It's tough to stay active during the holiday season, but stocking up on exercise equipment gifts for yourself and your friends can help you stay motivated despite the holiday hubbub. Invest in equipment that has stood the test of time and has proven to be both effective and fun.
Growing up I used to play on my grandmother's mini trampoline, and the instant I saw these trampoline receive mass marketing, I knew I had to have one. When used correctly by adults mini trampoline workouts can increase your heart rate and improve balance. They're also a lot of fun—just set it up in your living room in front of your TV and bounce away while watching your favorite shows. Pick one online for less than $50—just remember even mini trampolines can be dangerous for kids, so store yours somewhere away from the little ones.
Jumping rope is one of the most effective, calorie-burning cardiovascular workouts around, but unless you have a lot of space and high ceilings, you probably don't feel comfortable jumping rope inside your house. The Airope changes all that by providing you with a piece of home exercise equipment that functions like a jump rope without the long, cumbersome rope. If you have the space but lack motivation try a jump rope workout like RopeSport which will teach you everything you need to know about FreeStyle JumpRoping.
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Stamina 36 lb. Adjustable Kettle Versa-Bell
Kettlebells may seem like the latest fitness trend, but they've actually been around for several hundred years. According to a study by the American Council on Exercise, a 20-minute kettlebell workout can burn as many calories as running at a six mile-per-hour pace. If you, or someone on your gift list is interested in trying a kettlebell routine, consider picking up the 36 pound adjustable kettle versa-bell system from Stamina. This system allows you to add or remove individual weight plates from the kettlebell to adjust the resistance, without having to buy separate, static kettlebells. The 36 pound system is currently available for $149.
If you regularly walk or jog, but you're never sure how far you've gone or how many calories you've burned, the Nike+ Sportband takes the guesswork out of your workout. For $59.00 you receive a sensor to place in your shoe and a wristband to wear while working out. The sensor will detect how far, at what pace, and for how long you've exercised, as well as the number of calories you've burned. The sensor transmits that information to the display on your wristband, helping you stay motivated. You can also take advantage of the wristband's built-in USB device to upload your workouts to your computer to track your progress.
BOSU Balance Trainer
The BOSU ball's acronym, "Both Sides Utilized," tells the whole story about the dome-shaped half-ball with a hard, flat platform on one side. You can use either side of the ball for stepping, strengthening and balance training exercises, providing you with a full-body workout with a single piece of equipment. Whether you're a novice or an expert, the BOSU balance trainer will help you meet your fitness goals. Prices range from $99.00 to $250.00, depending on the package you choose to purchase.
Other Gift Ideas
Think carefully about the people you're buying for: Do they like spending time outdoors? Do they enjoy trying new things? What's their favorite color? When it comes to purchasing home exercise equipment, it's hard to go wrong as long as you're considering your friend's personal preferences.
Other great gifts include:
- Emergency contact wristbands
- Stability ball
- Waistbelt with water bottle attachment
- Bright-colored dumbbells
- Aerobic step
- Foam roller
- Yoga mat and carrier
- Home exercise DVDs
Purchase a training plan as a holiday gift.
Laura Williams writes about exercise and fitness for Exercise.com through her regular column "Exercise Science". She is currently completing her master's in Exercise Science.