Holiday Gift Giving Guide

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Fa la la la la, la la la la. 'Tis almost the season for lots of gift giving! And I bet many of you already have gifts for your loved hidden and stashed away. But for those of you searching for the perfect gift, especially for those hard to buy for peeps in your life, here’s a little help in finding a unique, helpful, and health-oriented gift for your loved one this holiday season.

First up are the hot tech gadgets for health for this season.  One that caught my eye right away is the Jaybird Run wireless earphones.  Nothing is more annoying than ear buds constantly falling out and not fitting correctly during a work-out.  Apparently these are different, and for the $100 price point on Amazon, they better be! ;)  Do me a big favor and SKIP all to the electrical stimulation devices flooding the market that claim to do everything from increasing muscle activation to reducing pain.  While they may work to a small extent, they are not actually worth it according to medical research-hence their availability in the consumer versus medical market.  Remember there are no short-cuts to looking great, and while TENS devices may reduce pain slightly, they are not likely worth the effort of attaching the device and maintaining the leads and elctrodes (get PT instead and treat the source of the problem- not just the pain- and that advice is FREE)!!

There are several devices on the market for the first time ever available to consumers to keep track of your heart rate AND rhythm!  This is a good investment if you have had episodes of atrial fibrillation that have not been officially "caught" on paper by your doctor, and can ease stress if dealing with arrhthymias.  On the other hand, if you are dealing wiht a serious heart arrthymia, get to a cardiologist (specifically an electrophysiologist type of cardiologist) and get  assessed, because just having a device tell you that you have a problem is not a solution!!  Also, devices and monitors are covered by insurance if you indeed are having a serious issue.  So go the MD and get it checked out before you drive yourself crazy monitoring your variable heart rate (hint: a healthy heart rate is supposed to vary- all the time!) and getting more anxious about it.

For those of you or your friends and family who hate to wear a fitness monitor to bed, but would like to know how you are sleeping, there are now devices available that clip to your pillow and allow you to download info to tell you how you are sleeping.  Check out Amazon for the whole bunch of them starting around $100.  Another gift that might be perfect for someone like myself who hates the taste of water when not working out, but wants to drink more water throughout the day is the AVOIN Sport Tritan fruit infuser water bottle ($12-15).  You can lightly flavor your water all day with real, organic fruit without the turn-off of added chemical sweeteners and calories of sugar laden drinks.  For the kid in all of us who like to ride our bikes in the dark is the Monkey Light LEDs.  At $57, they come at a very steep price point, but we know you cannot put a price on safety if you are a biking commuter in the fall, winter, and spring.


For the older or disabled relative in your life, consider their home safety both indoors and out when thinking about a great Christmas gift. Do they need a new assistive device, accessory for that device, new compression garments, a reacher to prevent falls when picking up items off the floor (my best friend these days), or a simple home modification that could make their life much easier? Examples would be a basket for a walker, grab bars installed in their shower, an extra handrail for the stairs, treads on stairs, or even an upgrade from a standard cane to a quad cane if their walking ability is diminishing. Other out of the box ideas for relatives who do not live close-by are grocery delivery services for the year, meal delivery, house cleaning services, or a homemaker companion to visit weekly.

For loved ones with arthritis, consider purchasing kitchen utensils and hardware tools that are adapted to this population. Many are available at big box retailers, while others may be found on-line at sites such as Aids for Daily Living from Patterson Medical or at Active Forever.  For someone with active neck and back pain, consider some awesme heating or cooling accessories.  MotionWorks carries large gel ice packs for $22 that cover the whole low back at once!  Also check out heated mattress pads that come with dual temp zones for each side of the bed- no more arguments about room temp and stealing the covers- heated mattress pads are the bomb and really help a sore mid back feel terrific, with reasonable price points in big box stores and Amazon.

Ice CleatsFor the more active type, outdoor clothing with wicking ability is always appreciated- just grab a gift receipt and purchase from a store nearby in case there are problems with sizing or style. For outdoor runners or even for hardy walkers and for elderly relatives who still like to get out and get the mail in winter but don’t want to fall, consider some type of ice grips or cleats. This nifty invention slings over running or walking shoes to help prevent any slips and falls even on the most treacherous terrain. They are available at Walgreens and some other big box retailers, or you can check out some on-line reviews and options at this Runner’s World Review. You can think outside the box for this group too by considering new adventure sports accessories such as snow shoes, scuba diving lessons, or gift certificates for a new fitness class in town. MotionWorks also offers Running Evaluations for the runner who is recovering from an injury, hoping to improve their stride, or is hoping to prevent an injury in the coming year.  For the adult of any age, a massage gift certificate is always appreciated and contributes to overall feelings of wellness and relaxation. 

Off the shelf orthoticsFinally, stop by our clinic to check out our other health products and gadgets designed to make you and your loved ones’ life better. A Theracane ($35) is a great tool for those of us who carry increased muscle tension in our necks and shoulders from all of that office/copmuter work all day, while an exercise ball ($25) is a very multi-dimensional work-out and rehab gift for all levels allowing awesome stretching, strengthening, and full body stabilization activities right at home.  Foam rollers also make a great gift, and we have the original version that everyone loves for just $25; the foam roller is great for working out tight muscles and backs and can even be a great tool for treating neck pain and tension headaches!  

Biofreeze ($15) makes a great stocking stuffer for those who suffer from nagging pain that delays falling asleep or makes everyday activities difficult. Vasyli off the shelf orthotics ($50) are also an option for everyone on your list, with a huge selection of styles and sizes to fit in every type of shoe, from heels and dress shoes to soccer and football cleats and track spikes. And for the avid runner or triathlete, check out our MotionWorks dri-fit socks ($10)- we get rave reviews at the comfort level and blister protection and they sure would make this athlete happy (hint, hint)

Whew!  If you haven't come up with any gift ideas after that whole run down, I just don't think you can be helped!  Keep in mind that MotionWorks also offers out of pocket Urgent Headache Care program that retails at $250.  If your loved one frequents the ER several times per year, this really would be the gift of health without the narcotics and disappointment as headaches tend to come back before you even get home from the ER.  Stop by MotionWorks today for a gift certificate or to pick up any of the above listed items.  We are open weekdays from 8am-5pm, some evenings later as well throughout the month of December!