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Santa Maria Sun / Cover Story

The following article was posted on December 10th, 2015, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 16, Issue 40 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 16, Issue 40

Fun fitness gifts: From equipment to supplements, find a gift for your favorite athlete


A funny thing happens when a friend or loved one leads an active or athletic lifestyle: They often become consumed by it. Talk of yoga mats and running shoes, kayaks and paddleboards, creatine and protein seems to dominate their conversation. The upside is all that talk provides plenty of clues to make you a superstar gift giver.

Equipment is always a welcomed gift for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Zack Graham, manager of Play it Again Sports in Santa Maria, said that just because it’s getting a bit colder outside doesn’t mean fitness-minded people stop being active. He’s seeing an uptick in sales of exercise accessories that bring the workout inside. 

“It’s getting darker earlier and people are less inclined to go outside, so we are definitely seeing people buy treadmills, ellipticals, and home gym equipment,” he said. 

And while some athletes are heading indoors to keep their workout warm, others brave the chill and embrace more robust activities, like snow sports. Graham said that with snowfall anticipated to be good this year, snow gear is a popular gift. 

Fitness gear, equipment, and accessories are great last-minute gifts for that active athlete.

Of course the weather doesn’t get too extreme on the Central Coast, and that makes some sports, like golf, a year-round activity. Graham said because of that, golf equipment is always a big hit. 

With baseball season right around the corner, buying kids the latest bats or new gloves can get them excited for game time. And for water lovers, it’s not too early to start preparing for warmer temperatures. 

“We just got some new paddleboards in stock, so there are some good deals on brand-new paddleboards for spring and summer,” Graham said. 

Play It Again Sports offers both new and used equipment, and with its used inventory, gift givers can potentially save nearly 50 percent off on used equipment purchases, leaving some money available to purchase a last-minute gift for yourself.

For individuals who are more fitness-minded rather than sports fans, Caesar Hernandez, owner of Life Purpose Boot Camp, said there are a variety of last-minute gifts to help them fuel their best piece of workout equipment: their bodies.

“Protein powder is a good gift because as fitness professionals we’re always pumping out that, ‘You need to get more protein in your life!’”

Protein powders, shakes, and supplements are gifts that fitness enthusiasts constantly need to replenish, so the gift will be appreciated. Check out favorite fitness fan hangouts like Lassen’s in Santa Maria or The Vitamin and Herb Store in Orcutt.

Athletes and fitness fans are always in need of protein and supplements. Don’t know what brand they prefer? A gift certificate will be much appreciated.

Along those lines, gift certificates to their favorite health foods store is an additional option that will let them pick out their favorite protein drink or to encourage them in their goal of getting a jumpstart to eating healthfully. 

Workout clothes and a yoga mat also make good gifts, he said. Don’t know what size to get? Get a gift certificate to the Nike outlet, Hernandez suggested. He said the women in his boot camp classes tend to prefer Nike shoes because of the attractive colors they come in. 

While those things are great as individual last-minute gifts, Hernandez said gift givers can score extra points by putting those things together as a package. Put together a gift of protein shakes, fitness apparel, and a gift certificate to a salon for a manicure, pedicure, or new hairstyle.

“If they’ve been working on their fitness and they’ve been working hard on that transformation, they’ll also appreciate that something that will make them feel good at the end of the day,” Hernandez said. 

Gift certificates in general are a good gift for fitness fans. He said during the holidays he often gets husbands buying their wives their first three-months of boot camp to start them on their fitness journey. 

A word of caution though.

“Only buy these gifts if your wife has expressed an interest in getting fit, losing weight, and gaining confidence. If you give her these things and she hasn’t expressed an interest in getting fit, that’s asking for the dog house,” he said.

Contact Editor Shelly Cone at scone@santamariasun.com

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