The Verge’s 2022 fitness and wellness gift guide
Headspace gift card
Let’s face it: we could all do with a bit more relaxation in our lives given the past few years. Thankfully, a Headspace gift card can provide your giftee with access to hundreds of expert-guided meditations designed to help them de-stress, improve their creativity, and sleep more peacefully. The app even offers some workouts geared toward improving emotional well-being, making it a great gift for meditation gurus or newbies simply looking to get a grasp on the basics.
ProsourceFit Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set
Whether your giftee is someone trying to get their stress under control or an athlete looking for quick muscle relief, an acupressure mat like this inexpensive option from ProsourceFit can help with both. The simple recovery tool essentially functions as a bed of evenly spaced plastic spikes that apply pressure to various points throughout the body, which in turn, can help promote blood flow and circulation when you lie on top of them (no needles or copay necessary).
Sleep trackers can provide useful insights that can help you improve your sleep and ultimately your well-being. The problem? A lot of them aren’t the most comfortable to wear, which is counterproductive when you’re trying to get some rest. Withings Sleep mat, however, is a nice noninvasive alternative that easily slips underneath your mattress. It’s great at tracking your sleep cycle as well as other stats, including heart rate and various breathing disturbances.
Google Pixel Watch
If you’re an Android aficionado with a non-Samsung phone, it’s hard to do better than the Google Pixel Watch. The first-gen wearable sports a sleek design and a unique combination of features, including Fitbit integration and support for Google Assistant, Google Wallet, and Google Maps. Oh, and did we mention each Pixel Watch comes with six months of Fitbit Premium and three months of YouTube Music? It’s like gifting three presents for the price of one.
If you’ve got the money, why not gift what is arguably the best treadmill in existence? The Peloton Tread showcases excellent hardware and offers everything from Bootcamp workouts and curated programs to classes covering strength training, yoga, meditation, and more. There’s even a social aspect that allows your giftee to connect with others while working out and receive virtual high fives from their classmates when they’re in need of extra motivation.
Gatorade Gx Bottle
The Gx bottle delivers a unique hydration experience for every athlete. The flip cap design and high-flow valve allow you to choose a formula pod, add to water, and drink without worrying about leaks or spills. Featuring a variety of colors and patterns — and even bottles designed by your favorite athletes — there is a design for everyone! Only customizable on Gatorade.
PowerBlock Sport 24 Adjustable Dumbbells
Whether your loved one is looking to add a bit of muscle or shed a few pounds, they’ll likely need to incorporate some form of strength training into their fitness regimen. PowerBlock’s adjustable space-saving dumbbells will help them do just that. The durable steel set can act as a replacement for eight pairs of traditional dumbbells, allowing them to ratchet up the weight in three-pound increments without having to leave the comfort of their home.
Beats Fit Pro
AirPods, schmairpods. If your giftee is a runner, they deserve a pair of wireless earbuds that sound great and stay in their ears while they’re pounding the pavement. The water-resistant Beats Fit Pro offer great noise cancellation, terrific audio quality, and come in unique colorways like sage gray and stone purple. Their only downside is a clunky case that lacks wireless charging, but they make up for it in sound and fit.
Sunny Health and Fitness Elliptical
It can be hard to get to the gym, especially when it’s cold outside and your schedule is filling up. That’s where an underdesk elliptical comes in. This compact option offers eight levels of resistance, handles for transporting it from room to room, and comes fully assembled so your giftee can immediately start using it to burn off all those holiday treats from their neighbor without so much as leaving their chair.
Google Nest Hub (second-gen)
It might seem strange to include a smart display in a gift guide concerned with fitness and wellness; however, Google’s latest Nest Hub comes with one incredibly useful health feature: automatic sleep tracking. The second-gen device can track your movement and breathing at night and deliver a sleep report in the morning, providing you with helpful insights into your sleeping habits. It’s a comfortable, noninvasive alternative to sleep-tracking wearables, one that also makes for a great digital photo frame.
Fitbit Inspire 3
If the newest smartwatches from Apple and Google are outside your budget, then you might want to check out the Fitbit Inspire 3. Although the minimalist fitness tracker lacks more advanced features like built-in GPS, it’s still a great option if all you need are some basic activity tracking and sleep features. It also comes with a few extra perks, like an always-on OLED display, blood oxygen monitoring, solid battery life, and six months of Fitbit Premium.
When life gets busy, healthy eating habits can definitely fall by the wayside. Luckily, the Nutribullet Pro makes whipping up a 32-ounce smoothie with all the fruits and veggies you need a relatively painless experience. The 900-watt personal blender can churn through pretty much anything you can throw at it, comes in an array of fun colors, and — unlike a lot of options out there — is backed by a one-year warranty that ensures you can pretty much do your worst without worrying about the motor.
Just Dance 2022
(PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch)
With Just Dance 2022, your giftee can burn calories while getting down to tracks by ELO and Dua Lipa. Depending on the platform, the throwback rhythm game has you mimic choreography with either your smartphone or a Joy-Con controller, giving you a way to dance away calories without embarrassing yourself in front of the entire outside world. The game is also compatible with a wide variety of consoles, so you can buy a copy for your friend regardless if they own a Nintendo Switch or PS5.
Apple Watch Ultra
The Apple Watch Series 8 is a fantastic wearable, but it’s not nearly as rugged or feature-rich as the Apple Watch Ultra. The latter boasts physical controls and a host of advanced features geared toward thru-hikers, divers, and the Ironman crowd, including sensors for measuring diving metrics and a siren for drawing attention should you ever find yourself lost. It also offers multiday battery life and increased durability, so your giftee won’t have to worry about accidentally damaging it on the trail.
Moleskine Passion Journal
Writing down and tracking your health goals is one of the best ways to achieve results. Fortunately, Moleskine’s Passion Journal will make it easy for you to do just that, with templates for planning your daily workout goals, recording recipes, and noting a range of other information. The pages are littered with helpful info, too, so you can stay in the know regarding training terms, dietary needs, nutrition facts, and other fitness-related tidbits. The included stickers are just the kicker.
Personalized Yankee Candle
It might sound a little cliché, but you can’t go wrong with gifting a candle, especially one that should burn for more than 100 hours. Yankee Candles make for particularly thoughtful gifts, too, since you can customize them with your own message and choose which scents and designs you prefer. They’re popular presents for a reason, the kind that can help your loved one relax and unwind after a hard day at work or the gym.
It doesn’t matter if your giftee is in need of some self-care or is an athlete looking for muscle relief, the Theragun Mini is the kind of gift that can come in clutch. The three-speed massage gun is small and quiet enough that they can lug it just about anywhere. And despite being Theragun’s entry-level model, it’s still powerful enough to relieve unwanted muscle tension and work out those pesky post-game knots.
Smile Cult self-care stickers
Have a friend who’s going through a hard time or just needs a little bit of encouragement? These stickers make for great stocking stuffers and feature positive affirmations that’ll remind them of their value and to prioritize self-care. If they’re not that into stickers, Smile Cult also sells these affirmations as tote bags they can take to the gym as well as sweaters, shirts, and art prints.
ClassPass gift card
Not sure what to gift your loved ones this year? A gift card from ClassPass is an easy fallback, one that will grant your giftee access to a wide range of gyms and fitness studios so they can try out everything from boxing to hot yoga. ClassPass credits also provide access to a network of salons and spas throughout the country, so they can pamper themselves if barre and cryotherapy really aren’t their thing.
Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor
Smartwatches can be great for monitoring your heart rate, sure, but not everyone likes wearing a tracker on their wrist or needs all the functionality they afford. Polar’s comfortable heart rate sensor poses a nice alternative, though, one your giftee can strap to their chest while running or even swimming given it’s waterproof up to 30 meters.
Your True Home: The Everyday Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh
For the unfamiliar, Thich Nhat Hanh was a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and one of the most renowned Zen masters on the planet prior to his death earlier this year. Your True Home, a beautiful collection of some of his most inspiring teachings, serves as a lovely introduction to his work that explores how to overcome negative emotions, improve relationships, and cultivate inner peace through mindfulness.
Apple Fitness Plus subscription
With an iPhone 8 or newer, your loved one can access more than 3,000 video and audio workouts covering 11 different themes, including HIIT, strength training, dance, and even meditation, which they can further customize according to their experience level. Apple is constantly adding new workouts every week, too, which should keep things fresh and fun — even if your loved one doesn’t own an Apple Watch.
Price: $9.99 a month