It’s that time of year again when holiday gift giving is on all of our minds.
For this year’s list of healthy living gift ideas, I decided to share some favorites that have helped my wife and I live more healthfully – and can help you too.
To make our list, the item had to either have improved our eating habits or physical and mental health – or in some way made life more joyful.
Here are some questions to ask yourself or others when deciding what to ask for or give:
1-What Brings Joy and Meaning to Your Life?
We know that the more things you do in life that are meaningful or joyful, the better you will feel overall. A better mindset can translate into better health habits.
If family is important to you, consider arranging a family photo session, family trip or something experiential like seeing a show or visiting a nature center or museum that can create long-lasting memories.
Picture frames can make great gifts that help you enjoy family time all year round.
Seeing family pictures, our dog pictures and dance-related items throughout our home bring my wife and I joy on a regular basis.
If you have a passion or cause you care deeply about, consider making a donation at holiday time and keeping an organization’s name front and center in your home by using items with their name or logo. As an example, the Obesity Action Coalition, an organization we support, is doing great work with their Stop Weight Bias campaign.
2-What Tools Can Make Healthy Eating Easier for You?
We all have an eating routine that can get too routine and predictable.
Changing up the kitchen tools we use can nudge us to eat healthier.
Some favorite tools that have helped us eat more healthfully are:
- a salad bowl and chopper (we love chopped salads in restaurants and can now recreate them at home)
- a searing pan called a Scan Pan for searing restaurant-quality fish, seafood, chicken or tofu in minutes
- a grilling basket for grilling colorful, flavorful vegetables
- a cooking thermometer for making sure you don’t overcook your food
3-How to Have a More Active Body at Home?
Even if you enjoy exercising outside the home, it’s helpful to have home-based exercise options too.
Some new activity-related items that have helped us do resistance training at home are exercise bands and hand weights, a yoga mat and a slant board for stretching calves.
A new pair of supportive gym shoes can also do wonders to put a spring back in your workout steps.
Certainly, aerobic equipment like an exercise bike, a treadmill or elliptical are a great investment if you use them.
The good news is that the Internet makes finding gently used and less costly exercise equipment in your neighborhood easier than ever.
4-What Can Help You De-Stress?
We know that bringing calm to a stressful lifestyle can improve your mindset and help you make better eating and exercise choices.
A meditation chair can encourage you to meditate more regularly.
A music streaming service, like Spotify, can be uplifting to any music lover; it can also help to make your workouts seem like less work.
We love our sound machine that helps us get more hours of restful sleep. Better sleep can help you better handle stress.
A kindle is a favorite device of ours that helps us enjoy reading, whether at home or on the go. Reading a great novel can be a welcome and calming distraction in our fast-paced world.
If you’re looking to improve your health habits and take better control of your weight as we approach this holiday season, you may want to check out our self-help book, Six Factors to Fit: Weight Loss that Works for You!
From my family to yours, here’s to enjoying your health this holiday season and beyond.
Robert Kushner, MD