Fitness Gifts for $100 or Less

By Eve Lees

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Looking for a unique gift idea? Consider the gift of health. A fitness gift that's suitable and well-chosen can promise health benefits that last a lifetime. If your budget is limited, don't worry. There are plenty of ideas for under $100.

Exercise elastics come in various lengths and tensions, priced anywhere from $5 to $40. They offer an effective muscular workout, to tone, strengthen and improve muscular endurance. Some come with a wall chart illustrating various exercises. Elastics are small, lightweight, and easy to pack, making them ideal for travelling.

Stretching or yoga mats are another great gift idea since anyone can practice stretching, even those recovering from an injury. There are various designs and materials to choose from, beginning from around $20. Many come with exercise and stretching charts, and some even have exercise illustrations printed on their surfaces. Features to look for: wipeable surfaces, foam padding, and perhaps the convenience of handles or a carrying strap.

Mini trampolines, also called mini rebounders, provide an effective, low-impact cardiovascular workout. They take up very little space and are easy to store. Jogging on a mini trampoline offers as good a workout as brisk walking or running – but with less impact on the joints. Even those who are more fit can get a good workout by lifting the knees higher, and pumping their arms as they "jog." Cost is about $40 to $80.

Hand grippers are an inexpensive gift idea for developing hand power. It's a suitable gift for golfers, bowlers, baseball players, climbers or anyone else who requires grip strength. They are also a good idea for those recovering from carpal tunnel syndrome, or other hand and wrist injuries. Designs vary and prices range from $5 to $30.

Small hand-held weights or even Kettle bells (an alternate to using standard dumbbells) can range in price from $5 to $80, depending on the amount of weight, and whether they are made from chrome, metal or vinyl.

Wrist and ankle weights cost from $15 to $30. Consider buying one set at a time to gradually help the gift-getter build a full collection of various weight increments. Accompany the gift with a book on basic weight training exercises, written by a credible fitness professional. Or perhaps buy them a session or two with a personal trainer, to help them learn how to use their new weights.

Beginner or avid runners and walkers will always appreciate a gift certificate to a specialty athletic footwear store. And gift certificates for fitness clothing will please any fitness enthusiast.

Make sure you know the gift-getter well. Their exercise tastes and level of fitness may require a more suitable gift than, say, giving a beginner book on jogging to a veteran runner! They may also have an injury that could be aggravated by using your gift. If you're not sure, consider a gift certificate.




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