Christmas gifts for health and heart



It’s the same every year. The quest for the perfect yet affordable Christmas gift is driving people up the wall. The question that always comes up is “What do I give to someone who already has everything?” Well, try to be creative and give presents that need not come from the stores, gift-wrapped and tied with a ribbon. And while you are at it, please make sure that the present is

  • healthy and heart-friendly (the less calories, the better)
  • produced with social responsibility (no products from sweat shops, please)
  • environmentally-friendly (that SUV is out of the question)
  • safe (check on the BPA and phthalate contents)

Hmmm…that complicates things a bit more, doesn’t it?

Not necessarily. Here are my tips for meaningful yet useful Christmas presents.

The wellness present
What about a gift certificate for a spa? Or a 60-minute full body massage or a facial treatment? There is nothing like a wellness present to wash away the stress of the year. Or what about a yoga session or two? Check out the yellow pages in your area for spa and wellness treatments.

The fitness present
A membership in a fitness club, a running club or a walking club would be a wonderful present. In making this membership accessible to your family and friends, you are giving a gift that will last for a year but whose effect can last for a lifetime.

As an alternative, give an indoor exercise device such as a treadmill, a pedometer and of course – the latest fitness gadget – the Wii Fit -which comes with four training modes: yoga, sport, aerobics and strength training.

What about a basket of health food products accompanied by a healthy recipe book?

The educational present
What about a voucher for a class or a course? An art class, a language course, something for the senses and for the mind. Or what about a course on safety? I once received a gift certificate for a safety driving course under extreme weather conditions. That was really well-appreciated.

Another wonderful present would be a course on first aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). By giving these gifts, you are also giving the gift of life and life-saving. Check out the American Heart Association’s CPR Anytime for Family and Friends.

The advocacy and awareness present
Now, if you can afford it, why not donate to your favorite health or environmental advocacy group on behalf of your loved one?

Cheaper alternatives would be awareness gift items, from jewelry, clothing and toys that most health groups offer in their online gift shops. Examples are “pink” products for cancer awareness or “heart-friendly” products for cardiovascular awareness. Check AHA’s Power to End Stroke merchandises.

Happy Christmas shopping!

Photo credit: stock.xchng

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