This week’s fit links from around the web:
- Start prepping your shopping lists now: These nutritious foods are going to be flying off shelves in 2013. — Huffington Post Healthy Living
- Before you buy the latest gadget as a gift this season, check out this list for 10 ways to spot something that’s too good to be true. — SparkPeople
- We can’t wait to try this protein-packed Puppy Chow recipe at our holiday parties! — Eating Bird Food
- Ready to sweat? Take your workouts to the next level with these 13 intensity-boosting tips. — Greatist
- Your bank account will be as healthy as your pals when you give them these fit gifts (all are less than $5!). — Fit Sugar
- Do you follow a training plan while prepping for a race? Find out what style may be best for your next PR mission. — Healthy Tipping Point
Love is in the air and the hunt is on for the perfect gift for your Valentine. Whether it’s for someone you’re newly dating or your spouse of many years, a good present can mean a lot. You’ll also never live down a bad present, so it’s important to get it right!
If your honey is trying to lose a few lbs, you may be thinking that a gym membership or a few workout DVDs would make for a perfect gift. Unfortunately, recipients might read this gesture as “honey, I think you need to spend more time on the treadmill” or “I love you, but I don’t love your love handles.”
There are a few health-minded gifts that we wouldn’t mind unwrapping, like:
- A spa gift card
- Dinner for two at a nice restaurant with healthy options
- Dark chocolate
- Red wine
But just remember to watch your step if you opt for goodies that don’t say, “I love you just the way you are!” (And a final hint to guys out there: We love our Spanx, but we can take care of that investment on our own.)
Now tell us: Will you have health in mind during your Valentine’s Day shopping? What is the best gift you’ve ever received on February 14?
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- Holidays stress making you angry? Try one (or a few) of these 30 simple ways to be happier. — iVillage
- It’s the perfect time of year to think about giving back. Get inspired to perform one of these six good deeds (which take about as long as two commercial breaks). — Divine Caroline
- Save some dough this season by making these gifts with items in your kitchen. — SparkPeople
- “What’s the problem officer?” Bad for your blood pressure, but better for your bank account: Drivers are being pulled over for good behavior. — Today Show
- How The Biggest Losers—and you—can keep the weight off for good. — L.A. Times
- Ouch! Follow these steps to make sure running doesn’t cramp your style. — Fit Bottomed Girls
“Just like in store environments, the season is really busy for people,” says Dr. Josh Riff, Target’s chief medical director. So for that reason, he has cart loads of advice to share with shoppers and co-workers to stay healthy while still enjoying the fun that comes along only once a year. If you make smart choices during your everyday routine, you have more room to splurge when celebration time arrives, Riff adds.
Here are his three top prescriptions for everyday and party day, so when 2012 rolls around you’ll have little resolving to do!
- Rest up. “Get at least seven hours of sleep. It decreases levels of stress and cortisol, a stress hormone. You’ll feel so much better the next day if you make sleep a priority.”
- Practice stealth health. “‘Moving’ is more important that ‘exercise.’ Host a walking meeting at work rather than sitting, or find fun family activities that are active, such as dancing or throwing a ball.”
- Save your treats. “Pick one place, like at work or at the mall, and only eat food that you’ve made or brought. Pack snacks like apples, real fruit strips and granola bars to avoid grabbing a cookie every time you pass the platter at work or dessert shop at the mall. I also save calories by bringing my lunch to work Monday through Thursday, then treat myself to a cafeteria meal on Fridays.”
Party Day Rx…
- Sneak in nutritious treats. “I make simple substitutions to transform typically indulgent recipes to more diet-friendly versions. For example, I add blueberries to chocolate cookies or muffins to add antioxidants and swap in sweet potatoes for white.
- Share the gift of health. “The right gear can make fitness more fun. This year, I’m loving C9 athletic wear, Polar heart rate monitors and Gaiam yoga mats to motivate my loved ones. I also put together wellness-minded gift baskets, including freeze-dried fruit, a bottle of red wine and dark chocolate.”
- Pick your pleasure. “There are no bad foods; there’s moderation. One piece of cake is great—six pieces, not so good. Fill one plate with the foods you will really enjoy and nurse that throughout the party.”
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Now tell us: When the ever-present cookies are calling your name for the fifth time today, how do you avoid temptation?
We’ve made our (shopping) lists, checked them twice, but now we’re searching for some items to add that will do more than just look nice. How about some gifts that give back? That’s why we were pumped as soon as we heard about Eve Echo!
The beauty company is teaming up with the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA), a non-profit Natalie Portman loves, and 100 percent of company net profits will be used for micro-loans for women in economic need. Whether you’re a fan of liquid hand soap or hand sanitizers, Eve Echo has options—with scents like lavender vanilla, pomegranate peppermint and coconut butter. But what we love more than the aroma is the fact that the $10 to $14 we spend on these items goes directly to provide low-interest loans to women who can then start their own businesses and provide for their families. After one year, the woman repays the loan, which will be distributed to another female in need (they call this the “Echo Effect.”)
To learn more about the loans and to buy products that can make an impact on another woman’s life, visit eveecho.com.
More from FITNESS: These soaps would make great presents. But these, our picks for worst fitness gifts? Not so much.