If you’re thinking about giving your spouse a diet book or a scale for Christmas, I have some free advice for you.
Don’t do it.
What’s that you say? “But it’s a talking scale and my wife recently said she needs to go on a diet.”
OK, let me put it this way: Don’t do it.
The gift of exercise should be about the fun side of fitness. Trust me, if your gift can in any way be interpreted as “You think I’m fat” it will be.
So as you gear up to shop, consider these gifts:
Sbyke Kick Scooter
Billed as a more maneuverable version of traditional push scooters, this eye-catching toy looks like it’s part skateboard, part scooter and part mountain bike. Sbyke claims its rear steering system allows it to move more precisely than traditional scooters. It’s also wide enough to place your feet side by side and the dropped deck gives you a lower center of gravity. A good gift idea to inspire kids to be more active and it comes with an additional long stem so adults can use it too.
Garmin Forerunner 610
The Garmin Forerunner 610 watch keeps track of your workout information and GPS location. In addition to speed and distance, you can enter virtual races against your best time or the times of a friend. The watch will let you know by alarm or vibration when you reach your goals. Your watch can also connect to a scale ($280). The Garmin Forerunner website allows you to log your workouts and share routes with others. A foot pod ($70) can be added to your shoes to track indoor workouts. The watch uses a rechargeable battery.
Motion Traxx Cardio Star
Motion Traxx uses experienced trainers and music for a series of audio workouts called Cardio Star. Workouts for treadmills, elliptical machines and Spin bikes can be loaded on a MP3 player. Tabata and high intensity interval training programs can be done without exercise equipment. Workouts are 30-60 minutes.
IdentiDots are decals with a unique code that can be placed on a bike to add an extra layer of security. IdentiDots claim to be “nearly irremovable” and won’t expose your personal information. The code can only be seen under UV light and is linked to your information in the company’s database allowing a person to prove they own the bike or other valuable item.
The Aquajogger is designed to take the impact out of your workout by suspending you at shoulder level in a pool to workout. You can run, walk or do other exercises while using water dumbbells and leg and arm weights.
75 Classic Rides: Washington
Mike McQuaide’s book could give your favorite cyclists a new perspective on road riding in Washington. The full-color guidebook offers maps, detailed descriptions, elevation charts and pictures for rides across the state.
Pro-Tec travel foam roller
Foam rollers are a good way to stretch and give your self a deep tissue massage to help prevent and fight off overuse injuries. However, most foam rollers are about the size of a piece of firewood and inconvenient to travel with. A new smaller foam roller from Pro-Tec is 4 inches in diameter, a foot long and infinitely easier to squeeze into a suitcase.
Nathan DomeLite LED beanie
If you want to be seen in the latest running fashion, this beanie is the way to go. It’s not really any more fashionable than other workout beanies, but flashing LED lights (white in the front and red in the back) should make you more visible on the road. The hat is fleece-lined, wicking and breathable and has ear bud cradles that allow you to listen to your music and still hear traffic.
$40 or more per hour
A good personal trainer can help overcome some injuries and find new paths to fitness. They can provide motivation and direction to reach new levels of fitness. Just be sure to shop around for a trainer you think will mesh with the person for whom you’re giving this present.
Offering yourself up as a workout partner might sound like a lame gift idea, but if it gets you and the giftee into a regular exercise routine it’s likely to be more valuable than any other present. A good workout partner can help people overcome the fear of trying new things, push you to work harder, inspire you to get started, and, most importantly, keep working out fun.Craig Hill’s fitness column runs Sundays. Submit questions and comments via firstname.lastname@example.org and twitter.com/AdventureGuys. Also get more fitness coverage at blog.thenewstribune.com/adventure and thenewstribune.com/fitness.