The November 28, 2016 Nutrition and Wellness team's Motivation Monday is being shared as a blog post.

 

Are you making your holiday gift list and checking it twice? Why not give a gift of health? We have all been the recipient of or given gifts that sit in the closet never to be used.  A holiday gift basket of treats is gone in a few days, except for the extra calories that follow you into the New Year. So, instead of wrapping another wallet, socks, or sweater why not give a gift that keeps giving all year long?

Gifts of health don't have to break the budget and everyone appreciates receiving a present that is given from the heart. It's important to consider the appropriateness of this type of gift and think about how it might be received.  As the New Year starts, most of us are motivated to be healthy. Unfortunately, as the weeks and months fly by that motivation waxes and wanes.  I know I would appreciate a gift to help motivate me throughout the year! Before you buy yet another token holiday gift, check out these great options:

Gifts of Information and services – whether learning how to cook healthier, or move more, why not offer to take a class along with the gift recipient?

Healthy cookbooks or cooking classes – endless possibilities of delicious recipes.

A gift of time and bonding - offer to be a walking buddy tokeep each other accountable.

Exercise classes - from yoga to kickboxing, there is something for everyone.

Dance lessons - a great way to stay active.

Gym membership or a gift certificate - toward membership, depending on your budget.

Gift certificate for a personal trainer – look for one that is certified through an organization such as American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Wearable fitness monitor - will help track daily steps, heart rate and sleeping patternsdepending on the brand.

Pedometer - if a fitness monitor isn't in the budget, a pedometer can help you meet your fitness goals.

Water bottle - to stay hydrated during workouts and sip throughout the day.

Resistance bands or weights - for building strength and maintaining muscle mass.

Bicycle - to add variety to workouts or just for fun.

Yoga mat - to start a yoga class.

Exercise clothes or shoes - to keep comfortable during workouts.

Beyond holiday gifts think about ways to influence your environment. Research has indicated our environment plays a huge role in what we eat. Think about organizing a healthy potluck with friends or family for a holiday gathering or get-together after the New Year. Consider your work environment and steps to promote a healthier culture, from food in break rooms to food ordered for staff meetings. Don't forget about the need to move more! Is there someone in your office that would like to be a walking buddy during your lunch break? Making small changes to our environment all year long can help change behaviors for improved health.

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season!