Healthy holiday gifts
A health-related gift doesn’t have to be boring. Here are some ideas that will be well received.
Your favorite gourmet cook also may like to prepare lighter meals. Help him or her with an OXO Food Scale, $49.95, to accurately measure ingredients, or get on board the juicing trend with a Breville Juice Fountain, various models, $149.95 and up, both at Williams-Sonoma, Utica Square.
The orange and ginger essential oils found in this line of products are said to boost energy. Breathe in the seasonal scent; it’s sure to give you a lift. Orange Ginger Energy body scrub, body wash or lotion, each $13; all at Bath and Body Works, Promenade Mall, Utica Square and Woodland Hills Mall.
Tea has become one of the most popular health foods, and green tea is touted for its antioxidants. The holidays are worth a little extravagance. Give your best-loved tea drinker a taste of luxury with Gyokuro Imperial Green Tea, 2 ounces, $20; or the Forbidden Kingdom Tea Collection, eight boxes of Imperial Reserve Chinese Tea, $69.95 and up, both at Teavana, Woodland Hills Mall.
Exercise is a health essential, but it also can bring on aches and pains. The Trigger Point line of therapy massage tools can calm inflamed or tight muscles with special foam rollers, massage balls, foot massagers and more. $25-$155, Fleet Feet, 5968 S. Yale Ave. and 418 E. Second St., 918-492-3338
Strength, endurance and body conditioning are all benefits of the Pilates exercise system. Pilates Prep includes three private one-hour lessons on the fundamentals with a certified teacher. $95, Total Pilates, 1135 E. 38th St., 918-744-9499, www.totalpilatesstudio.com
Meditation is good for the heart, the mind and the soul. Has someone you know been contemplating learning the ages-old technique? Perfect for the stressed out spouse or someone rounding out their health program, a “Foundations in Meditative Practice” course is $80 for six sessions at the St. John’s Center for Spiritual Formation, 918-663-4747, www.sjcenter.com.
Whether for someone taking that first step toward a healthy lifestyle or the person trying to improve their marathon finish time, a training program can help your loved one toward his or her goal and minimize injuries. Fleet Feet offers programs for walkers and runners — even Strollin’ Mom and Zoomerangs, a 5K training program for children. Spring programs start as early as mid-January, $25-$89, Fleet Feet, 5968 S. Yale Ave. and 418 E. Second St., 918-492-3338.
If there is any time of year we all could use a chill pill, it’s the holiday season. It seems you don’t get a moment to yourself. But if you will take a moment, it can make the rest of day go smoother and get you through the rush.
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Modern studies suggest it may reduce blood pressure and increase our attention spans, according to information provided by the St. John’s Center for Spiritual Formation. Other studies show it may positively affect other conditions, including allergies, cancer, depression, pain and sleep problems.
The center is among those offering local courses in meditation techniques.
But even a moment of silence can help, says Sister Ellie Finlay, the center’s director. Here is her formula for “instant meditation”:
1. Stop; know that you’ve stopped.
2. Close your eyes, if possible (in an appropriate and safe place).
3. Take three intentional breaths. (Normal breaths — they don’t have to be deep or slow.)
4. Open your eyes.
5. Be back; know that you’re back.
“This can be done any time during the day,” Finlay says. “I think of it as pushing a ‘reset button’ on myself.”