Welcome to my first annual Healthy Holiday Gift Guide! I’m excited to share the following outstanding products that I’ve hand-selected to help you give the gift of health and happiness to your family and friends. And because as a busy working mom I’m all about saving time and money, everything here is available online. What could be easier? Happy shopping!
Note: I received several of these products for editorial review. All reviews reflect my honest opinion of the products. This post contains some affiliate links.
Here’s a perfect gift for the runner in your life, or anyone who enjoys outdoor activities in the winter. Eddie Bauer’s Incendiary line features their special FreeHeat Pro fabric that makes your body feel warmer in cooler weather with thermally efficient yarns, while their FreeDry moisture management wicks moisture, so you stay warmer, drier and more comfortable in cold environments. This top features non-chafing seams, thumbhole sleeves, and allows for full range of motion.
I first found out about this top at Fitness Magazine’s Blogger Meet & Tweet in October in New York City, where Eddie Bauer presented it. It was my favorite product from the event and I’ve been wearing it ever since.
I love so many features of this top. First of all, it’s made of an incredibly comfortable, soft, lightweight knit. Secondly, I like the style and that it is cut longer than most running tops. Third, I really like the colors. I’m wearing the Peak Blue in the intro photo at the top of this page. It’s also available in Black and Sugar Plum (shown at right).
This shirt is available in sizes from small to XXL in petite, regular and tall. Buy
2. The Gift of Wellness from Juicing and Smoothies
I recently ran into a colleague I hadn’t seen in a while, and was blown away. She looked absolutely radiant! She’d gotten in shape, but more than that she just seemed to glow from the inside out and truly looked like the picture of health. Her skin and hair were beautiful, and eyes sparkled. I said, “Wow, you look amazing!” She then told me she’d gotten into juicing, and that she feels wonderful now.
You may have heard a similar story from friends who are into juicing. If you’re interested in trying it, here’s an affordable, easy-to-use, and powerful blender for making smoothies, milkshakes, for juicing, and more. The Nutri Ninja Pro provides powerful nutrient and vitamin extraction performance to unlock all of the natural benefits of fruits and veggies. 900 watts of power breaks down fruits and vegetables for nutrient rich juices on the go. The Ninja Pro’s extractor blades crush through ice, seeds, skins and stems for a smooth, even consistency. All parts are BPA free and dishwasher safe.
The Nutri Ninja Pro includes two cups, 18 and 24 oz. Designed to fit in standard cup holders, these cups are equipped with convenient sip-and-seal lids. I really love the fact that you blend in the to-go cup — it’s so convenient. But what I like most about this blender is that it is so easy to use. I enjoy cooking, but I like to keep things simple in the kitchen. This blender does the job and does it well, it doesn’t take up too much space, it’s easy to use, easy to clean, and there’s less washing to do because you use the same cup for blending and drinking. Give it a try, and please share your favorite recipe with me! Buy
3. The Gift of Comfy Feet On-the-Go:
Here are two shoes I was fortunate enough to receive in the last few months. I’ve been wearing them a lot, especially on weekends when I’m on-the-go running errands or out doing something fun.
I love being active, but I have problem feet that tend to get sore, so I need really comfortable shoes. Both are great casual walking shoes and have memory foam insoles, and a comfortable, flexible exterior.
In addition, both are as cute as they are comfy, and are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Check them out — I really think you’ll like them!
Reebok Skyscape features include:
- Seamless, flexible foam upper
- Low-cut for increased mobility and freedom of motion
- Scotchgard-treated upper for protection against dirt and stains
- Unique SkySpring architecture for all-day comfort and support
- New, sportier silhouette with rubber outsole for lasting traction Buy
Skechers Flex Appeal features include:
- Mesh fabric panels for cooling effect and breathability
- Fine mesh side panels for added durability
- Padded collar and tongue
- Soft fabric shoe lining
- Memory Foam full length cushioned comfort insole
- FlexSole shock absorbing lightweight flexible outsole Buy
4. The Gift of a Good Night’s Sleep
Most of us are probably aware of the relationship between sleep, fitness and health. This year I found about about a new line from Protect-A-Bed – the REM-Fit Total Sleep Recovery System. The line was designed for people with active, healthy lifestyles to provide them the ultimate sleep environment so they can fully recover and be ready for the next day’s challenges.
The REM-Fit Total Sleep Recovery System includes the Rest Adjustable Pillow, and mattress and pillow protectors. REM-Fit protects you from allergens, dust mites and other irritants in your pillow or mattress. Its 100% natural fiber sleep surface is breathable yet waterproof, and has thermo-regulating properties to help maintain an even body temperature.
I have been using the REM-Fit system since June, and really love it — especially the pillow. Prior to this I was buying a new down alternative pillow from Target every other month. I have a sensitive neck, and need just the right amount of support in order to sleep comfortably and not wake up sore. All of my previous pillows just didn’t last long. But with the REM-Fit pillow, I was instantly comfortable and even six months later it still looks and feels like brand new. I am using this pillow exclusively from now on!
Use the coupon code remfitlife for 40% off at rem-fit.com.
5. The Gift of a Bodacious Boo-tay
You may have heard of the Brazil Butt Lift workout on late-night infomercials, or from one of the tens of thousands of “Beachbody Coaches” who are part of the multilevel marketing enterprise. I’m just going to say from the get go that I am not a Beachbody coach.
In all honesty, I hesitated to include this product in my gift guide because of the whole multilevel marketing and infomercial thing. But the fact is, this is the best workout video series I’ve ever used.
A few years ago, after I’d lost all my weight, I put on my bathing suit to go to the beach for the first time since. I’d been working hard on that treadmill, and it showed — I was skinny instead of fat, finally, and looked pretty good! That is, until I turned around in the mirror and saw my backside. It was smaller, yes, but it was also literally hanging down on my legs. I looked deflated. Flabby.
For the first time, I gave myself a good look from head to toe and saw that that my legs were awesome because of all of the mileage I’d done, but by only doing the treadmill I’d been neglecting the rest of my body. I then realized that in order to achieve a better level of fitness I really need to work on overall conditioning.
At the time I was kind of scared to change up my fitness routine, because I’d successfully lost weight and had been keeping up with doing the treadmill faithfully every day. If I made changes, would I start gaining the weight back? Would I lose momentum?
What I decided to do was to keep up with the treadmill, but cut back on some of the time and replace that with workouts from the Brazil Butt Lift series. That was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my fitness journey.
I created a new routine for myself. I used to do the treadmill a straight 4 miles a day (about an hour). I’m still working out the same amount of time, but now my routine is:
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday: 3.5 miles, followed by 15 minutes of Brazil Butt Lift (ankle weights routine from the High & Tight video).
- Tuesday: 2.0 miles, followed by 25 minutes of Brazil Butt Lift (standing and floor work with bands segments from High & Tight)
- Thursday: 2.0 miles, followed by 25 minutes of Brazil Butt Lift (Bum Bum video).
- Saturday: 25 minutes of Brazil But Lift (Sculpt video; this is my “arms day.” For a long time, on Saturdays I was doing the fun Cardio Axe Brazilian dance workout video. These days, I’m focusing more on my arms. I also keep one dumbbell on my treadmill and do a series of reps while I’m walking.)
My results have been amazing. Now I have a higher, firm butt I am proud of. Also my back, core and arms are so much stronger. This video series works your entire body, and with seven workouts on three DVDs to choose from it’s never boring.
I love this trainer, Leandro Carvalho. He says in the promo, “I promise you, I guarantee you your butt will change!” He was 100% right, and more than that — my whole body changed for the better. Thank you, Leandro! Buy
I’m the girl who, even in school, couldn’t do one pushup. I naturally carry my strength in my legs and never have had much in the way of upper body strength.
That started bothering me more as I started to become more fit in recent years. After I lost 60 pounds, I had what I called “pin arms.” They looked odd to me, and smaller in proportion to the rest of my body because I wasn’t working them out. It was almost kind of embarrassing. As I mentioned above with the butt exercises, I realized that I needed a more well-rounded level of fitness.
Another reason I want to strengthen my arms, shoulders and back is because I learned that as we age, we truly “use it or lose it” when it comes to muscle mass. In addition, I learned that strong muscles also help strengthen bones — vitally important for healthy aging.
So I started working out with dumbbells, first just with 2 or 3 pounds. When that started to get easier, then I’d buy a new set at the next level up. I’m still doing that, and today I’m using 10 lbs. and am almost ready for 12’s. I no longer have pin arms, and things that used to be hard for me — like picking up a 24-pack of water at the grocery store — are a piece of cake now. I’m getting stronger and that is so empowering! It is truly a great feeling.
With this Neoprene Dumbbells Complete Set from Fitness Republic, you won’t have to haul weights every couple of months from the store like I did. This complete set takes up very little space and can be placed anywhere, such as your home, gym or even your office. These coated dumbbells are comfortable to grip and come with a 12-month warranty. It makes a great gift for yourself or anyone who wants a convenient at-home workout! Buy
7. The Gift He’ll REALLY Like
Am I the only one who has a hard time buying gifts for the guys in my life? Seriously, it causes me some stress every Christmas, birthday and Father’s Day because I’m running out of ideas for things that I haven’t already given them a hundred times.
Well, I’ll tell you what, I am so relieved that I recently found about the Craft Beer of the Month Club. Finally, a new idea for a great gift that I know they will truly enjoy. The Craft Beer Club discovers exceptional craft brews from around the country and delivers them each month direct-to-you or your gift recipient. Every selection is produced by small-production, independent brewers who use only traditional brewing ingredients and time-honored brewing methods.
But is this a healthy gift, you might ask? Well, less holiday shopping stress is good for my health, so I’d say this gift qualifies, yes! Ha!
My husband and my dad will be getting a gift membership from me for Christmas this year. (Shhh, keep that between you and me, OK?) Buy
8. The Gift of Great Skin
Here’s a really useful tool that I just received last week and am so glad I did. I’ve been curious to try a facial brush for a long time. Now I finally have one, and I love it!
The Vitagoods Spin for Perfect Skin operates on 4 AA batteries and is waterproof for use in the shower. You can use it with any non-abrasive cleanser of your choice.
The product claims to remove more makeup and dirt than manual cleansing, to leave skin feeling and looking smoother and more radiant, and to minimize the appearance of visible pores and fine lines. Now, many products claim to clean pores and I’ve tried lots of them — pore strips, scrubs, blackhead removers, so-called pore cleanser creams, you name it — and none have worked for me. I have large pores on my nose, and it seemed nothing helps clear them. But I’m happy — no, ecstatic! — to report that this facial brush does make a difference! My pores are definitely getting cleaner. And when they are cleaner, they are less visible. I can hardly believe it — finally, something that works for me.
Also with this brush, I no longer need to use my apricot scrub. The brush exfoliates wonderfully, and cleanses better, than the scrub. I was using the apricot scrub daily. This brush would pay for itself by eliminating that need. My skin is definitely smoother and cleaner using this brush.
So far, I’ve just been using the soft cleansing brush and it does an excellent job of exfoliating. But the Spin for Perfect Skin comes with three other attachments — an exfoliating facial brush, a larger body brush, and even a pumice stone for removing callouses from your feet.
Here’s a special deal for Healthy Beauty readers: Use coupon code Spin88R to receive a 70% discount off the regular price $99.99. Final cost is $30 and free U.S. shipping! Buy
I hope you found these ideas and reviews helpful. Happy Holiday Shopping!
©Michelle Rogers, Inc.
Find out about my online and in-person personal training services for women over 40.