Healthy gift giving has never been more popular! As more and more people are embracing healthy living themselves, we are finding more people looking for health and fitness gift baskets to give as presents. Similarly, the thoughtful gift-giver is also more aware of the dietary restrictions and eating choices of their friends and family, and so they search for gifts that include heart healthy foods; foods for special diets such a vegan, gluten free and Mediterranean; and gifts that promote physical fitness.
As the holiday gifting season approaches, we know that you may be starting to think about what health conscious gift options might be available. So we are looking ahead to the winter months (which are really not very far off!) and sharing some health and fitness gift ideas specific to the winter time and appropriate for both the men and women in your life.
Outdoor Winter Activities
We all know that one of the best ways to stay healthy and fit is to engage in physical exercise. Most runners and bikers tend to head inside during the winter months, and understandably so! Not only is the cold weather a deterrent, but ice and snow can make it a dangerous surface for running shoes and bicycle tires. If you can’t exercise out of doors, it makes for a long, dark, cold winter while you wait for the better weather of spring.
Introducing friends and family to some fun outdoor winter activities is a wonderful way to find a healthy gift for men and for women. Snowshoeing doesn’t take any more skill than walking so it makes a great gift for promoting health and fitness in people who are new to exercise. Walking in the snow (even when wearing snowshoes) does exert more energy than walking on other surfaces and you can get a great work-out. Giving a gift of snowshoes to already physically fit friends and family can prompt a whole new way to enjoy the out-of-doors in the wintertime and be a fun gift that is also suited to healthy men and healthy women alike.
We recently re-discovered the joys of snowshoeing and it has brought variety into our exercise routines and really helped us to find the joys of the winter season. Our first snowshoe experience was when we were 25 years old on some trails in the Sierra Nevada’s near Lake Tahoe. It was a glorious warm morning in early Spring with rays of sunshine glistening off the deep snow. After walking for a few hours, we lunched on a boulder that looked into a valley shaped like a bowl. From that vantage point, we made the fateful decision to walk back on the other side of the hill instead of re-tracing our footsteps. The problem was that we couldn’t find the trail and then found that it was getting too late to circle back. So we had to make our way down the steep side of the hill in order to get to the valley more quickly before the sun went down. Somehow we made it to the road in the dark and hitched a ride to our car. It was a hair-raising experience, especially afterward when we realized that we were walking in an avalanche zone! We didn’t snowshoe again until about 4 years ago when we borrowed snowshoes and trekked around in the New Hampshire woods with friends. It was then that we decided that snowshoeing could be our new favorite winter outdoor activity.
During our first snow shoe excursion to Central Park in Manhattan after the East Coast blizzard of January 2016, we learned the hard way that we also needed to buy some good waterproof pants and jackets to keep us dry: the backs of the snow shoes were kicking up snow behind us as we walked hitting our thighs, butts and lower backs. We were rather soaked through on that first trip but came home happy and exhilarated! Our peak snowshoe experience was in the woods in Litchfield County, CT. We were alone and walking on snow that no one else had walked on. It was meditatively quiet and then it began to snow. Somehow the snow brought an even greater silence to the woods and we felt we were literally in a winter wonderland.
- Skiing and Snowboarding
We have lots of friends who look forward to downhill skiing every winter. If you have friends or family who like to ski or snowboard, there are a variety of options you have to promote their healthy lifestyle. Ski gear such as boots, poles, gators, gloves and ski pants can be just the right health and fitness gift idea. Gear for outdoor winter sports can get expensive, so a gift certificate to a ski shop in an amount you can afford can go a long way to help defray some of the cost while still giving a gift of fitness.
If you have a thicker wallet, you might want to consider springing for a weekend at a ski resort, with transportation, breakfast and ski lift tickets included. This gift is perfect for a group: plenty of opportunities to go off on your own and meet up later at the lodge for drinks in front of the fireplace. Ski resorts always offer lessons, to both kiddies and old folk, and can be a safe way to encourage someone to try a new winter sport, or to help hone the skiing skills of someone with experience. Ski resorts also offer cross-country skiing trails for those of us who have never downhill skied and aren’t especially attracted to heights and speed. Like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing offers a superb aerobic work-out with all the pleasures of being outside in the snow.
- Ice Skating
If you live in the temperate zone, you are likely to have frozen bodies of water in the winter time or at least outdoor ice skating rinks. Skating is definitely an acquired skill and does require practice to minimize falls and feel confident moving across a slippery surface on pieces of skinny metal! But like snowshoeing and skiing, ice skating is another fun outdoor winter activity for health and fitness.
Most of us skated at least occasionally as kids: some of us quite seriously. In Canada and the most northern parts of North America, ice hockey is a serious sport and no longer just for boys: there are now many girls on school ice hockey teams.
Venturing onto a skating rink as an adult can be a little daunting. If you want to encourage friends or family to ice skate with you, give them the gift of a day at a rink including skate rental and some lessons. Try to find a rink that is not overcrowded. Sometimes small town rinks are the best. We have a tradition of skating on New Year’s Day in Newport, RI — no tourists, just locals. Even though we aren’t very skilled skaters, the smiles on our faces show that we feel like kids again! Perhaps the best part of ice skating is getting a hot chocolate at the concession stand and watching the other skaters as you warm up and rest your weary ankles.
Indoor Winter Activities
Nothing is nicer than coming in from the cold and warming yourself at a fireplace, or with food and drink. If you are looking for holiday gift basket ideas for healthy men and healthy women, think sustenance: cooking, eating, and drinking.
- Cooking and Eating the Mediterranean Way
We tend to want to eat more hearty food in the wintertime. We do expend more energy in the cold as our bodies work to keep us warm. But eating hearty doesn’t have to mean eating un-healthy. The Mediterranean Diet has received unprecedented press in recent years as the best guide for eating healthy. Our Mediterranean Diet gift collection offers a selection of gift basket ideas for health and fitness. You can give a gift of a healthy pantry and fill it with fine artisanal olive oils, vinegars, canned fish, olives and nuts. Or you can send a gift, such as our Santorini healthy gift basket, featuring all of the finest ingredients you need for making an exceptional Mediterranean meal.
Our Santorini gift basket is a generous and healthy gift for men or women.
- Drinking Natural, Organic, and Bio-Dynamic Wines
As we become more aware of the importance of making healthy life choices, more of us are looking to natural and organic ingredients in the foods we eat, and natural and organic processes in the way our wines are made. A very thoughtful gift for health- and fitness-minded men and women is a gift of natural, organic or bio-dynamic wines. These kinds of wines may be harder to find, but there are some specialty wine stores out there that focus on more natural wines. Natural wines are made with as few additives as possible, but generally have a small amount of sulfites as a preservative, especially the Old World wines. Organic wines may either be sulfite-free or may contain sulfites if they occur naturally, although in much smaller quantities than most wines. Bio-dynamic wines are made from grapes grown in organic soil supplemented with natural additives believed to improve the condition of the soil. These practices produce grapes that reflect the terroir, or the sense of place where the grapes are grown. Planting and reaping schedules can be very strict and may need to align with a particular phase of the moon, for example. Consider a wine gift club: having a new wine to try that arrives at your doorstep monthly or quarterly makes a memorable gift.
If you are a health conscious person, you can find a healthy gift that will make you feel good about supporting the health and fitness of your friends and family. Our healthy gift ideas for winter activities can be appropriate for children or teens (except the wine, of course!), young adults, senior citizens, or a man or a woman! We hope we have made it easy for you. Remember, healthy gifting is always in style!