(This article first appeared in the December 13, 2017 issue of The Independent Newspaper)
If there were a competition for ‘Worst Gift Giver’ I’d easily make the top three winners. It’s not that I don’t enjoy spending money on others, I just completely blank on what to get. Gift cards seem too impersonal (as does money) and asking what said person wants point blank? Well, you might as well stamp a giant ‘Clueless’ right on my forehead.
That said, this holiday season, I’m going with the ‘Well, if I’d like it maybe they would too’ approach. For the fitness fanatic in your life, here are my eight gift ideas — based on what I might accidentally wrap for myself.
- Sweaty Betty has a scuba fabric, 100 percent polyester, All Sport backpack that measures 40.5cm tall, 43cm wide and 24cm deep. Small enough to toss around but still big enough to carry all the essentials. Adjustable straps make it easy to go from working out to commuting in seconds. Cute enough to complete any outfit in or out of a studio, but trendy enough to look like the badass workout chick you are. $115 at http://www.sweatybetty.com or visit the East Hampton store at 51 Newton Lane.
- Nike does it yet again with the Nike Vapor Energy Training Backpack. At 20.5″ tall,12″ wide and 7.5″ deep this 100 percent polyester bag is ideal for going from the gym to the office. A padded laptop compartment fits sizes up to 15 inches, with dual-zip storage, adjustable straps for shock absorption and a helpful wet/dry compartment. The Pure Platinum and Black color options make it work with any situation. Find it for $70 at http://www.nike.com.
- I’m the furthest thing from a yogi but Chakra Art and Design makes yoga mats that are so breathtakingly beautiful I’d buy one and stay in child’s pose. 1/4″ or 1/8″ thick, 72″ tall and 24″ wide, each mat is BPA, phthalates, heavy metal, and latex free. Their Empowerment Series takes artwork to the next level — hang it on your wall or use it for any workout of choice. All month long enjoy 25 percent off any Living Art Collection yoga mat, or 40 percent off unframed prints. $79. Visit http://www.chakraartanddesign.com.
- TRX has been one of my favorite fitness discoveries of 2017. It doesn’t require more than a few straps and body weight, which means you can do it anywhere. TRX Go Suspension Trainer Kit allows you to take the workout with you. See that palm tree on vacation? You can use it there. The monkey bars while your children are on the playground? There, too. Prices vary, visit http://www.amazon.com for the best options.
- A balance ball chair can turn workday into workout — slightly anyway. The Gaiam Balance Ball Chair helps with back issues through improving posture while simultaneously encouraging core strength. The anti-burst 52cm balance ball sits on a PVC base and caster wheels. The best part? It comes with a desktop workout guide. Sitting at a computer all day isn’t such a bad thing after all. Check out your local Target for products (good luck leaving with only one thing). $79.99.
- Zepp created a technology that not only allows you to analyze sport performance but gain insight with outside, comparable statistics. Not just for the professionals anymore. Their Smart Capture technology allows players of all sorts — baseball, golf, softball, soccer and tennis — to film and attach the device directly to their equipment. The Tennis 2 Kit comes with a sensor, flex mount, pro mount, insert mount, USB charger, and mobile app for $99. You can find more of their gear at http://www.zepp.com
- Muscle soreness is hardly an issue with the MobilityWOD Supernova 2.0 by Rogue. Forget the name, which sounds like something out of a Star Wars flick. This grooved surface breaks up knots in a precise way through its 80mm or 120mm size. That means less soreness and more active time. Find the 120mm model for $39.95 at http://www.roguefitness.com.
- Finally, an espresso maker for those on the move. WACACO MiniPresso GR Portable Espresso Coffee maker weighs under a single pound and measures 7″ long. It creates a simple, single shot of caffeinated goodness. Bring this device anywhere, from drives to work to hikes up the mountains, for a 50ML jolt. All you need is hot water (or cold if you’re fine with it). Tilt and simply pump. Walmart is currently listing it at $51.99 or check http://www.wacaco.com.