Holiday fix for fitness junkies; Gift ideas for your favorite athletes.
You can keep your knit sweaters, perfumes and striped ties. Keep the fruitcake, too.
What the fitness junkie on your holiday shopping list really wants is cool stuff that will keep her huffing, puffing and sweating while she's out exploring the world.
So go ahead. Indulge her (or him). We've rounded up some of our favorite fitness products. The best part about them? They encourage an active lifestyle. And that means you're giving the best gift of all -- the gift of health and fitness.
1. Woom bikes are lightweight, European-designed rideables for children. They come in five sizes, from the Woom 1 strider bike that teaches balance without the hassle of pedals to the Woom 5, a 24-inch bike with eight gears. There's an upcycle system, too -- with a membership, you can return a bike after 24 months and get 40 percent of the cost back. (www.us.woombikes.com)
2. How about a running vacation? A 10-day Rogue Expeditions trip to Morocco includes fully supported runs through the Sahara Desert, across dramatic gorges and over a dry lake bed, wrapped up each day with a home-grown feast. Suitable for all skill levels, from walkers to marathoners. Trip dates are March 29-April 7 and Nov. 1-10. (Starts at $2,050, includes everything except flights, alcohol and tips; www.roguexpeditions.com/morocco.)
3. Get out of the all-black workout apparel rut with the wildly patterned FitFit line of activewear, designed by yoga instructor Joy Torres, a native of Brazil. We love the Electric Wave legging ($76) and striped Surya bra ($39). The entire funky line is stretchy, fast-drying and soft. (www.fitfitactive.com)
4. Socks that help the parks? Check. A portion of each sale of a new line of FITS socks is donated to the National Park Foundation. Choose from the Grand Canyon, the Great Smoky Mountains and more, including our personal favorite, Yellowstone, with an array of gold, teal and rose-colored stripes that echo its famous hot springs. ($18.99; www.fitssock.com)
5. KT Tape, an elastic sports and fitness tape, comes in festive green and red and makes the perfect stocking stuffer for the runner on your list. Use it for muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support. (Roll of 20 pre-cut strips in a protective case, $19.99 at major sporting goods stores.)
6. Roll the dice and show off your biking knowledge with the Schwinn Biking Game. Players answer cycling trivia questions of different skill levels, depending on how difficult you want to make the game. ($24.99; www.amazon.com)
7. Stash your keys, your biggest smartphone, cash and an ID card in the expandable large pocket SPIbelt. Plus, we love the cool polka-dot print. ($22.99; Dick's Sporting Goods, Academy and other sporting goods stores, or online at www.spibelt.com)
8. Track your progress in the ''Believe Training Journal'' by Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas from Velopress. This yearlong workbook, exercise log and how-to manual helps athletes push harder and use running to make life even better. ($18.95, amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and other bookstores.)
9. Know someone who exercises alone, or in the dark? A First Alert Safety Pod -- a small, hand-held device with a panic alarm and a bright LED light -- can help keep them safe on the run. ($29.99, www.firstalert.com)
10. Give the gift of sweat -- surprise your running buddy with a pre-paid entry into a local fitness event.
11. Want to stand out? Slap on a Vizlet, a magnetized, easy-to-attach flashing LED light that can be worn on the waistband, hydration belt, cap, bag strap, collar, vest or more. ($9.59 each or two-pack for $12.95; www.amphipod.com/products)
12. You've invested in cool fitness gear, but what happens if it disappears? The Tile, a slightly larger than postage stamp-sized tracking device, helps you find your stuff. Stick one on your bike, sync it with your smartphone and, if it goes missing, the Tile community can help you locate it. ($25 for one, discounts for multi-packs; www.thetileapp.com and amazon.com)