Thursday, December 6, 2012

Can You Give the Gift of Fitness?

Everyone wants to give the perfect gift for the holidays. But can someone give the gift of fitness?

The more important question is: can someone receive the gift of fitness?

No one can be forced into fitness or health. You may want Mom to eat healthier or your husband to start working out — but that doesn't mean they want to do it. In fact, giving someone a gift that suggests they need improvement could be insulting and, ultimately, could backfire.

Listen, and ask questions, even if you're an expert in the field. In fact, especially if you're an expert in that field, listen carefully. Find out what the person wants to achieve, then help them find the best way to do it.

Ask an expert: find someone at the gym or sporting goods store for recommendations. Consider taking them to the store or the gym to look around and ask questions.

Always include a gift receipt and don't take it personally if the gift is exchanged. If you're giving a gift that cannot be exchanged, consider giving a gift certificate, or take the person to the site to purchase the class or equipment.

Don't make them do this alone: join your friend or family member in this endeavor. If you buy your friend a hula hoop or baseball mitt, get one for yourself. Both of you will benefit, with the bonus of spending time together. Barring that, hire a coach or personal trainer to help them identify how to achieve their goals.

What recommendations would you add?

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