Looking for unique holiday gifts for family and friends?

Here are a dozen ideas — in four categories — for presents that help support good health, from fitness to stress relief. What better way to show you care!


Do you have someone on your list who would appreciate fitness gear or a boost of get-up-and-go? Check out these options.


1. Home is where the gym is

Help them get more from their stay-in workouts. Some ideas: resistance bands, a jump rope, a yoga mat or hand weights.


2. Dressed for success

Workout wear can be fashionable, fun and functional. For your favorite runners, walkers or cyclists, consider reflective clothing to help them be seen and safe. A new bike helmet, bell or other safety gear makes a great gift for kids and adults.


3. Let’s do this!

Surprise a loved one or workout partner with an active adventure you can do together.* Maybe that’s a day of indoor rock-climbing, ice skating lessons or a heart-thumping dance class.

*For safety’s sake, talk with your doctor before significantly increasing your activity level.


Safety-inspired gifts can be both practical and thoughtful. Your loved ones will know you’re thinking of their well-being with these caring ideas.


4. Road-ready

Purchase or put together a car emergency kit. For example, it might include a basic tool kit, a flashlight with extra batteries, a fire extinguisher, jumper cables, a reflective triangle and first aid supplies.


5. Cooking up a safer kitchen

Equip the home chef for food safety. One must: a food thermometer to test the doneness of meats. Or how about plastic cutting boards that are color-coded for raw meats and fresh produce? They can help cooks avoid spreading harmful bacteria in the kitchen.


6. Tools of the trade

Help hobbyists avoid danger. Eye goggles, safety gloves and ear protection can be thoughtful gifts for woodworkers, gardeners and artists, who may use chemicals or power and hand tools.


These good-for-you treats please the palate — and may inspire better eating habits too.


7. It’s a Roman holiday!

Give a gift that can turn into a quick Italian-themed meal for a busy family. Fill a basket with whole-grain pasta, low-sodium tomato sauce, olive oil and dried herbs.


8. Delights for the home chef

How about a healthy cookbook or veggie steamer for someone who is trying to eat better? Other options: a spice collection, garlic press or citrus zester to encourage seasoning with less salt. An immersion blender for quick smoothies may be worth a whirl too.


9. Decadent goodness

Fill a basket with a fab fusion of fruits and other healthy delicacies. You might include oranges, red pears, pomegranates, and dried apricots and cranberries. Add gourmet teas or coffee, unsalted nuts and a little dark chocolate.


Too much stress isn’t good for our bodies or minds. Give a friend or loved one a gift that helps tame tension.


10. Easy does it

Stuff a stocking or basket with soothing stress busters. A few ideas: a journal, a CD of peaceful music or meditations, scented oils or candles, cozy socks or slippers and a gift certificate for a massage.


11. At your service

Who couldn’t use a helping hand? Give the gift of time. Write your intentions in a card — and be sure to follow through. Maybe you could do a household repair for an older relative. Or offer to babysit for a friend who would savor some me-time.


12. Good for a laugh

Humor is a sweet stress reliever — and makes a great gift. Maybe that’s a comedy DVD set, a funny book or a chuckle-a-day calendar.