20 Ho-Ho-Healthy Gifts to Give This Holiday Season

If you haven’t started thinking about your holiday gift list yet, time is ticking away! Try something new this year by showing your thoughtfulness AND helping your gift recipients jumpstart their New Year’s resolutions by purchasing health- and wellness-related gifts.

Logan Collins, fitness center coordinator at Texas Health Prosper, says the most important things to think about with healthy gifts are practicality and whether the recipient will really use it.

“With clothing, think about their fashion style, body shape and if they would be comfortable wearing what you get them,” he says. “Always include a gift receipt and don’t go this route unless you are 100 percent certain you know their size. It’s also important to know what type of exercise they enjoy or would enjoy. For runners, shoes and running apparel is best. For weightlifters, weight lifting equipment is best. For someone just starting their fitness journey, a Fitbit would be good.

“Gym memberships or personal training might be a great idea because most gyms run amazing promotions around the holidays and into the new year. It’s a great time to go in and purchase a set term membership to help get them started.”

Here are 20 of our best healthy gift suggestions:

  1. Gym membership and/or personal training sessions – For the recipient who’s been tempted to try exercising at a gym but just hasn’t done it yet, get them in the door with a gym membership and a few personal training sessions.
  2. Stainless water bottle – Stainless steel drinking containers are BPA- and lead-free and can help keep beverages cooler longer. Purchase a stainless bottle with the recipient’s name or monogram in vinyl to make it personal.
  3. Kitchen utensils – If your gift recipient wants to cook more at home (and eat out less), encourage their healthy culinary prowess by gifting them a new set of kitchen utensils rated for high heat in fun pops of color.
  4. Gym/sports bag – If your buddy hits the gym, links or slopes as often as he says he does, there’s a chance his equipment bag is begging to be tossed. Gift him a new, nice-smelling bag to store his workout gear, golf shoes or skis.
  5. Grilling tools and dry rubs – For the guy (or gal) in your life that likes to cook outdoors, purchase new grilling tools and a set of dry rubs that boost flavor without adding any fat.
  6. Olive oils & vinegars – Anyone with a refined palate will appreciate specialty olive oil and vinegars from artisan and small batch producers all across the country and around the world.
  7. Pedometer – For the loved ones in your life that might be spurred on by data (or a personal challenge), a pedometer is often a helpful, concrete reminder to get up and move more every day.
  8. Herb seed kit – Does your next-door neighbor have a green thumb? Look no further for the perfect gift than a seed kit for the perfect gift, so they can grow their own herbs.
  9. New apron, kitchen towels and oven mitts – For the kitchen fashionista on your list, a new apron might just be the ticket to help her protect her clothes and look amazing doing it. New kitchen towels and oven mitts round out the gift.
  10. Subscription to fitness or healthy cooking magazine – If your gift recipient likes to read or travels a lot, supply them with some ready-made perusing material in the form of a year-long subscription to a fitness or healthy cooking magazine.

We’re halfway through our list, but what if you’re worried your recipient will be offended by a healthy gift? Collins says it all comes down to the wording and presentation.

“As long as you don’t insinuate they NEED the gift for better health, most times they will accept it,” he says. “Give the gift, allow them the chance to use it and don’t continue to bring it up or criticize, and it won’t be given a second thought.”

  1. Monogrammed, reusable lunch bag – Encourage a friend to skip the fast food line at lunch by gifting a reusable lunch bag with their monogram so they can pack healthy leftovers more often.
  2. Meal kit delivery subscription – When perfectly portioned fresh meats, vegetables and sauces arrive on your loved one’s doorstep every week, all they have to do is follow simple instructions to create a tasty, healthy meal. With new companies popping up all the time, you can choose options (delivery frequency, number of meals per week, meat-based or vegetarian, kid-friendly, organic, etc.) that best fit your recipient.
  3. Jogging stroller – For the new parents on your list (or even those with young toddlers), encourage them to keep moving and take baby along for the ride with a jogging stroller. (Be sure to check out reviews online from real parents.)
  4. Specialty cookbook – There are a million cookbooks out there, so for the chef on your list, track down a recently released cookbook that focuses on a healthy lifestyle or trend that interests them (vegan, vegetarian, Whole30®, ketogenic diet, etc.).
  5. Gift certificate to specialty running store – Outfit the runner in your life with a gift certificate to a local specialty running store, where they can find the perfect kicks with the perfect fit.
  6. Juicer or blender – If you’ve got a smoothie or juice aficionado on your list this year, make home preparation easier with their own high-powered juicer or blender, which makes it simple to keep track of exactly what they’re guzzling.
  7. Fitness tracker – Knowledge is power, so help your gift recipient keep tabs on everything from their daily step count to their sleep quality with a fitness tracker.
  8. Healthy gift baskets or fruit of the month – For the snacker on your list, send them a nitrate-free gift basket this holiday, selecting baskets with nuts and fresh or dried fruit instead. Or for the gift that keeps on giving, purchase a fruit of the month subscription.
  9. Better sleep gift set – For the sleep lover (or the one that struggles to sleep), put together a snooze-inducing gift set with sleep mask, pillow mist and chamomile tea.
  10. Dog leash – If man’s best friend is truly your buddy’s best friend, send the inseparable duo a new leash, perhaps monogrammed with the dog’s name. And if you’re really feeling thoughtful, nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a poop bag holder leash attachment.

“Too many people feel like it’s too late to start a fitness program or impossibly difficult to change their habits, but in reality it’s not, on both counts,” Collins says. “Going to the gym for the first time ever or after a long absence takes significantly MORE courage than someone that has been going consistently for years.  Taking that first step towards a new routine is the hardest, but once you do, it is the most rewarding thing you will ever do.

“Leading a healthy lifestyle is only as hard as we make it, as moderation and consistency are the keys to success. Be aware of what you eat, cut back on calories a bit, cut down on soda consumption and find ways to make it enjoyable.”

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