Monday, December 22, 2014

I finally managed to get this up! It's only been in the queue for a couple weeks now but better late than never, right?

So if you're a last minute shopper like I am, I figured I would try to help my fellow procrastinators out by giving some ideas about holiday presents! If you have someone in your life that loves health and fitness, here are some gift ideas that I think they would love and appreciate. This is all totally my own opinion and from my own experience of what gifts I love and what I've gotten others!

I also had to laugh because I saw that Rachael over at The Simple Life did a post about health and fitness presents, and we had a couple of the same things! I guess great minds think alike :) but you should definitely check out Rachael's blog, it's awesome!! 

Stocking Stuffers

- Nut butters: I mean do I have to explain?! It's a little unconventional to find peanut butter in your stocking but when peanut butter shows up in my life I never question or complain!

- Protein bars: Quest, Think Thin, Balance, Kind, etc. Just get them a small sample of ones you think they might like! That way they can try out a few and see which ones are their favorite.

- Gu Packets: if you have a long distance runner in your life, these come in handy with those high double digit miles!

- Chapstick: my lips get really split and dry during the winter from all the running I do in the cold. This is a much appreciated gift to find in my stocking! My favorite is Burt's Bees but I did find a cake batter chapstick that I'm in love with.

- Body lotion: same thing with the chapstick! My skin gets really dry during the cold weather so it's always nice to get lotion or a moisturizer.

- Running gloves: my favorite brand is Under Armor and I know it's an expensive brand but the gloves I have now are the ones I've had since I was probably 14 so you're looking at like 9 years of usage and they're still in great shape! I also have a couple pairs of just the standard fleece ones that I get at Target for like $2 for when it's slightly chilly but not cold enough for my winter gloves. I make sure to get the touch-screen compatible ones so that I can still work my iPod.

- Lifting gloves: these have been really useful for me when I was first lifting and needed help with getting a better grip. Especially with heavier weights and it would be hard to grip on the weight. I was able to find mine for less than $10 at Target! 

Other Presents

- Foam roller: this is something that I've come to love because it does amazing things for my muscles that stretching alone doesn't always take care of. My IT bands can get really tight so the foam roller is great for me, and I can actually tell a difference. I look forward to using the foam roller now for how my muscles feel after, definitely not during! 

- Dumbbells: I got a set of adjustable ones at Dick's that can go to about 40-50lbs which is great for when I do workouts at home. I think I got my set of both dumbbells on sale for about $60 which turned out to be a great investment! We use them almost every day. 

- Hydration belt: this year for Christmas, I ordered Amanda and I these off of Amazon since we're starting marathon training. These nifty belts hold everything from mini water bottles, to pockets for snacks, and a pouch for your phone, keys, or wallet. These will definitely come in handy when we have to start tackling those 20-some-milers! 

- Running watch: I just have a simple one from Timex that isn't even specific to running. Amanda has a fancy Garmin that tracks mileage splits and has a GPS and everything. I stick to my $20 and if I really want to know my splits, I use MapMyRun app for that!

- Pull-up bar: I got the over-the-door one for my birthday this year and I love it! It's convenient and goes right over my bedroom door. It's also great for doing some ab work and there's a little packet that came with it full of work-out ideas, and routines that you can try out. Amanda found mine at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for about $40. 

- Running journal: my mom started getting me this for the past few years since the author does one every year. It's a great way to log your run each week, but is also full of tips and motivational quotes! There's a place for you to total the mileage at the end of each week so then you can keep carrying it forward and know how much you ran over the whole year. You can find it here

- Workout gear: this is something that I always appreciate it, whether it's tank tops, t-shirts, or cold weather gear. I will never turn down or complain about getting more workout clothes!

- Ab wheel: mine actually just arrived and I ordered it off Amazon the other week. Talk about a killer ab workout! It's a simple little piece of equipment that looks very innocent but don't be fooled, it'll get ya! I love using it and mine collapses so that it's easy to take apart. I got mine for $10 and you can find it here

- Vitamins and supplements: I am NOT a huge fan of any kind of pre or post-workout supplements. The only supplements I take are a multi-vitamin and BCAA's. I don't do any of the C4s, fat burners, or any other type of supplement. It's not that there's anything totally wrong with them but I just don't know the effects that they have on a person's body in the long run. Therefore, I steer clear of them because I'm able to get results without them anyway. I do think it can be beneficial to take multi-vitamins and the the brand I have is Body Strong for active women. I get my BCAA's from Optimum Nutrition, and I take that mainly for muscle recovery and retention. There is also some debate of whether it helps with lowering cortisol levels which is a huge deal for those who run a lot and higher mileage.

So that's the end of my list! I hope that this was able to give you some good ideas! 

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