12 practical gift ideas for the fitness fan
Gadgets and gear that’ll make their workouts that much better
Exercise and physical activity has been a major coping mechanism and stress reliever for many during the pandemic. Whether they're a seasoned gym-goer, or just dipping their toes into exercise, here are some great fitness gifts that they'll actually use and love.
Mini bands come in handy as they can be used to add resistance to lower- and upper-body exercises. The problem is that cheap versions tend to be slippery or roll up during moves, and may even break easily. These bands by Synergee, on the other hand, are top quality: they're professional-grade, tremendously strong and don't lose their resistance after use.
Mini Bands 5-Pack, $24.95, Synergee
Grippy socks make a great stocking stuffer for barre and Pilates lovers. These dainty socks by Sweaty Betty allow for traction wherever they practice (no slippage here!) and are reminiscent of ballet slippers, thanks to the elastic strap over the foot.
Pilates Socks, $24, Sweaty Betty
Trail running and hiking during the winter months calls for proper footwear. This variation of the Nike Pegasus Trail 2 is constructed with Gore-Tex, which is guaranteed to keep their feet warm and dry on those wet and frigid days.
Pegasus Trail 2 Gore-Tex Running Shoe, $210, Nike
This sports bra, available in sizes up to 4X, by Canadian brand Free Label features a high neckline on one side and a v-neck on the other, so you can wear it both ways, depending on the desired support, coverage or styling.
White Andie Bra, $89, Free Label
Any fitness fanatic will be overjoyed to receive a Fitbit Sense, the brand's latest smartwatch model. It boasts new technologies that can help detect irregular heartbeat (Atrial Fibrillation) as well as changes in skin temperature that may be a sign of fever or illness.
Fitbit Sense, $429.95, Fitbit
Lightweight down pieces are essential for those brisk morning runs and outdoor HIIT sessions during the winter. This wind-resistant and water-repellent vest from Lululemon will keep them toasty and comfortable without the added bulk.
Down For It All Vest, $148, Lululemon
If they've been going to open gyms or attending outdoor training sessions, Under Armour's Sportsmask is a great option. It's been touted as one of the best masks to wear while exercising, thanks to its cooling fabric that allows for better airflow than traditional non-medical masks.
UA Sportsmask, $35, Under Armour
While they may look fun and easy, the instability of an exercise ball can take basic bodyweight moves from 0 to 100 real quick. This 55cm stability ball by GoZone will have them breaking in a sweat during crunches and lunges.
GoZone 55cm Stability Ball, $23.98, Walmart
You can never go wrong with a nice pair of leggings. This pretty floral version from Penningtons is perfect for those who like to look good when they work out, even if nobody is watching.
Printed High-Waisted 7/8 Legging, $49.95, Penningtons
This weighted ring by Bala (the IG-famous brand known for their colourful bangle weights) may look sleek and minimal, but it's no joke. It clocks in at 10 pounds and can be used in place of free weights, a kettlebell or a medicine ball to take those strength sessions and HIIT workouts up a notch.
The Power Ring, $117.94, Bala
Yoga blocks act as an extension of your arm for when you just can't reach your mat or when you're performing a difficult position. This block by B Yoga is made of cork, which provides more stability than a foam version, and is great for beginners and experts alike.
The Cork Block 4, $22, B Yoga
With the hype surrounding massage therapy guns, many have forgotten just how effective the humble massage ball can be. This duo by Halfmoon is perfect for targeting large muscle groups (think: quads) and also works wonders on the lower back after sitting at a desk all day.
Massage Balls, $26, Halfmoon
D'Loraine Miranda is a Toronto-based editor and writer. Follow her on Instagram @dlorainem.