5 Gifts for the Fitness First-Timer

The Active Times Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Several items from our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide are great for fitness newbies. Help them get the new year started right with one of our picks below:

1. Mio Alpha Strapless Heart Rate Monitor 

No annoying chest strap: this is the Mio Alpha’s biggest bonus according to gadget-loving fitness fans. Heart rate zone training is becoming more and more popular because it’s one of the most effective ways to track and evaluate progress, and for gym-goers and exercise junkies this no-strap monitor is one of the most accurate tools on the market. The watch provides a continuous heart rate reading by measuring capillary blood flow through “optical sensing.” Numbers are clearly displayed on the watch’s console, but it also provides audio cues to alert exercisers  where they are in relation to their desired zone. $199; mioglobal.com

2. HumanX KB Arm Guards

Since CrossFit is all the rage right now, chances are someone in your life just bought their very first box membership. With workouts so intense, a first-timer might return from their first WOD with a bit of a bruised ego. But at least you can give them the gift of un-wounded wrists. Those KettleBell snatches can be killer. $20; humanxgear.com

3. Action Wipes

Don’t let anyone in your life complain they have no time for exercise. As long as their bag is stocked with a few Action Wipes they really have no excuse. Just workout, wipe down, and get on with the day. Since they’re compact and great for cleaning up anywhere at any time, avid travelers and outdoor adventurer-lovers will adore them too. $25; actionwipes.com

4. Harbinger Pro Gloves

Lifting weights isn’t easy, and not just because they’re heavy. Rough metal gym equipment leaves unprotected hands coarse and calloused, but durable foam-padded gloves like these provide protection and comfort. Plus, they’re great for outside the gym, too. One reviewer wrote that they even held up through a Tough Mudder obstacle course race. $15 (w)/$17 (m); dickssportinggoods.com

5. Bowflex Boost™ Smart Activity Tracker

The Bowflex Boost is all about encouraging activity, and since we all need to a do a little less sitting and lot more moving, that means it makes a great gift for pretty much anyone. The discreet wristband makes tracking daily activity almost effortless. It records steps, distance, and calories and measures the results against pre-programmed goals. Motivation comes in the form of a little LED light that progresses from red to yellow as your approach your daily target and finally to green when you reach your goal. Bluetooth compatibility makes for seamless smartphone data syncing and of course, social media sharing too. $50; bowflexboost.com

Click HERE to see the entire 2013 Gift Guide.