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Your 2018 Guide to Healthy Gift Giving

Whether you’re a holiday fanatic or you prefer a more laid back type of celebration, the holiday season is often synonymous with gifts. Those who observe the seasonal traditions that are coupled with a variety of religions tend to still spend money on special food items, decor, and before you know it, the budget can get out of control. Surprisingly enough, studies show that roughly one-third of Americans expect to spend at least $1,000 on gifts this winter.

So how exactly do people rack up so much in holiday spending? After all, stocking stuffers don’t cost that much and even if you have a large family, four figures is quite significant. It turns out that health gadgets and other associated items are growing in popularity, as the shift to focusing on one’s own health and wellness is becoming a higher priority as time goes on.

Even if you’re shopping for friends and family who aren’t necessarily tech-savvy, you can still gift them with the tools they need to improve their own well-being in the new year and beyond. Let’s check out this year’s guide to healthy gift giving and see what kinds of items inspire you to share the gift of health and wellness with those around you!

 

Popular Wearables

Health-focused wearable technology is exploding in popularity as of late, and whether it’s your spouse or sibling who’s crazy for the latest gadget, you’ll have a ton of options to choose from when shopping for them. Individuals who aren’t as interested in digital items may question what the true health benefits are, and depending on what item you buy, the advantages can vary.

Friends and family who aren’t fans of the latest accessories may not like the idea of wearing a watch that tracks their health information, but nearly everyone can get on board with something as small as a ring. With the ability to track your heart rate, sleep patterns, and of course your exercise habits, Motiv Ring is a fully waterproof, sleek ring for men and women. It syncs to your smartphone and lets you use a ton of features to customize your workouts.

If you’ve been paying attention to the sales this holiday season, you’ve probably seen that there’s a wide variety of traditional fitness trackers. One of the more popular brands, Fitbit, offers a range of styles depending on the activities you engage in. All are worn on the wrist and either mimic a band or watch silhouette, with a wealth of features to help you get into shape or stay consistent with your workout routines.

Teens are even jumping on the wearables train this year as more and more schools emphasize the importance of daily physical activity. With the ability to pair with a Bluetooth device, the TRENDY PRO is designed to help kids engage in a healthy lifestyle. Buying a high tech gadget for the younger crowd can be a risk in itself, but thankfully, this option is affordable enough to buy a few for the whole family.

 

Health In The Kitchen

Beyond exercising and engaging in proper sleep habits, some of the most fundamental aspects of our health revolve around what we put into our bodies. When brainstorming for gift ideas, we rarely think about ones that would impact our health or well-being. Instead of new pots and pans, or a fancy set of dinnerware, smaller items for this part of the home can be much more inspirational.

A simple way to promote health is to gift something that makes drinking water easier and more personalized. Reports state that nearly 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, and guzzling down the recommended 8 to 10 cups of water per day can be a challenge. An inexpensive and thoughtful gift this holiday season that will make a huge difference is a high-quality water bottle. With a ton of sizes and bright colors available, Hydroflask offers vacuum insulated stainless steel bottles that will stand the test of time.

Sometimes, drinking water on-the-go doesn’t quite fit with one’s lifestyle, and for individuals who are home often, a water purification system might be a better way to go. Whether it’s a refillable pitcher that you keep in the refrigerator, or an attachment that attaches to the faucet, the health benefits of staying hydrated will be a gift that literally keeps on giving every single day of the year.

Do you want to score some serious points with the most perfect gift this year? You may want to reserve this one for special friends only, as it can be fairly pricey, but the results are well worth it. High-performance blenders like the Vitamix have been popular as of late, with the ability to whip up healthy smoothies, soups, dips, and more in little to no time. While a regular blender may be able to deliver adequate results, these options allow you to do so much more in the kitchen in very little time.

 

Doing Your Body Right

Holiday gifts don’t have to be overly expensive as long as there’s a loving sentiment behind them, and when it comes to the health-conscious individual in your family, your go-to gift idea is probably related to exercise equipment. A quick search online shows that some of the more complex machines on the market can easily cost upward of $1,000, making them an impractical option for many.

Yet any health nut will tell you that cost-effective tools can be just as useful for maintaining a workout routine. From foam rollers and yoga mats to handheld weights and new running shoes, you don’t have to spend a ton to give a holiday gift that will be put to good use. If you want to think outside of the box a little bit, items like medicine balls or punching bags can be a great addition to a home gym.

When we think about healthy gift giving, often times it’s physical items that top the list, but with the increase in mental health awareness as of late, there’s good reason to purchase items that will help one’s emotional state. One of the best ways to quiet a worried mind is to engage in meditation, a practice that has an incredible amount of health benefits.

Sometimes it can be difficult to complete this task alone, so phone apps like Headspace make it really easy to go through a guided session that leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to take on your day. Subscriptions are available on an annual basis and work out to be less than $10 per month. A gift like Headspace can be a great way to introduce someone to the benefits of mediation if they’re new to the idea. Even for those who aren’t as health-conscious as others, it’s a nice way to let them know you care.

 

The Ultimate In Gift Giving

Sometimes the best gifts in life are ones that don’t cost any money at all, although gift cards are always a nice option too, if you’re really stuck. For friends or family members who really struggle with eating well or staying active, simply offering a supportive ear can be all that’s needed. Accountability partnering is a great way to keep your own health and fitness goals on track while ensuring that you’re there to support a loved one. Going for walks together is a simple way to start on your journey to health, or if you don’t live close to each other, regular check-ins over the phone can be motivation enough.

Actually changing our habits with no help at all can be a challenge—after all, how many Fitbits do you think end up collecting dust in someone’s closet, even after New Year’s resolutions? Getting the help and support of a professional can be essential, as it offers both education about diet and exercise, as well as the accountability factor that people often need to stay on track. Try reaching out to a local registered dietician to check if they offer gift certificates, or even prepay for several sessions ahead of time so your loved one can see if it’s a good fit for them.

When it comes to our health, we shouldn’t only reserve the holiday season as a time to buy the tools we need for health and wellness. New Year’s resolutions can be a great system for trying to maintain better habits, but ultimately, any time of year is ideal to eat better, exercise more, or at the very least, start to get properly hydrated on a regular basis. All the little things add up and contribute to a happier, healthier life. This winter, instead of trying to do your holiday shopping as quickly as possible, spend a little more thought on the ways you can give gifts that matter. After all, it’s not about the money you spend, but the love and care that’s behind it.

About Slingshot Health

Slingshot Health is a health tech startup that brings top healthcare providers and patients together. Patients bid on the cost of services and healthcare providers accept bids based on availability. Slingshot Health is unique in that it is a mutual marketplace putting both patients and providers back in control. Visit us at slingshothealth.com.