7 Holiday Gift Ideas For Your FitFriend

Everyone has a friend that runs marathons or obstacle races, or a family member who wants to get fit on their holiday shopping list. To help shoppers buy for fitness-enthusiasts here are my top seven get fit gift ideas – and the best news, they can all be bought online!

1. The Asylum

Okay, this first gift doesn’t sound very happy holidays and it’s not, this is a butt kicking extreme at home workout that will make you regret even smelling the beautiful combination of egg nog and gingerbread! I started The Asylum leading up to the Hamilton Road 2 Hope Marathon and it is killer. I was intrigued in the program because of the recent surge in functional fitness style workouts and local programs like Game Changer, so thought giving it a try at home would save me some embarrassment in the park. Insanity: The Asylum is  Beachbody’s latest home fitness programs with celebrity trainer Shaun T. It’s a 30 day elite sports training program, which would be a great gift for athletes of all levels including those just getting started and those training for marathons, triathlons, and especially obstacle races. It includes the 6 DVDs, a workout tracking calendar, a nutrition plan, as well as both a jump rope and agility ladder for the many die hard drills. It does require some floor space (my Toronto condo was tight), but with some creativity you can make it work and it’s well worth it! Asylum is available at Best Buy, Sears, TV Showcase, Walmart, Beachbody.com and Shopnorthern.com for $119.99.


2. Oakley Extreme Tight Capris

I love the look and feel of these tights, and every time I wear them I feel like I am in a scene from Tron (the new one) come to life. Created for “zoned support and mobility,” the Extreme Tight Capris are a high–performance compression fit capris. They have stretch panels which cover key alignment areas of the body, and a nearly seamless construction which “reduces chafing and increases durability.” The capris also have articulated knees and mesh panels which “provide a natural feel and optimize airflow.” These capris would be a great gift for any active gal who likes putting her clothes through demanding multi–sport workouts, run, yoga, or cross-fit, these capris will have you covered. Available in store and online at http://ca.oakley.com for $100.

oakley pants

3. Nike+ SportWatch GPS

After my Nike+ SportBand died I needed something new and knew many runners rocking the Nike + SportWatch so decided it give it a try. The reason Why I am so happy with this watch is best described on their sight “Think Less, Run Better Put on your Nike+ SportWatch GPS, go outside and run.” The SportWatch allows you to personalize the scrolling data that you want to see during your run which includes the ability  to track your pace, distance, calories and heart rate and more. It contains a built in USB into the watch strap, so post run you just plug the watch directly into a USB port on your computer to upload run data and recharge the battery. You can also combine this watch with the Nike+ shoe sensor which acts as an optional backup if the GPS signal gets interrupted or for indoor use on the treadmill. The SportWatch also allows you to connect with Nikeplus.com which allows you to connect with friends through Challenges and sharing your run activity on Facebook and Twitter, and also allows you to see your mapped route with pace data, and elevation changes. Available in your local Nike store, at http://www.RunningRoom.com or http://store.nike.com for $169.


4. Saje Natural Wellness Pain Release Natures Remedy Roll On

While in Vancouver for the SeaWheeze Half Marathon last August I was introduced to Saje and fell in love with this store. The air at the start of the race was filled with the scent of their Pain Release Remedy Roll as their army of volunteers filtered through the start line massaging this oil onto the necks of the eager runners. The Pain Release Remedy Roll On is an all natural pain release remedy which is a safe, gentle topical recovery tool for all skin types. The easy-to-use roll on format is ideal for muscular pain, joint stiffness, external bruising and arthritis, and is perfect for your FitFriend who may need some extra recovery help after those long runs or tough strength workouts.  Available at http://saje.ca for $26.95.


5. Tiny Devotions Stack

For many years I have been in love with Tiny Devotions and their mala beads and gorgeous stacks. Perfect for yogis, yoginis, or mindful athletes, every piece of jewelry is connected to an intention such as love, joy, patience, focus, adventure, freedom, and strength to name a few. Below is the Bardot Stack, named after Bridget Bardot (a piece I have been coveting for a while). This yellow and cherry quartz, lotus and sky blue fire agate stack has the intention of being a beautiful person on the inside and out. I suggest purchasing a stack over a mala necklace because personally I love to mix my stacks with each other as well as other pieces of jewellery for the ultimate arm party – I’ve even mixed my Gangster stack with my Goddess stack, my RoadID and Nike SportWatch for what I refer to as Endurance Boho or Mindful Athlete style. Available online at http://www.lovetinydevotions.com/ stacks are made in Canada and range in price depending on the stones. The Bardot stack is available for $127.


6. RoadID, Wrist ID Slim

If you are shopping for a runner, cyclists, or anyone who likes to get fit outdoors, the RoadID should be a must on you list.  Their website puts it best stating that “in the event of an accident, if you can’t speak for yourself, your Road ID will.” RoadID is a silicon bracelet with the emergency contact information of the wearer. After deciding to no longer race with my cell phone, Road ID for me was a must, because “it’s not just a piece of gear – it’s piece of mind.” I purchased a black  Wrist ID Slim which is the slimmest (or smallest) ID in their lineup – also suitable for kids. The website states “with its stylish and comfortable silicone band, you will be tempted to make a lifestyle statement and wear it 24/7” and to be honest I have considered that – especially when off to functions with other fit peeps (read above re. arm party). Like all their ID products, The Wrist ID Slim can be laser engraved with  three emergency contacts and is available in ten different colors. Side note – be sure to double check your phone numbers – I wrote my sisters down wrong 😦 Available at https://www.roadid.com for $17.99. (Shoppers hint: there are often sales and promo codes flying around the internet so do a quick Google search to save on shipping.)


7. A Gift Card to Your Local Fitness Studio or Race Registration

I love sweating in new ways and January is always a great (although crowded) time to start. Consider purchasing an entry fee to an upcoming race event or a month long membership (or at least a 5 class pass) for your FitFriend at their favourite gym or a new studio within the community. Better yet, make a purchase for the two of you and start 2014 off sweating together!

What’s on your fitness holiday wish list? Share it in the comments!

Product Review: Vidal Sassoon Restoring Repair Shampoo and Conditioner

As part of the Elle Canada Beauty Box I was provided with a variety of products to slather, sample, and size up.  The first of these products which I have eagerly tested was the Vidal Sassoon Restoring Repair Shampoo and Conditioner.


As a fitness professional and physical education teacher much of the time my fine and colour treated hair is up in a pony or teased into a voluminous bun. As a result, I was intrigued to lather up with this product and see how it would repair my often harsh and damaging daily routine.

The product is said to “restore hair’s smoothness” and strengthen “against further damage that leads to breakage and split ends.” While using the shampoo I was genuinely surprised at the thickness of the lather, and after rinsing it out, my often tangled and dry feeling hair was already feeling smooth and stronger as if I had already conditioned it.

The Restoring Repair Conditioner also worked really well leaving my hair feeling very smooth. I often use a significant amount of conditioner on my shoulder length hair, but found my typical amount was way to much with this product. In order to give it a true test, I also used it without my typical leave in conditioner and Moroccan Oil which I also use daily to smooth out my breakage. I found that once styled many of my typical breakage fly aways were smoothed out and my hair was very easy to comb through instantly. The product claims to make hair “stronger” while I’m not sure if it has done that, it certainly left my hair easy to style and very smooth.

If you are hard on your hair, I highly suggested to check out the Vidal Sassoon Repair Series. They also have a finishing spray which I’m going to keep my eyes out for on my next visit to Shoppers.

Do you have a hair product you love? Share it in the comments below!

Gear Review: Lululemon Run: Bundle Up Jacket

What I love about lululemon is their combination of function and fashion. So, I’ll be honest that when it came to doing a product review for the Run: Bundle Up Jacket, I thought this coat was WAY more fashion than function. From the moment I picked it up I began composing my blog post on how this jacket would not work, not only did it feel way to light to actually keep me warm, the style of it was just not conducive to running – well last night, while out with The Mascot Run Club, I was proven very wrong.

The Details: The Run: Bundle Up Jacket is a winter run jacket which combines fleece, goose down and water-resistant paneling to keep you warm and dry while out on a winter run. Hanging on the wall, this jacket looks like it has a lot of features and it does (to be honest I felt slightly intimidated with the hooks and zippers). It has a removable hood which is also attached to an inner zipper  chest piece for extra warmth. This whole hood/chest piece removes which is a great idea to switch up coverage for sunnier days or wearing it as a to and from jacket.

My Experience: At the run I heard from four different people all in this coat (yes, we looked like a team in matching gear last night) about how warm it was, but since the jacket feels so light, I really didn’t trust what everyone said and layered it with a racer tank, long sleeve swiftly AND a hooded run shirt (yup four layers in 1 degree weather). And after about 1.5km I was roasting. The fabric in this coat is so warm (and soft), that every “this jacket is more fashion than function” thought I had was instantly proven wrong. It felt great, it moved great, and it looked totally awesome (okay, I was starting to love the fashion). It has a great deep hood perfect to hide in once the snow starts to fall, and long sleeves (which stores will hem) to keep your hands toasty too. While the three other gals were rocking the black version which looked very classy, I decided to be bright in my red – was kinda feeling old school MJ (though all the zippers are on the inside).  😉

A Concern: My only concern is with the length. I wore it with a high waisted pair of Runder Under tights, as I was worried that it sat very high on the hip (only just coming to touch the tops of my Wunder Unders when I tried it on in store), and out in any cooler temperature I felt like the wind would be blowing up. I like winter run jackets to cover my rear to keep my buttski toasty, this one doesn’t.

Conclusion: So while I had originally thought this post would conclude with me affirming how I’d be returning to my trusty “Hustle” jacket, I’m glad to say that I was pleasantly proven wrong, and that yes all of you at run club (Audra, Amber, Kristi, and Mary) you were right! Toasty warm for winter running – and the PERFECT combinations of fashion and function!

*photos via http://www.lululemon.com