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7 Splurge-Worthy Gifts to Buy for Yourself and Your Health This Year

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.
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The Ultimate Zumba Gift Guide

If you’ve got a Zumba fanatic on your holiday shopping list this year, look no further. We’ve gathered a list of goods that every Zumba lover out there would be ecstatic to receive.

Exhilarate Body Shaping System (DVD set of 5)

These at-home workout DVDs will get their body dancing into shape. The original set contained only four DVDs, but this bonus set includes a fifth (20 minute warm up) plus a set of toning sticks. Each DVD contains a different workout with multiple intensity levels for the beginners, intermediates, and advanced. Also included is a 10-day weight-loss program for the Zumba lover to take advantage of. What a deal!


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Best Black Friday Deals for Fitness Gear

We’re only a few days out from the biggest shopping day of the year. That’s right, Black Friday is just two days away. Have you made your shopping list?

You probably never thought about the calories you burn during your Black Friday extravaganzas, but you should because it can actually be a beneficial workout to help burn off your Thanksgiving indulgences. A 140-pound person can burn up to 226 calories just by standing for three hours, and some of those door-buster lines will no doubt last that long. That same person can burn up to about 982 calories when shopping for five hours (this includes the average estimated standing time as well). Needless to say, going out on Black Friday could be a way to help burn off the estimated 3,000 calories we consume on Thanksgiving Day.

To reduce your chances of holiday weight gain even further, we combed through the Black Friday ads and found impressive deals on fitness gear, kitchen appliances, and more that will help you stay on track with you health and fitness goals.

Aspire Yoga Products: 25% off at Sports Authority. We’re giving away a yoga prize pack valued at $240!

Wieder 3-Piece Kettlebell Kit
: Found at Sears for only $29, which saves you $20.

BodyFit Medicine Balls: BodyFit will be 50% off at Sports Authority

Sodastream Geness Soda Maker
: With the purchase of this item at Target you will receive a $20 gift card. The flavors, which are sold individually, are also on sale for buy two flavors get one free.
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2012 Holiday Gift Guides: Shop and Win This Year’s Hottest Fitness and Foodie Gear

Not only do we get to help you through your gift-giving list by playing personal shopper, but we also get to play Secret Santa. Talk about two jobs we love!

Click through to each gift guide to see all 50 gift ideas and where to buy each item. Plus, enter to win each of the five gift guide prize packs, valued at almost $1800. For the first time ever, we’re giving you FOUR chances to win EACH gift guide, by commenting, Tweeting, Pinning, and sharing on Facebook.

We’ve sought out the best gear that makes the best gifts for every person on your list. Once again, we’ve filled five separate gift guides with the coolest stuff of the year for runners, foodies, yogis, gym rats, and of course healthy, active kids!

It’s our best giveaway of the year for the most wonderful time of the year!

View Gym Rat Holiday Gift Guide 2012 Slideshow

Gym Rat Prize Pack: Inflatable stand-up paddle board from West Marine, weight lifting gear from Harbinger, Candi Factory panties, Moso air purifying bags, Contigo water bottle, DOD Fitness Donuts, and a Wello 30-minute personal training session. Value: $776.90

View Runner Holiday Gift Guide 2012 Slideshow

Runner Prize Pack: UA Spine RPM Storm shoes, Omron pedometer, Mile22 race bag souvenir bag, Flight001 shoe bag, My Arm Pocket, My Ring Guard, Gel-Bot, 2 8-packs of Gu, and Gold Bond’s Friction Defense. Value: $360.10

View Yogi Holiday Gift Guide for 2012 Slideshow

Yogi Prize Pack: custom Yogamatic yoga mat, Portable Pilates kit, 30-minute personal yoga session on Wello, The Big Book of Yoga, ToeSox, Yummi Yogi tree pose cookie cutter, Elements yoga DVD, and a Moso air purifying bag. Value: $240.42

View Foodie Holiday Gift Guide 2012 Slideshow

Foodie Prize Pack: Ninja Professional blender, Black+Blum Soup Pot, Canadian Maple Syrup gift pack, and a copy of Taste of Home Best Loved Recipes. Value: $157.98

View Healthy Kids Holiday Gift Guide 2012 Slideshow

Healthy Kids Prize Pack: Zoku Quick Pop Maker, JumpSport iBounce, Unreal Candy sampler pack, Contigo Kids water bottle, Sip’n Spoons, Copy Kids DVD, and 4-pack of Little Green Pouches. Value $241.30
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Oprah’s Favorite Things Returns with 6 Items for a Healthier Lifestyle

In 1996 Oprah greeted her audience with a treasure trove of free gifts and prizes as she debuted the hottest giveaway daytime TV had ever seen. Oprah’s Favorite Things has grown to be the stuff of legends, and people would give arms and legs to have a seat and a chance to take home the media mogul’s top picks for holiday gifts. Oprah’s a giver, a giver of high-quality, high-end, premium gifts and it’s hardly anything you’d find on a clearance rack.

Since the end of her wildly popular daytime talk show, Oprah’s Favorite Things has faded in to TV history. But now through her OWN network, O Magazine, and a new partnership with Huffington Post, Oprah’s breaking the two-year hiatus with the announcement of 48 items on the 2012 Favorite Things list.

Some of it is quite posh and not likely to make it on to the holiday budget of most of her fans (like a nearly $2,000 Jetson-style battery-powered scooter), but some of it is completely in reason. Even better, a few items on her list are even good for you!

Top of the list is the Q37ci elliptical trainer. It’s a pricey addition to a home gym at $3,099, but it certainly pays for itself with dedicated use. She says her trainer Bob Greene turned her on to it and she loves the various options for total body workouts in one machine.
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