5 Healthy Gifts for the New Year!
As many of the gift giving holidays just passed, there is no better time to start focusing on a healthy new year. That said, here are a 5 healthy gift ideas (and tips) to help you — and those around you — during 2015!
So you know… The CDC states that an unbelievable 26.6 million adults in the United States are diagnosed with heart disease. If your parent, spouse, child or friend has shown an interest in adopting a healthier lifestyle, this is a prime opportunity to help them on their way. When the time comes for gift-giving, be it a holiday, birthday or other celebration, you can support their efforts with these five gift ideas that will keep your loved ones going strong on the journey for better health.
1. Make Nutrition Easy
There’s an old adage that says, “You can’t out-train a bad diet.” The nutrition piece of the wellbeing puzzle is an especially important part that is often the most difficult for health-seekers. Poor eating habits are hard to break, and even the slightest enticing treat can throw someone entirely off track. Many people find that nutritious meals take more time to make, and cost more money, so are less incited to make the effort. But you can change this.
See if there’s any sort of healthy meal delivery service in your loved one’s area. In Phoenix, there’s a company called Midwestern Fitness that will deliver fully prepared lean meats, vegetables and starches to your door on a regular basis. It’s very affordable, and can take the guesswork out of healthy meal planning. Depending on your budget, you can give a gift of a day, a week, or a month of nutrient-filled, low-calorie meals.
2. Avoid Increasing Temptation
Some of our favorite gifts include high-calorie indulgences like chocolates, pastries or other sugary goods; however, if you want to show support for a loved one’s new, healthier lifestyle, gifting candy or chocolate could give the impression that you don’t take his or her health needs seriously. It could also be the one temptation that causes them to give up on a diet plan altogether. Instead, go for a nicely wrapped and decorated gift basket with fruit rather than sweets. There are plenty of choices for delicious fruit baskets that will align with your sweetheart’s health-conscious choices.
3. Make Exercise Attainable
Maybe your pal has a handle on the nutrition equation, but the thought of squeezing workouts into the jam-packed days makes her stressed out. The good news is that all it takes sometimes is a little prodding. After a couple of sweat sessions, many people seek that post-exercise endorphin high and make working out a priority. Consider buying a package of personal training sessions from the gym where your friend is a member. If she doesn’t have a gym or doesn’t want to go to one? No problem. There are numerous innovative personal trainers out there, oftentimes with better prices and uniquely crafted workouts for the people who dislike gyms. Give her the means (and the accountability) to work out, and it’ll be hard for the habit not to stick.
4. Let Technology Help You!
As you might recall, I recently had a fitness challenge with my neighbors. In total, I lost over 20 pounds by staying accountable to my daily exercise and my nutrition goals. I used a FitBit to monitor my activity and nutrition. This technology was simple to use and kept me on track throughout the challenge.
5. Add Some Fun to the Workout
If you’re the type of person who likes to collect your own items and make gift “bundles” that showcase the time and thought invested, think about how to add some fun to your loved one’s workouts. If your son wants to lose some weight and has just started doing track at his high school, find a way to encourage this effort like buying a personalized track shirt with his name on it. Or if your sister just had a baby and has found Bikram yoga to be a good outlet for easing her stress and shedding the baby weight, put together your own little box of fun for her. Throw in some patterned hot yoga shorts, a bottle of coconut water and a rabbit-flap mat, and voila! Now you have a useful, enjoyable and supportive gift to give.
The key to supporting your loved one on his or her journey toward better health is in keeping the person in mind. You know him intimately, so you know whether he needs more help in the nutrition or exercise department. You know her well, so you can guess whether she’d respond better to a workout that’s gym-based or one of a more nontraditional nature. Whether you purchase healthy meal deliveries, send a tasty fruit basket, pay for personal training, or put your own package of themed goodies together, your loved one will appreciate the thought and support. And you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ve done your part to keep them healthy and happy for a long time to come.
Keep on tickin!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.