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Healthful Holiday Gifts

This holiday season, why not give the gift of good health? When choosing presents for your loved ones, look for items and experiences that will encourage them to live healthy, active lives. Here are some ideas to get you started.

For The Foodie

Consider giving a Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, membership. By subscribing to a local food source, you’re not only putting money directly into your community, but you’re also helping the environment, because your food won’t be travelling so far to get to your kitchen table – and you’re making a healthier choice of locally grown and sourced food.

Many CSAs will provide fresh vegetables and fruit – mostly hothouse-grown or root vegetables through the winter, but when spring comes consider the berries that will be landing on the doorstep of your gift recipient. And in Atlantic Canada you could also consider a Community Supported Fishery such as Off The Hook, which applies a similar philosophy to seafood.

For The Fitness Enthusiast

Whether you’re a cross-country runner or a devoted Zumba dancer, staying hydrated while you exercise is very important. But buying water in plastic bottles is both expensive and bad for the environment. That’s where the Halifax-based company called TAP comes in. They have created a durable glass water bottle that’s suitable for all-purpose use – even while working out. It’s made of very strong glass, is toxin free and comes in a sweat-resistant holder. TAP has also designed an app that will tell you where to find free sources of clean water in your vicinity. The recipient of your gift will never need to buy water in a plastic bottle again.

If someone you know is looking for a new challenge, why not help them take up yoga? It increases flexibility and strength, and is good for our cardiovascular systems. It’s easy to start, tough to perfect, and has benefits beyond the mat. To get started all you need are a few basic items, which happen to make great gifts. Classes are also very helpful – consider giving a class pass.

If you’ve ever taken an Epsom salts bath after a hard workout, you know they can work wonders for sore, tired muscles. You can give the gift of comfort by making your own bath salts. It’s a quick, easy and affordable gift, and with thoughtful packaging can go a long way as a stocking stuffer. Epsom salts baths are beneficial for some skin conditions, and can be very relaxing, especially during the winter months.

For the Kids

Consider giving kids – or kids at heart – sports equipment that will encourage them to get active. Even something as simple as a new sled, ball or pair of running shoes (to use when they join Kids’ Run Club!) can help kids begin to build physical activity into their lives. Another option to consider is a ski pass or a gift certificate for a learn-to-snowshoe class – fun winter activities that people of all ages can enjoy.

What’s your favourite gift for inspiring healthy, active living? Share your ideas in the comment section below.

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