Holiday gift ideas for the health conscious

Americans have a lot on their minds during the holiday season, and the stress of ballooning budgets and crowded calendars can be enough to affect almost anyone’s well-being. With that in mind, why not use the holidays as an opportunity to give the most important gift of all?

That gift, of course, is health. Here are a few ways to make your health-conscious friend or family member smile from ear to ear.

The Gift of Fitness

Whether buying for a fitness buff or a beginner, options abound. Exercise balls, kettlebells and resistance bands are inexpensive gifts that can help budding fitness gurus build their home gyms. If the DIY option isn’t right for the person you have in mind, try a prepaid gym membership, trainer session or package of yoga classes. Losing weight is the most popular New Year’s resolution, so spread the health.

Healthy Tech

Many health enthusiasts like to monitor their progress and chart their results. These days, there are a number of gadgets that can help keep track of your fitness and dietary goals. From wristbands that log daily activity to wireless heart monitors and interval timers, technology can supercharge any regimen.

Culinary Inspiration

Whether you’re shopping for a vegetarian, a Paleo enthusiast, or just someone looking to build a healthier kitchen, culinary gifts are always a sure bet. Healthy cookbooks and kitchenware will help them stick to their healthy habits, and you might even get a delicious meal in the bargain.

Charitable Donations

Donating to a health- promoting charity on another person’s behalf can be a great way to support his or her health-conscious cause.  Giving Tuesday is December 2 – a nationwide event that marks the perfect time for such a gesture.

If you’re looking for a unique way to give back, check out Action for Healthy Kids, an organization that works to make schools healthier places for kids to learn. In its online gift catalog, you’ll find a host of charitable options, scaled to fit almost any budget. From a physical activity classroom kit to school breakfast for a child for the entire year (students who eat school breakfast score 17.5 percent higher on standardized math tests), Action for Healthy Kids provides an easy way to make an impact with healthy gifts.

“Everyone is looking for the perfect gift for kids this time of year, and it’s hard to beat the gift of a healthier life,” said Rob Bisceglie CEO of Action for Healthy Kids. “It’s estimated that one-third of U.S. kids are overweight or obese. That’s a statistic that needs to change.”

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Staying healthy and fit is important year-round, so don’t hesitate to give your friends and family holiday gifts that will help enrich their mind, body and soul. While other gifts might be used and discarded, yours will keep on giving.