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Health-Related Holiday Gifts 

As we approach another holiday and “new year, new me” season, finding gifts for our active and health-conscious friends or family can be quite difficult. Deciding what to get becomes daunting with so many health and self-care related items or services available on the market. New gadgets and upgrades seem to be released almost weekly. Searching through different brands, versions, or products can cause quite a holiday headache. But don’t stress, below are some gift ideas to get you started for your health-nut.

Before we get to the list, there’s a few factors you want to consider before hitting the buy button. One of the biggest factors is practicality, specifically in finding something that the person may be interested in or fits them. Consider their lifestyle or personality when deciding what to get. Does this person travel constantly? Do they work from home? What types of health and wellness routines does the recipient already have interest in? It’s also important to keep the audience in mind and be thoughtful about how the gift will make the person feel. It’s not uncommon to interpret a health-related gift as a suggestion or implication to lose weight. Does the recipient specifically have weight loss goals? Exercise and stretching doesn’t necessarily have to do with weight loss and it might be crucial that the recipient makes this distinction.

But perhaps the biggest factor, at least from a financial aspect, is gift quality and budgeting. This is where doing your research really matters. Once you have a product type in mind, doing research and reading customer reviews can really help differentiate between brands to match the desired budget. There’s even YouTube channels based entirely on comparing products. Investing some extra time to research is especially true with expensive items and the associated warranty or return policy. When in doubt, it is wisest to choose a brand or item with the better warranty and flexible return policy in case the recipient is unhappy or prefers a slightly different model/product. It can be very frustrating to be stuck with an unwanted gift which you won’t use – or one you do like but won’t use because you would prefer a slightly different model.

With all that being said, here are some health-related holiday gift ideas (listed in no particular order).

-Massage gun. These have become very popular recently and there are numerous brands which range in different prices. Percussion massage therapy helps to relieve pain, increase lymphatic flow, decrease muscle soreness, improve blood circulation, break up scar tissue, and improve flexibility.

-Foam rollers or self-myofascial mobilization/trigger point tools. These also have recently been trending products for home and self-care. These tools help to increase blood flow and loosen up muscles and fascia. While foam rollers make up more of the basic and generic type of tools, there’s also a variety of trigger point tools available, from balls to sticks, that can be used to target different body regions.

-Resistance bands. These are a great alternative to bulky and expensive home workout equipment. Resistance bands increase time under tension which increases muscle strength and control. Muscles are also engaged for a full range of motion during each exercise because gravity is not pulling on a physical weight. Just a few bands can provide a full body workout. A good set should include loop bands, tube bands with handles, and a doorway anchor. SPRI and TRX are two highly rated brands.

-Health tracking apps. There are many smart phone apps available, some free, that help to log and track your diet and exercise. A good app will include a scanner and food diary to track daily macro-nutrient intake, calorie counter and tracker. They can also sync with the next category to track daily health and exercise. MyFitnessPal is an example of these.

-Wearable health and wellness technology. These have exploded on the market in recent years with devices like the Apple Watch. These devices can track workouts, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, temperature, blood pressure, calories burned, physical activity levels, sleep quality and recovery metrics. Like the expression goes: “what gets measured, gets managed.” Besides Apple Watch, there are a variety of devices from companies such as Whoop, Fitbit, Amazon, Garmin, and Oura.

-Personal training sessions. If your recipient has already expressed a desire to start working out in the new year, this is a great option to get them started off on the right foot. Nothing stops motivation like a nagging pain, especially if it’s due to incorrect technique or a programming fault in the training session. Look for certified personal trainers with certificates from the ISSA, ACE, NASM, NSCA, or a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) if the recipient has an interest in athletics. Also be sure to check reviews if possible.

-Massage therapy sessions. Even though the holidays can be a very happy and joyous time, they can also be accompanied by increased stress. In addition to reducing stress, massage benefits include reducing pain, muscle soreness, muscle tension, heart rate and blood pressure. They also increase blood circulation, lymphatic flow, flexibility, recovery, immune function, and energy levels.

-Laptop stand (and ergonomic work products). With the increase of work-from-home jobs in recent years, customizing home workstations has been in greater demand. Besides laptop stands, there are a variety of products in this category including sit-stand desks, ergonomic mouse & keyboards, document holders, blue light glasses, balance chairs, anti-fatigue standing mats, and standing balance boards. A stability wobble cushion (inflatable stability/wobble disc) is also an affordable alternative to ergonomic office chairs.

-Heating pads. There is such a wide variety of types and price ranges for heating pads. Some have been designed for specific body areas like the neck, shoulder, or back. There are a variety of heating pad types including microwavable, chemical, water, and electrical. Some are dual purpose and can also perform cold therapy. Heat therapy increases blood circulation (speeds up recovery and healing processes) as well as soothes sore, aching muscles and joints to help increase range of motion.

-Runner’s belt. It may sound like a fanny pack, but this pack on a strap is tied to your waist and functions like an armband. These are an affordable and comfortable way to increase pocket space and protect technology or valuables when being active. Running belts free up your hands and keep your belongings in place when bike riding, climbing, walking, hiking, and other general activities.

-Heart rate monitor. Like smart watches, these measure heart rate during a workout which helps maintain a target rate without exceeding maximum heart rate. This can help to adjust work out intensity and pace to increase overall cardiorespiratory endurance. Some monitors only track heart rate while others can track distance, breathing rate, and speed. There’s chest, arm, and wrist types- many of which are water resistant. They can also sync to other devices or apps for logging purposes. Be sure to check reviews on product’s features and price points. Polar and Garmin are two popular brands in this category.

Dr. Deryk Harting

Florida Licensed Chiropractic Physician

 

If you or somebody you know has been in a car accident, be sure that you seek medical attention from a car accident doctor or car accident chiropractor to treat your injuries. Visit Chambers Medical Group  to receive world-class medical treatment for your injuries.

Chambers Medical Group has car accident medical clinics in the following locations:

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