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The holiday season is upon us! Ready or not, it's time to put the tree up and begin the slow descent into madness that is holiday gift buying. I adore giving gifts to people I care about, but finding the absolute perfect gift for everyone on my list can be difficult. My parents are impossible to buy for, my son wants a lot of things that are a little out of reach (sorry, kid, we don't have room for a horse), and I always have trouble settling on what to get my friends.
Luckily, I won't have too many issues figuring out what to get my fitness-minded friends. If you have gym goers to buy for this year, maybe this list will help you find the perfect presents for them.
Or maybe you'll find the perfect gift for you. Go ahead, treat yourself. I won't judge.
I've included examples of each item that are either highly rated or products I have actually used and love (but none are paid endorsements or sponsored by the individual brands, so unless specified I don't benefit from purchases made through those links).
I'm a big fan of tracking workouts. Not only does this make it easy to see progress and improvements, but you'll be able to identify patterns that affect your training. The way you eat, how much sleep you're getting, stress, and hormones can all influence your workouts.
Hip Circle, Ankle Straps, Resistance Bands
Most gyms have resistance bands and hip circles, as well as ankle straps. I like having my own because, well, the communal ones gross me out a bit. I also love that I know what to expect from my own equipment. I can't tell you how many times I've started warming up with one of the gym's bands only to have it break... Watching it shoot across the weight room is kind of funny, but also aggravating if you can't find another band to use.
If you're buying for a powerlifter or someone who is serious about strength training, you might consider getting them a belt. There are lots of belts out there, but I have found that simple is usually best. Look for quality construction without a lot of frills, and don't worry about spending a lot of money.
Reusable Water Bottle
Buying bottled water at the gym can get expensive... but there's nothing worse than trying to get through a workout without a drink. A nice water bottle makes a great and useful gift. You might even get bonus points for being eco-friendly!
Being without your own music at the gym is a special kind of torture. Until I got a pair of wireless earbuds for Christmas one year, I didn't realize how hard it was to focus when I was in the weight room. Even if your friend already has a pair of earbuds, no one is going to be upset about having an extra pair.
Most gyms have towels available for their members, but it's nice to have one of your own. I'd rather wipe the sweat off of my face with a towel that only belongs to me, you know?
Smart Watch/Fitness Tracker
If you have a fit friend you really like, a smart watch with various fitness trackers (heart rate, sleep, etc...) would make an excellent gift. These can get a little on the expensive side, but I know I would love to receive one for Christmas (this is not a hint) (wait, yes, this is definitely a hint). There are a lot of different kinds, so be sure to find one that is compatible with your friend's phone and meets their needs.
Funny Gym Wear
Who doesn't love funny workout tanks and tees? You might even consider getting someone a holiday-themed top as an early gift.
**Full disclosure: The link above goes to my Teespring shop, so I will make money if you purchase an item.
Look, it isn't an especially fun thing to think about, but gym clothes, bags, shoes, etc... tend to stink. I've tried washing my gym clothing in hot water, special detergents, baking soda, and all manner of other weird stuff, but nothing seemed to completely eliminate the odor entirely. I've tried a few different sprays and found that Hero Clean works the best, especially if you hose the offending garment down, let it dry, and then wash it. I've also used it in smelly shoes and in my gym bag with pretty good results. The scent is juniper-based, so I consider it to be unisex even though it was developed with guys in mind.
You might not want to get this as someone's main gift, but it makes a nice stocking stuffer!
Also of note: I really like this brand because a portion of their proceeds goes to Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America.
Again, this is an item that most gyms have in multiples for members to use... but having one of your own is far less germy. It also means you're free to use it whenever you like. Wake up in the morning with sore hamstrings? Feel like your back is super tight when you get home from work? You don't have to go all the way to the gym just to foam roll because you have one at home!
This is hardly an exhaustive list of great fitness gifts, but it's a good start... and sometimes, a little inspiration goes a long way in finding the right gifts for your loved ones.
If this list has been helpful or if you just really love what I write, leave me a tip below and share this article with your friends!