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8 Healthy Christmas Gift Ideas – From Appetizer Plates to Zumba

Christmas Gift Ideas that are healthyHealthy Christmas gift ideas don’t have to be boring! These gift tips range from funky appetizer plates (not my best idea) to Zumba (yeah, man!).

These holiday gift tips are for all ages, and will help you figure out what to buy your loved ones this Christmas – and maybe even help them achieve their goals and New Year’s Resolutions.

Before the tips, a quip:

“I am pushing sixty.  That is enough exercise for me.” ~ Mark Twain.

When buying healthy holiday gifts, it’s important to be aware of your loved one’s attitude towards health and fitness. For instance, I love getting health and fitness DVDs – such as Zumba Fitness Total Body Transformation System DVD Set.

That workout DVD is good for people of all ages – such elderly parents or young fit women like me – because it offers several levels of exercise. Plus, it’s fun! And it’s the most popular health and fitness DVD on Amazon.

Before you buy a healthy Christmas gift, make sure your loved one will appreciate it (and not be insulted). Look through these eight holiday gifts for ideas…

8 Healthy Christmas Gift Ideas – From Zumba to Appetizers

Okay, these healthy gift ideas start with Zumba and end with appetizer plates – not the other way around!

I think my favorite holiday gift idea — after fitness DVDs and a treadmill that I can walk on while typing on my computer — is the first one: an electronic toothbrush. Hopefully my husband won’t read this article before Christmas comes…he’ll ruin the surprise when he opens up his new toothbrush!

These Christmas gift ideas are from the medical staff at Saint Louis Medical University…

Electronic Toothbrush for People Who “Have Everything”

Need a healthy holiday gift for someone who has it all? Combining good oral hygiene and cool technology, an electronic toothbrush is a gift for all ages. According to Douglas Miley, D.M.D, M.S.D., director of the periodontics program at the Saint Louis University Center for Advanced Dental Education, kids are more likely to brush their teeth with an electronic toothbrush because it’s not just a regular toothbrush. It’s a fun gadget. Because many electronic toothbrushes come with a timer, people are more likely to brush longer and more thoroughly.

My mother-in-law gave an electronic toothbrush to my husband last Christmas, and he loves it! For more info healthy Christmas gift idea: Oral-B Professional Care SmartSeries 5000 Rechargeable Toothbrush.

Sudoku Puzzle Book for Memory and Brain Health

Exercise your brain to stay mentally sharp, says John Morley, M.D., director of Saint Louis University’s Center for Aging Successfully. “Just as daily exercise strengthens certain muscle groups, mental exercises will strengthen and enhance your mental ability,” says Morley, who is co-author of the new book, “The Science of Staying Young.” Like the logic reasoning game Sudoku, crossword puzzles, video games, chess and challenging literary classics are great Christmas gift ideas that encourage a fun workout for the brain.

For more info: Franklin New York Times Handheld Sudoku Game.

Yoga Lessons – A Mind/Body Health and Fitness Holiday Gift

Yoga is a form of exercise that focuses on mind and body alignment. It’s also a great gift for anyone who needs a break from everyday stresses or wants to improve flexibility and strength, says Victoria Cornelius, M.D., an associate professor of internal medicine at Saint Louis University’s School of Medicine. “Yoga has something to offer for everyone,” Cornelius says. “With so many styles, yoga can offer a powerful workout, stretching, or even help you recover from an injury.” Are yoga lessons out of your holiday budget? Cornelius suggests meditation CDs or eye pillows, which are typically used in yoga to encourage relaxation and are filled with scents such as rosemary, chamomile or lavender.

I love this Christmas gift idea – I gave a yoga mat to my hubby several years ago, and I use it almost every day! For more info: YogaAccessories Extra Thick Deluxe Yoga Mat.

Sunglasses to Protect Eye Health

Think winter isn’t a time for sunglasses? Think again, says Thomas Porter, O.D., assistant professor of ophthalmology at Saint Louis University. Even though holiday weather is often cold and gray, some cool designer shades can make a fantastic and healthy holiday gift or stocking stuffer. Sunglasses play a vital role, all year-round, in protecting the eyes from ultraviolet radiation, which can cause cataracts and even certain types of eye cancer. If you’re thinking of sunglasses for Christmas (and they are great and healthy holiday gifts for all ages!), make sure they’re labeled as offering UV protection.

Pedometer for Fitness and Weight Loss Goals

Know someone who’s trying to start a simple exercise program? A pedometer, which counts each step a person takes and the distance they’ve walked, makes a perfect present for someone who’s trying to be more active, says Mark Reinking, Ph.D., professor and chairman of the department of physical therapy at Saint Louis University. Used originally by sports and physical fitness enthusiasts, pedometers which are typically attached to a belt are now becoming popular as an everyday exercise measurer and motivator.

For more info about this healthy Christmas gift idea: Omron HJ-112 Digital Pocket Pedometer.

Active Video Games – a Fun AND Healthy Christmas Gift Idea

Active video games, such as Dance Dance Revolution, the Nintendo Wii and Guitar Hero, force players to get off the couch and burn calories, says Ken Haller, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University. In fact, research shows that active video game players burn up to twice as many calories as their couch-potato friends.

For more info: Wii Fit Plus with Balance Board.

Mediterranean Cookbook for Healthy Holiday Meals

This Christmas, show mom and dad that you care with a healthy Christmas gift idea that’s good for their heart. According to Melda Dolan, M.D., an associate professor of cardiology at Saint Louis University, Mediterranean dishes are delicious and healthy because they limit red meat and combine fresh vegetables, fruit, fish and olive oil, which is a better option than vegetable oil or butter.

For more info: The Mediterranean Prescription: Meal Plans and Recipes to Help You Stay Slim and Healthy for the Rest of Your Life.

Appetizer Plates 

“Research shows the larger our plates, the more we pile on and the more we eat,” says Jennifer Ebelhar, R.D., an assistant professor of nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University. “Appetizer-sized plates are a great gift for anyone trying to lose weight, because they help us control our portions by appearing full.” Before buying this healthy Christmas gift idea, make sure your friend has mentioned that he or she is trying to lose weight and is looking for support!

For more info: BIA Cordon Bleu Assorted Salad/Dessert Plates, Set of 6, Gift Boxed, Wine Countries.

Source: Saint Louis University Medical Center.

If you have any questions or thoughts on these healthy gift ideas, I welcome you below…

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8 thoughts on “8 Healthy Christmas Gift Ideas – From Appetizer Plates to Zumba”

  1. Thanks for your comments on these healthy Christmas gift ideas. I especially like the Wii fitness board. My husband gave me a Wii a couple years ago, and I’d like to take it a step further.