Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Give Mom the Gift of Fitness

Stumped as to what to give Mom for her special day besides a card? I am--and I know that she deserves more than that, especially since I can't surprise her at home. But I like to give gifts other than flowers, no matter what the occasion, and they usually go the fitness route. Last year I gave her a photo from her first run event--a 2.62 walk at the 2008 California International Marathon that kept her occupied while I ran the marathon portion. For Christmas, she got a Polar FA20 to monitor her daily activities. With Mother's Day quickly approaching and only a day before I need to drop a package in the mail, there's still a lot to choose from. Good news with this list is that Mom doesn't need to be a workout buff to enjoy these fitness-focused gift ideas.
  • Remix Lulu Hoodie ($98) and Groove Crop II ($86) by lululemon. Whether Mom's into yoga or simply likes to be comfortable, she'll love one or both of these pieces. The hoodie's myriad of colors can pair with just about anything, and it's a perfect layering piece that's a step up from the too casual look that would leave Stacey London cringing. The reversible crops can get Mom from a workout to running errands without losing their shape.
  • Sami 2.0 Large Club Bag ($60) by Nike. I've been fortunate enough to score this bag and previous incarnations (like this Monika Standard, $160) courtesy of Nike, and my mom has practically drooled over them. My problem is parting with these bags that look more like handbags than gym bags, but they easily fit all the shoes and gear you need for a workout--including a special spot for a yoga mat. 
  • Perfect Core Pant ($98) by lucy. There's a lot of looks for Mom at lucy (lululemon, too), but if you had to choose one, you can't go wrong with the pants designed to make Mom's lower half look good all while keeping her core engaged and body aligned. So good that you might want a pair too.
  • The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises ($14.99 at Forget Mom saying her workout is in a rut or she knows she needs to blast some fat but doesn't know where to start after getting off the treadmill. This book is full of strength training exercises to work whatever body parts she wants, and it has several specific workouts she can take to the gym.
  • Gym Girl Ultra ($60) by Skirt Sports. Take this best-seller from Skirt Sports, a company that designs its products specifically for females, and use it for work and play. No one will no the difference and Mom will always be comfy and cool without having to sport shorts. And specially for Mother's Day: save on 2-day shipping and score a free kids skirt when you spend $125.
  • Run Like a Mother ($10.19 at by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. If you've ever read this duo's works in Runner's World, Shape and Women's Health to name a few--or followed them as they blogged as the Marathon Moms on Runner's World--now you and Mom can read the essays inside that make this book break the mold of other running-themed books out there. It's a mix of personal stories, advice, anecdotes and conversations that get you through the run, not necessarily what gets you out the door--but often the best words a woman needs.
  • CorePower Yoga DVDs ($18). My mom doesn't like to run or ride a bike, but she does love yoga. The only problem is that sometimes she doesn't have time to attend her favorite class or it doesn't work with her schedule. So Mom needs the opportunity to practice on her own, which she can do at home in front of the TV on her time. The only thing missing is teacher assistance, but these are a solid substitute with their instruction that transports you right back to the studio.
If you're into giving experiences as gifts rather than tangible items that can be worn, watched or read time and again, check out some of these options that might float Mom's boat, especially since you can plan to do it together.
  • Run or walk a 5K. If Mom's not a runner, her arm could probably be twisted enough to walk an event. An annual Mother's Day event is the Walk to Empower brought to you by the Breast Cancer Network of Strength and taking place in 13 cities across the country.
  • Go for a massage or give a spa day. Athletes love these sweet rewards but so do Moms. Think about all of the long hours she's been on her feet, toiling in the kitchen or hunched over a project. She'll sigh a huge breath of relief over one of these packages.
  • Buy a ticket for Self Workout in the Park. It's a gift you'd have to give either a day early (May 8 in New York City) or a week late (May 16 in Chicago), but it's a celebration of fitness that provides fun and entertainment for women of all ages and workout abilities. I've always had fun at this one in years past.
That's my list of gift ideas for Mom. If you need more, check out this slideshow from FitSugar. What are you planning to give for Mother's Day?

Photo grabbed from TracyElaine at flickr.

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