12 Gift Ideas for Healthy Holidays -- UAMS Women's Health Newsletter
12 Gift Ideas for Healthy Holidays -- UAMS Women's Health Newsletter

12 Gift Ideas for Healthy Holidays

What better way to show your love for friends and family than a gift that will help them stay healthy through the holidays and the new year? All these gifts are under $50, and you’ll likely find something for everyone on your list, from teachers to teens, grandma and the groomer.
“Any gift that shows you care about another person’s health shows you genuinely care about the person, too,” says Dr. Amy Phillips, one of our OB/GYN doctors at UAMS. “Your gift may be just the nudge they need to launch a healthy 2016.”
Here are our favorite healthy gift ideas:

Soap or Hand Sanitizer
If you are wondering who would want this as a gift, you haven’t been shopping lately to see the wide variety of decorative soaps, gift soaps, soap dispensers and bottles of hand sanitizer in every shape and size imaginable. Before you begin shopping, take a few minutes to brush up on the best way to wash your hands. If you’d like to make your own personalized soap or hand sanitizer dispensers to give as gifts, use these easy-to-follow instructions.
Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Dectectors
Newer models of smoke alarms manufactured in the past couple of years use two types of smoke/fire detection technology that help protect you and your family from smoldering smoke that old (ionization) models alone often didn’t detect until families were inhaling smoke. The dual sensors have both ionization and photoelectric technology and often include carbon monoxide sensors in a single unit. Check these guidelines for the best smoke detector for your needs.

Reusable Water Bottles
There are many benefits to drinking more water. Give a decorative reusable water bottle or one that reflects the recipient’s personality. Like soaps, retail stores and online outlets are full of a wide variety of insulated water bottles. If you’re looking for stocking stuffers and thought about adding some “water enhancers,” be aware that most of these do not add any nutritional value.

Sun Protection
Skin protection is another areain in which new technology brings many new products to choose from this year. Clothing made of fabric with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 50 that blocks 98% of harmful UVA/UVB sun rays is now available in a variety of styles for men, women, children and babies. Wide-brimmed hats for everyone on your list are available in sport and fashion styles. These guidelines for year-round skin protection can help you find a gift for special interests of those on your list. Sunscreen can make a great stocking stuffer, especially if a ski trip is planned. Check out the best products in 2015.

New research shows that if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s helpful to weigh yourself every day. For this to be effective, you need accurate scales. These scales offer reliable weigh-ins at home. Newer models record your weight and use your home’s Wi-Fi to connect with your smartphone to track your weight, body mass index and body fat. You can set a weight loss goal and track your progress or even share your progress with others using social media. Most of these scales allow several people in your family to track their weight.
If you need help setting a healthy weight target, use this body mass index (BMI) calculator.

Gift Cards to Healthy Restaurants
Restaurant gift cards are always a popular gift item, and you can make them “healthy” by selecting restaurants with several healthy menu choices. In the fast food category, Chipotle, Chik-Fil-A, Subway, Panera Bread and Jason’s Deli all get votes for having a variety of healthy foods to choose from.
If you’ll be dining out with friends this holiday season, check out this list of the worst fast-food restaurant choices from popular restaurants along with some healthy alternatives.

Gear for Walkers and Runners
It’s hard to know what size and style of shoe to get for walkers and runners, but you can get a good pair of socks that will fit, as long as have a general idea of their shoe size. New socks for walkers and runners offer the latest fabric technology to keep feet comfortable and dry.

Fresh Fruit
Depending on where your gift recipient lives, you can give gift cards to grocery stores that stock a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables such as Whole Foods and Fresh Market. If they live too far away from a gourmet grocery, consider a fruit-of-the-month subscription. Or, you can make a fruit basket. Also,this is a great gift idea for families hosting out-of-town guests for the holidays.

Workout Tunes
Does your gift recipient uses an Apple device for music? If so, you can give an iTunes gift card so he or she can download workout music. If you’re giving to someone with a non-Apple device, give a Google Play card. Either one will also work for apps, movies and books. If you’re a last-minute shopper, you can even have these gift cards delivered by e-mail.

Blood Pressure Monitor
According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 70 million American adults have high blood pressure (that’s 1 out of 3 people). It’s important to monitor your blood pressure regularly, and a home blood pressure monitor can make this easy. Wrist and finger monitors are less accurate than cuff-style upper arm monitors. You can learn more about the best monitor for your needs. As a bonus, checking everyone’s blood pressure will be a fun activity when your family’s all together for the holidays.

Bike Helmets
Whether it’s for a new biker, an experienced biker, a skateboarder or other athlete, a new helmet will likely be received with gratitude. Helmets come in all shapes and cool designs now with new safety features. If you’re considering a new helmet for yourself or someone in your immediate family, check to see if a new helmet is needed using these guidelines.
Don’t forget that bike helmets are not just for biking. When you know storms are likely, grab your family’s helmets and take them to your safe spot. Wearing helmets should be part of your overall home preparedness plan for storms. Do not delay going to your safe spot to look for a helmet.

Life Jackets

If your family or friends will be going to the lake next summer, be sure they have all the boating safety equipment required by Arkansas law. There are many styles of life jackets available. Children may have outgrown the life jacket that fit perfectly last year, so check sizes of existing gear and buy for next summer’s likely size. A stylish, custom-fit life jacket with the promise of fun times at the lake may be just what the person reluctant to wear a standard-issue generic orange jacket needs.

At UAMS, we wish you and your loved ones a healthy and happy holiday season!
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