Pickleball, Recovery and More for the Holidays

The holidays bring a bonus benefit to working out regularly or shopping for someone who does: There are so many great gifts to consider, and at every price point, too!

From the classic and affordable – to the trendy and expensive, you can’t go wrong.

Here are some of our favorites to get you thinking in the right direction. How can you encourage your loved one on his or her fitness journey? Or – maybe even better – how can you treat yourself in the same way?

  1. Pickleball set. The game that keeps on growing … and shows no sign of slowing down in popularity. Like many items on this list, you can find variations just about everywhere. But this set from Nettie comes with four paddles, four balls, four sweatbands, and free shipping.
  2. Elbow and knee ice pad. Recovery is hot, hot, hot these days. This compression sleeve brings the benefits of cold-therapy and wraparound technology together. This is a reusable and affordable way to try it out.
  3. Yes, socks make great gifts for active adults – even though we always dreaded getting them when we were kids. Try these grip socks for yoga or safe lounging; Bombas, which donates a pair for every pair you buy; or stuff a stocking with a 3-pack of moisture wickers available everywhere from Target to Lululemon.
  4. The Workout Dress. This might be what Audrey Hepburn would’ve worn to a Jane Fonda workout class: a little black dress that’s sporty, flattering, and functional for all kinds of exercise.
  5. If you’re stuck for an idea, just about everyone will always be happy to have an extra pair of tights – also available for as much or as little as you want to spend.
  6. Leg compressors. For those looking to spend several hundred dollars on trendy, techy recovery gear… consider the Normatec 3 Legs, which bring air compression to you. They promise “a restorative massage using 7 levels of pressure” and something it calls biomimicry “to relieve pain and revive muscles.”
  7. Folding treadmill. This is ideal for days when you’re stuck inside because of the weather, or to use with an adjustable desk when working from home. Again, many models to try. Amazon recommends this one.
  8. Personalized gym sign. With so many people using home gyms, why not put up your own sign? This fun idea lets you personalize your family’s workout space with a cheeky bit of branding.
  9. Eat out – right. A local vegan restaurant has caught your eye. Or maybe that place with the quinoa burgers and organic salads. Whatever it is, make a reservation with the loved one on your list, and you’ll both enjoy a new experience together.
  10. Lessons, classes or private training sessions. Give the gift of a new experience or some expert coaching. Talk to us about options here or locally that would be fun.

 Of course, the best gift is your time and attention. So, go on a walk or bike ride with people you love, or whatever activity appeals to you. Come see us to see how to make next year the fittest and best yet. Happy Holidays!

Your Time: One of the Healthiest Gifts

When Pat moved to a new town in her 60s, she quickly visited the local animal shelter to volunteer. Pat always has been an animal-lover, and she thought volunteering would be a good way to meet people and learn about the community.

And she was right. She made new friends and found a purpose in serving the animals, many of them desperately neglected or abused. “There’s something I can do to help. It gives you such a feeling of love, which obviously makes you feel good — to do something for this little creature that is beyond words,” she says.

Experts say older people who volunteer typically give more time than any other age group. More than 18 million older adults contribute 3 billion hours of community service each year. They help in a wide range of services – helping other seniors and at-risk youth, providing education and job training, and pitching in after natural disasters.

“A growing body of research shows an association between volunteering and mental and physical health benefits,” the organization says.  “In particular, older volunteers report lower mortality rates, lower rates of depression, fewer physical limitations, and higher levels of well-being.”

Studies show volunteers walk more, perform everyday tasks better, and are less likely to develop high blood pressure, among other benefits.

You can learn about volunteer opportunities at community centers, organizations like the Lions Club, community theaters, museums, places of worship and more.

For Pat, volunteering is part of her healthy lifestyle that includes eating right and exercising five times a week with weights and yoga. And the payoff continues: Just this year she found her own new furry friend at the shelter. She and Blondie couldn’t be happier together.

Healthy Recipe, Almond Thumbprints


You can enjoy thumbprint cookies even if you’re vegan, avoiding gluten, or watching your sugar. Follow this recipe, adapted from Yossy Arefi’s “Snacking Bakes” (Potter, $25). They’re  super-simple to make, requiring only one bowl and one pan. The texture is softer than most cookies, and they’re satisfying and festive. Makes 12. — Susan Puckett


  • 2 C almond flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter (dairy or vegan), melted
  • ¼ C maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 3 tbsp smooth jam, any flavor


  1. Position rack in center of oven. Preheat to 350. Line large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, combine almond flour, starch, salt. Stir until well mixed.
  3. Add melted butter, syrup, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir until well combined. Dough will be soft and slightly sticky.
  4. Using cookie scoop or spoon, evenly space 12 heaping tablespoons of dough on cookie sheet. Indent center of each dough ball. Fill each center with about ½ teaspoon of jam.
  5. Bake cookies on center rack until surface is matte, slightly puffed, and golden at the edged, 10-12 minutes.
  6. Let cool on baking sheet. (They will remain somewhat soft.)


Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.

Article Credit Jay Croft, creator and owner of Prime Fit Content.

Leave a Reply