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If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of taking care of ourselves. Fitness isn’t always about weight loss, and the benefits of exercise can go far beyond a number on your scale by doing wonders for your mental health, mood and even help reduce your risk of heart diseases.
While most people are still working from home due to the ongoing pandemic, it’s hard to prioritize healthy activity because we can lose the boundaries between work and personal life. It’s important to add some movement to your day with exercise such as at-home stretches before starting your workday, strength training or even a nice walk.
Peloton instructor Kendall Toole told Yahoo Lifestyle Canada that during this pandemic, we’ve often taken the pre-lockdown mentality and set unreasonable expectations for ourselves “in this strange new world at home.” Toole said that this “integral time in our lives is truly an opportunity; to simplify, slow down and possibly even rethink and reset our routines and habits.”
“That takes time and patience, so give yourself grace through the process. Start small. Maybe commit to a 10-15 min ride/run/strength class daily,” Toole added. “We all need it as cabin fever is no fun!; create new memories by trying fresh recipes at home, and always make time in your schedule for reflection and meditation in relation to your mental health.” Toole also said that staying fit during these times happens on all three levels; physically, mentally and spiritually.
Toole offered some advice: “Be kind to yourself as you establish new routines and habits, don’t be afraid to laugh and commit to moving your body and resetting your mind at least once daily.”
Take advantage of giving the gift of wellness to your close ones this year, and don’t forget to snag something for yourself. We picked out some of the best fitness gifts with the help of different people in the wellness industry to help you with your holiday shopping this year.
The Fitbit Sense is one of the hottest new fitness gadgets that bring the most advanced combination of sensors and innovative technology available on a Fitbit device to give you the deepest understanding of your body and guide you to better health and wellness. The Sense is the first smartwatch with an on-device electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor to help you manage stress, and that’s something we definitely need in this crazy year of 2020.
SHOP IT: Fitbit, $360 (originally $430)
A medicine ball is the perfect piece of equipment to add to your home gym. It will help build and tone muscles, and it can be used for many different exercises.
Teddy Savage, senior manager of health & fitness excellence at Planet Fitness, told us that medicine balls are extremely versatile. “They can be used for the upper body, lower body, core, and cardio routines to really give you a total body experience.”
He added that it’s important to remember that “your physical and mental health should always be a priority. Just taking a little time each day can have huge benefits and allow you to melt away the stress and increase the fun.”
SHOP IT: Sport Chek, $45
Savage also said that kettlebells are one of his favourite accessories because they are designed to move with you through various multi-directional exercises.
“These types are routines allow you to get a more comprehensive workout in a shorter period of time,” he added.
SHOP IT: Sport Chek, $50
This fitness deck is perfect for total body strength and cardio home workouts. It turns into a weight bench, step, plyometric box and ramp.
Fitness personality and world-renowned trainer Danielle Natoni told Yahoo Lifestyle Canada that she loves this “versatile step from Escape Fitness called Deck 2.0.”
“With at-home fitness on the rise, setting up your home gym space can be expensive and overwhelming,” she added. “This step serves as a step, a bench, an incline, and has storage for loops and bands. It is totally fitness meets function.”
SHOP IT: Amazon, $520
This tool delivers massage therapy to help you relax after your workout. It has three-speed settings and five interchangeable head attachments to help you choose the perfect level of power.
Natoni selected the Hypervolt from Hyerpice because “it allows you to warm-up, recover and improve mobility and flexibility.”
“Self-care is such an important component of a well-rounded fitness routine, and that doesn’t just mean face masks and manicures,” she said, adding, “Work through those sore muscles and enhance your performance.”
SHOP IT: Best Buy, $400
These Bose in-ear headphones are the perfect gift for the music lover in your life. They use Bluetooth technology to connect the left and right earbuds, eliminating the need for any annoying wires. They have up to five hours of playback, and you have the option to add a charging case with your purchase.
SHOP IT: Staples Canada, $250
The Gry Mattr stainless steel tumbler has a nice glossy finish and stainless steel reusable straw.
Savage told us that it’s important to remember to drink plenty of water along with your go-to beverage this holiday season, making this the perfect gift for anyone on your list. “Hydration is key for lubricating your joints and supplying your muscles with critical elements for function. Drinking at least 64 fluid ounces a day will also help with digesting your foods as well,” he added.
SHOP IT: Staples Canada, $20
The Peloton Bike is one of the hottest fitness gifts available right now.
“Health and wellness-focused (check), the family member who misses live music concerts and that community feel (check), someone who loves gadgets and new toys (check), the person who is trying to keep busy during these crazy times (check, check, check),” Toole said.
“Of course, I may be a little biased, as I LOVE getting to teach millions of members around the globe, but truly, the Peloton Bike is a tech-advanced, connected fitness machine with the most supportive and diverse community that comes right along with it,” added the Peoloton instructor. “Trust me, it's far more than a bike,” Toole says that the bike brings people together, even if they’re in separate locations which is exactly what we need during these trying times.
SHOP IT: Peloton, $2,495
This set of resistance bands has 150 lbs total resistance with two soft padded ankle straps, two wide grip padded handles, one door attachment and one carrying bag.
Fitness coach and former Big Brother Canada star Adam Pike told Yahoo Lifestyle Canada that these resistance bands are a great addition to your home workouts.
“With a quick, easy set up on any door in your home using the anchor provided, you can perform hundreds of workouts. Over the pandemic, this resistance band set was all I used,” he said. “I became very creative with different styles of workouts by using the AP resistance bands set. I’ve learned very quickly that you can get just as good of a workout at home as you can at the gym by using something as simple as resistance bands.”
SHOP IT: Adam Pike Fitness, $55
The Smart Coach Radar is a great fight for all ages and has been proven useful by beginner and pro-level athletes in baseball, softball, football, golf, tennis, volleyball, lacrosse and even dog training.
The Smart Coach Radar is a pocket-sized, handheld radar gun that connects to an app that automatically creates video clips with speed embedded. It’s a great product to use for training without coming into contact with others.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $773
This is the perfect gift for the women in your life that enjoy high-intensity workouts. The NB power bra has a pullover, racerback style and is designed for high-impact support and comfort. It features a 1 inch wide non-slip back adjustable strap and has gel-infused strap lining for comfort.
SHOP IT: New Balance Canada, $65
RXBAR is here this holiday season to bring fitness lovers the gift of good nutrition and proper recovery. Packed with 12g of protein and with a shortlist of high quality, whole food ingredients, RXBARs are the perfect snack to repair and recover post-workout.
FORM Smart Swim Goggles are a pair of premium swim goggles with a see-through, augmented-reality display that delivers performance metrics in real-time. With a recent firmware update, the FORM Goggles can now be used in open water, unlocking even more possibilities for that swimmer on your list.
Swimmers can track their progress as well as review and share workouts through the FORM Swim App.
SHOP IT: FORM Swim, $262
The UA Meridian Infuse leggings are infused with tiny moisturizing microspheres for all the hydration power of lotion, but you can’t feel it or see it. The moisturizing begins as soon as you put on these super-soft and stretchy performance leggings.
“After a sweaty session, I love throwing on my Meridian Infuse leggings,” said Jennifer Rochon, a certified personal trainer. “They are incredibly soft and help keep my skin hydrated.”
SHOP IT: Under Armour, $110
This is the perfect gift for the endorphin enthusiast in your life; you know that friend who’s always posting a sweaty selfie? With Sonos Move, they can soundtrack their workouts and experience studio vibes from home or anywhere their training session takes them. Sweatproof and drop-resistant, this speaker works seamlessly for backyard yoga or bedroom cycling. What’s a workout without music?
SHOP IT: Best Buy, $350 (originally $500)
Whether you’re skiing, getting ready for a workout or exploring a new trail this winter, CLIF Bar is a great-tasting organic energy bar crafted to fuel you with the energy you need to take on your activities. The bar is made with organic ingredients like local Canadian organic rolled oats, providing you with a good source of energy, fibre and protein for any active lifestyle.
SHOP IT: Sport Chek, $2