NYACK, N.Y. -- When planning gifts this holiday season, think healthy. Staying in shape doesn't have to be a chore; in fact, there are many fun, creative ways to promote health and fitness.
“Anything that gets someone moving is good,” said Dr. Howard Feldfogel, of Highland Medical, P.C., Clarkstown Medical Associates and the director of the Department of Medicine at Nyack Hospital. “The goal is at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week to help maintain weight and help you and your heart stay fit.”
Feldfogel suggests gift-givers start with activities that they themselves find fun. For example, if you enjoy Zumba or other exercise classes, offer to take a friend along. Give a gift of dance classes to a couple. Sign up for a healthy cooking class for you and a friend. Plan a weekend of hiking with someone -- the possibilities are endless.
Fitbits are also great presents for those who are health-conscious, as well as those who vow to start exercising soon. “I find my patients really use them,” said Feldfogel. “Sometimes it’s just the kickstart someone needs to get active.”
Other healthy gift ideas include:
- An insulated water bottle to encourage hydration during workouts
- A healthy cookbook for your friends who love spending time in the kitchen
- Fitness CDs for someone who never has time for the gym
- A juicer to get more fruits and veggies into someone’s diet
- A gift certificate to a health food store
- A trial class of yoga for a stressed-out friend
- A basket of fruit and nuts (instead of cookies)
- Personal training sessions
Ultimately, the best gift for a friend or family member trying to be healthier is encouragement. “Figure out what they like to do, and help them do it," said Feldfogel. "If they like golf, buy them a round of golf. If they like dancing, buy them some lessons. And whatever you choose, consider joining in yourself. You’ll be giving the gift of fitness and friendship at the same time.”