Friday, December 14, 2012

Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

Want to give healthier gifts to the people you care about this holiday season? Consider one of the following ideas aimed at boosting activity, eating well and feeling good!

1.  Activity tracker – Whether you opt for a basic pedometer or a more sophisticated wireless device that also monitors the wearer’s sleep cycles, keeping track of things like distance walked, steps taken and calories burned is a great motivator.

2.  Gourmet nuts – Nuts are a good source of plant protein and are high in dietary fiber, which makes them a filling snack. In moderation, they’ve been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and lower “bad” cholesterol levels.

3.  Subscription to a health or fitness magazine – Some popular titles include Men’s Health, Runner’s World, Shape, Cooking Light and Prevention.

4.  Group fitness classes – Consider buying a gift certificate from a local gym so that a friend or family member can try out classes like Zumba, spinning, yoga or pilates.

5.  Vegetable or herb garden kit – Encourage loved ones to prepare natural, healthy meals using home-grown herbs or vegetables. Look for options that can be grown indoors for easy access from the kitchen.

6.  Exercise, outdoor sports or camping equipment – Giving gifts to be used outside when the weather warms up can encourage children and adults to stay active all year.

7.  Dark chocolate – Eating a small amount of dark chocolate every day may help to curb cravings for both sweet and salty foods. Its antioxidants also combat free radicals, the destructive molecules that are implicated in heart disease and other ailments.

8.  Interactive video games – When playing or exercising outdoors is out of the question, movement-oriented video games may be a fun alternative.

9.  Food steamer – Steaming is one of the healthiest ways to cook a variety of foods. Steamers come in multiple sizes and are made of several materials suitable for stovetop, countertop or microwave cooking.

10.  Foot massager – For those who are on their feet at work (or have been standing in line to purchase holiday gifts!) a foot massager might be the perfect thing to relieve pain and reduce stress.

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