Healthy Holiday Gifts (Peleton Not Included*)

Last week the now infamous Peleton ad went viral, infuriating many who felt this commercial portrayed a sexist jerk of a husband who wanted his already thin wife to lose weight. Ironically, I am the proud (& almost immediately obsessed) recipient of a shiny new Peleton that was a birthday gift from my husband last month. Truth be told, this bike was on my wish list for BOTH of us, and not to transform EITHER of us into supermodels. I’m all about gifts that enhance exercise, nutrition or emotional/spiritual health, because these are truly the “gift(s) that give back”. While delicious holiday treats provide immediate gratification, this year I challenge you to think OUTSIDE the sugary gift basket, so voila- my top five healthy holiday gifts:

1. Massage or Manicure Gift Certificate: I swear the world would be a better place if we could all have a massage and a talk therapy session once per week! Meanwhile, consider gifting yourself or a loved one with a professional massage or manicure. National chains like Massage Envy offer discounted holiday packages, and college students- note that many universities offer significantly discounted sports massage services for current students through their rec centers.

2. Cookbook or Cooking Class: Most of us have the same five meals on repeat, so shaking things up by learning even ONE new staple recipe makes a big impact! My current fav cookbooks: Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. and Cooking Light Five Star Recipes

3. Candles or Diffusers: Appeal to all your senses for relaxation- combine this, a warm bath and a brief meditation app before bed to enhance your sleep and wake up recharged. Restful sleep is such an underrated health benefit! (I could add in weighted blankets, white noise machines, cool sheets…see insomnia post.)

4. Motivation Socks: What? Yes, SOCKS. I love starting my day with affirmations “you are STRONG/BRAVE/POWERFUL” like this kind or that) No else sees them, so it’s a private high-five to start my day.

5. Peleton* (or seriously, ANY good quality exercise equipment) Okay, I know said “Peleton not included”, but I’m going there anyway (and for the record, I have no financial connections to ANY company mentioned here.) GYM MEMBERSHIPS are equally fabulous…IF you will use them- which depends on your life situation, workout partners, location and schedule. However, if possible, I highly recommend having at least ONE “machine” (skier, rowing machine, elliptical, treadmill or bike) in your house to minimize time/effort to GET to your exercise. If you can read a book or watch netflix while you workout, that’s often a great motivator. What I love about our new Peleton is I feel like I have my favorite personal trainers right in my home (talking to you, Denis & Robin) plus an enormous variety of trainers, workouts and music genres. (Pic above is a fun holiday music ride!) I also love the feel of being in a class (because other users interact and “high five” you) without concerns of anyone seeing me/judging my appearance or skill level. Yes, these exercise machines are expensive, but while I have thrown away an embarrassing amount of money on unused gym memberships over the years, I can honestly say that my cost per use on our long-standing home equipment is measured in cents (not dollars) considering that I’ve faithfully used them at least five days/week for the past decade.

BOTTOM LINE: Whether you’re spending less than $15 on scents, socks, or a cookbook, or substantially investing in new workout shoes, clothing or equipment, this year I challenge you to consider gifts that keep giving…in the best way, by promoting healthy habits and wellbeing!

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