When you need the motivation to work up a sweat, challenge your body or stick to a healthy meal plan, your fitness-minded friend is your cheerleader. Always there to support you, give you a pep talk or just be by your side as you struggle through a plank, you couldn’t do it without them. Show them how much you value them with these health and exercise gifts that improve their workouts.
From super-cool, under-the-water workouts to must-haves for their home gym, our picks for fitness gifts are top-rated, vetted by professionals and sure to get them moving. Need more gifts ideas? Check out our favorite gift ideas for men, gift ideas for women, Amazon gifts and ultra-practical gifts.
Staying hydrated is not only crucial for workouts but for daily life and vitality. Our pick for the best water bottle came out on top, thanks to its durability, fantastic chug cap and stellar thermoregulation.
Certified nutritionist, vegan chef and the founder of Yhorlife, Adylia-Rhenee Gutierrez is obsessed with the weighted, wearable bangles from Bala. Available in a wide range of colors, weights and styles, they make for a unique and creative gift for your pal who is always looking to up their fitness game. She prefers the 1-pound option because you can easily wear them all day on your wrists or ankles. “I love them because they are so lightweight you don’t have to worry about moving wrong and causing injuries,” she says. “Plus, the cute colors motivate you to want to move and bring them with you everywhere!”
We all know that meal prepping is an important part of achieving health and fitness goals, but let’s be real: It can get boring and tedious. If you want to encourage your friend to join you on your health kick, gift them this four-pack of bento box-style containers, recommended by Adrienne Ruhnow, the district fitness manager for Chuze Fitness in Colorado. “Your friend can re-create their favorite protein boxes for a fraction of the cost, create an adult ‘Lunchable’ that’s healthy and fun or simply use the portion-controlled containers to keep their workday lunches on track,” she explains. “The removable compartments mean that your friend can configure their boxes however they want.”
Chances are your friend’s yoga mat needs a refresh. We chose this one from Lululemon as the best yoga mat, largely due to its dual-sided "sticky on one side and smooth on the other" construction, as well as how it provides an ample cushion with a 5mm thickness.
While in a dream world, we would be able to give your fitness-lovin’ friend an on-call massage therapist, it’s not quite a reality. Instead, you can provide them with something nearly as therapeutic: release balls. “Whether it’s working out that crick in your neck, massaging the knot between your shoulder blades or rolling the bottoms of your feet to help with your plantar fasciitis, these tools work wonders,” says Rachel Lovitt, a holistic movement coach.
You and your pal enjoy stopping by a local café for juice, but it’s tough on the budget. Help them save a little money and still get the nutritious taste they need and love with this juicer, which can cut through celery and greens just as well as any fruit. We named it the best juicer of the year.
This mega-splurge definitely costs a pretty penny, but if you’re gifting your spouse, best friend, parent or child, it could be worth the expense. As Williams puts it, hands down, the technology is incredible. “My favorite part is that it tracks body temperature, it is rugged and tough, and it tracks your progress over time in workouts, so you know when to push harder or back off,” she explains. “It is a bit pricey, but if your someone special is any kind of fitness enthusiast, they will absolutely love this watch.” Read our full Apple Watch Ultra review here.
Gift them this blender that Roser says is not only chic but also a great gift for someone on the go. “The blender makes protein shakes or smoothies, allowing you to unscrew the blender attachment and use it as a bottle afterward,” she shares. “You can also create water infusions, helping your loved one stay more hydrated in style.”
Ask any fitness trainer, and they’ll say foam rollers are a real game changer when it comes to post-workout recovery. They work to loosen up muscles and act as a massage after a trying session. For the friend who spends more time at the gym than anywhere else, this top-rated option allows them to work on their quads, calves, lats, back and much more.
While most gym goers are used to iron or steel dumbbells or kettlebells, soft ones can be just as effective, says Melissa Rodriguez, a NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist and NASM-certified personal trainer for Mindbody and ClassPass. In this gift set, each disc/plate is filled with sand, and the set comes with handles so you can quickly assemble a set of dumbbells or a kettlebell at home. She specifically recommends these for parents with small children at home, so they can worry less about their kiddos bumping into hard weights.
If you ask Kirsten Potenza, the founder of Pound, Theraguns are the gold standard of recovery right now. Its newest product, the TheraFace Pro, is on Potenza’s wish list this holiday since it’s meant to relieve tension but also brighten and tighten skin. “As a mom and an entrepreneur, life can be crazy busy, and it feels like I am always doing something for others. This is a simple treat just for me that I can use at home,” she says.
Eating a balanced diet isn’t always straightforward. Help them jump-start their health with a gift card to FreshlyFit, a weekly nutritionist- and chef-crafted meal service. These not only meet recommended portions, but they are protein-packed and carb-conscious too. Check out our review of FreshlyFit here.
What does every avid gym or class goer want? They want a lightweight bag that can carry all of the things they need from morning to night. Make their storage dreams come true with this top pick from Stephanie Butterfield-Richardson, the founder of Activate House. She says you can fit everything — outfit changes, sneakers, work necessities and more. (It's even an Underscored editor favorite.)
“My favorite part of having this bag is not only the soft material, but I love that it has a shoe bag, padded laptop sleeve and a dust bag, making it easy to keep going from one place to the other without having to carry multiple bags in hand,” she raves.
Ask anyone who has achieved physical greatness, and they’ll be quick to tell you it’s not just about grit and grind. It’s also about an unstoppable mind. Ruhnow says you can encourage your friend to take a few minutes each morning and evening to reflect on wellness — water, meals, sleep, mindfulness goals, gratitude and more — with this journal. “These 12-week journals are undated, so they can start or stop at any time throughout the year,” she continues. “Who doesn’t need a refresher on their wellness goals in March and again in the summer?”
Balancing might not seem like a tough act, but it’s killer for building core strength. Plus, if you ask the 700-plus Amazon reviewers, this board is a fun way to work out without thinking about it. Give this gift to your friend who is always looking for new ways to challenge their body and mind.
Once you start cookin’ with an air fryer, you don’t go back! Give your loved one the gift of ease to meet their dietary needs with less cleanup, less oil and more yum. We named this the best air fryer because of its heavy-duty feel, combined with the reasonable price tag, convenient controls and standout cooking results.
If an Apple Watch just isn’t in your budget this year (hello, inflation), you can still gift your loved one a smartwatch monitor they’ll love. This one tracks your body temperature, suggests breathing exercise and even reminds you to drink more water. You can pre-program workouts with countdown clocks and activity minute counters too.
As a mom of two, physical therapist Dr. Samantha Harte says the Peloton app has been a lifesaver through the pandemic and through her very busy life. “As a doctor, the app offers comprehensive fitness and wellness programs that are easily accessible and affordable,” she continues. “Specifically, it offers a huge variety of mind-body wellness classes ranging from meditation and yoga to cycling, running and dance cardio.”
If you’re gifting someone looking to level up their fitness and wellness program with highly qualified instructors at a reasonable price, Harte says the Peloton app is perfect.
Apple’s AirPods Pro 2 are a great way to tune out distractions when it’s time to zone in on your workout. These compact true wireless buds come with active noise-canceling technology, plus they’re sweat- and water-resistant, so there’s no need to worry when they’re killing it in the gym.
Part of living a well-balanced life is staying active but also eating good-for-you foods. For your brother who has been doubling down on nutrition lately, consider gifting him this sleek NutriBullet that makes smoothies, yes, but also hummus, soups and more. Dr. Lana Butner, says as a gift, it is versatile, easy to transport and available in different colors and finishes to fit his style.
“In terms of bang for your buck, this is as good as it gets in high-quality equipment since you can essentially get a full body workout with this lightweight and mobile piece of equipment,” she adds.
If they're not so comfortable wearing super-tight leggings, gift them these comfortable yet stretchy joggers, says Risa Sheppard, the founder of The Sheppard Method Pilates. They’re not only available in a variety of colors, but they make it more likely your parent or grandparent stays active.
“A lot of fitness pros agree that the best way to work out is with comfortable clothing,” she says. “Fitness gear is so popular these days, and finding a brand or style that suits you can be a constant search. These joggers take the guesswork out of ‘what do I wear today?’”
Want to gift your loved one a new pair of shoes? That’s nice of you — but you may also feel immense pressure to get it right. That’s why if you aren’t sure what kind of workouts they’ll be getting into, it’s best to get a shoe that can do a little bit of everything, says Tess Barringer, a performance coach at Future.
“Training shoes can take you from running a few miles to lifting at the gym with their versatile build,” she continues. “If you know they’ll be hitting the gym and lifting weights more, a shoe with a little less give in the sole may be best, and the reverse is true if your person will be racking up the miles. I love these On Cloud Xs for shorter runs, bootcamp-style classes, lighter lifting days, walks with my pup or running errands.”
For the best friend in your life, there is no more important item to have than a Stanley Tumbler. For a while, Stanley was sold out of these quenchers, but they’re now back in stock and in demand. This 40-ounce tumbler is perfect for ensuring that your friend meets their daily water intake goal, as well as keeping their coffee or hot tea hot for hours at a time, says Kimberly Nanninga, a registered dietician. “This tumbler also has a handle and an insulated body shape that is tapered, allowing it to fit in a cup holder,” she adds.
For the pal who likes to run and listen to music but doesn’t want to block out the sounds of traffic or people approaching, gift them this smart pair of Ray-Bans. They allow you to listen to music and podcasts, with built-in camera and audio, raves Christine Vleck Jensen, the co-owner of Mighty Pilates. “You can even snap a photo of a beautiful sunset while you are out,” she says.
Your pal wishes they could like other types of workouts, but the only one that really gets their heart racing is swimming. Sadly, though, listening to music while doing laps is tough. And a workout app for swimming? Not a thing — until now! This company offers on-demand water-based workouts and has been nicknamed the “Peloton of the pool.” In addition to 200 exercises across various categories, your swimmer friend can also stream music, podcasts and audiobooks.
Sometimes — say, every week of the past two years of the pandemic — you just feel the need to punch something. Your fitness bestie feels the same way. If they have a boxing bag at home, they need gloves that allow them to cross, hook, jab and uppercut their stress away. These lightweight gloves make an excellent, affordable gift. They also wick moisture, so your friend’s paws won’t feel sticky.
Since you only have one body, it’s vital to protect and nurture it, which is why a vibrating massage ball like this one is so important. Send this message to your bootcamp-class-obsessed bestie and encourage them to use this ball before a workout to help prepare muscles and soft tissue around the joints. Then, they can drag it out again after a workout for extra recovery.