It’s Christmas time, when we think of others and how we can show our love through tokens of appreciation. Before going broke buying presents, however, save a little bit for yourself to spend on something that could do a world of good in your life by providing a bevy of health benefits. From getting off medications to finding a surefire way to cope with stress, these gifts promise more than momentary satisfaction, they may just inspire a completely new lifestyle.
1. Hire a Personal Trainer
Sometimes, the choice to workout comes down to accountability. When exercising with a friend isn’t cutting it, hiring a trainer can be a great choice. They know what moves to do, how many need to be done to be effective, and how to do them so you don’t get hurt. They also take care of formulating a fitness plan with your goals in mind. Missing a 6 a.m. workout is a lot less likely if you know there’s someone waiting for you at the gym ready to charge your credit card whether you show up or not. Just be sure to make sure they’re accredited and look into what kind – not all certifications are created equal. Can’t make it to the gym? Sites like Wello will do video-chat training sessions to serve clients anywhere, anytime.
2. Get a Nutritionist
Do you have fitness down, but need help with the food part of being healthy? A consult with a nutritionist may be your answer. A diet book has no concern for what foods you like and dislike, certain allergies, and current fitness levels. A dietitian will. They’ll give you a proper eating plan to follow and do all the math and science stuff, like calorie counting, for you. Before picking one, make sure you have a certain rapport with them so that you’ll feel at ease, know they give clear directions that you can easily understand, and explain why certain foods are and aren’t necessary. They don’t even have to be local. Dietitians like Mary Hartley, RD do Skype consults.
3. Invest in a Good Scale
The Withings WiFi Scale may be the gold standard as far as scales go. It measures your body weight and body mass index (a measure of your body’s fat), then sends that data wirelessly to a program on your computer that tracks it all. Just step on the scale and the device does the rest, sending recordings to your computer, an iPhone, or even your Twitter! It supports several users, too, and therefore multiple accounts. Simple graphs on the website show your progress, and you can also set objectives. The scale is great for athletes, those wanting to lose weight, and anyone who wants reliable measurements easily tracked.
Combine the above three gifts, add a bit of technology, and you get Retrofit. As diets go, this one is certainly an investment, but it guarantees at least a ten percent weight loss, and is based on the idea that diets are not one-size-fits-all. It’s an online platform for personalized weight loss based on science. Signing up gets you three wellness experts: a dietitian, behavior coach, and exercise physiologist. This team will give you a personalized plan, FitBit, and Withings scale, then set up weekly support sessions. Retrofit is committed to slow, steady weight loss that stays off for the long term.
5. Gadgets and Gizmos
Tracking your fitness progress is important, and now you can do it in style with devices that do it for you. An Omron heart rate monitor ensures that you’re giving your all when exercising, but not overdoing it. A simple Omron pedometer has been shown in studies to increase the physical activity of wearers. Or a GPS-enabled watch would be great for those wanting to track their bike rides or runs.
6. Biggest Loser Resort
Is losing weight too difficult in the frenetic pace of your life? How about taking a weight loss vacation using one of television’s most popular reality programs? The Biggest Loser operates three resorts in Utah, Niagara, New York, and another in Malibu, California. Find the Best awarded them the Best Destination Spa in 2012, and they regularly receive other awards for their renowned fitness program, popularity, and affordability. Guests participate in daily hikes, boot camp workouts, gourmet chef-prepared, calorie-controlled meals, and health education classes to help them on their weight loss journey. In the midst of learning a healthy lifestyle, guests can partake in spa amenities with salon services and wellness treatments.
7. Yoga Retreat
If a weight loss vacation is not your style, maybe a yoga retreat is more up your alley. Retreats range from ten days of no speaking to allow for meditation to a retreat that combines daily yoga with surfing lessons. Locales often highlight the beauty of the ocean while vacationers downward dog to the sound of lapping waves. To take a break, diversions like kayaking, cooking lessons, and spa therapies complete a relaxing stay. Pick almost any country, like Crete, St. Lucia, or Brazil, and they most likely have a luxurious yoga resort waiting.
Money can be tight for everyone at times. But sometimes, it pays to invest in something for yourself that could put you on the right track to healthy living once and for all. Plus, no one in their right mind is going to buy you a scale as a gift!
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images via Wello and NYTimes.com