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Man receiving a back massage at the LifeSpa

The anticipation of your loved ones opening the gifts you so carefully picked out for them can bring excitement and joy, but holiday gift-giving can also be stressful. Some people finish shopping before the leaves fall from the trees, others leave the task for last-minute, and many find themselves somewhere in between.

To help lessen the holiday pressure, we’ve made it easier with this round-up of gift ideas and holiday advice from seven Life Time experts.

Samantha McKinney, RD, CPT

National program manager for Life Time’s digital weight loss and training programs.

What she’s hoping to get: I have been using the Venu 2S watch lately, and I love how it tracks my heart rate during my workouts (among other things!). I’d love to receive an Active Metabolic Assessment since I’m due for an update.

The test tracks your effort level, heart rate, and oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange across different exercise intensities to build you a customized conditioning program. With regular training, these zones and measurements adapt and can be updated every three to four months to improve your health way faster than simply guessing.

What she’s planning to give: I’m frequently asked for advice when it comes to healthy eating and healthy living, and most people are looking for an approach that is simple, effective, and sustainable. I’m really excited to have the 1-2-12 Nutrition System available to gift to my closest friends and family this year.

It makes healthy eating feel doable and convenient, with one daily protein shake, two real-food meals per day, and a 12-hour eating window — all to support metabolism and overall well-being. The kit comes with my favorite Vegan+ All-in-One Shake mix, a beautiful book to guide you with meal-prep strategies and recipes, plus a meal container and a protein-powder shaker for when you’re on-the-go.

Her go-to holiday advice: Healthy eating can be tough during the holidays, so I’m big on the concept of “meaningful indulgences.” Treats will be everywhere, so prioritize the ones that have nostalgia or deep tradition connected to them and forego the forgettable ones.

The 80/20 Rule — meaning approximately 80 percent of your food choices align with your health goals and 20 percent leaves wiggle room for special occasions — can help you stay on track. Since there are so many festivities around the holidays, make sure you use that 20 percent wisely. For example, your grandmother’s famous lemon meringue pie likely has more meaning and nostalgia than the holiday-themed cookies you see in your office break room.

Kemma Cunningham

ACE-certified group fitness instructor, 5-star elite performer, and class experience lead at Life Time in Bridgewater, N.J.

What she’s hoping to get: A goal of mine is to take more time for self-care, so I’m hoping for a gift card to the LifeSpa. I’m always busy but I would love to add a regular massage and facial to my self-care routine. I want to show my daughter that self-care is a priority.

What she’s planning to give: In line with the self-care theme, I’m planning a gift basket filled with my favorites from the Moroccan Oil hair and body line. I love the high-quality ingredients and amazing results I get when I use these products!

Her go-to holiday advice: I believe it’s so important to give gifts that enable the recipient to start or continue their path to healthier living. I try to be intentional with gift giving and choose something to support their efforts.

David Dutrieuille

National pickleball director for Life Time.

What he’s hoping to get: One of my favorite recovery tools is a cold plunge tub. I use the one at my Life Time club all the time, but I would love to have a personal one at home. A few minutes in the cold plunge helps relieve sore muscles and aids in recovery, which for me means I get to play more pickleball with my friends, family, and competitors. The mental fortitude required to bask in the 10 to 15 minutes of tundra glory has really helped me on and off the court. (Learn more: “The Health Benefits of Cold Conditioning”)

What he’s planning to give: The healthy gift experience I look forward to giving friends and family is a visit to the recovery room at my local Life Time. The combination of amenities really highlights the best of the Life Time experience. After a hard day’s work, nothing beats a great work out (or pickleball game) and then recovering with NormaTec® Compression and hydromassage devices.

His go-to holiday advice: Take time to express gratitude. The best part about the holidays for me is the opportunity to reflect on the things I am grateful for. Our bodies are wonderfully created for movement, and I don’t take the power and gift of my health for granted.

Jolene Turner

Content creator for the LifeSpa.

What she’s hoping to get: If you haven’t yet discovered the Chinese medicinal practice of gua sha, then I highly recommend you put the Gua Sha Discovery Kit from Yina on your list — that’s what’s on mine this year. Gua sha supports lymphatic drainage, blood flow, detoxification, and so much more. The experience is relaxing and has so many benefits.

The kit — which you can pick up at LifeSpa — includes a Gua Sha tool and a guide for how to use it, along with a botanical serum and body-recovery treatment.

What she’s planning to give: I love to do themed gifts and customize them for the person. My best friend has had a stressful year and could use some rest and relaxation. I plan to give her a care package with my favorite CBD-infused gummies, the CBD Relief Balm from Antara — which you can also get at the LifeSpa — and a gift card for a CBD massage or service of her choice. (Read more on the benefits of CBD: “Can a CBD Massage Help Me Sleep Better?”)

I’m also really excited about gifting a Beard Balm from 18.21 Man Made to my friends who love their beards!

Her go-to holiday advice: When I need a last-minute gift, skincare goodies are my go-to. I always buy a bunch during the holiday season. Patchology has some great under-eye gels or moisturizing hand and foot masks. I love them because the packaging is beyond adorable, and the ingredients are nourishing and effective.

Shelly Forsberg

Director of kids programming for Life Time.

What she’s hoping to get: I have been participating in our GTX and Ultra Fit signature group training programs, which both involve a lot of running. I would like new workout shoes with better arch support. I also discovered the Vuori clothing brand and am hoping to get some new activewear.

What she’s planning to give: Instead of exchanging gifts, our family will be traveling to enjoy some sunshine in Arizona this year. During our time away, we love to hike, swim, golf, and visit the Grand Canyon. For other family members, I like to give LifeSpa gift cards for pampering or some fun Life Time apparel.

Her go-to holiday advice: Make it fun with active traditions the whole family can enjoy. My sister-in-law and I love to run on Thanksgiving and Christmas morning, so we always find a local 5K race. If the weather allows, our family also likes to get outside to play a game of football after our yummy holiday meals.

Konnor Fleming

Group instructor and coach at Life Time in Edina, Minn.

What he’s hoping to get: If I had a dollar for every time I’ve said, “Man, I really should get a massage,” I would have enough money for a lifetime of massages. I’m chronically guilty of getting lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and pushing off self-care as a result. A good long massage is on my wish list both for what it will do for my body and for the reminder that self-care doesn’t need to be an indulgence.

What he’s planning to give: I know a lot of people who are excellent at sticking to their workout routine, but many of these same people are less diligent about taking care of their bodies during the other 23 hours of the day. My go-to gift this holiday season is anything from the Hyperice line, though I’m particularly partial to the Hypervolt Go 2, for convenient at-home care.

If you’re anything like me, the holidays bring a lot of time spent on the couch, wrapped up with some blankets, and watching a favorite holiday movie. Now add a percussive massage to that picture. What more can you ask for?

His go-to holiday advice: Enjoy every second of it — and then get back to routine. I am going to enjoy my fair share of holiday treats without a single ounce of regret. But don’t let the not-so-good-for-you habits become the norm. Embrace the celebrations and then, when it’s time to get back into routine, be disciplined enough to do just that.

Marnie Wells

Executive director of the Life Time Foundation.

What she’s hoping to get: My wish list is full of healthy-living experiences this year. My big wish is to spend more time with friends while doing something active. I crave heat during the cold winter months, and there is nothing like a heated FLOW class to compliment an early morning routine of running with a dear friend.

What she’s planning to give: I plan to give my family members workout gear from their favorite brands — and I will add some Life Time Foundation gear in the mix too! I always like to encourage my family members to move their bodies and new gear is a great incentive for sticking to a healthy routine.

Her go-to holiday advice: I always try to focus on quality versus quantity when it comes to giving gifts. I believe that is a healthy holiday tradition.

Looking for even more healthy gift ideas? Check out our list from last year.

Emily
Emily Ewen

Emily Ewen is a senior writer and content editor at Life Time.

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