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The Worst Fitness Gifts for the Holidays


    Sauna Suit

    There's nothing like showing your appreciation to your loved one by telling her you think she needs to sweat more while looking like a space cadet. We'd rather get a day pass to a spa.



    Waist Trimmer Belt

    If you wouldn't want to give (or receive) a girdle as a present, then you should cross this waist-slimming belt off your shopping list. We think belly dancing and Pilates are more fun ways to work your abs, anyway.



    Shake Weight

    We still can't sit through a commercial for this free weight without feeling like we're watching something inappropriate. Avoid getting strange looks at the holiday party and give a spiffy set of dumbbells or kettlebells instead. That's fitness equipment they'll actually use.




    We'll admit to putting on shapewear, like this Spanx Slimplicity Slip to fit into some party dresses, but tummy tamers aren't the first things that pop in our minds when we guess what's inside those wrapped boxes. We'll take the shiny cocktail dress, though.



    Home Pole Dancing Kit

    We had a blast when we tried S Factor, but a stripper pole for your home like this Peekaboo Party Home Pole Dancing Kit says "Bachelorette Party!" and not "Happy Holidays!" Treat your loved one to a fun fitness class by buying vouchers or paying for dance classes.


  • Peter Ardito

    Sports Bras

    You might sing the praises of your trusted sports bra, but we suggest leaving this intimate decision between your friend and an expert bra-fitter. Go for a cute workout outfit instead.

    The Best Sports Bras for Every Size

  • David Laurence


    Every year we're guaranteed to get at least one pair of socks from a well-meaning relative. Sure, they're practical, but we don't need another pair...unless it comes with a gift card to an indulgent pedicure.


    Chafing Cream

    The recipient of this gift might be a dedicated runner who goes through boxes of BodyGlide, but how about something that doesn't imply you've been thinking about his or her inner thighs? A gift card to a sporting goods store will do the trick instead.

  • Diet Books

    Even if you've had hour-long conversations about the latest diet craze, would you want to get a dieting book in your stocking? We don't think so. Opt for a cool kitchen gadget that encourages healthy eating for a present that's not so in-your-face about weight loss.


    Digital Talking Scale

    Today's gadgets can do more than tell you your weight. Some can measure body fat, BMI, and even talk to you. No matter how cool the device, however, we'd rather spend the holidays focusing on something other than actually hearing the digits on the scale. Besides, the scale doesn't pick up on social cues on when to hush up and just say, "You know what? You look great!"

    Originally published on, November/December 2011.