Really Useful 2017 Fitness Gift Ideas

There’s so much fitness gear that you don’t need, but then there are those few little gems that make it way easier to fit your workout into your day.  Here are the gift ideas for your workout-loving friend that made the cut for me this year.  Most of these gift ideas are under $15, too!

None of these are really “Black Friday”-worthy…but you might find that you end up picking them up for yourself while you’re out!

1. Fix their sore muscles.

Everyone has them, no one takes care of them.  Be the change.

At home: buy them a set of myofascial release balls for about $14 (my preference over most foam rollers, and best for people who have tight shoulders from too much phone/computer time).  They’re also great for foot pain, sore arches, calves, legs…pretty much anything that’s sore.

On the go: buy them a massage gift certificate.  For about $75, you can get them an hour of muscle relief.  If you need recommendations for local spots in Houston that I know my clients like, just ask me!

2. Streamline their on-the-go life.

You know they barely have time to make it to the gym, so help them make it to brunch on time and feeling fab.

Biodegradable towelettes, like my favorites from Acure (code RQH735 gets you a discount, too), give them that just-showered look (etc.) when they don’t have the time for a full scrub.  Pacifica also makes good ones that won’t end up hanging out in landfills.

The best no-bump hair elastics that stay put through ANY workout (I have literally been testing for five months, and they haven’t failed me!), plus maybe a spritz of dry shampoo, will rid all evidence of their workouts from their hairdos.

A cute hand sanitizer is also a good fit for this gift bundle, and my last trick is to throw in a jersey infinity scarf – it can survive the washing machine 1,000 times, but it takes a workout outfit and turns it into at least “athleisure”.

(And if they’re the makeup-wearing type, you might even want to hook them up with a little mascara-lip product-highlighter set to help them do a quick refresh – this year’s holiday gift sets like Too Faced’s Boss Lady Beauty Agenda and Tarte’s Treasure Box are a little bit overkill, but they’re also insane values and full of actually usable products.)

3. Pack it up.

If she doesn’t have a cute gym bag (or he, but y’all with the Y chromosome don’t tend to take bags with you to brunch/dinner so the cuteness is less of an issue),  you might want to stash any of the items from the list so far in a cute and functional bag.  Some ideas: cute and inexpensive, my favorite Adidas bag because it has a ton of useful pockets (including a sweaty shoe pocket and a sweaty clothes pocket), and a workout bag that doesn’t even look like a workout bag.


4. The essentials that you know they’re slacking on.

This one is a little tougher and a little more expensive, and it’s probably a gift card unless you’re really crafty.  However, nearly all of my clients fail to replace their workout shoes on time or have the right shoes for the right job (if I see you in bootcamp in the same shoes you wear to run 9 miles…), and I don’t know anyone who replaces their sports bras as often as they ought to (they’re usually good for about between 6 and 18 months, depending on how often you wear them and how you launder them, but these four quick tests will tell you if the specific bra in question is still working…not that you can try them on a friend’s clothing).

So, if your friend works out regularly, consider gifting them $50-$100 to Zappo’s or another sport shoe retailer that sells multiple brands, or $25-$50 to almost any clothing retailer, with the stipulation that they use it for their most important workout clothing: the sport bra.  You can try taking a guess at sizes and styles, but I’d include a gift receipt – these articles of clothing are hard to size and inconsistent across brands.

5. Some healthy meals or snacks.

We are all busier than we wish we were, so a gift card for some healthy meals (Snap Kitchen is a good one if you’re in an area they serve) or a bundle of healthy snacks can help out a lot!  (Now if you can only tell me why we do this for other people but not for ourselves.)  I’m not a huge fan of Blue Apron and other meal subscription services (and I will be talking about why in an upcoming post), but they might be fun for gift options if your friends are new to the cooking game.

6. You heard it coming…


…our annual shameless plug that the best way to encourage your fit friends to work out is to get them connected to some awesome workouts!

We always have gift cards available, and they’re even the online kind that can disguise that you forgot to buy a gift until the last possible second!  Bring your friends, family, squad, “fam”, and willing neighbors to Tiny Fitness with one of the following:

So, before you buy your fit friend a barbell charm for their keys or a $200 pair of leggings because you succumbed to gift guilt, consider if any of these ideas might help them live their fit life a little bit easier.  I didn’t include some of these popular items on purpose:

  • a fitness tracking device – I’ve got mixed feelings about their utility, and the inexpensive ones don’t work all that well
  • a cooling towel – I just don’t get these unless you run a lot outside maybe? I don’t like to bring my own towel to a gym – I like to let their dirty towels touch their dirty equipment, and leave them in their dirty gym towel drops on my way out
  • ankle/wrist weights – these are generally bad for you (more on that in a future post)
  • any other home workout gear unless they specifically requested it – just because you love it doesn’t mean they will
  • fitness magazines and/or healthy cookbooks – so hard to know if they will find them actually useful

What fitness gift would you love to receive this year?! I only ever have eyes for hoodies, especially with thumb holes, but my collection has stayed at its highest allowed number for over a decade…and really, I don’t live in a hoodie climate.

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