Wrapped Up In Health

From bikes to low-fat cookbooks, you can give fun presents that promote well-being

December 06, 2007|By Meredith Cohn and Jill Rosen

The gift of health is one that everyone would like to receive. While it's not always within our power to give, being health-conscious in our choice of presents for loved ones, colleagues and friends is something we can do.

Avoiding food gifts that add pounds or video games that put youngsters on the sofa is a good start. Instead, consider giving items that help ward off sickness or encourage fitness. But don't forget the fun factor. The ideal health gift is one that people might actually want to receive, even if it's good for them.

FOR KIDS

Crane Adorable Frog Ultrasonic Humidifier -- $34.99 -- Bed Bath & Beyond stores, bedbathandbeyond.com, 800-462-3966

Health factor -- This ultrasonic cool-mist humidifier can help alleviate dry skin and sinus trouble. But the frog and other animal styles mask the medicinal aspect from the little ones.

High School Musical Bicycle -- $79.99 -- Toys "R" Us stores, toysrus.com

Health factor -- This 20-inch Huffy bike in the popular High School Musical theme will get the kids (ages 5 to 9) out pedaling instead of inside watching television.

FOR ATHLETES

Under Armour ColdGear Base 1.0 crew shirt -- $39.99 -- underarmour.com, retail store in Westfield Mall in Annapolis

Health factor -- The shirt is made of the Under Armour fabric that traps air to keep you warm but also wicks sweat away to keep you dry. There's nothing to make you uncomfortable during a run or a game.

Timex Ironman Triathlon BodyLink Personal Fitness Watch -- $299.99 -- bestbuy.com

Health factor -- It's a watch, it's a heart-rate monitor and it's an elevation, altitude, speed and pace tracker. It even has Indiglo light. Who wouldn't want to go for a run or hike with this gadget, even if it's up a hill and in the dark?

FOR EXPECTANT AND NEW MOMS

Burt's Bees Baby Bee Getting Started Kit -- $13 -- burtsbees.com, drugstore.com

Health factor -- The kit includes sample sizes of various products such as bath milk, diaper ointment, dusting powder and lotion. They are almost all natural so there's nothing to harm the little ones - or their moms.

Gift certificate for a prenatal massage from The Healing Path -- $65-$115 -- The Healing Path, yoga/massage studio, 37 E. Cross St., second floor, Federal Hill; thehealing-path.com; 410-637-3760

Health factor -- A prenatal massage can relieve the aches and pains of pregnancy. You can schedule 45-, 75- or 90-minute sessions. Postnatal massage and prenatal yoga classes are also available. A little rub may be just what she needs.

FOR DIETERS

Harry and David Fruit of the Month Club -- $99.95-$299.95 -- harryanddavid.com, 877-322-1200

Health factor -- Most people do not eat the recommended minimum amount of fruit each day. So why not drop the cake and just send the healthy fruit? This club sends a different collection of seasonal fruit in nice packaging right to the house each month, for three to 12 months.

American Heart Association Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook, Third Edition -- $25.95 -- amazon.com

Health factor -- This cookbook published by Clarkson Potter Publishers, a division of Random House Inc., offers 200 heart-healthy recipes. Fifty are new to this edition. Amazon customers give high marks for taste to several recipes.

FOR SENIORS

Remind n' Time Pill Organizer -- $20 -- amazon.com

Health factor -- This plastic container is not only designed to organize pills by the day of the week, it has a little alarm to remind you to take the medication. A red light flashes and an alarm sounds when it's time for a pill. And at the end of the day, it's easy to see if you've taken everything you were supposed to.

Ibis Magnifier with Leather Case -- $39.95-$58 -- levenger.com

Health factor -- Reading labels on food and medication is important to well-being. For those whose eyes might not be what they used to be, this lightweight, hand-held magnifier could be as helpful as it is refined. With a lens that's supposed to be nearly distortion-free, avoiding eye strain has never been so easy.

FOR THE HYPOCHONDRIAC

Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer -- $49.99 -- drugstore.com, Wal-Mart, Babies "R" Us

Health factor -- They call this the gentlest thermometer available, able to measure body temperature with just a swipe across the forehead. For those who get feverish over whether they're hot or cold, this noninvasive tool might be much-appreciated.

Prevention magazine subscription -- $12 plus $4.97 shipping and handling -- prevention.com

Health factor -- The Rodale Inc. magazine focuses on health, nutrition, fitness, beauty and medical research. It could offer enough "smart steps to live well," as its tagline claims, for those who feel they need to be taking as many precautions as possible.

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