2010 Holiday Fitness Gift Guide

Studio 5 Health and Fitness Contributor, Melanie Douglass, talks about giving the gift of good health this holiday season. Six great gift ideas that help us look and feel our best.

The best way to tell someone how much you care is to give them a gift that keeps them around longer. Right? Something that helps them feel healthy, happy, strong and energetic in everyday life! Fitness gifts are truly gifts with lifetime benefits.

There are many options, but here are my six favorite products of the 2010 Holiday season. Enjoy!

1. Jillian Michaels Ultimate 3-in-1 Step Deck

Why it’s great:
This product has so many great features! First, it functions as a basic step deck that you can use with all your favorite step DVDs or for basic stair stepping. Second, it also converts to a balance board to help you recruit more muscle during each exercise so you strengthen your body from the inside out. It’s great to strengthen your core and boost your calorie burn. Third, this product has resistance bands that you can use to shape and tone your upper and lower body. It really is a great piece for cardio, strength, core and overall shaping.

Price: $50
Where to buy: Walmart, SEARS, The Sports Authority

2. Gold’s Gym Stayball

Why it’s great:
Stability balls are great for more than just crunches. You can shape up your entire body with this one piece of equipment. This “stay” ball is unique because it has ~5 pounds of sand (extra weight) to increase your workout intensity. It also helps the ball to not roll away as you try to maneuver through each exercise. This is simple, effective, fun and affordable! I wish it fit in a stocking!

Price: $19
Where to buy: Walmart, Amazon

3. Mizuno Wave Creation Workout Shoe

Why it’s great:
As a fitness expert, I’m always asked to main questions: 1) How can I lose weight? And 2) What is the best workout shoe? Funny, but true… and relevant.

People need a good workout shoe, or they won’t enjoy their workouts. Mizuno makes the best running/fitness shoes. Period. I’ve been a fitness instructor for 17 years, and for the first 9 years, I suffered—almost continually—from shin splints and foot and knee pain. Then I found Mizuno… they are durable, supportive, extremely well cushioned, and ridiculously comfortable (forget exercise, I want to wear these shoes all the time!). I haven’t had a problem with pain or overuse injuries since I started wearing Mizuno shoes.

Simple walking puts 1.5 times your body weight of pressure on your feet, and running puts 3x your body weight of pressure on your feet… it’s amazing to me that such a light and comfortable shoe can absorb all that pressure—and make your foot feel great at the same time.

The Mizuno Wave Creation has a wave plate that offers better cushion, rebound and durability. I don’t know of any other shoe that works for so many different types of people and workout/fitness levels.

Price: ~ $100
Where to buy: Zappos.com or Salt Lake Running Co.

4. Gold’s Gym 3-in-1 Pull-Up Bar Circuit System

Why it’s great:
This is the perfect gift for the men/teenage boys in your life! Don’t get me wrong, women like this too. But this simple circuit system offers powerful workout options. Pull-up, push-ups and full-body crunches are some of the most efficient, challenging exercises you can do to whip your body into shape. For anyone, this is a good kit that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your home – and the price is minimal when you consider how much stronger and leaner you’ll feel after just a few push-ups.

Price: $40 – $50
Where to Buy: Sam’s Club, Walmart, The Sports Authority, SEARS

5. Power Balance Performance Band

Why it’s great:
These are unique, and possibly gimmicky. I’m a total skeptic, but I have to say, after I ran through the functionality tests with – and without – the band, it was hard to deny that the band helped me find more balance and strength in basic movements.

These bands are designed to work with your body’s natural energy field. Founded and used by athletes, they are a favorite among elite athletes for whom balance, strength and flexibility are important. Power Balance is based on the idea of optimizing the body’s natural energy flow, similar to concepts behind many Eastern philosophies. The hologram in Power Balance is designed to resonate with and respond to the natural energy field of the body.

Price: $30
Where to Buy: www.powerbalance.com

6. Exerspy Activity and Calorie Tracking System

Why it’s great:
This is a sought-after gift… but can be a little pricey. The exerspy armband (similar to a Body Bugg®) uses four patented sensors that measure motion, body heat, skin temperature, and conductivity and then “crunches” the collected information and your personal body parameters to calculate your activity, steps and calorie burn.

When using the exerspy armband in conjunction with the dotFIT Me Program, you can view:
   • Calories burned
   • Steps taken
   • Physical activity duration
   • Sleep efficiency

Price: $209 – $299
Where to Buy: Sports Academy and Racquet Club, email dan@sportsacademy to order for the special $209 price

OR for $299 price (includes subscription package)

Last but not least, consider fun little fitness stocking stuffers:
   – pedometers
   – resistance bands

   – hand weights (wrapped like a lump of coal)
   – favorite workout DVDs

Email Melanie Douglass at: melaniedouglass@gmail.com

You can check out Melanie’s Tonic Home workout DVDs at:

or on Amazon:
StepTonic on Amazon.com
DanceTonic on Amazon.com
SculptTonic on Amazon.com

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