5 Fitness-Related Gift Ideas under $100

So you want to give someone a gift that they will not only enjoy, but will make a positive difference in their physical life.  Here are a few great ideas for some at-home fitness aids that I recommend, most of which will cost you less than a month’s membership at your local gym, listed from least expensive on up (complete with links to the brands I would choose):

1:  Resistance Band Set $30:  They don’t have the money or the space to outfit their garage with a full set of dumbbells?  Give them a set of resistance bands like the one linked here.  Train the whole body with the dozens of exercises available to them, with 7 different resistance levels possible.  A must for increased metabolism and muscle toning, and in a space-saving package!

2:  Stability Ball $30:  Not just for abs, this workout implement can enhance both upper body and lower body training, as well as supply flexibility variations.  Improve neuromuscular coordination while eliminating the need for a workout bench.  Give them an extra challenge to push them to new exercise heights.  Get the 65cm for most men and 55cm for most women.

3:  Pull-up Bar $40:  You no longer need to destroy your doorjamb to get a great back workout.  Not only for pull-ups, this versatile workout tool can enhance your push-ups and ab work as well.  It makes for a great anchor for your resistance tubes too, and paired can even allow you the option of doing assisted pull-ups for those that struggle to crank even one rep out.

4:  Body Weight Trainer $60:  Get all the benefits of the $200 TRX Body Weight Trainer for a fraction of the cost.  Add a functional component to their workouts.  Strengthens shoulder, hip, thigh, and core stabilizers while stressing all the major muscle groups.  This implement hardly takes up any space and is guaranteed to give them a challenge unlike anything they’ve experienced before.

5:  Non-Bouncing Medicine Balls $45-80:  They will work up a sweat while slamming and tossing this tool around.  Or they can use it as a regular, stationary weight to increase the difficulty of body-weight exercises.  Not only will it make their workout more effective, but more fun and varied at the same time.  10-15 pounds for most women, and 20-25 pounds for most men should do the trick.

6 (Bonus):  2 Months of Personal Training $99:  OK.  I couldn’t resist.  The star on top would be a personalized exercise program complete with strength training, flexibility work, cardiovascular training, and a nutrition plan.  Help them put those tools that Santa brought to good use with my help.  Give them a head-start to a new year and a new “them”.

Stuff their stocking with the gift of better health, and don’t break the bank at the same time!  Enjoy!

J

The Truth About hCG

Question of the Week:  Finish this sentence:  When the going gets tough, …

Nugget of the Day: The truth about hCG for weight loss.

A client recently asked me what I thought about hCG as a weight loss tool.  For those of you not familiar with hCG, it stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin.  It is a hormone released by the placenta of pregnant women.  (Huh?  Yeah, that’s most people’s response)  Believed to stimulate the consumption of excessive fat tissue in the pregnant mother in support of the growing fetus, it has been hypothesized to assist in metabolism of fat as an energy source in non-pregnant individuals, as well as suppress appetite.  When accompanied by what can only be classified as a “starvation” diet of 500 calories, it is believed to promote significant weight loss.

There are a few issues here to address.  The first is the effectiveness of hCG as a weight loss tool.  As of right now, both the Journal of the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have concluded that hCG is neither safe nor effective as a weight loss aid.  The second is the starvation diet of 500 calories.  Obviously, any diet that absent of calories is going to promote weight loss, at least for a time.  However, not only does it wreak havoc on your metabolism, but it is nearly impossible to adhere to for any length of time.  Since it is not a plan that promotes healthy, long-term eating habits, most people will regain much of the weight, if not all of it when returning to their regular eating plan.  And, third, the FDA has prohibited the sale of over the counter hCG products and homeopathic versions, declaring them illegal and fraudulent.  So if you are going to try to skirt the physician-prescribed route, don’t waste your time or your money.  There isn’t enough real hCG in there to have any metabolic effect at all.

In conclusion, the hCG diet is no more than another “quick fix” scheme that is unproven at best and downright dangerous at worst.  It is simply another “starvation” diet routine that leaves you undernourished and destroys your metabolism, increasing the likelihood of you not only returning to your pre-diet weight, but even getting heavier in the long term.  Don’t be fooled.  There are no quick fixes that beat good, solid hard work and lifestyle change.   Stay the course, keep up the hard work, and don’t give up!

J

Welcome to Beyond Fitness!

Friends!  Welcome to Beyond Fitness, a home where you can come to get information, application, accountability, and spiritual guidance to help you along your journey towards better health and physical fitness.  My mission statement is as follows:

Beyond Fitness Consulting is here to expose the world to a deeper understanding of health and physical fitness that goes beyond the self-motivated ideology of the mass-market fitness industry to an approach that recognizes our responsibilities as God’s children and the role that our physical health plays in reaching the world with God’s love.

My focus with this blog will be providing useful health and fitness-related information that you can implement into your own personal fitness journey.  I would like to make this blog as interactive as possible.  I welcome feedback as far as what kinds of information you would like to hear, what topics you feel you need to learn more about, and how better I can help you achieve your goals.

You can read more about me and my background on the About page.  You can also learn more about the programs that Beyond Fitness Consulting has to offer to give you a more personalized experience on the Programs page.  I will also be updating the website with images and videos that will assist you in your exercise regimen, which you will find on the main menu as well.

Let’s create a community dedicated to not only improving our own personal health and physical fitness, but to improving the lives of the world around us in the process.  Please help me by sharing this blog with family and friends.  Come join me!

Jeremy