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man practicing virtual yoga at home
Published Thursday Dec 10, 2020 by Denise Prichard

Gift Guide 2020: The Perfect Ideas for the Fitness Lovers in Your Life

Well, 2020 certainly wasn’t what any of us anticipated, to put it lightly. On top of that, we are about to enter one of the strangest holiday seasons of all time. What used to be a time we all looked forward to that was filled with holiday parties, family get-togethers, and questionable amounts of eggnog has now turned into sheltering in place and way too many Zoom hangouts.    

As of now, we can’t promise you that 2021 will be any better (I know, I wish I had better news), but we can try to spark a little joy in your lives by creating an Instagram poll so you could dish about your favorite fitness gift ideas—whether you’re working out at-home, indoors—wherever.  

So, without further ado, here is our 2020 Gift Guide for Fitness Lovers: 
woman with laptop lifting weights inside

For the “all I feel is rage at this point” person...

  • Gift them an endorphin boosting virtual HIIT class
  • Give them new boxing gloves to help them take their aggression out in a virtual kickboxing class (and hopefully not on their roommate they’ve been cooped up with for a year.
  • Give them a phone call or chat with them on zoom and let them rant. Sometimes the best gift is just you listening. 

Hey...odds are we’re all feeling a little rage-tastic at this point. So why not soften the blow that 2020 served us with a gift that helps us take our anger out on inanimate objects like a punching bag—and up our fitness game at the same time? 

Woman running in place indoors

For the “get me the hell out of my apartment” person

  • Get them a new pair of kicks to help them take their trail running game to the next level. 
  • Gift them with a cycling class at their favorite studio, new cycling gear, or biking accessories if they prefer to ride outdoors. 
  • Encourage them to explore more trails with a new hiking guide or map or be super unique and make a donation to their favorite national park in their name.  

With vacations and even going to the movies put on the back burner for what feels like forever, give that person who is itching to break free from their humble abode a gift that will let them escape this “new normal” for a bit. Even a 30-minute workout class, outdoor run, or hike can be enough to help your friends and family reset and recharge. 

Woman with ipad in yoga pose in backyard

For the “I’m just trying to stay calm AF” person:

Even the coolest, calmest, and collected-est person reaches their breaking point. For your pals who have focused on staying calm through this nightmare of a year, encourage them to keep up the good work by giving them the gift of self-care. Anything from a yoga class to a new spa treatment to aromatherapy can help them stay in a blissful state-of-mind. 

For the “I became a couch potato during quarantine” person:

  • Book a fun, virtual workout class for you and your virtual workout buddy. Do you usually opt for yoga? Try something new and check out virtual barre. No equipment? No problem! Barre3’s online shop has everything you need to get started.   
  • New weights so they can lift while they binge-watch Hallmark holiday movies.  
  • A foam roller—because those first few workout sessions will definitely make them sore.  

We are all guilty of watching one too many Netflix series this year—but that doesn’t mean the solution to that is canceling our subscription. I would never suggest that. Instead, we can all ease back into our workout routines by switching things up and working out together or simply working out while we catch up on The Bachelorette or whatever you’re into at the moment. 

man rolling yoga mat indoors

For the “I already have everything I need” person:

  • They can’t possibly have enough wine, so that’s always a great gift. (Seriously, you guys all said that wine has helped you get through quarantine, and I’m not going to argue with you on that.) 
  • A gift card to their favorite fitness studio so they can book virtual classes with them right now or save it for in-person classes later.  
  • Any equipment to help them finish stocking their at-home gym. We love the “On-the-Go Packs” from McAlister Training that are chock-full of fitness goodies like resistance bands, mini bands, a foam roller, and more!

Just because the holidays look a little different this year, doesn’t mean we don’t have anything to look forward to. By giving your friend (and maybe even yourself) a gift from this fitness guide, you can begin 2021 on a strong note. And hey—if fitness just isn’t your thing at the moment, that’s totally okay! We have also put together a gift guide for folks who are focusing on relaxation, rejuvenation, and renewal.  

denise prichard
Written by
Denise Prichard
Marketing Content Specialist
About the author
Denise Prichard is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy within the health, wellness and beauty industries. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes, at a spin class or hanging out with her rescue pups.
shanila sattar
Published Wednesday Mar 17, 2021 by Shanila Sattar

Foundational Steps to Cultivating a Daily Self-love Practice

Expert Advice
Personal Growth

When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do. 

How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?

As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.


Step 1: Learn to set boundaries

Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.

When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:

  • How do I feel without having boundaries?
  • What would I like to have boundaries around?
  • Are my boundaries actual boundaries or am I creating walls in my life?
  • How do I plan to uphold my boundaries?
Step 2: Cultivate self-compassion

In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect. 

Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.

When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:

  • How do I respond to stressful situations?
  • How hard am I on myself?
  • How do I celebrate myself?
  • How do I show myself kindness?
Step 3: Nourish yourself

In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.

Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion. 

When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:

  • How do I nourish my emotional well-being?
  • How do I nourish my mental well-being?
  • How do I nourish my physical well-being?
  • How do I nourish my spiritual well-being?
  • How do I nourish my social well-being?
  • How do I nourish my financial well-being?

That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain. 

If you’d like to try breathwork, mindfulness, or play classes with me, check out these workshops and training sessions that work with your schedule. For other breathwork classes, browse Mindbody.


About the author
Shanila is a 4th generation sound healer, breathwork coach, mentor, women’s researcher, and speaker. She is the Founder of AlwaysPlayStudios where she trains breathwork facilitators and sound healers. Her background is in tech, having co-founded an award-winning web agency, and in women’s research, specifically in mindsets, implicit bias, perfectionism, women's health, and societal experiences supported through the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and several universities. She has implemented several health and wellbeing programs in underserved populations throughout the US. Shanila mentors healers on their healing and intuitive wellness journeys. Connect: @shanila.sattar