Fitness buffs on holiday gift lists easy to please

By Kathy Hansen - Contributing columnist

“Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice” —Dave Barry, humor columnist

It is that time of year, the turkey leftovers are about gone and it is time to embark on that time-honored ritual of driving ourselves crazy figuring out what gifts to buy for family and friends. Every year I say I am going to buy things early, and every November come Turkey Time I have no gifts stockpiled. With my famous inattention to detail, however, this is probably a good thing as I am certain if I had purchased gifts ahead of time, I would have no earthly idea where in my house they were located! So for all my fellow “Not Until Black Friday or Later” Christmas shoppers, here is the 2017 version of the best gifts for the fitness fanatic on your holiday list.

The Sound of Music: Everyone enjoys some tunes for their walk, run or session in the gym and no one wants to be wired up. Bluetooth headphones are a great gift. On this year’s list, the recommendation is the Jabra Elite Sport True Wireless Headphones. They are lightweight, and sweat and waterproof, so they can be used in the gym on the road or in the pool. They also come with a phone app to control the sound. They are available on Amazon or at Walmart and cost between $150-$200.

Yoga Gear: For the Yogi in your crowd, how about a high-tech yoga mat? Unlike the cheaper variety, this mat wicks away moisture and soaks up sweat so you can keep your grip. It also has an odor-fighting component to keep it fresh. The mat is available from Lululemon, where incidentally, if you shop in the Chicago store, my daughter Kayla is working to pay her way through graduate school. She would get commission on your purchase price of $68. If Chicago is not in your pre-holiday travel plans, however, you can shop online at

Fitness with Fido: If your fitness people prefer to get fit with their four-legged friend then consider gifting them with the Approach Dog Backpack from Ruffwear. Whether hiking, running or biking with the pooch, this backpack is a must. It is a dual-purpose harness and backpack that can carry water, and treats for both him and his significant human. The backpack costs around $50 “Bones” and can be purchased online at

Shoes: If you are looking to buy fitness shoes for the runner, walker or Crossfitter on your list, here are the hottest new models available. For walking or running purposes, the Under Armor Bandit 3 is a good choice. Not only are they moderately priced at $80, they have the UA Charged Cushioning underneath molds that conform to the shape of the person’s foot. This provides a more custom fit and feel. For the Crossfitter in your life, you cannot go wrong with Reebok Nanos or Nike Metcons. These shoes run around $125-$150 a pair, depending on the model.

Other low-tech gifts for stocking stuffers are water bottles, cooling towels, and socks, just to name a few. We fitness folks are really not very hard to please. If you are shopping this weekend, remember to be courteous and park as far away from the store as possible to get a little exercise in for yourself.

Happy shopping!

By Kathy Hansen

Contributing columnist

Kathy Hansen has over 30 years of experience in the health and fitness field and has not bought one Christmas gift. She can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]

Kathy Hansen has over 30 years of experience in the health and fitness field and has not bought one Christmas gift. She can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]