If you’re still in search of gifts to hand out this Monday night, search no more: Buy the gift of exercise. No, no, no. You can’t burn calories for your mom, spouse or best friend—but you can buy a gift that’ll make him or her sweat. Here are some suggestions…
Treadmill. Ever since 12 months ago when I started running and running—my mileage up to 65 kms. per week now—the best purchase I’ve made is a treadmill. Our family started with a P25,000 machine. It was good. For six months. Then the rubber padding contracted a disease: It wouldn’t turn well. And so a few months ago, considering four in our family use the machine, we bought a P70,000 Kettler unit from JB Sports in SM. Today, if there’s rain outside or I want to sprint at 12 noon—which I would never do on the asphalt road—I jump on the treadmill. Simply put, it’s the best exercise equipment we’ve purchased.
Don’t like the treadmill? It’s too costly? Causes pain on your knees? Consider the stationary bike. There are several at Toby’s or Metro Ayala that sell for less than P4,950. Biking, as you know, offers one of the best cardio workouts of any sport. And if you’re a runner, it’s a perfect cross-training companion.
The elliptical machine is another. In fact, pitted against the treadmill and bike, this is tops. It offers zero impact on the legs (unlike the treadmill) and it even sharpens your upper body (unlike the bike).
You want to build muscle? One of the best exercises is offered to all for free: the push-up. But, because some complain of pain on their wrists, here’s a solution… push-up bars. They sell for P250.
Dumbbells are another. I have a few in the house and, whenever I rest with my cardio workout, I lift some weights and sweat for 45 minutes. Or if you’re regularly into working out, buy a home gym. At Chris Sports, one whole set costs less than P14,500—and will drill every part of your muscular system.
Gym membership. This, of course, is another brilliant gift idea. Most of us get motivated when we sweat alongside dozens of others. Fitness gyms are practical (no need to buy expensive equipment), convenient (consider Fitness First, right inside Ayala) and reasonably-priced (some at less than P999/month). And so, buy a “Gym Membership” gift. Check out Holiday Gym & Spa and Citigym at Waterfront. Plus, if you can afford it, buy the full 12-month package. Believe me: each time your friend exercises, she’ll remember you for it.
Buy sunglasses. For the past two months, each time I run, I wear glasses by Bolle. They’re perfect. Light, durable, with some of the best lenses in the world—an ideal gift for bikers, golfers, shooters, runners…
Books? Sure. Though it’s hard to shed off calories and lose weight while reading, you can buy books to motivate the reader to exercise. Buying one of Lance Armstrong’s biographies might, for example, encourage your husband to aim joining the Tour de France!
Here’s another excellent suggestion: Buy a gift certificate. To me, this makes a lot of sense. Instead of trying to picture if he’s an XL or XXL size, instead of figuring out if he likes red or blue or sleeveless or with collar—why not let him choose.
Shoes. Ah, here’s another favorite. I’ll tell you a story that took place 13 months ago. I was strolling inside the Ayala mall and happened to step inside Athlete’s Foot. Right inside the doorstep were boxes and boxes of shoes. I examined a few, scrutinized the colors and designs and, when my eyes saw the price tag, they enlarged: 50 percent discount! A stickler for bargains, I was intrigued. Within 10 minutes—without any plan to purchase—I carried home a pair of New Balance running shoes that cost P2,300. I used it the next day, then the day after, the week after… the month after… and this February 17, I’m joining the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon.
I know, I know… many of these options are expensive. And that’s the point! Gift yourself—or your loved ones—the most expensive exercise present that you can afford. Why? Because the more expensive, the more it will be used. And the more it will be used… well, you know the result… the better you will look!