (Although, think about how many times you’ll be able to get them to come help you move or rearrange your furniture if you shell out for those $200 lifting shoes. Just sayin’.)
These are another popular item among Crossfitters for the support, warmth and compression they provide during deep and heavy squats.
Some knee sleeves can also be rolled down onto the legs to help protect the shins during deadlifts and rope climbs. Prices can vary, but you should be able to find a solid pair within the $35-$50 range. This pair from Rehband retails for $35.63.
These help provide stability for the joints in exercises where an athlete is working with a heavy or maxed out overhead weight load. There are a couple kinds of wraps out there.
Cotton wraps with thinner material that ties together (usually called wrist strength wraps) provide support with better flexibility for moves like a snatch or clean and jerk and thicker. This pair from Rogue Fitness (my husband’s favorite brand and kind he uses in the gym) retail between about $40-43. He has had pair for several years now and uses them quite frequently throughout the week.
Velcro-bound wraps, like this pair from Rogue Fitness, with less flexibility and more support for powerlifting movements like a max bench or shoulder press. The Wrist strength wraps are sometimes more popular at Crossfit gyms and range from $20-$50 while the Velcro wrist wraps range from $10-30 depending on brand, color, and style.
For $10-25 you can get them a Crossfit-friendly jump rope to for whizzing through WODs with perfect double unders. (If you don’t know what double unders are, you probably don’t want to find out. Because they’re terrible.)
My husband uses a Rogue Speed Rope, which retails for about $20 online, and it has had nothing but positive things to say about it.
There are numerous brands out there for these and even more Crossfit gear (one of my husband’s favorite brands as a Crossfit coach is Rogue Fitness). If you’re not sure where to start you can look up some reviews on the top knee sleeves, jump ropes or wrist wraps for 2017. Or strike up a sneaky conversation about how you heard a couple Crossfitters on the bus arguing about their favorite brand of knee sleeves and ask their take on it since they also “do the Crossfit” (although, then you may have to explain why you were on a bus with a bunch of Crossfitters, for which I have no suggestions).
While to some it might not seem like the most exciting gift offhand, personally I’d be pretty stoked to open a big box full of my favorite supplements on Christmas morning. Especially since certain supplements, like quality protein powder, BCAAs and amino acids, can add up quickly when you use them regularly in your routine (my husband’s favorite protein powders can range from $50-$70 for a 30 servings bag). You could try doing some snooping to learn what their favorite brands are or just pick up a gift card to their local health and supplements ship.
Just like they can help a runner get their stride on, some reliable headphones and solid tunes can help a weightlifter or bodybuilder get their swole on while pumpin’ that iron (especially if they haven’t made the switch to wireless headphones yet). Larger, over-the-ear headphones are popular in some gyms as a statement of personal style, but can be a little pricey for a wireless set (ranging from $50-$300). But once again, you can invest about $20 on a solid pair of wireless earbuds that will work great and last for ages. You could also pair them with a Pandora or Spotify premium account for a thoughtful, practical gift they will be jamming to all year long in the gym!
I know, I know… A gym membership for Christmas seems like the biggest give giving fopaux for all time. For most people, that’s probably true. But for a bodybuilding gym rat who puts in a lot of time at the gym each week, someone covering a year or a set number of months on their membership could be a really practical gift. (Plus with January around the corner, a lot of gyms will be gearing up to offer deals or discounts on memberships.)
The Group Fitness Fan
A Unique Class Experience
Are they a fan of dance style classes, like hip-hop or Zumba? Try getting them a gift certificate or pass for a certain number of classes at a studio that offers lessons in ballroom or partner dancing (if they are little more adventurous, Bellydance or pole fitness classes). Do they love to hammer out a workout in kickboxing or Les Mills BodyCombat classes? See if there are lessons available in a local boxing gym to take their gabs and right hooks to the next level. Classes at a Bare, Pilates or Yoga studio could be a new and exciting experience too if they have never had an opportunity to try one out. Groupon is a great website to check out deals from local gyms and studios in your area and score a more budget-friendly gift certificate.
As usual, I have no affiliation with any of the companies or products mentioned below, they’re just brands or items I have tried or had recommended to me that I personally found useful. Good luck with that last-minute shopping and happy holidays!
All writing copyright © 2017 Rachel Elise Weems Woods.
Disclosure: I am in no way sponsored by or affiliated with any of the fitness brands listed in this article. All opinions are my own. Some of the links above are affiliate links and, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you decide to click through and make a purchase. Utilizing affiliate links is one of the ways I support my work to keep delivering great content on my blog.