When looking for gifts for loved ones it is always rewarding if the gift is something they enjoy that at the same time improves their overall health and wellness. We have found a variety of great gifts ideas that help the user work on improving their health and wellness. Some are for the more serious athlete, others are for those who want to decrease stress, or increase their overall activity level without wearing a traditional looking fitness tracker. There are also gifts for those who suffer from Blood Pressure problems or nausea from motion sickness, pregnancy or other causes. We hope you and your loved ones have a Happy and Healthy New Year in 2017 and that some of these gifts help with that.
Muse Brain-Sensing Meditation Headband
The Muse Brain-Sensing Meditation Headband is a great gift for anyone who wants to decrease their stress level. It acts as a personal meditation coach and is used in conjunction with the Muse app on your phone plus your own headphones. Muse fits comfortably across your forehead and behind your ears and measures your brain signals. Once Muse is in place it checks for proper fit and takes a baseline reading. The app then guides you through a series of meditation exercises. Whilst you meditate you listen to different soundscapes and the soundscapes respond to your brainwaves. For instance in the beach soundscape when you are calm and focussed you hear gently rolling waves and even birds singing, as your mind wanders the ocean becomes stormy and the waves crash louder. Unlike many other stress reduction devices, you don’t need to look at the screen whilst you are meditating, you can close your eyes and relax. I find the changing soundscape a much less intrusive way of reminding me to refocus than seeing changes on a screen or hearing a voice prompt. The sessions start short at 3 minutes, and you are encouraged to increase your time meditating as it becomes a habit. You can review your meditation settings and set reminders to help meditation become a regular routine. I have found it a great tool to help me to meditate and I’m always much more relaxed after a Muse session. Available from Target, Amazon and other retailers for US$179.99
Spire- Mindfulness and Activity Tracker
Spire is a tracker that not only looks and feels different from your standard activity tracker, it also has a different focus. Spire looks and feels like a well worn pebble and it monitors not only your steps but also your breathing. The battery lasts for up to a week and it charges via a beautiful cork and metal induction charger, that can also acts as a USB charger for your phone. Spire’s focus is on measuring your breathing -your state of mind affects how you breathe, but how you breathe can also change your state of mind. The Spire app includes focussed mini-meditation sessions. During the day Spire senses when you are becoming stressed and sends real-time notifications to remind you to take a deep breath or suggest ways to calm down. At the end of the day you can see what periods of calm, focus and tension you have had. Spire aims to improve your health by making you mindful of your breathing patterns and encouraging slow, deep breathing. Studies have shown that slow, deep and consistent breathing can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and increase the flow of endorphins in the blood stream. Available from Spire.io, Amazon and Apple Stores for US$99.99
Jabra Sports Pulse Special Edition Bluetooth Headphones with HR Monitoring
Music always makes it easier to work out. When you are actively training a good set of wireless Bluetooth headphones that will stay in place however hard you work is a must. The Jabra Sports Pulse special edition headphones include 4 pairs of ear wings and 6 different pairs of EarGels (3 sizes of foam and 3 of silicon) to find your perfect fit. As well as providing great sound and a secure fit they also help you to fine tune your workout by measuring your Heart Rate. To get the most from the headphones use them with Jabra’s Sport Life™ app. With the app you can set personal goals based on distance, time, or calories burned. You can select a target pace or heart rate zone and even set up interval training. The app will keep you updated with audio coaching. You can also use the headphones and app to do 3 fitness tests: The Rockport Test- designed to measure your VO2 max level, The Orthostatic Heart Rate Test and The Resting Heart Rate Test.
They connect via Bluetooth and charge via USB with up to 5 hours battery life. Available from Jabra.com, Amazon and other retailers RRP US$159.99
ReliefBand was originally created as a single use device for chemotherapy patients, over time others learned of it and it became popular with boaters and in hospitals for other types of treatments. I have always had nausea when flying or boating – it’s a fact of life for me. I recently flew and I’m happy to say that with my ReliefBand I had no nausea and flew very comfortably. You simply put on some gel similar to ultrasound gel on your wrist, put on the ReliefBand and then activate it so you can feel the pulse. It begins to take effect in moments. It is FDA cleared and endorsed by the medical profession for conditions related to nausea and vomiting including morning sickness and chemotherapy. Read our full review. Available from Relief Band’s website, West Marine, and Amazon.
Withings Wireless BP Monitor
The Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is a device designed to make it easier to measure, record and share blood pressure (BP) readings at home. It is incredibly easy to set up and use, . It charges via an included USB cable, and once charged it is totally wireless. It is used in conjunction with the Withings Health Mate app and gives immediate feedback on whether or not your reading is in the optimal range. The monitior automatically tracks measurements over time, sends reminders to take your BP, and makes it easy to share results with your doctor. If loved one has pre-hypertension, hypertension, or risk factors for it, the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is a great gift to make home blood pressure monitoring quick, easy and painless. Read our full review. Available from Withings.com, Amazonand other retailers RRP $129.95 (at time of press only $73 on Amazon)
Timex IQ+MOVE Women’s Gift Set
The IQ Move series is new from Timex this year. They are a series of analog watches with built-in activity trackers that are available in womens and mens styles. The Taupe/Turquoise womens gift set includes a taupe leather strap and an interchangeable turquoise silicon strap. It has a 36mm dial with INDIGLO® Night-Light and is water-resistant to 50M. It uses Bluetooth to synch with the Timex Connected app (compatible with iOS and Android). You can check your progress to goal in the app or with a quick glance at the sub-dial on the watch face. It also measures periods of deep and light sleep, as well as time awake, sleep efficiency percentage and average length of sleep. The IQ+ Move uses a traditional watch battery, so no charging is required. Available from BestBuy.com , Best Buy stores and Timex.com for US$149
Amazfit Ceramic Activity Tracker
For the woman (or man) who wants to track their activity but doesn’t like the look of traditional activity trackers the Amazfit Ceramic Activity Tracker is an elegant alternative. It is a smooth, shiny glazed ceramic disc inspired by the traditional Chinese jade pendant. It comes in white or black and can be worn in a variety of ways. My favorite way to wear it is with the optional Silver Infinity Necklace . I love how smooth the tracker is to the touch. As all the electronics are hidden inside it looks just like a fashion statement rather than an activity tracker. The tracker charges via an included induction charger and you can choose from a variety of fashionable wrist straps for times when you are actively working out and prefer to wear it on your wrist. It works with a smartphone app, it will track steps and also tracks sleep when worn on the wrist. Available from Amazon and other retailers currently $55.99 for tracker charger and wristband, necklace $16.99
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Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).