Month: December 2016

25 Top Gifts for Healthy Living

Do you have someone in your life who would love a fitness or healthy living gift for Christmas? Here are some fun ideas for them:

1. FitbitThese fitness trackers are just wonderful, I know so because I own one myself. They track steps, distance, fitness minutes, floors climbed, calories burned, and much more. Some of the models are quite expensive, but even the Zip ($50-60) and the One ($100) have many benefits! There are also other fitness trackers that would make just as wonderful of a gift for your friend/loved one. Check out them out here:

2. Dumbbells or resistance bands: Strength training is an important component to weight loss and fitness efforts. Being strong and working on building strength is a point of pride. The kind of dumbbells or resistance bands that you should get for someone else depends on their level of fitness. Here is a great article on how much dumbbells should weigh for various fitness levels: SparkPeople: How Much Weight Should I Lift? It may be difficult to tell, but I would say definitely no more than 5lb dumbbells for a beginner. Even if they’re not there yet, they can certainly use them when they work their way up!

3. Coffee mug with healthy living quote: There are so many places selling coffee mugs with cute sayings or pictures on them that will inspire your friend/loved one to workout and continue with their healthy living goals. So if they like drinking a hot beverage such as coffee, tea, or hot cocoa, then this could be an awesome gift idea for them and also very meaningful!

4. Gym membership: Gym memberships can be a big commitment that an individual doesn’t want to make but when someone else is helping and motivating them simply by initiating the membership, it might just be what they needed. For better success, choosing one near where they live and one they can afford the monthly cost would be a great idea!

5. Running or sports goods store gift card: A gift card to their local running store or sports goods store will allow them the freedom to choose a custom gift for themselves, one they really want or need for their journey.

6. Workout clothes: Workout clothes are almost always needed, or at the very least can be used in the future if they’re not needed right away. Quality workout clothes with drymore or wicking away moisture capabilities are best. Be sure to include a gift receipt in case the size isn’t right, so they can exchange it for one that fits!

7. Cookbook: A book full of healthy but also tasty recipes that they can try can be a huge asset for someone trying to lose weight and live healthier. It gives them more ideas and choices, as well as some good things to try. Cookbooks with simple recipes might be best for someone who doesn’t like to cook or prefers those simple recipes over others that are more complicated, but someone who loves to cook might want more complex recipes. Weight Watchers and Biggest Loser have great cookbooks with healthy recipes inside!

8. Mini trampoline: Trampolines are a fun way to get exercise in and make an excellent gift! They also have a great bonus of reminding the person jumping on them of what it was like to be a kid!

9. iTunes gift card: A person can never have enough workout music! An iTunes gift card would allow them to download specific music that they can listen to while they workout, music that helps them feel motivated and inspired to exercise. The gift of music is never wasted! Check out options here: iTunes gift cards.

10. Gym bag: A gym bag such as a small duffel bag or a backpack, can be mighty useful if they exercise outside of the house. It allows them to carry what they need simply and easily with them, like water bottles, towels, gym clothes or after workout clothes, workout shoes, power snacks, etc.

11. Bike maintenance gift certificate/card: For the bike rider in your life, get them a gift certificate or gift card to a bike repair shop. Bikes need maintenance from time to time and it can get expensive. Gifting them with something that they can put towards that would likely be very appreciated.

12. Exercise ball: Exercise balls are simple but useful things. They can be used for core work to strengthen one’s abdominal muscles and can be used as a chair to strengthen one’s back and abs as well. They are multifaceted.

13. Roller blades: These would make a fun choice as a gift since they provide an entertaining and enjoyable way to get exercise in. They will even help the user to gain balance, endurance, and strength!

14. Pedal cycle: The compact exercise pieces that are great for those who need low impact exercise options or simply who can’t stand for long periods of time to get activity in yet. Some choices include: Gold’s Gym upper and lower body cycles and Stamina InStride cycles. They can be used with the lower and upper body to gain strength and cardio health.

15. Reflective gear: Do you know anyone who runs, walks, or rides their bike in the dark? Reflective gear is very important in those cases to keep them seen by drivers and as safe as possible. There are many different options for reflective gear as well: tape, paint, jackets and other clothing, hats and gloves, shoelaces, and much more!

16. Fitness or accomplishment related jewelry: There are race distance necklaces and bracelets for that person who does races. There are also run shoelace tags, charm bracelets that they can add charms to that represent their personal journey, and inspirational quotes or words on necklaces and bracelets. All are good choices and help symbolize all their hard work! Here are a just a couple options: run shoe tag “Keep running” and “She believed she could so she did” necklace.

17. A hat or sunglasses: Those who exercise outdoors could certainly use a hat or sunglasses to protect them from the sun and help them stay focused on their exercise sessions without getting blinded!

18. Workout DVDs: Workout videos can be insanely useful for those who exercise at home. There is always a need for variety because for someone who works out at home, things can get boring or stale very easily. So having many to choose from and change things up from time to time is useful.

19. Phone armband: This is handy for taking their phone with them while they exercise and being able to listen to music easily while they workout. It frees up their hands and they don’t have to worry about the phone dropping from out of their pocket.

20. Bluetooth earbuds: Earbuds that connect to their phone without cords are so very helpful for listening to music without the cord getting tangled up in their hands or arms while they are exercising!

21. Nordic walking poles: These poles are used while someone is walking to add intensity and muscle work to their exercise. They may also add a level of stability that isn’t there without them! Here are some: Nordic Walking Poles.

22. Edible Arrangements bouquet: An Edible Arrangements bouquet is a beautiful, pleasing, and healthy gift for someone focusing on their health. Not only does it look pretty and make them feel special to receive, but it is also meant to be eaten and is like a treat! Here’s their website: Edible Arrangements Bouquets.

23. Running medal display: For that race lover in your life to display all their medals in one place, to showcase in pride and style! These come in a bunch of different styles and arrangements as well. Trust me, nearly everyone who loves doing races would enjoy a place to hang their medals for all to see! Here’s a cute one with a place to write their personal records for each race distance as well: PR race bib and medal holder.

24. Top with workout inspiration: There are so many different choices of tank tops and tee shirts with workout inspiration on them. Some have a quote or saying on them that inspires the feeling to just get out there and do it, and some have pictures or funny sayings on them. There are also shirts that have special designs when they get wet with sweat, which can be awesome!

25. Punching bag: A punching bag is a great gift because it allows them to get exercise in and also workout any tension or stress they may have, win win! There are standalone ones as well as ones that can be hung.


If you’re focused on losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle, what are some gifts that you would like to receive that would help you reach your goals?



How to Stay Motivated to Lose Weight

Staying motivated to lose weight can be so hard, so much so that it may be a mental workout on its own! It sometimes is such a struggle that it becomes an actual hindrance to losing weight. Focusing on the things in weight loss that are most important helps though, and remembering that even when your motivation is waning, you still have your self-discipline to fall back on!

Here are some motivation tips that have helped me in my quest to lose weight:

Focus on Your Goals

Make goals and focus on them first. I would suggest making more non-scale goals than ones that revolve around weight loss, since those are the ones you have most control over. It gives you something measurable that you can consciously put effort into. By non-scale goals, I am speaking of things such as getting a certain kind of exercise in or an amount of sessions per week, eating a certain amount of veggies or fruit, hitting your step count goals, being within your calorie range, and much more. There are so many goals that can fall under this category, all you have to do is pick the ones that work for you and move you forward with them in your weight loss journey. This method of focusing on your tangible goals, ones you can check off your list and continually report your progress on, gives you a much more rewarding way to track your progress! So don’t let the scale get you down, there are so many other ways to show how far you’ve come!

Be Positive

Positivity will carry you so far! The more positive you are, and attempt to be, the happier you will overall be. So put emphasis on the good in your life, your day, and especially the progress you’re making! Trust me that you are, and will continue to make, progress whether you see it right now or not. All of the things you’re doing to live a healthier life and lose weight will add up the longer you keep doing them. There are other ways to put emphasis on the positive as well, such as thinking about what good things happened each day and what good has come out of anything bad that happened. Looking at the silver lining of a bad situation can be very beneficial! Not only that, but everything that happens brings you to where you are at right now and there is always a reason for it! Sometimes it may take a while to become apparent but the reason is there somewhere.

Grow and Love Yourself

Showing love for yourself and growing as a person are wonderful ways to help yourself stay motivated. The more you get to know yourself and treat yourself well, the more inspired you will feel. Getting enough rest to do what you need to do, finding the time to pamper and enjoy yourself, practicing forgiveness to yourself as well as others, and surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people are all ways of showing yourself love and helping yourself grow! Providing support for other people, such as encouraging them, letting them know you care, and providing constructive feedback, can also boost your morale and overall motivation. Pay it forward for their sake and yours! However, don’t forget to seek help when you need it too. There are always people who will want to be there for you and help you when you need it, so reach out to them!

Reward Yourself

Rewarding yourself can be something super simple or as elaborate as you want it to be. Sometimes it means simple self-care tasks, such as having time alone, watching a movie you’ve really wanted to see- whether at home or in theaters, taking a bath, or reading a book. Making periodic rewards for yourself is a good tactic to keep motivated. Some methods are to reward for a certain amount of weight loss or a certain amount of time dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle, or simply just making a priority to do something when you’re able to. Some ways you can do this is getting your hair done or even colored, going shopping, getting a pedicure/manicure, going to a concert or show, and taking a vacation. This practice of rewarding yourself will give you something pleasant to look forward to instead of focusing on the less-desirable aspects of weight loss! I would also like to share with you one of the articles that helped spur ideas for myself as I got started in my weight loss journey: 50 Non-Food Rewards for Fitness and Weight Loss on SparkPeople.

Keep Things Fun, Exciting, and Interesting!

As long as you’re able to keep things fun, exciting, or interesting in your weight loss journey, the easier it is to keep moving forward. The more you enjoy the process, the more motivated you will be to achieve your goals. If you find exercises you enjoy doing or at least aren’t a total drag, healthy food that tastes delicious and entices you, and ways to drink your water that makes it an enjoyable experience, you may even start to feel excited and look forward to doing these things to lose weight! So, what interests you? What do you find exciting or fun that can serve a purpose in your healthy lifestyle? Do these things first and the rest will come a bit easier to you because you’re enjoying yourself much more than you could imagine!

Dream Bigger and Reach for Those Dreams

Don’t be afraid to dream bigger than you have before. Reach for the stars! Then go for those dreams by making a plan that you can follow, no matter how long it takes you to get there, and then take the steps needed to achieve your dream! You are worth every step of the process! Is there any dream that you’ve been thinking about for a long time or that popped up recently that you want to pursue? Those are the things you should go after. It is so invigorating and makes you feel so alive! Remember that you can do it and that you are far more capable than you think!

Stay Active Every Day

Staying active in your everyday life is beneficial to help you stay motivated and keep your eyes on your goals. Seek ways to be active throughout your day, that you’re capable of doing without injuring yourself or getting discouraged. Housework, yard work as long as you don’t overdo it, going for leisurely walks, playing with the kids in your life, playing with your pets, and so much more! Even just keeping your hands and mind active can help tremendously: reading a book, writing in a journal or as a hobby, playing games, doing word searches and crossword puzzles, putting together actual puzzles, and coloring or drawing can help you continue to move forward by keeping you occupied and away from temptations! The more active you are, the more motivated you feel to keep being active!

Remind Yourself

Remember that this is all a process and you are learning along the way. None of us are perfect and this is all a learning process as we move forward. We never have it all figured out! Enjoy the ride and take pride in learning. You will get there, little by little! Also, be sure to remind yourself what a wonderful person you are and all that you are accomplishing in your weight loss journey, or otherwise. The more you boost yourself up, the better you will feel!

What helps you stay motivated to lose weight?


(Shared to the #MotivateME link up on the Salads4Lunch Blog, and Run Mommy Run)