Monday, 19 December 2011 07:00

Fitness | Holiday Gift Guide for the Fitness Enthusiast

Written by Christine
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December 19, 2011

Hey, last minute shopper! Yes, I’m talking to you. The countdown to Christmas seems to get faster each day and you are probably getting frantic. So, I’ve got the low-down on some favorite gifts that, if I say so myself, your active friends will absolutely L-O-V-E and feel eternally grateful to you for. To make it even more rewarding, get one for your bestie and one for you, then you won’t have to look at your BFF with green, envious eyes as she opens the gift that you wish you had for yourself.

Here’s the list in no particular order that could appease most budgets:

Gym Essentials Kit by Lululemon $34-$48

This is a gift for the gym rat/traveler/professional. Lululemon is one of those activewear brands that thinks about the details. This bag poses as a travel kit with its hanger to go over any doorknob or showerhead. It also has tear out compartments, so you can take skincare/make-up essentials out of the gym bag to throw in the purse. And, if that wasn’t enough, it’s made with silver fibers to make it funk-proof.

Find it at your local Lululemon store or online:

Stretch Reflective LED Armband by Amphipod $14.95

Amphipod has a way of making not-so-sexy safety items look functional and cute. These armbands have a sleek light that changes LED colors at the flip of a switch. You can even choose pink or lime patterns over the reflective stretch band to make it a little less boring. LED lights are so important when working out at the dead of night, dawn, or dusk to make sure unattentive drivers know to stay away.

Amphipod products can be found out your local outdoors sports retailer or on their website:

Handheld Water Bottle by Amphipod $21.95-$23.95

Again, another Amphipod item for you. There are plain ol’ water bottles, and then there is this bottle. The amphipod handheld running/hiking bottles are ergonomically molded to fit in any hand comfortably and has a strap that secures it to your hand with a zip pouch to carry emergency nutrition, keys, lip balm, or other essentials. The bonus to this bottle is that it’s thermal-wrapped, so if you like ice in your water, the cold won’t sting your delicate hand as you head out into the elements.

Lifeproof iPhone 4/4S case by Lifeproof $79.99

If I could name one item that I own that has amazed the most people this year, that would be my Lifeproof iPhone case. It is water, dirt, snow, and shock proof! I have dropped it down stairs and on my slate tile floors. The iPhone inside (and the case, of course) has remained intact. I even livestream conferences (one way—watch, only) and listen to Pandora while in the shower and use the camera at the beach, now that my iPhone has uber-protection. I no longer have to handle my device, which I fondly call my other limb, with kid-gloves. This case literally is “Lifeproof”.

Find this online at:

Gratitude Wrap by Lululemon $118

Every yoga, dance, cardio-salsa, strength training buff, runner, you-name-it athlete deserves a cozy wrap to take her from studio to car to juice bar. Lululemon (I confess I’m a bit of a “Lemon-head”) is outstanding not just with their attention to details and functionality, but with making gym clothes that look just as good on you at the gym as when you’re chillin’ anywhere else.

One-Hour Workouts: 50 Swim, Bike, and Run Workouts for Busy Athletes $16.47-$24.99

Do you know somebody who always seems to be running from place to place, but manages to squeeze in her workouts anyway? These spiral bound workouts are some of my favorites. It takes time away from needing to figure out what to do during a workout, so the focus can be on the actual swim, bike, or run workout. has it starting at $16.47.

Blade Light Recover by K-Swiss $75

So, no fitness-related gift guide would be complete without a pair of kicks to feature. These are my favorite shoes. They are made for the athlete and weekend warrior who complains about achy feet. With these shoes, those moments will be distant memories. The upper portion of the shoe is made with compression technology, which help circulate blood back up the legs so they don’t pool in achy, puffy feet. And, the soles—oh the soles!!!—they are made with memory foam. Think Tempur-pedic mattresses under each those weary dogs. (FYI: purchase them one-half size down from your running shoes to get the most effective fit.)

If you have a non-athlete who might appreciate this? Maybe your girl who spends way too many hours in toe-squishing, skyscraping heels? Well, K-Swiss (yes, they are that company that used Kenny Powers, the character from the show “Eastbound and Down” to promote their Tubes line) also has a Blade Light Recovers in an UGG-style boot in mushroom or black.

Now that I’ve saved you a few hours of shopping time, what will you do with it? Enjoy your holidays and the season of giving -- to your loved ones, others, and of course, yourself.

Last modified on Monday, 19 December 2011 09:29


Christine Kwok, founder of Balanced Strength, Inc., has 15+ years of experience in the fitness & wellness industry, including a bachelor's in Exercise Physiology and MBA in Healthcare Management. She is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and an ISCA Master Trainer focused on developing customized total fitness strategies for individuals, communities, and corporations. You can get your very own weekly health reminders from her by texting BSI to 37619. Visit for more information or to contact Christine for further coaching and consultation.

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