Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Year's Top Outdoor - Fitness Gifts

Gift guide for cyclists, runners, hikers and other outdoorsy folk on your list. The Year's TOP Outdoor & Fitness Gifts!

This is the time of year for giving gifts to those we love.  One of the best things to do is to select a gift that just keeps on giving!  Something that will help the person engage in a healthy lifestyle and some of the best gear is that which allows the person to play while getting fit. Here are some tips and tricks on not only picking the perfect item for the person on your list but making your gift better by personalizing it.

Using a Personal Touch
You may need to be a bit stealthy but you can always ask the person what they've been up to or what plans they may have for the holidays.  They may be planning a ski trip or a cabin stay with family.  Perhaps they like hiking or snowshoeing.  Are they a road warrior who enjoys running or cycling?  Whatever the case you can see where their passions are with a few key questions or observations.
Personalize this Lumbar Pack with Energy Bars & Gels

Gifts within Gifts
This ultralight Mountainsmith Dart TLS Lumbar Pack is perfect for the runner or day hiker on your list.
It comes with it's own water bottle but also has a nice little zippered front pouch.  Fill it with some tasty protein bars or energy gel packs before you wrap it up!
Think outside of the box or bottle on this one.  You can include powered effervescent Vitamin C or electrolyte packs that can be added to the water bottle during the run.
Purchase extra water bottles for this pack so they can keep one cold in the fridge, ready to run in the morning.  As an example, Polar Bottle makes lightweight 12 oz thermal bottles that stay cold and fit this particular lumbar pack perfectly.

Sizing Things Up
Aiden Tweed Cap
Something you may want to stay away from are items that demand you know the person's exact size.  If you do, all well and good but if you are not sure, choose items that span over a range of size differences or are size-less (one size fits most).
A stretchy knit hat may seem like a great idea but many of them can still be too tight for us ladies with lots of hair.
Trendy yet sophisticated, the Aiden comes in Small/Medium and Medium/Large but has no elastic involved to restrict the head.  You have a better chance of calling the right size with a choice like this. You can also purchase cloth labels from the sewing section or craft store that iron onto the inside of the cap to include the person's name.  How about stitching the person's initials on the garment as a monogram? Sweet huh?

Other Gift Items that Are Size-Forgiving:
A scarf
Ear Muffs
Warm Merino Wool Socks
Knit Gloves
Cardigan Sweaters 
Everybody needs these and it is something that you needn't worry about purchasing in just the right size.

Powering Up-Slimming Down
Turn on the Juice

A Power Blender like VitaMix is the ultimate health gift
Although I'm mostly featuring outdoor gifts, don't forget what goes on in the kitchen.  If you know the person on your list is in to juicing or loves smoothies, why not get them a power blender?  There are many on the market today but the one I use both juices, blends AND cooks all in the same container.  My VitaMix 5200 Power Blender is like having three machines plus a food processor all in one but I use it most to make my morning smoothies. If your health-nut happens to be a spouse, guess what?  You get to use it too!  Really it is so versatile and perfect for people on the go who want to prepare delicious whole foods in an instant.

Help Them Cut the Fat
Another kitchen item everyone would appreciate is a non-toxic, non-stick fry pan.  These are the new "green" non-stick pans that do not have any of the petroleum bi-products associated with Teflon coatings.
These can really make a difference in cutting down the amount of fat you cook with which eventually ends up on your hips.  I like Mauviel's M'stone anthracite coated non-stick cookware.

Anthracite is a very hard, crystalline form of coal and when combined with anodized aluminum, conducts heat very evenly. Use it to make veggie omelets with little or no added oil or do an easy saute of vegetables and pasta for a one pan meal.  These are so easy to clean and will be a welcome addition to any health minded chef on your list.

Gear to Help Keep Them Safe
Anyone on your list like to jog or bicycle?  Just the thought of them sharing the road with motor vehicles can make you cringe but there are a lot of gifts you can choose that can help make a difference on how visible they are on the road.
Road ID Supernova LED Lights
As the days are getting shorter, the need for lights is going to be even more important.  I use these very bright Supernova LED blinkies from Road ID.  You can choose the wrist band, shoe or bicycle attachment. I've been able to thread the wrist model through the rear vents of most of my cycling helmets for extra visibility.  They work great, are very tough and water resistant.
Another great gift for safety would include having proper medical and contact information the person could wear when they head out cycling, running or walking.  Road ID has that covered too with their FIXX ID Tags and ID Bracelets that go down to sizes for children.  You can give the ones you love Road ID Gift Cards to they can personalize and order their own tags & wristbands right online.  This is the one gift that could literally save their life by including any health conditions or medications the person may be taking. There is also space for several contact numbers on the Road ID which is important to family and friends they wish to have notified first.

Supernova Light threaded in my helmet's vents.
Knowing the person's past times and interests will help you pick just the right gift but these are a few ideas that can have the most impact on the health and well being of your favorite weekend warrior.
Technical gear comes and goes but  this year why not give gifts that show both thought and concern for the person's long term wellness and safety?  Believe me, they will appreciate the thought and time you took to look out for them.

Lastly, I would include a Purificup Portable Water Filtration System. It's great for any outdoor fanatic who wants, fresh, pure water at their fingertips. Perfect for travel, backpacking, skiing, camping, cycling, etc.

So what do YOU hope to give or get this year?

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