Making and maintaining healthy lifestyle changes does not have to be as challenging when surrounded by family, friends, and loved ones who support those goals. Healthy gifts or the gift of wellness can be the real difference in improving one’s or another’s health this season. With the right health tools, individuals can make, see and feel the changes happening. Here is a list of a few of the best healthy holiday gifts to help your loved ones begin the New Year with a healthy perspective.
Compact Treadmill and Walking Pad
Walking daily is an integral part of overall wellness. The body was designed to move, and walking about 8,000 steps daily has been shown to reduce all-cause mortality compared to sedentary lifestyles. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that many individuals only walk around 5,000 steps daily.
- Walking pads and compact treadmills allow the ability to incorporate more physical activity.
- In inclement weather, they allow individuals to walk and complete a workout.
- Smaller walking pads can be installed under a standing desk for easy and effective movement during the workday.
Individuals that take supplements could benefit from a high-quality, all-purpose blender.
- A quality blender easily whips healthy smoothies, protein shakes, and other healthy beverages.
- Athletes can incorporate protein powder into their drinks.
- Certain high-tech blenders double as water infusers to reach hydration goals.
Percussive Massagers and Foam Roller Sets
Muscle recovery and maintaining flexibility are essential for body health. Recovery-specific tools can help immensely.
- A personal percussive massager uses vibration therapy to keep the muscles loose and release endorphins.
- Percussive massage treatment relieves soreness, stretches out the muscles, and improves flexibility and muscle strength in older individuals with sarcopenia or age-related muscle mass loss.
- Self-myofascial release tools like foam rollers can help roll out sore muscles while improving range of motion and muscle strength.
Research from workout enthusiasts and athletes has shown that having the right music or podcast makes or breaks the workout or sport.
- The research found that music can have an ergogenic effect on performance by increasing exercise duration and performance.
- Sweat-free earbuds are recommended as they are designed specifically for athletes, increasing their comfort and staying in place during their entire workout, no matter how intense.
Deep-fried foods can be full of unhealthy saturated fats and trans fats and are associated with various health concerns, including cardiovascular issues and type 2 diabetes.
- Air frying offers a healthier way to cook favorite foods, like fried chicken, French fries, fried vegetables, etc.
- Air fryers rely on convection heat that circulates to crisp up the food.
- This method is healthier than traditional frying methods.
- A study found that air-frying French fries led to a reduced formation of potential food hazards versus deep-frying.
- In addition, air frying can also be incorporated into baking or roasting.
Body Composition Scales
Body composition scales are recommended for achieving health and fitness goals.
- These units can keep track of lean body mass, metabolism, and neuromuscular function.
- They measure body fluid balance, muscle mass, and fat distribution.
- They offer real metrics for current skeletal muscle mass.
- Data points help individuals better understand their health.
Meditation Mats and Benches
Mental health is as vital as physical health.
- Incorporating mindfulness and meditation exercises daily can improve mental and physical well-being and encourage long-term behavioral changes.
- Regular meditation practice can help improve sleep quality, mood, and body repair and recovery from work, school, sports, workouts, etc.
- Meditation mats and benches can make seated and kneeling meditation practices more comfortable.
Therapeutic Environment of Insight
Dong, Lu et al. “Effects of Air Frying on French Fries: The Indication Role of Physicochemical Properties on the Formation of Maillard Hazards, and the Changes of Starch Digestibility.” Frontiers in nutrition vol. 9 889901. 27 Apr. 2022, doi:10.3389/fnut.2022.889901
Pinho, Alexandre S et al. “Can We Rely on Mobile Devices and Other Gadgets to Assess the Postural Balance of Healthy Individuals? A Systematic Review.” Sensors (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 19,13 2972. 5 Jul. 2019, doi:10.3390/s19132972
Rusch, Heather L et al. “The effect of mindfulness meditation on sleep quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences vol. 1445,1 (2019): 5-16. doi:10.1111/nyas.13996
Thakare, Avinash E et al. “Effect of music tempo on exercise performance and heart rate among young adults.” International journal of physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology vol. 9,2 35-39. 15 Apr. 2017
Wu, S., Ning, HT., Xiao, SM. Effects of vibration therapy on muscle mass, muscle strength and physical function in older adults with sarcopenia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur Rev Aging Phys Act 17, 14 (2020). doi.org/10.1186/s11556-020-00247-5
The information herein on "Healthy Gifts: EP's Sciatica Clinic" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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