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A woman getting a professional massage.

The season of gift-giving is officially upon us! Instead of scouring stores or endlessly browsing the internet just to have something for your loved ones, make the holidays a little healthier for everyone with these ideas from eight Life Time experts. They’re sharing what’s on their own wish lists and what they’re planning to give to others, too.

Get inspired, then get that shopping taken care of so you can relax and enjoy the season. 

Samantha McKinney, RD, CPT

Program manager for Life Time Weight Loss and Training.

What she’s hoping to get: I’d love a day in the LifeSpa. As much as I say I want to carve out time for myself, it never actually happens. If I’m gifted the experience of a fresh haircut, much-needed facial, and restorative massage, it will force me to schedule self-care time into my calendar and I know I’ll feel more refreshed. I don’t look at it as too self-indulgent knowing I can show up better for my family afterward.

What she’s planning to give: My friends and family know I’m a dietitian and ask me for supplement recommendations all the time. To support their health year-round, I want to provide them with an easy solution to improve their resilience, so everyone close to me will be getting the Immune Stack in their stockings this year.

The Immune Stack is a powerful combination of critical nutrients — vitamin D3 + K2, a probiotic, vitamin C, and zinc + quercetin — all in one convenient pack. In the past I’ve seen several vitamin C and zinc products on the market that are not in the ideal doses or formulations that I recommend, so I’d rather just give my family the ones I use myself. This bundle makes it easy.

Ajay Pant

Senior director of racquet sports at Life Time and one of 14 master tennis professionals around the globe.

What he’s hoping to get: I’m hoping to receive a Pilates gift certificate. I’m recovering from a back operation and am realizing the incredible power of Pilates to build core strength, which my surgeon highly recommended I focus on doing in a disciplined manner. I have exercised through playing tennis my entire life, but until recently I did not realize the immense benefit of Pilates.

What he’s planning to give: I’m going to give LifeCafe gift cards as stocking stuffers to close family and friends. We love the taste of the food and feel good knowing we’re eating meals made with healthy, quality ingredients.

Shelly Forsberg

Director of kids programming at Life Time.

What she’s hoping to get: A new yoga mat is at the top of my list. For some reason, having my own mat gets me to more yoga classes, which is a primary goal for me in 2022.

As a family, we also love to give our kids money and take them shopping to find the perfect give for us (mom and dad). It’s always a fun surprise to see what they come up with. It’s also an opportunity for us to spend time together as a family. We typically make a day of it and enjoy a family dinner afterward.

What she’s planning to give: Our family is big on experiences. We’ll give each of our children a coupon to choose a family event for the year (e.g., going bowling, visiting a waterpark, doing laser tag, seeing a movie, attending a professional sports game, etc.).

We’ve realized our kids really don’t need more stuff and as they get older and busier with their friends, it’s important to schedule family activities to stay connected. I also plan on giving them each a water bottle — they love having a new one for school and sports, and enjoy adding stickers to customize them. Even more important, it helps them stay hydrated with healthy fluids.

In addition to water bottles, my kids love sporting Life Time apparel and using shaker bottles, and my husband absolutely loves the 18.21 Man Made Wash — I may toss those items in their stockings too.

Erin Hickey

Licensed cosmetologist and the LifeSpa category manager at Life Time.

What she’s hoping to get: I am hoping for more self-wellness-driven products, such as kitchen accessories to make cooking easier and healthier. I would also love to receive a HydraFacial® or customized facial from the LifeSpa to relax and get my skin holiday ready.

What she’s planning to give: I will be gifting CBD massages to many family members. It’s an incredibly relaxing experience to help de-stress from the holidays. I will also be giving Antara CBD products that help target stressed muscles and feature scents to calm the mind and body.

I also often gift the Spongellé body sponges from the LifeSpa — they are loofas pre-soaked with body wash in feminine or masculine scents and are always a crowd pleaser. I typically add Patchology eye masks and face masks to stockings as well. Those products hydrate dry, winter skin like no other ones can.

Paul Kriegler, RD, LD, CPT

Director of nutritional product development at Life Time.

What he’s hoping to get and give: I have the same things on my receiving and giving lists. This year — like many years — perhaps the best gifts are quality time with friends and family and performing acts of service. With so many people cautiously keeping a distance over the past 20 or so months, there may be nothing better this holiday than emphasizing experiences over things.

Some ideas for quality time include going hiking, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or sledding, or playing a round of golf or game of tennis or pickleball. Ideas for acts of service include making a healthy meal together or for each other, donating time and energy to yard work for someone who needs it, volunteering to serve the underprivileged or homeless, or offering to babysit for a family who needs an afternoon or evening off.

Kemma Cunningham

ACE-certified group fitness instructor, 5-star elite performer, and the studio assistant manager at Life Time in Bridgewater, N.J.

What she’s hoping to get: I would love to receive a Hypervolt 2 percussive device. I teach eight studio and cycle classes a week, and that on top of doing my own workouts often leaves my body in need of some serious recovery. The portability and effectiveness of this percussion therapy will help improve my range of motion and flexibility, reduce my muscle soreness and stiffness, and enhance my muscle performance recovery.

What she’s planning to give: I plan on gifting a spa service from our LifeSpa to one of my family members as a reward of rest and recovery for being consistent in their fitness journey.

Chef Ryan Dodge

Executive chef for Life Time’s LifeCafe’s nationwide.

What he’s hoping to get: Recently, I registered for the inaugural IRONMAN Alaska. So my hope this year is for others to understand the commitment, sacrifice, and investment of time and money I’m making for that. All I’m asking for is support from my network of friends and family. That will be very meaningful and motivating to keep me focused and to a place where I’m physically and mentally prepared.

What he’s planning to give: Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been listening to and watching José Andrés closely, and I think that #ChefsForAmerica, which is connecting people who need meals and restaurant workers who need to earn a living, is one of the most inspirational movements. I’m going to buy my friends and family Andrés’ book, We Fed an Island — the proceeds go toward funding this work to feed more people around the world.

Jen Rezac

Director of education and programming for kids and swim at Life Time.

What she’s hoping to get: Antara Relief Balm with CBD. I’ve heard this stuff is magic! My hands have been cramping lately from typing and using my phone, and I’ve been told this product is the best for relief. It’s not just meant for hands either —  it’s supposed to be amazing for any part of the body you want to target after a hard workout (I really wish I had it now to use on my tight hamstrings from my GTX class!).

What she’s planning to give: I’m planning on giving my best friend a facial from the LifeSpa because nothing is more relaxing to me than a facial — it leaves your skin feeling fantastic. Especially when adults already have so much stuff, it’s nice to gift them a pampering service.

For the teens in my life, I’m planning on giving Moroccan Oil color depositing masks for fun temporary hair color paired with Moroccan Oil Moroccan Oil body soap. The smell of these products is incredible. And for the kiddos in my life, I’ll give a Garmin vivofit jr. 2, because just like adults, it’s so important to make sure kids are running around, playing, and getting enough steps in.

Callie Chase
Callie Fredrickson

Callie Fredrickson is a content editor at Life Time.

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