While many of us are throwing the scales (and all self-restraint) out of the window for the duration of the festive season, we’ve all got at least one person on our gift list for whom fitness takes precedence over indulgence, or who will be cranking up their regime in the post-Christmas period. Stumped on what to buy for them? We’ve done the shopping for you, so that you can get on with celebrating.
If the fitness guru in your life is spending too much time on training and not enough time on you, here’s a gift for both of you. Leading Japanese beauty and wellness tech company MTG has launched new SIXPAD electrical muscle stimulation devices in the UK, which cause the muscles to contract and relax (just as they do during exercise) by transmitting electrical stimuli. The devices – there are belts for abs, legs and arms, plus the Body Fit 2 which targets the whole body – are all Bluetooth-equipped and can be connected to the brand’s training app. So guess what? There’s no excuse for NOT skipping a leg day occasionally – especially when YOU want breakfast in bed.
Available at sixpad.uk or at the flagship store in Westfield White City.
URBANEARS JAKAN HEADPHONES
The right set of headphones will be high on any fitness-lover’s Christmas list. Here’s what you don’t want – anything that makes your ears feel sweaty, anything that runs out of steam before you do, earphones with lousy listening quality and – big gripe – a mass of wires that you get entangled in when you pull your hair back, or when you add or remove a layer. Jakan combines 12 hours of wireless playtime and minimal earbuds with clear sound, adjustable, ergonomic fit and intuitive control knob. They’re also completely tangle free – just stick them in your pocket or touch the magnetic earbuds together for round-the-neck wear. No sweat.
RRP: £69, available in 7 colours at www.urbanears.com
KNIEPP BATH SALTS
Recovery is just as vital to fitness as working out, and this Kniepp Joint & Muscle Arnica Bath Crystals would make the perfect stocking filler for someone who trains and competes. Extracts of Arnica, which has been used for centuries as a natural healer, give a post-race bath additional warming and invigorating qualities, soothing and revitalising achy joints and muscles. They’ll be ready to do it all again in no time.
£8.95, available from www.kneipp.com and Amazon, Holland & Barrett, Lloyds Pharmacy and independent pharmacies nationwide.
MANDUKA YOGA MATS
Yoga is pretty much a core part of most fitness regimes, whether it’s inner peace or thinner thighs you have in your sights. Treat your yoga-loving friend to the eKO SuperLite travel mat – it weighs less than a kilo and folds into any bag, so it’s perfect for someone who travels a lot or has a fast paced life. If workouts tend to happen at home, then splash out on the more complex Pro mat, which features a high-density cushion for joint protection and incredible support. Both are made biodegradable, non-Amazon harvested, natural tree rubber with non-toxic foaming agents and non-AZO dyes, as well as no PVC or harmful plasticisers, so your friend can be sure that their sessions are as nurturing to the earth as they are to themselves.
eKO SuperLite- £38 & Pro- £100, available from Yogamatter.com or Manduka.com
ION8 ULTIMATE WATER BOTTLE
Sure, you may be a good friend, but leaking bottles aren’t; not to anyone, especially not someone who’s relying on dry kit to change into post workout, or hoping to get a sip of liquid rather than a torrent down the chin. These no-spill water bottles are designed with a smooth, vented liquid flow and can be relied upon to be chucked in with the rest of your gym it without getting it soggy. They’re also, of course, BPA free, non-toxic and odour resistant, as well as being easily washed for daily use. Although leak-proof, the lid springs open easily with a one-touch, relockable system, leaving the other hand free to take the perfect gym selfie. Or crank up the intensity on the treadmill. Whichever.
£14.99 from Leakproof.
Hate wrapping? These patches are so discreet that they can just slip straight into the envelope along with the card. They’re highly effective, too – unlike oral supplements, which only deliver up to 15% of the vitamins they contain, 90% of the dose held in these stick-on patches is absorbed straight into the bloodstream. They’re also available in B Complex and D3, but B12 is brilliant for the fitness enthusiast, since a lack of it can lead to muscle weakness. Added to that, B12 helps the body to convert carbs into glucose, which are needed to energise workouts: insufficient amounts of it, and fatigue is the result. It also boosts the immune function – pretty important for someone who spends a lot of time in gyms, pools and changing rooms, right?!
£49.99 for a month’s supply, available from vitamininjections.co.uk
BJORN BORG CHRISTA HALF ZIP POLO
John Lewis & Partners
For working out or warming up, this rosy-hued sweatshirt from Björn Borg combines ‘pretty’ with ‘performance’. Brushed inside, it has elastic binding on the sleeve ends with thumb holes, to prevent annoying ride-up, plus a fold over feature at the high-neck so that the zip doesn’t chafe your chin and neck. Perfect for the friend for whom fitness is as important as looking great while you do it.
£35 from www.johnlewis.com
TO MAKE RIDERS FASTER
The thing about a lot of fitness lovers is that, when they’re not engaging in their activity of choice, they’re thinking about it, watching it on TV, or reading about it. Cyclists will love this inspirational book about Phil White and Gerard Vroomen, who disrupted the cycling industry by harnessing the science of aerodynamics and creating Cervélo, the fastest bikes on the road, which have been ridden to victory in some of the world’s most prestigious events. Combining entrepreneurial insights, business biography, design, cycling and gorgeous photography, this coffee table book will make a wonderful gift.
CAN$70 (around £40, payment via paypal) Tomakeridersfaster.com
OPRO POWER-FIT MOUTHGUARD
Not to suggest that any of the people on your gift-buying list might be competing in February’s Six Nations (although good luck if they are!) but rugby is not the only reason why one might wish to protect their gnashers. After all, the popularity of boxing and other combative sports as a way of keeping fit has taken off big time in recent years – as has teeth straightening and whitening, so really, why wouldn’t you try to safeguard your smile? This one is not only made from a flexible material, which is comfortable and self-fit, but also features patented fin technology and ultra-impact resistant outer layer.
RRP £29.99 opromouthguards.com
BOLLE INSTINCT MIPS 31673
Protective headwear is essential to many a sport, and the days when we’d take to the slopes with nothing more than a cute bobble hat adorning our noggins are long gone. Bolle is one of the most respected names in the winters ports industry and this helmet offers the ultimate level of protection and performance. Its lightweight construction and 360 degree fit system ensure a comfortable fit, yet it’s still super-high-tech, offering protection against a full range of impacts. Don’t let your ski or board mad loved one on the mountains without one.
CEBE WOMEN’S SUNRISE SUNGLASSES
Don’t we all have at least one friend who looks at the world through rose-coloured glasses? If they happen to ski as well, then these sunnies will make a great gift for them this winter. Don’t be fooled by the lovely hue of the lens; these glasses still provide true colour perception, as well as giving maximum glare reduction. They’re anti-reflective and anti-scratch, guaranteed to make the wearer look good, all the way from piste to apres.
USN’s TRUST PROTEIN FLAPJACKS
Perhaps your Gran will still be happy with a box of chocs when inspiration fails you, but friends, siblings and partners who take their fitness seriously will probably be far more enamoured of a supply of USN’s Trust Protein Flapjacks. They come in four indulgent flavours – Cherry & Almond, Cranberry & Blueberry, Cookie and Chocolate Caramel – and are packed with 15 grams of protein, necessary for strength and recovery.
RRP £24.00 – 12 x 70g bars at www.usn.co.uk
SILOU LONDON PHOEBE UNITARD
Earn maximum brownie points by gifting this luxe unitard: the lucky recipient will be the envy of every single person at her yoga or barre class. Smooth lines and a reassuringly weighty fabric create a gorgeously smooth line, while the high waist has a ‘hold-in’ effect, which is enhanced by the curved darts at the front. Legs have never looked so long and lean. Available in black and chili oil, the Phoebe unitard features contrast panels at the shoulders and an exposed panel at the back.