Fitness Gift Guide – Give a healthy gift this season!

With the holidays just a couple weeks away, everybody is busy shopping for gifts for family and friends. More challenging than the actual shopping is thinking up unique gift ideas, that your loved ones will be able to appreciate, and use throughout the year. Fitness related gifts can make some great unique gift ideas and help your loved ones  jump-starting a new fitness regimen for the new year.

Here are some of the Smart Workout staffs favorite fitness gifts:

Heart Rate Monitor

This is an excellent device for any exerciser looking to get the most out of his or her workout. There are many different types of heart rate monitors, but you should look for one with a heart rate strap, so the exerciser can see a continuous heart rate at a glance. Fancier models include a GPS, which will track pace, speed, location, etc.



Hydryx Workout Towel

At first thought, giving someone a towel as a present may not seem like an extraordinary gift, but this towel is pretty unique. Once you take it out of the included tube, it instantly cools to help keep your workouts more comfortable. It’s great for the gym, which can get steamy with all the body heat, or for warmer weather workouts as well.


Kettlebells are currently a very popular trend in fitness and a good choice if the person you are getting the gift for likes a challenge. There are a variety of kettlebells on the market, from medicine-ball like bells to basic iron models. If giving kettlebells as a gift, it may also be a good idea to pair it with a kettlebell video, to allow the exerciser asset of instructions in doing this workout, so in time they will be able to pick up the kettlebells whenever they’d like and do reps of various exercises! Many places, like Smart Workout, are giving Kettlebell classes, so this would be the perfect gift for someone who wants to continue their training at home!

Personal Training Sessions or Gym Membership

Personal Training sessions are a great gift if your loved one has expressed interest in training but is reluctant to spend money, or intimidated to sign up on their own. Every trainer charges a different fee for their services, ranging from about $50.00 to $100.00 per session. This is a great idea for anyone looking for more personalized workout sessions. You may want to first purchase only one or two sessions for them, and let them decide if they want more. Like the gift of personal trainings, a gym membership is a good gift idea only if the person has been talking about it and considering it for some time, but for one reason or another, has not yet signed up for it. There are tons of different gyms to consider, so find out what type the person is looking for (size, location, small group classes offered.) Another option is to get them a coupon for free tours of gyms nearby and let them browse first before you buy.

Many gyms also offer a package that will help a person jump start a fitness routine. Especially if a friend or family member expressed interest, a package like Smart Workouts 6-Week Shape up or Fitness Vacation. The 6-week shape up combines classes and personal training, while the Fitness Vacation combines classes, nutritional education and lectures and some fun activities around NYC!

Healthy Dieter BasketHeart-Healthy Holidays Gift Basket

Found on, this basket includes all kinds of healthy foods including green tea, soy coffee, smoked salmon, soy chips, and dried fruit. Also included is a pedometer and a guided weight loss CD. This particular basket is $85.00, but it can launch a great idea for to make you own unique healthy basket for a loved one as a gift, working with your own budget and making it as inexpensive or pricey as you wish!


Happy Shopping from Smart Workout!

-written by Victoria Arrigo, Fitness Asisistant

Fitness on the Go: Isometrics

We all know that variety in training yields many benefits. We have looked around for different training tools and techniques. With all of this looking, there is a method of strength training which often gets overlooked. This is isometrics.
Isometrics, or static contractions, are not movements like those done when lifting weights. They are muscle contractions putting pressure against a stationary counter-resistance. Isometrics can be performed in routines without rest days, and won’t make you break a sweat.

Here are three isometric exercises to supplement your routine. They can be done anywhere and will give your muscles some light work in between training sessions. Hold these contractions for up to twelve seconds and do these exercises in sets. Always remember to focus on the muscles you are working during any resistance exercise.

1. Chest Press: Hold your hands together in front of your abdomen and press them together, flexing your chest muscles (pectorals).

2. Static curl: Grasp your right hand with your left. With your right arm at your side, bend it to a ninety degree angle at the elbow. Simultaneously press down with your left hand and pull up with your right hand, for a static contraction of your right bicep. Switch sides.

3. (You will need a towel for the third exercise). Hold the towel behind your back with your left elbow by your ear and your right elbow down at your side. With your left elbow fully flexed, and your right elbow bent, simultaneously pull up with your left hand and pull down with your right, creating a static contraction in your right triceps. Switch sides.

Performing isometrics alone will not give you a full workout, and it is difficult to measure the progress you can achieve through the execution of isometrics, but their convenience is unmatched.

the Plank is also a Isometric Exercise

by: Drew Martin, Smart Workout Fitness Assistant

Trainer Tips – Key exercises for Skiing

No matter where you are in the country, Im sure you’ve been affected or know someone affected by the massive snowstorm here on the East Coast. Since Smart Workout is located in midtown Manhattan, we’ve seen a healthy dose of white flakes.

While the snow can hinder your travel plans, there are many wonderful (and effective) ways to exercise in the powder.  Finding a winter sport or exercise is a great way to lose weight, and keep off the pounds during the cold, and usually lazy winter months.

Here at Smart Workout, we’ve  developed a Sport-specific training program that helps to enhance performance in numerous popular sports. Senior Fitness Assistant, Gilly Rinaldo has picked her top three exercises to help performance in one of her very favorite winter sports- skiing.

In the video, Gilly introduces 3 great exercises; The Bosu Torso Twist, Band Hops and Lateral Raise with Rotation. These 3 exercises will help to strengthen the core, improve balance and  stability,  and increase cardio endurance.

-Gillian Rinaldo is a Certified Group Fitness and Pilates Instructor