A gift of wellness has year-round benefits.
Wellness refers to overall quality of life. Factors that influence wellness include physical fitness, nutrition and behavioral health choices. When you have a strong sense of well-being, you are more likely to be positive, productive and resilient at work and at home.
Wellness-oriented gifts are thoughtful and need not be expensive. Here are a few suggestions from the WorkCare team, with best wishes for a safe and happy year ahead.
Building Strength and Flexibility
The following are three examples of products designed to help improve strength and flexibility, reduce injury risk, alleviate minor aches and pains, and maintain balance:
- Resistance bands – Thin rubber tubes with handles at each end vary in length and degrees of resistance. They are portable, support a full-body workout for major muscle groups and enhance the intensity of familiar exercises.
- Yoga mat – A sticky, cushioned mat can be used for yoga practice and other floor exercises. A mat helps protect joints and prevent slips and falls. Many people practice yoga to relieve stress, gently stretch muscles, stimulate cardiovascular and metabolic systems, and get better rest.
- Foam roller – Firm foam rollers vary in length. They provide a deep-tissue massage effect that helps reduce inflammation in the joints, improve circulation and flexibility, and shorten recovery time after a strenuous workout.
Gifts for Foodies
People who eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables reduce their risk of chronic disease such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and type-2 diabetes. Show how much you care and inspire friends and family to cook healthier meals by giving culinary supplies and fresh foods:
- Fresh produce – Take the concept of farm-to-table to the next level by giving a weekly seasonal subscription to a local fresh-produce home delivery or farm stand pick-up program.
- Basket of fresh fruit – It can be difficult to find high-quality, naturally ripe fruit during the winter. Fruits are naturally low in fat and sodium, and they are sources of potassium (which may help lower blood pressure), dietary fiber found in pulp, vitamin C and folic acid. While fruit contains sugar, it is not the same as the processed variety.
- Food processor, juicer or blender – Smoothies and fresh juice facilitate food and vegetable intake for people who are active or can’t find time to cook a well-balanced meal. Blended fruit and vegetable drinks that are low in sugar have been found to help promote weight loss, boost the immune system and improve digestion. An added bonus: most kids like fresh juice and smoothies.
- Vegetable choppers, slicers and spiralizers – Select tools that make it easy to quickly chop vegetables. Some choppers and slicers cut vegetables into unique shapes that exppand preparation options. For example, spiralizers can be used to make zucchini noodles, or “zoodles,” a healthy alternative to pasta made with white flour.
Given life’s daily challenges, it may be difficult to stick with a routine exercise schedule or even take a few moments for a mindful pause. Here are three gift ideas that promote motivation and self-care:
- Fitness tracking device – Many people wear or carry electronic devices to reinforce healthy behaviors, measure physical activity and set reminders for wellness-related activities such as deep breathing or taking micro-breaks. People with fitness devices tend to be more aware about movement and are motivated by their numbers. Many devices offer fitness and weight-loss guidance along with options to set a specific wellness goal.
- Gym membership or classes – A gym membership or a series of fitness-oriented classes gives the receiver multiple opportunities to get exercise without financial constraints. At the gym, cardio and strength training machines are available to help burn fat and build lean muscle mass. Classes offer social stimulation, which promotes a sense of physical and mental well-being.
- Fitness gear – People usually want to use new sports equipment or clothing as soon as possible. According to ScienceDirect, certain types of clothing (such as golf, tennis or running attire, swimwear or dance wear) can trigger a positive mental shift called “enclothed cognition.”
Here are some additional ideas:
- Air quality: Humidifier, aromatherapy (infuser)
- Body mechanics: Ergonomically designed tools, computer equipment or furniture
- Ear protection: Muffs or earphones designed to prevent hearing loss
- Eyes: Protective eyewear/goggles, therapeutic eye pillow
- Herbs: Garden starter kit, mill or grinder, medicinal teas
- Oral care: Sonic toothbrush, powered water flosser
- Relaxation: Spa visit, massage, weekend getaway, bath products
- Safety: First aid kit, smoke detector, fire extinguisher, elder-care fall protection
- Skin: Sun block, lotion and other products to preserve skin
- Sleep: White noise-maker, bedding, window shades
Do you have some wellness-related gift ideas you’d like to share? Please leave a comment below.