Healthy Holiday Stocking Stuffers

We all know that the days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are filled with rich, delicious temptations. It is, by far, the most common time of the year for weight gain. Below are some healthy and inexpensive stocking stuffers which will help keep off those holiday pounds.

Resistance Bands
Fold it up, put a rubber band around it, and stick it right in that stocking – instead of the chocolate bars! Resistance bands are inexpensive, travel well (they take up very little suitcase space), and you can do a pretty complete workout with them (i.e. stand on the band for bicep curls, tricep extensions and an overhead press).

Jump Rope
Just as small and easy to carry as the resistance bands – and what a great workout. Five steady minutes of jumping rope gives you about the same workout as running a mile – and it is easier on the knees. And with practice you can learn some tricks and show-off for your friends.

Stability Ball
The stability ball is becoming a standard household item. And sure it takes up some room when it’s inflated, but deflated it will fit right in that stocking! Stability balls can be used for so many exercises. It can essentially replace a workout bench, but weighs much less. Have you tried replacing your office chair with a ball? You can turn your desk job into a core workout.

Exercise Videos
Find a video to go along with your band, jump rope or ball. It will give you some fresh ideas for exercise.

Energy/Sports bars and gels
Are you trying to fill a stocking for the athlete in the family? Instead of the standard sweets, fill it with carb gels and sports/energy bars. While I wouldn’t recommend a diet based solely on energy bars, they do provide more nutrients than a candy bar. Or, you could opt for granola bars. Granola is packed with protein.

Fruit
‘Tis the time of year when those wonderful little Clemetine oranges are in season. I could eat those by the dozen! And they smell so good. And there’s nothing like topping off a stocking with a big, juicy ruby red grapefruit!

Those funny little stress balls
You know the ones, you squeeze them and they kind of ooze. They really do take your mind off stress and keep your hands busy. They’re great for someone who is trying to quit smoking and doesn’t know what to do with their hands. And they are working some muscles. And they’re fun!

A new ball for Fido
If you have a dog, there’s just no excuse not to exercise. They love to go for walks and runs. And a new ball or toy will provide exercise and enjoyment for both of you.

A rockin’ new CD
Pick something they could dance too. Dancing burns all kinds of calories. And nobody says you have to dance in front of other people. Close your door and boogie!

Hat, gloves and a scarf
So you can enjoy walks all winter long.

A three-day pass to a local gym or a gift certificate for personal training
Has your stocking stuffee been threatening to join a gym, start an exercise routine, or hire a trainer, but it just hasn’t happened yet? Why not give them a little boost? Get them a gift certificate to get the ball rolling. When they’ve used it all up, a new healthy habit will be in place. (Maybe you can throw in a massage gift certificate to take care of the sore muscles).

Massage oils, lotions and other bath products
The massage oil will help with the sore muscles you get from all of that holiday exercise. With the other bath products you could put together a ready-to-go bath kit for the gym.

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