Best gifts to encourage fitness and health

Last Updated December 2019

These days there’s bound to be at least one fitness-obsessed (or gym-curious) person on your list. We’ve compiled a roundup of quality fitness items that your loved one is sure to appreciate. There’s something for everyone, whether they’re just starting their exercise journey or are old pros preparing for a new challenge.

More than just a fitness tracker

$344 at Amazon

The 4th gen Apple Watch is an excellent fitness partner for your loved one. This model comes equipped with automatic workout detection and an electrical heart sensor. The watch is particularly handy for runners who will receive cadence and pace alerts mid-exercise and who only need to glance at their wrist to see up to five performance metrics.

The best pure fitness tracker — bar none

$199.98 at Dick’s Sporting Goods

The Garmin Forerunner is a solid option for serious runners. They’ll love that it’s optimized for indoor and outdoor exercise. It even offers multisport profiles so they can toggle between running, indoor running, cycling, and cardio activities. The Forerunner comes equipped with built-in GPS, which tracks time, distance, pace, heart rate, and calories burned.

Great for low-impact workouts

If someone on your list is building a home gym, consider getting them a set of resistance bands. Regardless of their preferred method of exercise, resistance bands are versatile tools that can easily be incorporated into any workout. This 12-piece set comes with five exercise bands of varying resistance levels so your loved one has room to improve.

For the home-workout fan

A kettlebell set is a welcomed addition to any home gym. The kettlebell is an incredibly versatile piece of equipment that can aid in toning many muscle groups. Recently, kettlebell workouts have gained popularity with female athletes. This kettlebell set from Rep Fitness would make a thoughtful and much-appreciated gift for the gym rat in your life.

Trendy and dynamic

$149.95 at Amazon

Another versatile piece of exercise equipment, the Bosu Ball makes a great gift for someone who prefers low-intensity exercise or who plans to continue physical therapy exercises at home.

Essential for recovery

$59.99 at Dick’s Sporting Goods

We are big fans of foam rolling and we suspect the exercise enthusiast on your list will be too, when they try this foam roller. While the foam roller is designed to massage muscles, it can double as yet another useful piece of exercise equipment, particularly for targeting the core.

A classic

$34.95 at Dick’s Sporting Goods

If you’re looking for affordable gifts for the fitness enthusiast in your life, we recommend a Hydro Flask water bottle. We love that the Hydro Flask keeps cold liquids cold and hot liquids hot. We also like that this model has an easy-to-hold screw-on top with a handle. 

Professionals swear by it — and so do we

$349.00 at Dick’s Sporting Goods

For the seriously dedicated athlete, this percussion massage gun will provide a welcome respite from muscle soreness and stiffness. Definitely not for the faint of heart, this self-myofascial release tool shoots the massaging applicator at a high velocity.  

Calling all yogis ...

$34.43 at Amazon

For the yogi in your life, we’d recommend gifting this extra-thick reversible yoga mat. With over twenty colorful mats to choose from, we’re sure you’ll find one that perfectly matches your loved one’s personality.

Premium home workout machine

If your loved one is looking for an at-home exercise routine that will work out multiple muscle groups, we recommend gifting them a rowing machine. An indoor rowing machine offers an excellent full-body workout, which they can enjoy all year round. This model offers a monitor that can track real-time data throughout the exercise.

For when there just isn't enough daylight

If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer for the runner on your list, we recommend a reflective running vest. While this gift may not be the most exciting item they receive this season, it’s sure to be one of the most useful.

Dogs love exercise too

If there’s someone on your list who loves running with their dog, consider getting them this hands-free dog leash, Tuff Mutt. The leash comes in a variety of colors, but each version is made with reflective thread so your human friend and their dog friend will be easy to spot at all times.

The best headphones for working out

$249 at Amazon

We already loved Apple’s original Airpods for working out, because they pair with your Apple Watch so you don’t have to bother bringing your phone on a workout. And we like the Airpods pro even more because they come with different sizes of silicone tips to ensure they have the perfect fit; plus, they finally have noise-canceling capability.

Get in on the newest trend

$2,995 at Tonal

For the person on your list who has to have the latest and greatest, we suggest Tonal, the next-generation home gym. Like Peloton, Tonal is part home gym, part trainer. When your loved one mounts Tonal to the wall of their home gym, they’ll have access to 200 pounds of resistance and hours of targeted workouts. 

Yoga pants for all your barre and yoga needs

For the woman on your list who is looking to update her exercise wardrobe, we’d suggest this pair of yoga pants by Zella. You can’t go wrong with the classic pair of high-waisted black pants. Zella offers this pair in plus sizes and makes a similar pair for pregnant women.

We love this look

$48.00 at Nordstrom

When you’re sweating through an intense classroom workout, it can feel nice to wear a loose-fitting tank. If your loved one likes to take barre, pilates, or interval classes, this would be a great gift to help build their exercise wardrobe.

You always need something to sweat in

This moisture-wicking performance jersey tank would make an excellent gift for athlete on your list. This classic racerback can be easily paired with colorful yoga pants or neutral joggers — an extremely versatile wardrobe essential.

A top-flight essential

This sports bra checks all our boxes: supportive, comfortable, and made from recycled water bottles. Girlfriend Collective is having a moment right now, and for good reason: their bras, which double as crop tops, support you however you choose to move.

Just because they're so comfortable

Jogger-style sweatpants became popular during the recent athleisure trend, and while we love them for lounging on the couch, they’re also great for their intended purpose: working out. Whether you’re gifting for someone who prefers athletics or leisure, they’ll put these fleece pants to use.

Great for layering

A long-sleeve half-zip is basically a required part of any exerciser’s uniform. It’s great because it can be worn on its own or on top of short sleeves, so it’s versatile as temperatures change. Plus, it keeps the wearer both warm and dry, which is critical when working up a sweat.

Affordable and functional

Nike’s Dri-Fit line offers a simple sleeveless tank designed for peak performance with moisture-wicking material - a perfect addition to any fitness junkie’s arsenal.

For spin class

This gift will help the recipients get the most out of their spin classes and save them money on shoe rental. Renting shoes at every class adds up! These shoes are suitable for beginners and are designed to provide comfort over long periods of use.

These cycling shoes were made for men, so if you know a man who loves to spin, consider buying him these. They look and feel good, plus they’ll help him take things to the next level in spin class.

Don't forget the shorts

$30 at Adidas

Although cycling shorts aren’t technically required for a spin class, they’re a great gift for the person who wants to look and feel like a real pro. Plus, they’re having their moment in the fashion world right now, so they can even be worn off the bike too.

For yogis

There’s just something inspirational about slipping on new workout clothes. This tank top, made by Alo, is designed with yogis in mind. It breathes well, so it’s perfect for hot yoga, and it has all the stretch you’d expect. 

A modern approach to sweatpants

If you’re buying for someone who’s still wearing loose, baggy sweatpants to the gym, do them a favor and bring them up to speed with the latest style. We like these because they aren’t as tight as some others, so they’d make for a great transition pair for the people who prefer a more traditional cut.

Get to the gym or go on a run

Clothes for working out are great — but you still need something to wear to the gym. This jacket is a great option for your walk to the gym and your evening run. You don’t have to worry about losing track of your keys or other small essentials thanks to the pockets that are designed for securing items while you’re on the move.

Great for working out (or not)

We love this as a gift because it’s great gym attire — or just a worthwhile hoodie for lazy Sundays. The branding on it is subtle, so you get the best of both worlds: Nike quality without having to feel like a billboard.

Can never have too many of these

Any fitness fanatic will tell you that the process doesn’t end in the gym. There are advantages to using the right supplements and having a holistic process. And since shaker bottles can easily be misplaced or overused, you can never have too many on hand. This bottle is a great gift for the person who loves to work out and also loves superhero movies — making it doubly special.

Keep them hydrated on the go

$49.99 at Dick’s Sporting Goods

This makes for a great gift for any hiker, cyclist, or trail runner on your list. It’s made by the pioneer of the technology and is an ideal price for a gift at around $50. We love its lightweight build and how easy it is to provide hydration when you’re out in the elements. It’s also designed to ventilate, so it won’t add any heat to the user’s body when they’re working out.