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

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 Wellbaskets.com, 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

To Snack or not to Snack: That is the Weight Loss Question

To be or not to be. That used to be the age-old question. However, in todays weight-loss world it is now, To snack or not to snack. That is the question.

More books by more qualified RDs, Doctors, Health Counselors and Weight Loss clinics are coming out every day telling you how you should eat. Articles and research are continually published defending all of these ways of eating. So who’s right?
The actual science behind losing weight is not all that complicated: Calories in must be less than calories out to lose weight. The real struggle with weight loss is not that people don’t necessarily know what to do- its the path to get there.
For some people eating 3 meals a day with enough calorie and nutrient balance is just not logical. A nurse who works a 12-hr shift may not necessarily have the time to sit for a 45minute lunch. Having a smaller meal and a snack may suffice better. A person who has an 8 hour work day and then does a very hard workout (like training a run in training for a marathon) in the evening may not have the energy to make it through their workout if the last thing they ate was at noon and the workout is at 6:30. In these 2 cases snacking in between smaller meals make sense.

However, a person who has a job where they are at their desk and rarely moves, 3 meals may be a better option. If you create a meal that is balanced and nutrient dense, then the idea of snacking may be hindering your weight loss goals. You may have enough calories in just those three meals, and the time between those meals may be enough to satiate you before your next meal.

Like most things, its all about balance. If you are feeling ravenous, and your next meal is hours away, then maybe a snack is appropriate. We also shouldn’t be married to the same way of eating every day.  For example, when you’re stressed you may snack more. If you know you have a stressful project coming up- it may be wise to not make any larger meals for that day/days. If you know you’re not going to an intense workout after work, maybe you skip the afternoon snack that day.

Weight loss can be tricky, and that is why it can be difficult. Having a good support system, whether it be a significant other, friends, family, or a health counselor like the one you would work with in Smart Workouts Weight Loss Program its critical to have a sounding board to help you along the way.

Most important, you need to create a way of eating that works for you. Just because your friend thrives on a certain diet, and your aunt swears by a completely different way of eating, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Its important to find your very own diet- the ME diet.

So, To snack or not to snack. Thats up to you!