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Top 20 fitness gifts for Christmas

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Fitness gift guide

Buying your favorite fitness enthusiast a Christmas gift couldn't be easier with the healthy - and ever growing - array of fitness wear, gear and gadgets. However, to keep you from spending hours perusing fitness websites and sports stores, we've narrowed down the vast selection to these top 20 fitness gifts for Christmas.

Rudy Project Rydon Performance Sunglasses

A must-have fitness accessory for Jennifer Lopez at the 2008 Nautica Malibu Triathlon, Rudy Project Rydons set the standard in protective – but stylish and affordable – high performance eyewear. Rydon's come in a wide array of color options and interchangeable lenses with polarization, color and prescription options, are lightweight, anti-fog, anti-slip and provide maximum UV protection and optical clarity. Rydons – and the Rydon II model (for smaller faces) – are available at better cycling and outdoor sports stores, eye care specialists and for online orders at E-Rudy.com.
Retail: $169.99

Rudy Project Rydon Sunglasses


Tech4o Accelerator Pulse Sport Watch

Ideal for the outdoor enthusiast who thrives on setting personal records – or trouncing her athlete boyfriend's records – the Tech4o Accelerator Pulse accurately measures speed, distance, calories, steps and heart rate. In addition, it provides the time (with a second time zone option), date, alarm and stopwatch feature. Available in men's and women's versions, the Accelerator Pulse can be found at most major sporting goods stores or ordered online at Tech4o.com. The website also has a store locator to help you find a retailer near you.
Retail: 89.99

Tech4o Accelerator Pulse Sport Watch


MBT Chapa GTX Antishoe

Revolutionary in look and function – and considered (along with the many other MBT styles) to be the first physiological footwear, the MBT Chapa GTX is waterproof but breathable, durable, dirt-resistant and oh so comfortable. What makes the Antishoe so unique? The rounded outsole that reduces stress on the joints and activates neglected muscles – the end result being improved posture and gait as well as pain-free powerwalks. The Chapa GTX comes in a variety of colors (and you can always consider a different style) and can be found at fine footwear outlets and ordered online at TheAntishoe.com.
Retail: $270 (Yes, these are pricey but they are built to last.)

MBT Chapa GTX Antishoe


Karhu Women's M-2 Running Shoes

Every Karhu shoe is equipped with patented fulcrum technology that provides a natural ride and feel from the heel strike to the toe off of every stride. Perfect for the serious runner, the Karhu M-2 is lightweight, breathable, and features Karhu's Anatomical Controlling System, which enhances the foot's natural abilities. Available at finer running and sports stores or online at Karhu.com, the M-2 will give the runner on your holiday gift list a very happy holiday.
Retail: $119.99

Karhu Women's M-2 Running Shoes


Fitness DVDs

For the home-fitness fan on your Christmas gift list, fitness DVDs make much appreciated stocking stuffers.

LaloFit Experience the FREEZE Technique DVD: Powerhouse Latin fitness guru Lalo Fuentes will take you through a 55-minute full-body workout that incorporates Lalo's FREEZE technique, which connects your mind and muscles for an even more effective and meaningful workout. LaloFit offers English and Spanish audio tracks as well as optional music-only feature once you get the routine down. LaloFit is available on Amazon.com as well as LaloFit.com.
Retail: $19.95

LaloFit Experience the FREEZE Technique DVD


Core Rhythms Get a Dancer's Body Package: An 8-DVD set that includes dance workouts as well as moves for body sculpting and fab abs. As a bonus, the package comes with weight loss, diet tips and a 30-day money back guarantee. You can order Core Rhythms at CoreRhythms.com.
Retail: $59.85

Core Rhythms Get a Dancer's Body Package


FitDeck Fitness Cards

Every fitness-themed FitDeck is a unique deck of playing cards that contains exercises instead of the normal playing card faces. Exercises have three different fitness levels to accommodate players of all ages and abilities and come in a sweat-worthy variety of fitness themes from bodyweight, kettlebell, and BOSU workouts to combat sports, Navy Seal, and firefighter-specific exercises. Much like an UNO deck, there are several Wild Cards in each FitDeck that will throw an interesting twist into your workouts. For more information and to order one – or more – FitDecks, visit FitDeck.com.
Retail: $18.95 per deck or $24.95 per deck plus instructional DVD

FitDeck


GymSkins

For the chic weight-lifter who wants functionality and comfort when she hits the weight-room, gymSkins - two cushiony durable palm-held disks - will not only maximize her lifting power and strength but also keep her hands smooth and callous-free. GymSkins are more stylish than fingerless weight-lifting gloves and are easy to wash and dry - ensuring your lean, mean pal never has to worry about the stink that so often accompanies traditional gloves. GymSkins are available in some pro shops and can always be ordered at GymSkins.com.
Retail: $12

GymSkins


iMuffs MB210

What's exercise without music? But no one wants to sweat in a tangle of headset wires. Give your favorite fitness fanatic the gift of wireless workouts. Wi-Gear's iMuffs are sleek, ergonomically designed headphones that are wire-free. Compatible with the newest iPods and Bluetooth phones, iMuffs have strategically placed controls that allow the listener to easily change volume, skip tracks and seek music without having to break from an intense workout. And for the multi-tasker who exercises while "on the clock," iMuffs deliver CD sound quality up to 30 feet away and can be used to talk over iChat or Skype. iMuffs are available for purchase at Wi-Gear.com.
Retail: $129.99

iMuffs MB210


Yoga Essentials

Outfit your closest yogini with a stylish - and sexy - yoga top from Zobha and an eco-friendly Manduka yoga mat.

Zobha Yoga Tops: Available in a variety of colors and styles - from classic tanks and halters to racerbacks, bratops and cover ups - Zobha tops are a yoga (or Pilates) must-have. Made of fitting, lightweight, high-performance materials, Zobha tops deliver unsurpassed breathability, moisture-wicking, stretch recovery and a supportive 360 degree shelf bra. Superb yoga wear for in-class use but stylish enough to be sported after class for shopping or a lunch date. Zobha yoga wear can be found at yoga and Pilates studios, health club pro shops and ordered online at Zobha.com.
Retail: $34 to $58 depending on style

Zobha Yoga Tops


Manduka ProLite Yoga Mat: Eco-friendly made with certified emissions-free, zero-waste production, Manduka's ProLite comes in five bright colors and a lifetime guarantee. A fitting gift for the yogini who wants to be good to her body and the environment. The ProLite is durable, lightweight, slip-resistant and non-sticky even after a good sweat. ProLites can be ordered online at Manduka.com.
Retail: $68

Manduka ProLite Yoga Mat


Reflective SPIbelt

Give your pre-dawn or late night runner a Reflective SPIbelt to carry her cell phone, ID and some emergency cash. Created by fitness professional Kim Overton, the 100 percent reflective zippered pouch SPIbelt (SPI=small personal items) is a must-have for celebrity trainer Kathy Kaehler, and travel expert Samantha Brown won't go anywhere without the Original SPIbelt (nonreflective). Lightweight with a sleek low profile, the SPIbelt secures items on the hipline to prevent them from bouncing on a run, hike or powerwalk. SPIbelt is available in select running and sports stores and pro shops or can be ordered online at SPIbelt.com.
Retail: $29.95

Reflective SPIbelt


Yummie Tummie Body Shaper

Not technically a fitness gift but definitely a gift to flatter the aspiring fit bod. Yummie Tummies, which have been featured on Oprah, The Today Show and Entertainment Tonight, are so much more than a body shaper – they are stylish enough to be worn on the outside instead of hiding underneath other clothing – and come in a svelte array of styles and colors. From long sleeved V-necks to stunning sequined tanks, you can pick up couple of Yummie Tummies for your best friend as well as a few for yourself (then neither one of you will have to worry about the dreaded waistline muffin top). Yummie Tummies can be found at better clothing stores and are available at YummieTummie.com.
Retail: $62 to $86 depending on the style

Yummie Tummie Body Shaper


Star Quality: The Red Carpet Workout for the Celebrity Body of Your Dreams

What woman doesn't want a celebrity-caliber bod? Author and celebrity trainer Rob Parr, who has trained the likes of Demi Moore and Madonna, delivers the glitz and glam as well as a sound 12-week weight loss and muscle toning fitness plan in his new book Star Quality. Your celeb-fit-minded pal can base her fitness goals on the type of celeb body she hopes to achieve. In addition to dishing the skinny on the workouts that have shaped and toned the industry's most prolific actresses, Star Quality also provides superstar fitness tips and anecdotes. Star Quality is available in most major and online bookstores.
Retail: $24.95

Star Quality: The Red Carpet Workout


Craft Women's Performance Run Thermal Top

Give the outdoor enthusiast on your list a Craft PR Thermal for those crisp afternoon winter treks. In black or passion (rosy red), the PR Thermal is ergonomically designed with a comfortable stretch fabric (with reflective details) that helps maintain body temperature and wick away moisture. Another bonus, the top comes with an MP3 pocket on the left sleeve with an internal wire port. Craft is available at better cycle and outdoor sports stores and Craft-USA.com.
Retail: $79.99

Craft Women's Performance Run Thermal Top

Iron Core Go Fit Kettlebells

Gift the fitness enthusiast on your list with one of the hottest tools in celebrity fitness. A kettlebell, which is a solid cast iron ball with a handle, is "it" for dynamic full-body cardiovascular and strength-training workouts that deliver fast – and fantastic – results. Available in weights ranging from 10 to 45 pounds, Go Fit Kettlebells can be found at Target, fine sporting goods stores and GoFit.com. Instructional DVDs are also available.
Retail: $29.99 to $89.99 depending on weight

Iron Core Go Fit Kettlebells


SleepTracker PRO

No, sleeping isn't considered an ESPN sport but it is essential for optimal health and physical performance. Additionally, adequate sleep can help prevent weight gain that results from tired-induced overeating. SleepTracker PRO is a watch device that detects the movements associated with a light sleep stage using an accelerometer. Your health-conscious giftee will further benefit from the PC software that uploads and tracks her sleep data over time to help determine causes of poor sleep. Even better, SleepTracker has an alarm or vibration option that will wake the user during a light sleep stage in the morning – ahhhh awake and refreshed. Available for purchase at SleepTracker.com.
Retail: $179.99

SleepTracker PRO


Relaxation Suite CD by Steven Halpern

For the mind and body enthusiast on your gift list who knows how – or wants to – de-stress. Perfect for cool down stretches after hard-core workouts or winding down after a hard-core day at work, Relaxation Suite delivers 70 minutes of instrumental cello and piano melodies that encourage deep breathing, relaxation and inner calm. Reducing stress can be one of the healthiest strategies to wellbeing and this powerful CD makes it easy and enjoyable. Relaxation Suite can be purchased at major music retailers and ordered online at InnerPeaceMusic.com.
Retail: $15.95

Relaxation Suite CD by Steven Halpern


Gym Membership

A given for most fitness gift lists, gym memberships are one of the most popular presents. Give the gift of health and fitness with a membership to a conveniently located health club or fitness studio. Fitness centers offer a near endless variety of ways to get in shape, personal trainers for personalized fitness programs, and a fun and healthy social outlet. Check your local listings for pricing information.

Sports Massage

Another much appreciated present, the avid athlete on your holiday gift list will love a muscle-kneading sports massage. Effective in moving toxins out of – and loosening up – muscle tissue, increasing joint flexibility and even improving long-term performance if done on a regular basis, a sports massage is ideal for intensely training athletes as well as recreational fitness enthusiasts. Contact your local health club for referrals to qualified massage therapists or check your local listings.

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