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Gifts for Active People

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Updated March 17, 2014

It's tough to think of unique gifts for friends, family and co-workers, but there are plenty great ideas out there, especially for the fitness enthusiast. Whether they're into running, sports or just healthy living, you'll find a variety of great gift ideas for the active people in your life.

1. JayBird Freedom Bluetooth Headphones

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How much money have I spent trying to find the perfect headphones for exercise? Actually, I don't want to know the answer to that question. If you have a friend or loved one who yearns for cordless headphones that actually work, these may do the trick. They're pricey, around $120, but they're light and they have on-ear controls so they can answer calls, play or pause music and adjust the volume. They work with most iPods and the iPhone and make a great holiday gift for music-loving exercisers.

2. Fitbit Activity Tracker

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For some exercisers, there's nothing more satisfying than having some type of electronic device telling us how amazing we are after a day of activity and exercise. The Fitbit does just that, helping us track our movements in a variety of ways - Steps taken, stairs climbed, miles trekked, etc. This is the perfect gift for the enthusiastic exerciser, especially one who likes simplicity in his/her gadgets. This one is so easy to use, my cat could probably do it...if he ever decided to do more than sleep 23 hours a day.

3. Polar Heart Rate Monitor

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One of the best gifts I ever got was a heart rate monitor. Okay, I should clarify that - it was one of the best exercise-related gifts I ever got. Maybe you have to be into exercise to understand the thrill of monitoring your own heart rate, but having a quality HRM can make workouts more effective and fun. Polar makes some of the best heart rate monitors out there for every kind of exerciser, perfect for anyone who's into exercise.
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4. TRX Suspension Training

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If you have friends or family who are into fitness and love trying new things, consider the TRX Suspension System.  It sounds like some kind of torture device, but it's actually a network of straps allowing your exerciser to use his or her own body weight for a variety of exercises. What's nice about it is that it's portable, so he can take it with him on the road, and it allows for a variety of options.  He can simply change position to add more leverage to the move or to make it easier.  The basic package comes with everything - The straps, an anchor and a variety of videos.  I recommend the package with the door anchor included, which is more travel friendly.

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5. Yoga Toe Socks

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This may seem like an odd gift and you may wonder - Why would someone need socks during yoga?  Not everyone does, but these are no ordinary socks.  There's a five-toe construction, giving your toes freedom of movement, and there are grippers on the bottom so you won't slip and slide during all those downward dogs.  They also provide warmth and protection, a nice feature when the weather gets chilly and your feet are chronically cold. 

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6. Lifeline USA Jungle Gym XT

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The Jungle Gym is similar to the TRX I mentioned above, but is a bit cheaper and offers some different features. Like the TRX, it's a suspension trainer that allows you to use your own bodyweight to build strength and work the body in different ways. This is a great idea for travelers or for people who like to try different and slightly crazy things.

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7. iTunes Gift Card

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There's some controversy about giving gift cards because they can seem a little impersonal.  However, iTunes gift cards bypass that controversy into awesomeness, especially for the exerciser who considers music a workout essential.  Not only can you buy new workout music, you can buy fitness apps, audiobooks or any other audio tool to make workouts.

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8. FitBALL Pressure Points Package

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I've had this on my gift list for the last three years because it has stood the test of time.  Yes, taking two rubber balls and rolling around on them with various parts of the body may seem like an odd thing to do, but you only have to do it once before you experience instant relaxation of tight, tense muscles. The FitBALL Pressure Points package is a great gift idea for the stressed-out person in your life. The included DVD and poster show all the pressure points in your body and how to use the rubber balls on each pressure point to reduce stress and pain. I regularly give these as gifts to my personal training clients and they love it.

9. The Stick Self Massage Tool

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This looks a little silly, giving someone a stick as a gift. However, this handy little thing is a great massage tool, something exercisers and athletes always appreciate. This can be used on all the major muscles to massage away tension and stress and to promote healing. This is a good idea for a stocking stuffer or maybe for a co-worker or boss who's into exercise.

10. Trigger Point Performance Knee Kit

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I bought this kit a while back at a fitness conference and haven't stopped using it since. While it's marketed for runners with knee issues, or runners trying to avoid knee issues, I've found this kit is perfect for anyone, even non-exercisers. It comes with a variety of massage and pressure point tools that help you reach any tight spot in the body and there's a book showing you a variety of massage exercises to do for the entire body.

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