Monday, December 12, 2016

Do You Really Want Socks For Christmas?

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Confession time, I never normally write gift guides and as December pushes on, I get increasingly sick of being told to buy hugely stereotypical gifts for family members and friends, not least because the tend to be so gender oriented, yawn. So instead of complaining every time I see one this year, I thought I'd create one of my own. Less of a guide, and more a few suggestions for the active person in your life- runner, swimmer, cyclist, gym aficionado, triathlete, rower, glutton for punishment...

Xmas gifts for active people

The gift you'll only understand if you are a runner too...

Joke though many do about receiving socks for Christmas, ask any athlete about the importance of footwear and socks and you are likely to be there some time. As our feet are usually rammed into trainers, and especially sports like running where your feet are the first point of impact, socks are essential to keeping your feet happy and healthy. These Thorlo socks are specially cushioned in key areas and are designed to pull moisture away from the kin. Keep your beloved runner blister free with socks they'll be genuinely excited to receive.

Buy Thorlos socks from your local independent sport shop to get advice on sizing. They start at around £10.

The extravagant gift...

Fitness trackers and sports watches come with a whole host of functions and price tags. I'd strongly recommend paying attention to what your intended giftee has their eye on (and it won't be hard to get them started talking about fitness tech) if you're looking for something sport specific, but lots of the active people in your life are probably a bit data obsessed- how far, how fast, how many, how high... Fitness trackers give them even more data to get excited about.

The Fitbit flex is a good budget version that monitors activity, sleep & recognises exercise automatically from around £70. It's straightforward and immensely popular. I'm told their app is easy to use as well.

I recently bought a Garmin Vivosmart HR to keep track of my heart rate when I'm doing non running/cycling training. It tracks some exercise, your daily steps and activity, sleep and connects with your smartphone if you want it to for notifications (I was reassured to find it's incredibly easy to turn off the notifications because I don't not want Instagram alerts whilst half way through my mountain climbers set, thank you!). I am pleasantly surprised at how much it can do and based on the data I already have from a more traditional heart rate monitor attached to my Garmin Forerunner 620, the inbuilt HR monitor on the Vivosmart seems accurate enough for my needs. It starts at approx £120 new, but check out eBay for many deals on new and unused Garmins as mine only cost around £30 from someone who had received it as an unwanted raffle prize.

Garmin watches & Fitbits are available to buy from major sports retailers online & instore as well as electricals websites & online department stores. Check out eBay for new, unused items at discount prices too.

The edible gift...

I have friends and family who are always a little horrified by the volume of food I get through in a day, let alone a week or a month (and until last week I haven't really been training big distance or endurance...). I know I'd thrilled to discover a box full of my favourite treats to tide me through my long run days, hungry days... any day with a 'y' in it... Check out Aldi & Lidl or Ikea for Christmas tins & boxes and hit up online grocery orders, Amazon or their favourite site for a selection of their favorites or give them something new to try...

Clif bars are available to buy in cases of 6 or 12 from Amazon and websites such as Proteinpickandmix are great for a selection of individual packs or sample sized portions. MyProtein also sell single samples of their products and regularly do deals such as 10 samples for £10.

The gift that keeps on giving... 

Has your favourite athlete got their eye on an event that they're hoping they can still get a place for come payday? Race or event entries will give them joy on opening and keep them busy right up until race day. If you've always harboured a secret dream to do what they do, why not sign both of you up and train with them for twice the fun? Personally, I'm holding out for entries to the Paris RunDisney half in September  and the Yorkshire Festival of Cycling has been on my hitlist for a while. Other ideas include tickets to exhibitions- for the active woman in your life BeFIT tickets for April 2017 are already on sale.

BeFIT tickets available to HERE

The gift for the one who is always on the go... 

I think we all know one of these, whether they're in your closest family circle or the person from 2 desks down at work. The one who is attending a different class every day of the week and has a gym bag permanently attached to their shoulder. Well they might just appreciate the brilliance that is keeping a drink cold for 24 hours or hot for 12. Chilly's bottles come in 3 sizes (260ml, 500ml & 750ml) and a myriad of colours. Not just great for water but morning coffee,lemon water, soup or your favourite smoothie.

So whether it's your significant other, your bestie or your mum (for real, I buy my mum work out clothes as a gift regularly), this should give you a few starting point ideas.

Chilly's Bottles from around £15 on their website


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