With the leaves starting to fall and a nip in the air, our attentions are shifting towards the ‘C’ word. No, not chocolate – Christmas.

Does your letter to Santa usually include a plea for gifts such as clothing, shoes, jewellery, a flat screen TV and a holiday in the Caribbean….to only end up with socks and smellies again! Well, how about creating a different kind of Christmas wish list this year?

Avoid getting seven pairs of slippers by dropping some not-so-subtle hints to your friends and family about what you really want this year – the tools to create a healthier you!

Here are some suggestions for the elves:

Fitness equipment
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean a treadmill and I certainly don’t mean whatever the latest ‘lose 20 stone in a day’ celebrity endorsed gadget is. But how about a stability ball to help improve your overall posture and help tone and reduce your stomach size. They are cheap and easy to store by deflating them. Alternatively use them as a chair, ensuring of course you maintain the correct posture. Keep it in the corner of the living room or tuck it under your desk at work to use for ten minutes at a time throughout the day. It all adds up and you’ll be seeing results in no time!

Always wanted to invest in a quality pair of training shoes, but never wanted to part with your wonga? Then Christmas is the perfect opportunity. You will be more likely to stick with your fitness regime if you know an investment has been made in a quality pair of shoes. And do you put off going outside when it’s dark, wet and windy? Then ask your friends and family for some appropriate outdoor fitness wear. A lightweight waterproof jacket and warm but breathable hat and gloves will take away the excuse, so you can get out for a run or walk the dog more.

Not everyone likes to receive or buy vouchers for Christmas, but it can be a great way to ensure you have control over what your loved ones actually get you. Take control to buy your own exercise garments and accessories. After all, who really wants their Uncle John choosing their sports bra for them, or risk Grandma Jean buying you green lycra shorts?

Sports Bottles and Food Containers
It’s a bit of a weird one, but some quality BPA-free water bottles (or aluminium ones), and food containers can make great stocking fillers. Get yourself prepared for your new exercise regime and all the salads and cooked chicken you’ll be taking to work with you in the New Year.

Magazine subscription
Getting a yearly subscription to a health and fitness magazine is a great gift that is both practical and useful. It’ll help keep you on track and focussed on your health and fitness the whole year round. It won’t be long until your lunging towards the door to collect your next instalment from the postman.


Yes you read that right. I said chocolate. Now let’s be realistic, we’re most probably going to eat at least some chocolate over the festive period, if not the equivalent of our own body weight. However, consider asking for quality chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa. Because it is so rich you need less of it to satisfy that craving (trust me, you do). It is also packed full of antioxidants so it is much healthier for you too.

The gift of time is so precious. We all live busy lives and often find using ‘lack of time’ as one of our main excuses for not working out. So, why not be controversial and ask your family for some ‘you’ time. For example, let their present to you this year be an agreement to look after the kids for an hour a week so you can workout on your own.

So why not break tradition and put the wheels in motion to achieve a fitter and healthier you over the next 12 months – after all, haven’t you been promising yourself this for the last 12 months?

Happy shopping!