JUDD JONES: Give the gift of health and fitness this Christmas

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In the spirit of the holiday season, I thought I would toss out the idea of gifting health and wellness to family and loved ones. Here is a list of 12 great health, wellness and fitness gifts that are worth giving to someone you care about this Christmas.

1. Gift a monthís worth of healthy meals delivered to the personís door. Here is a gift idea that tastes fantastic, can be very healthy and keeps coming for weeks after the holidays are over. You can choose from Blue Apron, Hello Fresh or even a more specific meal plan like Peteís Paleo. Pricing varies and you can order two- or four-person meals. In many cases, you can get a discount on your first order and set it up for a set number of meals delivered over a few weeks.

2. Prepay for either four, eight or more yoga classes. Most yoga studios are happy to issue gift certificates toward class sessions. In our area, you can find some different types of classes and methods. Everything from hot yoga to family yoga and many more advanced courses are available. Check with a number of our local yoga studios to see what makes sense for the person receiving the gift.

3. You can consider gifting an Audible.com audiobook membership, which can include some health and wellness titles that come with the membership. All you have to do is select a few health-related book titles that fit their personal health needs. These books are managed through apps on a smartphone, computer or digital tablet.

4. New running shoes or at least a gift certificate from our local running store that specializes in proper fit and type of running. This yearís new crop of fantastic running shoes from companies like New Balance, Hoka, Salomon, and Saucony is worth a look and can bring significant benefits to that runner in your group.

5. Nothing says happy holidays like a $100 gift certificate to one of our local health food stores. This is an amazing gift that opens the opportunity for a loved one to shop for a few of those healthy high-end products like protein powders or manuka honey.

6. For that very special someone that price is no object, gift them a Peloton Bike. This stationary bike is amazing and requires them to have a monthly subscription to their online cycling classes. In any given 24-hour window, they can take part in 14 hard-driving, live cycling classes led by some of the best instructors in the business. The bike and accompanying 22-inch screen technology is well made and will set you back roughly $2,000 with an additional $39 monthly for the classes. It sounds like a lot, but their product and trainers are fantastic.

7. The gift of mindfulness or at least a subscription to Headspace to get that special person on their way to meditation. Headspace.com offers a large number of guided sessions made to fit all sorts of people and their needs. With a Headspace membership and app, the gift of wellness can come in a many ways, better sleep, less stress and enjoy life more by being in the moment.

8. Gift a personal trainer. There are some personal trainers in our area that specialize in one-on-one training not linked to a gym membership. These certified personal trainers can arrange a program to help jump-start a loved oneís fitness regimen. By aligning the right personal trainer as a gift to a family member or friend you could put that person on the path to a healthy 2018. Almost all certified personal trainers have a basic starter package that keeps the most out of shape person in mind.

9. Itís winter, but donít let that stop the hardcore biker in your group. Gift them a fat tire bike which is a fun and excellent exercise year round. Fat tire bikes are a lot of fun in the snow and price out between $500 up to, well, a lot. A fat tire bike as a gift will keep giving health and endurance for many seasons to come.

10. Gift a weekend pass to one of our great ski resorts. Whether itís snowboarding or downhill skiing, it is an excellent workout. Spending time on the ski hill will work those glutes, shred their quads and build that core. This hard-hitting cardio, muscle pounding, and plyometric workout will give them a jump start to a physically fit 2018.

11. Give the gift of acupuncture. This traditional component of Chinese medicine can be invigorating, help stimulate their energies and align and improve their bodyís function and immune system. Acupuncture promotes natural self-healing properties with our body and can be a wonderful and affordable gift. I would recommend gifting at least three sessions for someone to feel all the benefits.

12. Finally, perhaps the best gift for almost everyone. Ashiatsu massage, which is a deep tissue massage delivered with the strength of legs and feet. Ashiatsu loosens and refreshes sore, tight muscle groups with itís long fluid strokes that dig deep into your knots, aches, and pains. Gifting a few sessions of Ashiatsu can be the perfect way to relieve the stress and strains brought on by the holiday season. Ashiatsu is something that is best served up in three different sessions, so gift it with three visits in mind. We have a handful of outstanding Ashiatsu practitioners in our area, so book them early as they are all usually swamped with adoring clients.

Make this gift giving holiday one filled with health, wellness and fitness gifts!


Judd Jones is a director for The Hagadone Corporation and Certified Health Coach.

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