The 25 best health and fitness gifts of 2018
Working out is hard—finding a gift doesn't have to be!
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
Gifts for the fitness enthusiast can be tough. Do they already have a gym membership? Are they the one constantly doing yoga or the one obsessed with spin? Do they really run all those 5ks or are those Instagram pictures fake? Don't worry—you don't need to know their workout schedule in order to get the perfect gift.
We've come up with a list for every sort of fitness fanatic in your life. From the friend who can't stop posting selfies pumping iron at the gym, to the person who is trying to get back on the fitness grind, we've got a gift to satisfy every person and body type out there. These are the best gifts for health and fitness of 2018, according to Reviewed:
1. For the one who needs a gentle reminder to get moving: The best fitness tracker
Let’s be honest, we all need a little reminder now and then to get up off the couch and get moving. The Fitbit Charge 3 can give you the extra boost of motivation you need, especially heading into the new year. The updated version of our favorite fitness tracker has an improved battery life of 7 days, a touchscreen that automatically adjusts to lighting conditions, and best of all, is waterproof.
From the office, to the gym to the pool, there's no limit to where you can track your fitness. Plus, if it wasn’t your most active day, you can disregard looking at your step count and scroll through your texts instead (we all have lazy days, just embrace them).
2. For the one who needs new workout inspiration: Fun fitness dice
Forget about pricey fitness classes or expensive home equipment, for the best workouts, sometimes you just need to add the element of surprise. These fitness dice are perfect for someone who is stuck in a rut and tired of doing the same old thing at the gym. The dice take basic exercises and turn them into a fun game that you can do by yourself or with a gym buddy. It doesn’t hurt to note these were invented by a military fitness expert, so it’s almost like you’re guaranteed a killer workout.
3. For the one who needs a reminder to stay hydrated: An awesome water bottle
When it comes to health, hydration is key. You can do spin classes and lift weights galore, but if you aren’t getting the proper amount of water each day, your body isn’t operating at its peak performance. This is where our favorite water bottle, the Hydro Flask, comes in.
In multiple shapes and sizes, this is perfect for literally anyone on your shopping list who drinks water. It keeps cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12 hours, but most importantly, it will actually fit in the cupholder of your car. After all, it’s the simple things in life that are most important.
4. For the one who is always asking for a massage: An award-winning foam roller
Being an athlete comes with plenty of aches and pains. Instead of shelling out cash for a one-time massage, get the fitness fanatic in your life our favorite foam roller. It’s like having a masseuse constantly available in the living room, plus, they’ll finally stop asking you to rub their back “for just five minutes.”
5. For the serious yogi: The best yoga mat money can buy
To achieve the best fitness results, you only need to know two little words: cross training. For the hardcore yogi in your life or just a dedicated athlete, yoga is the perfect way to stretch and strengthen the body. Whether folks are toting our favorite yoga mat to a strenuous heat yoga class or simply turning on some YouTube yoga in the living room, this mat will ensure a firm grip and zero slippage. Perfect for muscles that need a little extra TLC.
6. For the smoothie lover: A seriously powerful (and affordable) blender
Getting healthy is the marriage of two activities, exercising and eating right (I know, I wish it was from just sitting on the couch too). However, nothing makes eating right more fun than making smoothies. It’s basically like drinking milkshakes in disguise, filled with fruits and veggies instead of ice cream.
7. For the tech lover: A great pair of wireless headphones
If your favorite fitness fanatic doesn’t have a gym buddy, the least you could do is offer them a way to play "Eye of the Tiger" on repeat while they’re pumping iron...or just power walking around the track. These Powerbeats earbuds are one of our favorite pairs of earbuds because they have a 12-hour playtime, so your giftee will never have to worry about their headphones dying in the middle of a workout. Most importantly, the larger over ear hook ensures that they'll never have to worry about the headphones falling out or having to readjust mid workout, which is the most frustrating experience when using headphones during a workout.
For those who know that their ears will keep headphones in place, regardless of the style, our favorite earbuds for running are the JLab Audio Epic Sport Wireless Headphones. With a 12-hour battery life these will last from a Monday morning treadmill run to a Friday afternoon track workout, without your giftee having to remember to charge in between.
8. For the one who wants their workout to remind them of the playground: A weighted hula hoop
Going to the gym doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, it’s basically the adult form of going to the playground. Bring back the days of childhood joy with a weighted hula hoop that actually provides a great workout. Perfect for someone who still wishes recess was a part of their schedule.
9. For the one who wants a home gym: Bowflex adjustable dumbbells
What’s better than having an entire weight room? Having two dumbbells that are basically the equivalent. With these adjustable dumbbells, it’s like having an entire set of weights ranging from 5 to 52.5 pounds. Perfect for those who are looking to start light and move their way to heavier weights as they gain muscle (or for those who are sick and tired of people re-racking their weights in the wrong spot).
10. For the one who also wants to win in the kitchen: A cookbook just for athletes
If you can’t compete like an Olympian, you might as well eat like one. This cookbook, the sequel to Run Fast. Eat Slow. by Olympic runner Shalane Flanagan and chef Elyse Kopecky is filled with nourishing recipes that are easy to make. Flanagan actually makes these recipes while she is training. With a book like this on their shelves, athletes will be able to put their post-workout hanger behind them as they whip up quick, easy, and healthy meals.
11. For the one you wouldn't want to get in a fight with: A shiny new pair of boxing gloves
Be honest, we all have that one person we’re glad is our friend because, well, they’re a tiny bit scary and could definitely destroy us in a fight. Help them embrace their inner Muhammed Ali with new, not-yet-smelly boxing gloves. Perfect for if they want to start taking classes, or if they have a punching bag at home. Just don’t try and spar with them… We all know how that will turn out.
12. For the one who always has extras to carry: A popular fanny pack alternative
Some folks take the minimalistic approach to the gym, just bringing the essentials. Others, like to carry a few extra items with them (these people usually never pack light for weekend trips either). When someone needs extra space to carry items, but doesn’t want things bulging in their pockets, get them a FlipBelt. This belt is reminiscent of a fanny pack, but far sleeker, ensuring a discrete, non-bulky way to carry your phone, keys, or snacks.
13. For the one who is always prepared to hit the gym: A grab-and-go backpack
Whether they’re at the office or an after work gathering, there’s always one person in the crowd who’s ready to hit the gym as soon as possible. If someone merely mentions the term “spin class,” it seems like they’re already clad in spandex and ready to start sweating. This backpack is the perfect way to bring items for the office and gym, without having a bulky duffel bag in tow. Plus, the sleek design fits in well in pretty much any environment, keeping a polished, professional look no matter where your giftee goes.
14. For the runner: Silly—but awesome—running socks
Let’s be real, did the holidays even happen if you didn’t get a pair of socks? Man or woman, old or young, everyone likes opening up a pair of funky socks. Zensah makes theirs with fabrics that have anti-odor properties and that are designed specifically to be blister proof, which is sweet, sweet music to any athlete's ears. For the more serious type, there are some muted patterns, but honestly, who wouldn’t want a pair of socks with donuts all over them?
15. For the spin enthusiast: Highly-rated cycling shoes
Instead of having to rent the same worn-out shoes every time they go to class, the spin enthusiast in your life would surely love a pair of their own kicks. No longer will they have to think about the other people who have sweated buckets into their rented shoes as they happily strap into their own personal pair.
Note: These don’t come with clips, which have to be purchased separately, so make sure you know what type of bike your spin lover is riding on. When all else fails, just grab them a gift card so they can get the right clips for their bike.
16. For the one who is always talking about the latest workout trend: A ClassPass membership
This gift is for the person it takes two weeks to finalize plans with because they’re always talking about how they’re going to some different place to try out a new fitness class (myself, I’m talking about myself). Save them a few dollars this time and get them a ClassPass membership. Members can take advantage of going to any studio that participates, without having to be a specific member of that gym. It’s basically like a pu-pu platter for fitness classes, guaranteed to get anyone excited for their next workout.
If you know of a specific studio where your giftee likes to take classes, you can always grab a gift card there instead. Some popular nationwide studios include SoulCycle, Orangetheory, and Pure Barre.
17. For the one whose hair is always in the way: A super-hold hair tie
Anyone with long hair knows that having the right hair tie can make or break a workout. If your loved one complains about pesky ponytails that are always falling out, get them the InvisiBobble. Yes, it looks like an old phone cord, but it actually does hold hair firmly in place, without leaving a dent when you take it out. Will it be the simplest gift they receive? Yes. But will they use it everyday and thank you profusely every time they put their hair up? Absolutely.
18. For the one obsessed with nutrition: The best meal prepping tool
The one bad thing about working out all the time? You’re constantly in a state of hunger. This is where the Instant Pot comes in. This baby can make pretty much anything you could dream of—soups, stews, full chickens, meat loaf, even yogurt. This super popular cooking device is perfect for someone whose post workout hanger often gets the best of them. Basically, this gift is a 2-in-1 success, helping curb hanger and helping to hone cooking skills.
For the beginner who is just starting to get into healthy cooking, grab them a Vegetti. This handy kitchen tool, the best and easiest spiralizer out there, turns vegetables into noodles, basically tricking your mind into thinking you’re eating pasta when you are really eating oodles of veggies.
19. For the one who works out in every type of weather: A multipurpose headband
If you know someone who never lets the weather stop them from getting in a workout, then this is the wardrobe staple they need. This buff headband isn’t just for ladies with long hair. It acts as a sweatband in the heat and a neck warmer in the cold, and has a use for just about every other type of weather. Since it can be worn about 12 different ways, this fitness accessory it is perfect for anything from a morning run to an afternoon on the ski slopes.
20. For the bookworm: A motivational story to keep them in the game
Although Deena Kastor is a marathon champion, this book isn’t limited to those with an interest in running. The story of her triumphs and setbacks will be largely motivating to anyone with a goal in mind, whether that be in fitness, work, or school. Kastor dives deep into how changing the way she spoke to herself and thought about the world around her led her to success on the track and in her personal life.
For those more interested in improving their mind and mental game, regardless of the athletic activity involved, grab them a copy of 10% Happier by Dan Harris. Based on a true story of a TV anchor, this book is all about how to tame the voices in our heads via self help and meditation. For those who want more when the book is over, there's an app they can download as well.
- Get Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory by Deena Kastor on Amazon for $17.70
- Get 10% Happier by Dan Harris on Amazon for $12.79
21. For the one who has limited time and space: A high-quality jump rope
If your loved one never seems to have time to hit the gym, yet wants a easy way to get cardio into their life, the Survival and Cross jump rope is perfect. Designed for the boxing gym, the adjustable rope allows for people of any size and shape to tailor the length to their needs. Yes, a jump rope finally long enough for people over six feet. You’re welcome.
22. For the one obsessed with getting enough protein: A new shaker bottle
If you're shopping for someone obsessed with their protein shakes, say hello to their new best friend. You don’t need to have a gigantic container of whey powder sitting on top of your fridge to be the proud owner of a Blender Bottle, though. They’re perfect for protein and supplement shakes, but they’re also a great buy for those who like to take their smoothies on the go. Regardless of their drink of choice, this is sure to be a hit with anyone who is constantly on the go before or after a workout.
23. For the one who's getting back into fitness: A new set of resistance bands
Resistance bands are the perfect introductory tool, whether someone's just starting out or trying to get back into it. Since they’re lightweight and can fit in your back pocket, these are perfect to take to the gym so you don’t have to use the worn out communal bands.
This set also comes with an instruction booklet and online videos, so you can learn exactly what exercises to do if you want to target certain body parts (or just want to work out at home). Best of all, these are the most user-friendly fitness tools you could ever encounter. No scary weight machines to look at here—just colorful bands!
24. For the one who is most comfortable working out at home: INSANITY workouts
DVDs may be slowly becoming a thing of the past but HEAR ME OUT. Insanity is quite literally the most insane home workout you’ll ever do. These are not your mother’s Jane Fonda exercise tapes. They will leave your giftee tired and sweaty on the living room floor—and seeing serious results.
Plus, take it from me—the instructor is pretty easy on the eyes (i.e. he’s ripped and gorgeous) so even if your recipient is cursing his name for making your muscles burn, they'll at least have something nice to look at. (Love you, Shaun T. Thanks for being insanely attractive.)
25. For the one who is always sore: An easy-to-use massager
With epic workouts comes epic muscle fatigue. The next time your loved one sweetly calls you in to the next room, only to then ask you to morph into a Swedish masseuse, be prepared. The Back Buddy will help ease their back, neck, shoulder, and even glute pain, without you ever having to lift a finger. It’s the perfect “I love you, yet I don’t want to touch you” gift.
Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.