Holiday Gift Ideas from the Health Experts

Sharecare has your ultimate healthy holiday gift guide.

By Marianne Wait

If all you want for Christmas is to be finished with shopping, don't despair. We at Sharecare asked some of our top health and fitness experts for a little help in knocking off the hard-to-please recipients on your list. Here are the items they'd most like to give-or get for themselves.

Holiday Survival Guide

Making spirits bright
Yoga expert Kristin McGee suggests a couple of gifts that manage to be naughty and nice at the same time. She starts with sampler packs of heart-healthy red wines, in small "tasting" sizes, from TastingRoom.com-it's a great way for your friends to figure out whether they prefer a hint of strawberry in their wine or "flavors of the forest floor." For friends and family members who prefer to satisfy their sweet tooth as they coddle their heart, McGee suggests antioxidant-laden dark chocolate from SweetRiot.com. Think your loved one's heart needs its cockles warmed? McGee loves the exotic yet homey blends at Kusmi Teas.

Fit to be tried
At the top of trainer and fitness expert Lisa Lynn's wish list is a pair of NIKEiD athletic shoes. They're customizable! You can pick the colors and degree of flexibility and cushioning. Or help your loved one walk or run just a little longer or faster, suggests Charles Sophy, DO, who likes the Nike+ SportBand, a wristwatch that tracks distance, calories burned and pace.

And for anyone on your list who works at a desk, Barbara Ficarra, RN , BSN, MPA recommends the Gaiam Balance Ball Chair. This chair with a stability ball for a seat allows you to strengthen your core while you work.

For snoozing and losing
Sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, has a dreamy gift in mind for your friends and family: a new pillow. "Most people do not realize this, but you should be changing your pillow every 12 to 18 months if it's down or feathers, and every two to three years if it's foam," says Dr. Breus. Dr. Sophy recommends a different kind of energy-booster: The goLITE Blu is a portable light that emits specific wavelengths to ease the winter blahs, improve sleep, boost energy, and decrease carb cravings.

Is someone you love trying to lose a few pounds? Steal an idea from Robin Miller, MD. "I get the cards that you can record a message in and I have patients put them on their refrigerators," Dr. Miller says. "I record this message: 'Hello, (Patient's name), this is your doctor speaking. Step away from the refrigerator!' Believe it or not, most of my patients keep it up all year until they get the next card."

Increase your energy with a flip of a switch

Spreading joy further
Sometimes, the most meaningful gift is one that won't fit into a box.

Nutritionist Rovenia Brock, PhD suggests making a donation in the name of your friend or loved one. "Access to nutritious food is of paramount importance to me, so I'm donating farm animals to families in villages of Africa through worldvisiongifts.org," Says Dr. Brock. "One goat and two chickens cost only $100 and provide a steady source of meat, eggs and milk."

Add one more name to your list
Several of our experts agree that the best thing you can do for the people who care about you is to take care of yourself this holiday season. If that sounds selfish, yoga expert Kristin McGee notes that being kind to yourself is a gift to those around you. "If we nurture ourselves first, we are able to be more present," McGee says. "And that is really the only present anyone wants from us."

Check out the entire gift guide here


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