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Our fitness expert recommends gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list

If you have someone on your shopping list who enjoys fitness, it can be tough finding the perfect gift for them. You want to get something that keeps them on their healthy path and helps move them forward in their journey. However, unless you are a fitness expert, you probably do not know which products are best. If this sounds like your situation, you may benefit from a little insight from an expert.

If you’re shopping for a fitness fan this holiday season, it may be better to buy them fitness equipment than an electronic device or appliance.

In this video

BestReviews' fitness expert, Judd NeSmith, joins Gary Gelfand to talk about the best fitness gifts to buy for everyone on your holiday shopping list this year.

Gym goers/gym enthusiasts

For the gym enthusiast, a duffle bag is a great option. This lets them carry everything they need to and from the gym. The best model will have a large compartment to store fresh clothes as well as extra space to make room for gym shoes. It is also important to consider a gym bag that has a separate space to keep dirty gym clothes from contaminating other clothing and accessories.


Runners are a special breed of athlete. Staying fit becomes an obsession. The dedicated runner will face any adversity and remain undaunted by challenges. To keep them feeling their best, consider gifting a runner with a body massage stick. This versatile tool is a portable massager that is great for athletes who need to roll out their tight muscles. “Running is a very hard exercise on the body, and it’s very common to get injuries in the lower legs,” NeSmith said. “So I recommend the stick for tight calf muscles and also tight quadriceps.” 


Cyclists need to make themselves as visible as possible, especially in today's world of perpetually distracted drivers. A lightweight reflective vest not only helps with visibility but also provides a great outer layer on chilly days. The best vests fold down to a small size when removed for maximum portability. 

Those looking to build lean muscles

Athletes need an efficient body. This means they want to build lean muscles. A quality protein powder helps them do exactly that. Our fitness expert loves Dymatize Protein Powder (Gourmet Vanilla) for both its formula and flavor. “This is loaded in amino acids, and it’s very important to increase your protein intake when your goal is to increase lean muscle,” NeSmith said. It makes a great gift for someone who wants to build a highly functional organic machine. 

Someone starting an exercise program

For the individual who is just beginning their fitness journey, a balance ball is an essential piece of workout equipment. It is versatile, allowing beginners to perform a wide variety of exercises that engage their core muscles. A medium (65 cm) ball is suitable for people of average height.

Someone wanting to lose a few pounds

While there are different schools of thought on how often you get weighed, you cannot see progress without data. We believe it is best to have a high-quality scale, so you can accurately track your weight history. The best models can also measure body fat, so you know if you are losing the kind of weight you want gone. 

Someone building a home gym 

For anyone who wants to build a serious home gym, NeSmith recommends a suspension trainer. It is one of the most versatile pieces of exercise equipment available. A suspension trainer lets you perform a variety of body weight exercises in your own home. 

“I’ve designed a lot of home gyms all over the country, and I’ll always recommend to all my home-gym enthusiasts the TRX Suspension Trainer,” NeSmith said. “Great piece of equipment that can hang from a wall or even a door, and it will allow a wide variety of body-weight exercises. All my clients use those, I use it myself. Very great piece of equipment.”

Someone getting back into exercising

We all step a little off our fitness path from time to time. The important thing is to get back on and keep moving forward. If you know someone who is ready to start moving forward again, a yoga mat is essential. The best one provides a cushioned, nonslip surface to comfortably and safely work out.

Shop this segment

Under Armour Undeniable 3.0 Medium Duffle Bag

This exceptional Under Armour duffle bag has a water-resistant finish and a large vented pocket for dirty clothes or shoes. The abrasion-resistant bottom and side panels give this bag impressive durability.

Sold by Amazon 

The Stick Sprinter Stick

The Stick Sprinter Stick is only 19 inches long, so it can go anywhere. It is remarkably firm and can help relieve aches and pains in the quads and calves. 

Sold by Amazon 

Baleaf Windbreaker Sleeveless Reflective Vest

This lightweight vest is made with windproof and water-resistant fabric. It has highly visible reflective elements and minimum bulk, so it can fold down to pocket size when needed.

Sold by Amazon

Dymatize Protein Powder (Gourmet Vanilla)

Dymatize gourmet vanilla protein powder has a great flavor and is packed with 25 grams of protein. It contains zero grams of fat and less than 1 gram of sugar per serving, making it an ideal option.

Sold by Amazon and iHerb

Gaiam Total Body Balance Ball Kit

This medium-sized balance ball comes with an air pump for easy inflation and a number of workouts to get started. It is suitable for abs, back, glutes and upper and lower body workouts.

Sold by Amazon 

Withings Body+ Smart Wi-Fi Bathroom Scale

The Withings scale is a top-selling smart scale that can analyze body fat for a better idea of how healthy the body’s composition actually is. It provides accurate measurements and transmits the data to a smart device so the user can build a health history.

Sold by Amazon 

TRX GO Suspension Trainer

This TRX suspension training system is highly adaptable, allowing its use in any environment, whether indoors or outdoors.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl's

Gaiam Essentials Thick Yoga Mat

Gaiam's classic yoga mat is an extra-thick (2.5 inches), all-purpose workout tool. It comes with a carrying strap for portability.

Sold by Amazon 

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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