The Health Conscious Gift Giver
The Holiday Season is among us, and one of the most popular traditions of the holidays is giving gifts to those in our lives that we love and care for. However, in today’s consumer driven market, giving the perfect gift can be so tricky. Millions of options line the store shelves and we are constantly reminded of our choices with newspaper ads that highlight new, shiny jewelry, web pages that are riddled with sales on household appliances, television ads announcing the hottest electronics, emails displaying the coolest toys and clothing of the year and so much more. But stop and think for a minute…What is the gift that keeps giving?
Leading a healthy lifestyle can take a variety of meanings to different people though. To one it may mean finding a routine of regular exercise, whilst to someone else it may be managing work and life stress through new lifestyle habits and techniques. More than likely if you are giving a gift to this person, you know what this might be for him or her. Below, I have several suggestions to offer based on the top 5 health-related goals this year that can suit just about anybody and any budget.
The Gift of Regular Exercise
Committing to a regular exercise routine is a part of living a healthy lifestyle but can be one of the hardest goals to accomplish. To make is easy for those who are financially frugal you can purchase a gift card for a gym membership, at home exercise DVDs, or some personal training sessions at his or her gym. If you are the one tight on budget this year, but you know that your friend needs support, you can offer a handmade accountability certificate. Accountability is one of the most critical components of developing a habit of regular exercise. So, for example you can write: “I commit to walk with you every MWF for an hour after work for the next three months. Happy Holidays!” Other good ideas are at home workout equipment like resistance bands or an exercise ball, lifting gloves, gym clothes or some new sneakers.
The Gift of Healthy Eating.
Eating healthy is among one of the top diet related goals and planning seems to be one of the biggest obstacles that gets in the way of this goal. So take the guesswork out a few meals a week by purchasing a subscription from a meal planning service such as Hello Fresh or Blue Apron. You may also find local business that offer a similar services that appeal more to what your loved one is looking for. Other flavorful ideas to support healthy eating include: healthy recipe books, a daily meal planning organizer, cooking utensils like a vegetable steamer or a cheat sheet for eating out.
The Gift of Improved Hydration.
Another diet related goal that a lot of people desire to work on is drinking more water. On average it is suggested that one should drink at least half his or her body weight in water per day. So what better gift in this case than a water bottle? Well for some that might just do the trick but for others, they simply do not like the taste of water. Instead opt for a water bottle that offers a fruit infuser or tea bag holder or perhaps some flavoring packets like True Lemon. If you are still on a budget with this one too, simply take an opportunity to set up a challenge with your counterpart. You can challenge them on a tracking app or simply email back and forth you daily hydration reports.
The Gift of Stress Management.
Stress is not only high around the holidays but it can also be high in daily work and home life. Everyone has a different way of his or her own stress but among the leading ways of doing so is through a meditation or yoga practice. Thus you could buy your companion a membership to a local yoga studio or perhaps a class of guided-meditation. Another popular stress release technique is the use of essential oils. So you might find a fun essential oil diffuser and some oils that he or she might like to try. Additional ideas include a yoga mat, water fountain or personal journal to write in.
The Gift of Better Sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends an average of 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults 24-64 years of age but most adults get less than 7 hours a night of rest. The first step to understanding one’s sleeping habits is tracking how many hours of sleep he or she is getting consistently. A fitness tracker such as a Fitbit or Garmin not only tracks exercise and calories burned, but also tracks how many hours you stay in Restorative Sleep. A big obstacle to falling asleep can be a few distractions like lights or sounds. So try some black out shades to block light from getting inside or a white noise machine to block out undesirable noises at night time. Other zenful ideas are a pair of pajamas, alarm clock, memory foam pillow or a new comforter.
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey