Life

Tips for Giving the Gift of Health Technology

Looking for that perfect gift for family or friends this holiday season? Why not make it a healthy one? The New Year is usually a time for healthy resolutions, and there are plenty of last-minute gift ideas that can help a loved one achieve their goals.

A search for “health and fitness” on some popular retail websites yields a myriad of gadgets from fitness tracking watches to sweat-proof headphones designed for runners.

“Whether it’s a pair of running shoes or a digital fitness tracker, the goal is to inspire and enable the recipient to get active and achieve their goals,” says Amy Kimberlain, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with Baptist Health South Florida. “A healthy diet and exercise are two of the most important lifestyle factors associated with preventing cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes, among other conditions,” Ms. Kimberlain added.

Here are a few suggestions based on budget and the associated health benefits they provide:

Water bottle – This is an inexpensive but thoughtful gift. Staying hydrated is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, especially in the South Florida heat. ($5-$25)

Health App – There are hundreds of health and fitness apps available for your smart phone. Give a gift certificate for a download of a workout trainer or habit tracker app. (Some are free, others cost as little as $2.99).

Headphones – Studies have shown that exercising while listening to your favorite tunes might help you workout longer. ($10-$150, depending on features).

Fitness tracker – Once again, one of the most popular gifts this year. These wrist-worn devices can track steps, heart rate and even help gauge your sleep. ($30-$300)

As with all lifestyle modification, gaining perspective and adjusting habits to what works for you is key to sticking with it.

“An app that tracks your steps or counts your caloric intake can help provide perspective.” Ms. Kimberlain said. “You can track yourself currently to see where improvements need to be made in order to help you stay on your path to becoming healthier.”

One of the best gifts for a loved one can also be sharing experiences that involve physical activity. “A bike ride at Shark Valley or sunset walk on the beach with a loved one can be priceless,” Ms. Kimberlain added.

Remember to always check with your physician before beginning any sort of exercise routine.

Happy holidays and healthy gifting from the Baptist Health South Florida News Team.

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With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 13 hospitals, more than 23,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.