December 26, 2011
Alright folks, this is officially it.
Last year, I published a last minute Christmas shopping list, and this year I've had multiple requests for another quintessential holiday shopping list for the health nut, fitness enthusiast, multi-sport junkie or fat-loss devotee…
…but I decided to wait until after Christmas – since you've no doubt got some gift cards you need to figure out what to do with.
So here are you 16 killer fitness resources you can buy with your gift cards, whether you are bored with your current workouts or need something new for your New Year's fitness inspiration.
I've tracked down the best deals, the highest-quality products, and the most unique, health-conscious items for you to spend your gift card money on – and provided you with a range of options from inexpensive, custom-designed energy bars to my favorite home and travel exercise equipment.
You can click on any of the items in the list, and they will open in a new window, so you'll always be able to access this list later.
Without further ado, here we go!
Originating in Finland as a popular exercise tool at health clubs and homes, the Gymstick is an incredibly versatile and portable exercise device that can be used for fat loss, lean body toning and beginner to advanced fitness. As you can see from the picture, it is comprised of a flexible fiberglass stick, soft foam hand grip and pair of latex rubber resistance tubes with durable fabric loops at both ends. I use my Gymstick three times per week for 30-45 minutes: once for a core workout, once for a toning workout, and once for a sports performance workout!
Here’s why I recommend the Gymstick:
-It’s highly portable, making it great for home and travel based workouts…
-It is perfect for muscle toning, but also can build strength and enhance sports performance…
-By simply twisting the stick, you can instantly increase or decrease resistance…
-It can be included in a high-calorie burning, metabolism-boosting workout OR a slower, toning and strength-building routine…
-Compared to other pieces of home exercise equipment, it is inexpensive and easy-to-use!
Each Gymstick includes a stylish fabric cover and carry bag, a Gymstick Instruction and workout poster (including 18 basic movements), and a 60 min Gymstick Workout DVD (incl. 3 workout programs). Just click on Gymstick for the best rock-bottom pricing you can get anywhere on a Gymstick, which includes FREE shipping to anywhere in the USA.
As a culmination of all my fat loss, nutrition, and “do anywhere” exercise secrets, I originally designed the Shape21 Lean Body Manual five years ago to help people get fit and burn fat fast. In the summer of 2009, I re-designed the “no guesswork” meal plan in Shape21 to completely eliminate any potential barriers to maximum fat loss, including food allergens, toxins, and preservatives. Shape21 includes grocery shopping lists, meal plans with recipes for each day, clearly-written workouts and exercises, and every tool necessary for you to achieve a lean body as quickly as possible. Included with each order of Shape21 is:
-An exercise DVD with clear demonstrations of each workout…
-A month of free unlimited access to the Shape21 Member Forum…
-A free Shape21 Audio Download, in which I walk you through all elements of the book…
-Free access to my 1 hour Fat Loss Secrets Seminar video…
Just click on Shape21 to go to the official Shape21 website, where the book and DVD are available a special, web-only package. This is a perfect gift for a beginner who wants to jump-start their exercise program for the New Year, an intermediate exerciser who wants something like P90X or Beach Body Insanity or Crossfit, but with better eating instructions, or even an advanced athlete who wants a new challenge (and trust me, if you do the advanced section of the book, it is a serious challenge).
For literally thousands of years, this incredibly potent antiseptic and antifungal oil has been one of the best kept secrets of natural medicine.
You can put Oil of Oregano on your skin to treat acne and eczema, place a few drops under your tongue to kill fungus, microbes, yeast and bad bacteria in your gut, and even mix a little into a spraybottle to mist in your house and on your kitchen counter to destroy microbes. It is a perfect antidote against winter viruses (including swine flu) and gives you complete peace of mind in sickness carrying crowds, such as on airplanes, trains, buses or sporting events.
In my own personal research, I’ve found that interestingly, in most commercial grocery stores and health food outlets, what you are getting is not the actual Oil of Oregano but rather, a fake knock-off imitation oil or compound that is a complete waste of money, and potentially harmful at higher dosages. But last spring, I received a phone call from a fan of BenGreenfieldFitness.com, and was given complete access to one of the most highly concentrated and certified sources of Oil of Oregano, at a price so affordable that I literally thought I was being pranked.
This Oil of Oregano is a 7:1 mixture of Mediterranean oregano extract and almond oil, bottled in a 1 ounce medicine droplet bottle that lasts 1-2 months, depending on your frequency of use. The almond oil is a Virgin Sweet Almond Oil, which is more readily assimilated into the skin and less greasy that another other available carrier oil, including olive oil, which is the normal carrier oil for oregano. Each bottle comes with a laboratory certificate of analysis, is 100% pure undiluted and unadulterated, and contains 75% Carvacrol, the primary indicator of quality and effectiveness.
It is harvested in France and stream distilled in a blend that is stronger than other blends that are available on the retail market – at a fraction of the price. I guarantee that you will begin to notice results within just 2 weeks of implementing Product X as a topical treatment for skin problems, microbe killer in your home, or soldier against bad bugs in your gut. So if you're ready to save money on doctors and hospital bills, eliminate yeast, fungus and bad bacteria in your gut and introduce a completely natural, healthy, and highly effective microbe killer into your home or office, you can click here to get your hands on Oil of Oregano today.
Do you have a swimmer or triathlete in your life? The FINIS Freestyler is the only hand paddle specifically designed for freestyle swimming. Utilizing what is described as a patented “skeg” technology, the Freestyler allows swimmers to properly position the hand at the beginning of the stroke.
The FINIS Freestyle paddle will force the swimmer to maximize their extension and initiate the rotation at the beginning of the stroke. They force your hand entry to be correct, but don't chafe your wrists like other paddles. I've been using them for about four months now, and include them at least once a week in my swim sets to unlearn bad habits I've developed from swimming incorrectly without the paddles. It's amazing to feel your hand literally tugged into the exact correct position every time it enters the water.
The hydrodynamic shape of the paddle also eliminates shoulder stress, while promoting high elbows in the pull and recovery phases of the stroke. The FINIS Freestyle paddles can be a little hard to find, but I've found one of the most reliable sources to be at the online swimming superstore “Swim Outlet”, which you can access by clicking on FINIS Freestyle paddles.
5. FIT10 – 10 Minute Home Workout Device
The FIT10, which I demonstrate in the video here, is an easy-to-use fitness trainer that only requires a door – making it perfect for quick and highly effective home, office or hotel workouts. With adjustable resistance levels for all fitness types, it can be used for upper body, abdominal, running/sprinting workouts, and an unlimited number of other exercises. It is also very good for people who need low impact exercise, since the FIT10 workout builds tremendous strength without compressing the spine, or over-stressing the joints.
Your FIT10 package includes: Quick Strength Trainer; Padded Waist Belt; Super Strong Resistance Bungee; Travel Bag; Instructional DVD-including Dave's Motivational Workout; Quick Start Guide, and a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.
Includes FREE copy of the book “Fat To Fit”, so you can get started into FIT10 with zero guesswork. Get your FIT10 now by clicking here.
Why not deliver a gift of something healthy, that doesn't include dry smoked salmon, crackers and dips that are full of preservatives?
Try a more refreshing nutritional approach. I want to introduce you to a friend of mine: the talented and highly entertaining Chef Todd Mohr from WebCookingClasses.com, a revolutionary, healthy cooking instructor who I met last week while I was in New York. And at the bottom of this post, I have a special question for you.
Why is Chef Todd Mohr so revolutionary, you ask? Well, his philosophy on healthy cooking without recipes is totally unique. He has truly changed the way I view cooking and I know it will have the same impact on you. You see, Chef Todd Mohr believes that most of us don't really know how to cook!
Sure we can follow a recipe – sometimes, especially if we've made it before and figured out its “quirks.” But we don't really know the techniques we used and, worse yet – we don't understand the cooking methods that recipes call upon. As Chef Todd explained to me, your cooking methods are EVERYTHING in Cooking!
Chef Todd Mohr has even developed an entire cooking system based on this philosophy and this system has thought thousands of people around the world to cook!
If you want to know more about Chef Todd, then just click here to get access to his 5 Cooking DVD's or a free trial of his cooking classes!
These are rich flakes of magnesium chloride hexahydrate and other trace minerals, in a convenient and economical form for utilization in baths and foot soaks. Ancient Minerals magnesium flakes are approximately 47% magnesium chloride by weight, and if you listened to Podcast #45 from BenGreenfieldFitness.com (the interview with Dr. Mark Sircuis), then you know that this form of magnesium packs a powerful punch for human physical performance, testosterone release, muscle and strength gains, elimination of fatigue, cardiovascular health and reduction of heart attack risk, bone density, and a solution for muscular cramps and spasms.
Ancient Minerals Magnesium Bath Flakes are extracted from the Ancient Zechstein Seabed in Europe, 1600 to 2000 meters deep in the interior of the Earth. Well protected for over a millenia, they are the most pure magnesium flakes in the world and a mark of purity on every bottle of Ancient Minerals.
For therapeutic use, you can dissolve 1 to 3 cups of magnesium flakes (or more) in full tub bath or foot bath and soak for 30 minutes or more. Temperature of the water should be 101F to 103F (not hot). Hot bath water causes the skin to eliminate rather than absorb. Following the bath, rinse your skin with cool running water, then pat skin dry with a towel and apply a natural moisturizer. The benefits of a magnesium bath are enormous:
- Restores cellular magnesium levels
- Acts as a cellular protectant
- Supports detoxification
- Relieves aches and pains
- Improves mood and relieves stress
- Encourages healthy skin tissue
I personally use not only the Ancient Minerals Magnesium Bath Flakes on a weekly basis, but also the topical magnesium oil you will find at the same website. This canister of flakes with a bottle of the oil would be a perfect “one-two” combo gift!
In her bestselling book “The Gut Flush Plan” and in Podcast #29 from BenGreenfieldFitness.com, Dr. Anne Louise Gittleman warns us of the bad bugs and food allergies that threaten our guts on a daily basis. In her discussion about how to cleanse your body of toxins, maximize athletic performance, destroy the yeast, superbugs, parasites growing in your gut, and eliminate food sensitivities, she mentions actually getting yourself tested to actually see “what is going in” inside your digestive system.
That is where the complete “Expanded GI Panel” comes in. From your own home, it allows you to test for parasites, 4 major food allergens and intestinal function using multiple stool and saliva samples. The Expanded GI Panel helps to find causes for digestive problems, gluten intolerance, hyperactivity, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. The “Expanded GI Panel” tests for H. plylori and pathogenic bacteria, Candida Albicans and fungus in addition to screening for many types of protozoa and worms, including C. difficile, Giardia, E. coli, Blastocystis hominis, Roundworm, Toxoplasma, Trichinella spiralis (from swine) and Tapeworm.
That's not all! It also measures allergies to gluten, cow's milk, eggs, and soy. Intestinal function markers including GI immunity-SIgA, pancreatic enzyme output, blood in stool, and stool pH will also be included in the results. In the privacy of your home, 3 stool samples and 2 saliva samples are collected and then sent to the laboratory. Results go directly to Ann Louise Gittleman's office, after which you will receive a personalized letter of recommendations and test results which may include natural anti-parasite herbal formulas, nutritional supplements, diet, and lifestyle changes.
Click here to order the panel today!
Before my triathlons, and after tough workouts and races, I rely on a small, portable and incredibly effective tool called the Muscletrac, which I’ve been successfully using on the multiple knots and adhesions I develop while swimming, cycling and running.
The Muscletrac is basically a self-massage device with special wheels attached. When rolled across the muscle tissue, the individual articulating wheels allow for targeted penetration and stretching of the muscle tissue and overlying fascia. It has quite a different feel from the similar tool that is more commonly seen (“The Stick”). So how does this actually help performance and recovery? Restrictions such as muscle tightness, knots, trigger points and adhesions can cause pain, decrease range of motion and ultimately lead to injury. By applying pressure and releasing these tight areas, performance and mobility can be improved!
I’m a big fan of the Muscletrac, especially since it’s smaller and more portable, for those times when you can’t throw a personal massage therapist in your suitcase. This is useful for not only athletes, but also sedentary individuals who need to enhance blood flow and flexibility. Prior to my latest triathlon, I knew I wouldn’t have a chance to warm-up or stretch prior to the race. So during the drive to the race, I used the Muscletrac on my legs, shoulders and back to improve range of motion.
It worked perfectly. After the race, I used the same strategy to work the inflammation out of the tissue, vastly reducing post-race soreness and enhancing recovery.
At the TrainingPeaks website, you can actually purchase a Premium subscription gift to what I consider to be the best workout and nutrition logging software that exists. I’m not one to recommend that every time you go exercise, you take eight pounds of heart rate monitors, GPS devices, foot pods and fancy cell phone applications with you.
Neither do I endorse being so “caught-up” in writing down everything you eat and every workout you do that you forget to enjoy yourself. It is true that when it comes to your health and fitness, too much technology can bog you down. But for simple logging of your nutrition and exercise, there can be enormous benefits to going beyond the mere “chicken-scratch” on a notepad approach. TrainingPeaks online training software allows you to:
-Monitor fitness and health trends over time so you could compare last month’s workout to this month’s workout…(incredibly motivating to get you off the couch and into the gym!)
-Track exercise, nutrition, weight, stress & more, even down to how many hours of sleep you get every night…(you’d be surprised at how the stress/sleep correlates with the quality of your exercise sessions)
-Search and record your favorite running and cycling routes or map your own (i.e. you’re on vacation in Denver and you want to find a good 5 mile run, so you just type Denver, and do a search for 5 mile run routes)…
-After your exercise session, use your cell phone, Facebook, or Twitter to share workouts and routes with friends (i.e. check out this run I just went on!)…
-Upload heart rate, power meter & GPS workouts so you can save all your workouts (it actually makes using a heart rate monitor or GPS device easy and fun)…
-Apply exercise programs and meal plans (there is a big store inside the software where you can shop for anything from a 5K running plan to a gluten-free meal plan for triathletes)…
-Plan and schedule your own exercise & meals (the software will automatically send you e-mails that remind you about workouts and meals!)…
-Be able to seamlessly share all this data with your coach or your personal trainer (makes accountability WAY easier)…
Probably the best part is that the entire software program that allows you to do everything listed above is ONLINE, so you still have all your data if your computer crashes.
It’s called TrainingPeaks, and you can check it out and get a subscription which can be activated by your gift-recipient by clicking here. They even have a “coaches version” that can be used by a personal trainer or triathlon coach to manage their clients and athletes! And did I mention that you'll have access to all my training, nutrition and fitness plans?
You've changed since your days in the nursery… You're bigger, play harder, smell stronger and your skin is not as smooth as your once cute baby behind. That's why there is a bigger, thicker wipe especially for adults. One that doesn't leave you smelling like a baby, or remind you of one when its your time to play.
ActionWipes are created with a clean, fresh aromatic scent that smells like you just stepped into a spa. They're made with all natural ingredients and therapeutic aromatherapy oils of tea tree and eucalyptus to clean sweaty pores and remove bacteria. They have a mild sudsing action that doesn't require rinsing, so you're doing more than just wiping your skin, you're actually cleaning it!
Quick to dry, it leaves your skin soft – not sticky. ActionWipes are naturally antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-fungal, so they're good for your skin. The gentle formula is safe for your face, sensitive skin, kids, pets and our planet too. And they're extra strong too!
Unlike other single-use wipes, ActionWipes can actually withstand several machine washings and drying, so you can repurpose them for other uses – such as washing your dishes when you're out camping, cleaning your equipment, or dusting your furniture.
So go ahead, use them before, during and after Triathlons, Yoga, Music Festivals, Surfing, Golf, Tennis, Camping, Hiking, Backpacking, Soccer, Rugby, Roller Derby, Horse Back Riding, Motocross, Raquetball, Football, Baseball, Wine Tasting, Travelling… whatever! I personally incorporate ActionWipes into my triathlon training routine and take them everywhere I go when traveling – the spray and wipes never leave my gym bag!
Be sure to activate your 10% discount code “BGF” today by ordering at the ActionWipes website. They even have an ActionWipes Gift Set, which comes with 5 Action Wipes, 2oz sports gel and sports spray packaged in a washable mesh bag. ActionWipes are perfect for the athlete or outdoor enthusiast on your gift list!
It’s not often that I stumble across a product that I automatically begin recommending to all my clients and working into the meal plans that I write… …but a physician whom I highly respect recently mentioned to me the product called “Miracle Noodles“, an incredibly effective fat-loss tool for those of you who have to have your pasta and eat it too.
So here’s the skinny on Miracle Noodles: Originally called “Shirataki” noodles, Miracle Noodles, which have a chewy, rice-noodle type of texture, are traditionally a staple known and used in Asia for over two thousand years. They are made from a soluble plant fiber called glucomannan, which in Miracle Noodles is derived from a carboydrate-free flour made from konnyaku imo root. So what does it actually mean if you are eating a noodle made from a root?
Think of it like Stevia, the natural root-based sweetener and completely carbohydrate-free version of sugar.
–Miracle Noodles are made of naturally water soluble fiber with no fat, sugar, or starch.
–Miracle Noodles contain zero net carbohydrates and zero calories.
–Miracle Noodles are wheat free & gluten free.
So how do you cook them? The answer is…you don’t. To the extreme benefit of any “busy” healthy eaters out there, it’s this simple: Miracle Noodles are instantly ready. You just drain the pack and rinse in a strainer or collander for a couple of minutes.
Then you add any number of spices, herbs, vegetables, seeds, nuts or lean meats to complete the meal. The Miracle Noodle website actually has a huge collection of incredibly healthy meals. As an added bonus, this glucomannan fiber significantly slows the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream means that any carbohydrates that you may consume with the Miracle Noodles would actually cause less damage.
I completely approve of these as a way to get your carbohydrate fix without actually eating carbs. I wish they were available in more commercial grocery stores, and with their fantastic fat-loss health benefits, I’m certain they will be soon. In the meantime, you can get them or gift them by clicking here. (Did I mention they have 10 different varieties, and they’re practically as affordable as Top Ramen noodles?)
By the way, on the Miracle Noodle website, there is an “Ultimate Sample Pack” which features 12 different varieties of their noodles, a perfect holiday gift.
This is my ultimate training collection of books, CD's and DVD's for triathletes that allows a busy person to finally break the mold and dominate Half-Ironman or Ironman triathlon with a zero-guesswork training and nutrition plan, and do it WITHOUT neglecting family, WITHOUT quitting a career, WITHOUT saying goodbye to friends for a year, and WITHOUT giving up other hobbies. The following items arrive in your mailbox when you order the Triathlon Dominator Package:
-The Official 36 Week Ironman Dominator Plan: my 9 month step-by-step plan that will bring you to any Ironman triathlon on the face of the planet, 100% confident that you will cross the finish line with a big smile, guilt-free because you did not neglect your family, friends, work and life during your Ironman preparation.
-Holistic Fueling for Ironman Triathletes: the ultimate key to the secrets of fueling with the thousands of calories necessary for Ironman triathlon – without getting sick, missing training days, or destroying your body!
-Top 12 Resistance Training Routines for Triathletes Book: a strength training manual that breaks the mold by giving you short and incredibly effective gym workouts designed specifically to enhance endurance while maintaining strength, muscular tone, and explosiveness.
-Top 12 Resistance Training Routines for Triathletes DVD: the jam-packed companion exercise video that will teach you the tips, tricks and form for each of Ben Greenfield's proprietary triathlon workouts, so you're no longer standing around the gym scratching my head.
-The No-Guesswork Guide to Ironman Race Week CD: your secret weapon to ensure zero guesswork and complete confidence that you're perfectly prepared when you stand on the beach on race morning – a step-by-step roadmap that walks you through the eating, tapering, pacing and Ironman race day logistics!
-Endurance Sports Supplements Secrets CD: a no-nonsense roadmap to navigating the confusing world of sports performance enhancing supplements and dietary aids and knowing which “dietary aids” in the magazines and expos work and which ones are a waste of your money or a hazard to your health.
-The Triathlon Supplements Discount Guide: this guide will ensure that nutrition supplementation is no longer an expensive guessing game by giving you exclusive discounts on products that have been hand-picked by sports nutritionist Ben Greenfield, allowing you to easily choose the supplements that are perfect for your sport.
“Instant 24-7 Triathlon Coach”: Your own personal triathlon coach and the designer of the entire Ironman training program to take care of any questions that you may have along the way!
The entire Triathlon Dominator Package, featuring all the elements listed above, is available for special, web-only pricing at the Triathlon Dominator Website. Act fast, because limited copies are available during the holiday season!
Another perfect gift for the triathlete or swimmer on your list, the Essentials of Triathlon Swimming DVD is broken into three sections:
- Drills to Improve Your Swim Technique
- How To Train Safely With Powerful Workout Routines
- Open Water Swimming and Race Strategies
You can simply curl up in your favorite comfortable chair, watch the video and start using these techniques in your next training session.Use either of two complete swim training plans to optimally prepare for your next Sprint, Olympic Distance, Half Ironman, or Ironman Distance race. You will have confidence and ability that you can finish the swim strong with much more energy and shave your swim leg down tremendously.
Anybody could spend hours researching different types of swimming techniques, and spend even more time testing each of those techniques personally — and still not see any improvement in race time. But you don't have to research swimming techniques… because this program has done the research for you.
When I see countless triathletes overtraining… putting in long hours in the pool… and then not enjoying the level of racing success that they should, it frustrates me. I absolutely hate to see other people making the same swim technique mistakes that many of my swim coaching clients used to make…especially when it's so easy to correct them.
The Essentials of Triathlon Swimming DVD will give you a huge boost in the right direction — so you can reach new levels of success race after race — and do it pain-free. If you are ready to get started on your journey to getting rid of poor swim techniques, overtraining, and the loss of fun in your triathlon training sessions, then grab you or your gift-recipient a copy of Essentials of Triathlon Swimming DVD!
When I am coaching people to reach their nutritional goals, whether via phone, e-mail, or face-to-face, one of the documents that I supply is a proprietary 20+ page primer on the “Top 18 Dietary Questions to Ask Yourself”. One of these eighteen questions covers the topic of supplements…and includes the following snippet:
When choosing energy bars, look for:
-Primary carb source (at least 3g of fiber or more) from whole grains like brown rice, oats, bran, barley, rye, buckwheat or whole wheat flour.
-Natural sugars (preferably 15g or less): dried or fresh fruit, fruit juice, purees (fructose), milk (lactose), agave nectar, and honey
-Lean protein sources such as whey, soy, casein or eggs
-Monunsaturated fat supplied by nuts and seeds, nut butters or flaxseed
-Limit ingredients like wheat flakes, rice, white flour, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, dextrose, malitol, malt syrup, artificial sweeteners, preservatives and colors, saturated/trans fats, palm kernel oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil or extra calories from chocolate, caramel, frosting, or icing.
So what if you wanted to cut to the chase and actually get your hands on a bar that automatically fulfills all those critera?
I do it, and I’m going to tell you exactly how and also give you a special discount code. It exists. It's called the Cocochia Bar and you can get a box of them for a Christmas gift by clicking here. Perfect for eating on the go, this snack bar is made of only clean, raw, all natural ingredients.
Ingredients include: Organic Chia Seeds, TheraSweet (safe and healthy alternative to traditional sugar products and artificial sweeteners), Certified Organic Raw Almond Butter, Certified Organic Agave Syrup, Non GMO Rice Protein, Organic Gum Acacia, Certified Organic Cocoa and Certified Organic Chocolate Liquor. Bon appetit!
OK, that's about it! You could pretty easily shop guilt-free for your entire list from the items described above, and feel proudly satisfied that you gave yourself the gift of health and fitness this holiday season.
If you have questions, feel free to leave them below, and remember that all your purchases will help support this website!