holiday gift giving

The 12 Days of Fitness

Health-minded gifts for your health-minded friends and loved ones.

By Kellee Katagi

Share this Post

Holiday gift giving can be a perennial source of stress. But this year, if you have a crazy person in your life who actually enjoys exercise—or devotes a lot of time and energy to it whether they enjoy it or not—I’ve got your back. Peruse this Christmas-carol-inspired list for ideas your fitness fanatic will love. Or if you’re the crazy person, you could leave your loved one’s laptop open to this blog. Disclaimer: Please note that I do not suggest giving these gifts to people you merely wish were into working out. Do so at your own peril.

On the 1st day of fitness, my true love gave to me a Jawbone UP3. The classiest-looking activity tracker on the market is also one of the most useful. It measures all the usual activity levels and also monitors sleep and resting heart rate (a vital stat to know—see “How Long Will You Live?”]. Bonus: Its app doubles as an activity coach.

On the 2nd day of fitness, my true love gave to me 2 adjustable dumbbells. They’re not cheap, but you’ll definitely get your money’s worth (see “The 3 Best Home Fitness Tools”). My vote: Bowflex SelectTech 552.

On the 3rd day of fitness, my true love gave to me 3 kettlebells. Give your friend a light, medium and heavy kettlebell, and that could be all the fitness equipment he or she ever needs. Try: Perform Better First Place.

On the 4th day of fitness, my true love gave to me 4 days at a fitness retreat. It’ll set you back a few, but this is the ultimate gift for a fitness fan, so, trust me—you’ll get a lot of mileage out of this one. Visit this site for ideas.

On the 5th day of fitness, my true love gave to me 5 tins of Be Active Teas. These organic green rooibos tea bags from The Republic of Tea contain herbs thought to aid things like metabolism, recovery and joint flexibility. Do they actually work? I can’t say for sure, but they taste good and are a far healthier beverage choice than most sports drinks.

On the 6th day of fitness, my true love gave to me 6-pack abs, courtesy of the TRX Suspension Training Home Gym. Simple, but brilliant, the TRX bodyweight system works your whole body, and engages your core in every move.

On the 7th day of fitness, my true love gave to me 7 packs of Action Wipes. Ideally, a shower immediately follows a workout. But when that’s not possible, Action Wipes are the next best way to freshen up. If your spouse is the gift recipient, perhaps this present is as much for you as it is for them.

On the 8th day of fitness, my true love gave to me 8 weeks of personal training. If your friend or loved one has signed up for a race or is stuck in a training rut, they could likely benefit from a few visits with a trainer. Often, four to eight visits are all that’s needed to kick-start a new program.

On the 9th day of fitness, my true love gave to me a 9-square T-shirt quilt. Many fitness enthusiasts find their drawers overflowing with event T-shirts. Clear up space and preserve the memories by repurposing the T-shirts into a quilt. If, like me, you lack the skills to make it yourself, partner with a company like Project Repat or American Quilt Co. or

On the 10th day of fitness, my true love gave to me 10 freed-up hours. Have you seen the NFL’s breast-cancer awareness ads that show NFL players subbing in for women for a few hours—perhaps watching their kids, doing household chores, running errands—so that the women could get a breast-cancer screening (watch one of the commercials here)? This is the same basic idea, but for someone who has trouble finding time to work out: Make 10 certificates, each good for one hour of your time to enable them to exercise.

On the 11th day of fitness, my true love gave to me 11 bags of trail mix. It’s the perfect fitness snack: the ideal blend of protein, carbs and fats to fuel a hike or bike ride, or to recover from any kind of workout. Try: Back to Nature trail mixes.

On the 12th day of fitness, my true love gave to me 12 months of gym membership. Even better for both of you: Sign up together.

kellee-katagi-headshot-lower-resKellee Katagi is one of those strange souls who actually enjoys working out for the sake of working out. She’s spent most of her 20-plus-year writing and editing career covering fitness, nutrition and travel, as well as outdoor sports ranging from skiing to spelunking to street luge (yes, that’s a thing).

Share this Post


Leave a Reply