Put on the halo this year and explore healthy gift options for your loved ones and friends. We’ve produced this list to get you started.
1. Essential oils
Starter kits come with a range of essential oils, including lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, lemongrass, sweet orange and peppermint – or assemble your own with fragrances selected specifically for a particular person. Many swear by the ability of the oils to ease stress, change moods and lift energy levels.
2. Eye mask
While we’re talking about restorative perfumes, how about an eye mask with a soothing scent that blocks out light and delights your senses at the same time? Or how about a scented wheat bag that can be warmed in a microwave and placed on an aching muscle?
A massage voucher would be a wonderful gift, but also consider the range of self-massage tools on offer. That’s the easier way to ease the crick in your neck or the ache in your back without having to leave home.
4. Infra-red heating pad
If aches and pains are an increasing part of someone’s life, an infra-red heating pad might be just the thing. Infra-red heating relieves sore muscles, nerves and joints – all the way to the bone. It also claims to boost circulation and relieve aches faster and more effectively.
5. Smoothie maker
One of the quickest and simplest ways to boost our intake of fruit and veggies is to make a smoothie. Try some beautiful berries with yoghurt, honey, wheatgerm, a milk of your choice and ice – it’s a meal in a cup.
6. Gourmet teas
Put together a basket with a selection of green and black teas – or buy one already packed. Tea is full of antioxidants, healthy and perfect for any time of the year. Specialist tea stores have hundreds of varieties to choose from – and you can sample a selection as you choose.
There are some lovely light weights packs on offer at budget prices. As we age we’re regularly being told about the benefits of using weights or resistance bands to maintain or build muscle strength. While you’re watching the Boxing Day Test, add in some arm curls.
8. Resistance bands
These meet a range of fitness needs and are perfect for those who travel regularly but want to stay toned. Those with a restricted range of motion can use them for stretching and toning, others for strength training and muscle building.
9. Yoga mat
Most yoga classes offer mats for you to borrow for a session, but it’s so much nicer to have your own – a soft, thick, sticky and durable surface for your downward dog stretch.
10. GPS watch with emergency alert system
There are a range of smart watches on offer that measure pace and distance as well as sync with fitness apps. Some also incorporate a safety feature so that the wearer can share his or her location, and alert emergency contacts if they’re concerned about their health or safety.
11. Light therapy alarm clock
This clock is also known as a dawn simulator. Instead of waking up to music, radio or some more odious sound, these clocks wake you gradually by increasing natural light – and maybe adding in chirping birds. A light therapy alarm clock purports to re-set the sleep cycle, helping us to fall asleep easier and to wake up slowly and calmly.
12. Herb garden starter kit
For the gardener who may not be able to get out and about, buy or put together a starter kit with an assortment of seeds or seedlings such as parsley, coriander, mint, basil and thyme. Growing your own is so much more economical as you pick only as much as you need to use on the day.