Health Team

Healthy gifts show you care to keep them around

Posted December 12, 2012

If it's truly the thought that counts behind a gift, Dr. Allen Mask recommends a gift of health and safety to bring happy returns all year round.

For the more than 50 million Americans with high blood pressure, frequent, regular measurements can be the first step to getting that problem under control. Half of those who suffer high blood pressure don't even know they have it, and many others are not getting adequate treatment, so an easy-to-read home blood pressure monitor is a great gift idea.

Physical therapist Tricia Krenodle suggests some inexpensive exercise equipment for people at every fitness level.

"First you can purchase a Thera-band. These are very inexpensive. You can do some exercises while you're standing, and with the bands firmly secured on a door handle or knotted over the top of a closed door, you can do some easy rowing with two hands," she described.

"With an exercise ball you can actually do some nice squats," Kernodle said. "You can place the ball against the wall behind your back. Or you can also place the ball on the ground and you can do some exercises while you're sitting down."

healthy gift Make thought count with healthy gifts

Fire safety items can also make great gifts. Consider a new fire extinguisher, a smoke alarm or a carbon monoxide detector. A fire escape ladder is a good gift to offer an upstairs escape route.

Nutritionists say one big reason that people gain weight is the failure to control their portions. A gift of smaller dinnerware can encourage that necessary self-control.

Dentists recommend gifts that make brushing and flossing easy, such as the WaterPik or SonicCare line. The National Museum of Dentistry even offers gag gifts like denture-shaped ice cube molds and bacon-flavored floss. 

Another great gift idea is a first aid kit. Keep one in the home and another in each car. Consider buying new drivers a car safety kit including tire sealant, flares, a flashlight and jumper cables.

The truly thrifty can save lives without spending a dime with the gift of a blood donation.


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  • tjdebord Dec 19, 2012

    I can see it now.
    Hubby: "Hey, Honey. I got you this membership at the gym."
    Wife: "Are you saying I'm fat?"
    Hubby: "No, not at all. Just thought you could use it."
    Wife: "Ok, mister. You'll be sleeping on the couch tonight."

    I'm kidding, of course. But it would be wise to be tactful with well-meaning gifts.

  • prissygurl Dec 18, 2012

    Instead of the usual sugar-filled goodies, you can give homemade trail mix with raw nuts and seeds and dried fruit laced with small dark chocolate chips. White flour and sugar in most baked goods can be replaced with raw stevia and almond flour and the serving sizes cut or made smaller than most of the usual larger portions.

  • Mom2two Dec 18, 2012

    Nothing like diet and exercise gifts, despite well-meaning, to make a person feel insulted (unless, of course, they requested it) I applaud the blood pressure monitors, though. Make sure the one you get will have a big enough cuff, though.