It's officially that time of year again! With the holidays right around the corner, you may be looking to finalize your shopping list and find those final gifts for your loved ones. If you're struggling to come up with the perfect gift for the loved ones in your life, you're in luck -- we’ve compiled a list of our favorite healthy holiday gift ideas to get you started. From the techie to the gym lover to the world traveler and beyond, we've got an idea for every person (and every budget) on your holiday shopping list.
- Self-cleaning water bottle
We all have that friend who carries around their beloved reusable water bottle — but when was the last time that thing was cleaned? Reusable water bottles can become a breeding ground for bacteria if you're not careful. Help your loved one stay hydrated AND healthy this year with a self-cleaning water bottle like the Philips GoZero Smart Bottle. Unlike filtered water bottles (which try to trap pathogens and sediment), self-cleaning bottles use UV technology to kill waterborne microbes and keep them out of your drink — ensuring it’s nice and clean for every use.
- OURA ring
Help your loved one upgrade their Fitbit to the next generation of wearable technology — the OURA ring! This simple, stylish take on the traditional fitness tracker can track exercise and sleep patterns, monitor heart rate and body temperature, detect blood oxygen levels and more. Plus, all of your biometric health data transfers to an easy-to-use app so you can have all that information at your fingertips.
- Air purifier
If you know someone with allergies (or pets), they're sure to appreciate the practical benefits of an air purifier. While it may not be the flashiest gift, an air purifier can do wonders for those who have asthma, allergies or other health conditions by reducing airborne pollutants and reducing the chance of illness.
- Mindfulness journal
A prompt-based journal is a great gift for the creative soul in your life. Help your loved one kick off their intentions for the new year with a gift that gets them thinking. Whether it's a gratitude journal (you can find plenty online) or a book like The Mindful Life Journal, you can’t go wrong with this creative and affordable present idea.
- Apple Watch
If you're looking for a bigger-ticket item for the fitness lover in your life, consider upgrading their simple fitness tracker to something more high-tech — you can't go wrong with the Apple Watch! In addition to its standard heart rate and step count monitoring capabilities, the latest iterations of this popular wearable have exciting new health tracking capabilities. The Apple Watch Series 7 can track the wearer's blood oxygen levels, record an electrocardiogram, connect with Dexcom (for diabetics who use a continuous glucose monitor) and more. Plus, the Apple Watch Series 8 also has body temperature monitoring and car crash detection.
- Weighted sleep mask
We all have that friend who's known for their poor sleep patterns. Help them get some shuteye in the New Year with an elevated version of the standard sleep mask. You could try this weighted sleep mask from Nodpod, which was designed to block out light while also providing deep, southing pressure along key pressure points to help eliminate headaches and encourage restful sleep.
- Sunrise alarm
If you need another gift idea for the bad sleeper in your life, you might consider a sunrise alarm clock like the Hatch Restore or Philips SmartSleep Wake-up Light. These alarm clocks were created to mimic a natural sunrise, slowly shining increasingly brighter light (and playing soothing sounds, if you choose) in order to wake the user up in a more refreshing, low-stress way. This gift can be especially meaningful for anyone who struggles with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), as mimicking natural sunlight patterns has been shown to help regulate your circadian rhythm (which can be negatively affected during the dark winter months).
- Meal kit subscription
Help kick off your loved one's healthy eating resolution by giving them a gift card to a popular meal kit subscription like Hello Fresh or Daily Harvest (this is also a great gift for younger adults who are learning to cook or new parents that need some time-saving solutions during mealtime). For the gourmet chef in your life, you could opt for a gift card to a ClassPass local CSA service, so your loved one can regularly receive healthy, seasonal produce to cook with throughout the year.
Give your favorite exercise lover something they can really utilize and love. Give them the gift of ClassPass credits! A ClassPass membership gives your loved one access to hundreds of boutique fitness classes in popular studios throughout the US. They'll love having the option to shop around for their favorite classes on the easy-to-use app.
- Office balance chair
For those who work a desk job, having a good office chair is a necessity. And, while sitting on a balance ball is great for your posture (and your core), it can be hard to pull off in an office setting. That's where a balance stool like this one from Gaiam comes in! With a balance stool, the user still gets the benefits of sitting on a balance ball without the common problems associated with them. This balance ball won't roll away and since it’s on a stool, you can adjust the height from an 18-inch to 23-inch desk.
- Theragun mini
For the friend who's always sore (or who simply loves a good massage), we recommend the Theragun Mini massage gun. Not only is the Mini more affordable than other Theragun products, but its small shape also makes it the perfect portable option for athletes and frequent travelers — especially for hard to reach areas like the shoulders and lower back.
- Indoor herb gardening kit
For the budding chef or green thumb in your life, there's no better gift than an indoor herb garden. With a kit like the Sprout AeroGarden, you can easily give your loved one everything they need to create their own indoor garden and have fresh herbs to cook with year-round. And with its adjustable grow light, you can rest easy knowing you're gifting a fool-proof way to grow herbs indoors — no matter the house’s light conditions.
- Homemade recipe book
Homemade gifts are a thoughtful (and affordable) way to show your loved ones you spent time creating something just for them. If you're looking for a unique handmade gift idea, consider creating your own cookbook or filling a recipe box with all of your favorite healthy recipes! This gives you an opportunity to share some of your family's most beloved holiday meals and traditions, which your loved ones are sure to cherish for years to come.
- Cooking spices
A collection of herbs and spices is a great present option for the home-cook in your life. Not only does owning spices encourage more home cooking (meaning less processed foods), but they can also help reduce the need for as much sugar and salt — perfect for anyone trying to turn a healthier leaf. For herbs and spices that mimic the taste of salt without containing sodium (good for those with high blood pressure), try black pepper, cumin and coriander. For some sweet-tasting spices, add a bottle of cinnamon and nutmeg to the collection.
- Gift an opportunity to give back
What better way to celebrate the holidays than by giving back to the community as a family? Give your loved ones an experience they'll truly remember by organizing an opportunity to volunteer as a group. You might consider collecting toys and clothes for a donation drive or reaching out to your local senior center to see if they need help with any upcoming events.
This article first appeared in the December 2022 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.