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5 Unusual Gift-Giving Ideas That Can Help Others Improve Their Health & Well-Being

5 Unusual Gift-Giving Ideas That Can Help Others Improve Their Health & Well-Being

The holiday season is fast approaching. In less than a month, the whole world will be celebrating Christmas and New Year’s.

When it comes to gifts, a lot of people offer “safe” gifts that are ordinary and routine, like jewelry, a sweater, a journal, or a snowglobe. If you’re trying to go against the traditional gifts people give, you can add a bit of twist and help your friends and family get fit and healthy in the process. Thus, consider offering gifts to your loved ones that can improve their health and overall well-being.

The last week of December is the week of giving and receiving gifts and if you want to be unique and different, here are some unusual and crazy gift-giving ideas for you to impress your family and friends with:

1. Personalize The Gifts

You might have read this one before, but personalizing your gifts is one of the most important and unique gift giving ideas of all time.

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Make your gifts unique with custom stickers and labels. Packaging your gifts well and with these intentions provides a lot of impact to the gift recipient. Always make sure you customize your gift before handing it over to the person you plan to give it to.

2. Sleeping Pillows

Having a good night’s sleep largely depends on the quality of the pillow.

Although it has been a routine for many people to actually do meditation before sleep to unwind and relax themselves, guided meditation for sleep can only help if your pillow is of high quality and therefore supports a quality night’s sleep.

By giving this gift, you can help your loved ones improve their sleep and be healthier in mind, body, and spirit.

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Make sure you gift them the best pillow for neck pain and headache in order to provide full health benefits to the gift recipient.

3. Full-Face Motorcycle Helmets

If you are living in a country where bike riding is one of the most common transportation methods, then you should be well-aware of the importance of bike helmets.

In developing countries, the motorcycle is often the family vehicle with small families of four or less easily traveling on bikes.

Though it is convenient and cost-effective, most of the fatal accidents of bikes happen because of low quality helmets.

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Full-Face motorcycle helmets can be great gift because it shows that you care about the recipient’s passion while ensuring their safety.

4. Book Exchange

Books are unique gifts that are probably the best gifts you can ever give to anyone.

There are a lot of books on how to improve our lives that are sold in the self-help genre. Aside from them, you can also find great books in the DIY category.

By giving books as gifts, you can actually help the gift receiver to improve their life by providing them with books where they can follow the tips and advice.

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My all-time personal favorite is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It contains some timeless wisdom on how to achieve your dreams.

Find books that really resonate with others and gift them to your friends and family to give them the life-changing words he or she may need.

5. Dark Chocolate

Chocolate is one of the most common gift exchanges, especially during the holiday season. Instead of giving milk chocolates, make sure you buy dark chocolates as gifts.

Dark chocolates are a little pricier, but they have tremendous health benefits. They contain powerful antioxidants that are good for the heart and general well-being.

Make sure you personalize them through customized gift wrappings and present them in a large amount. Leave a note to inform the gift recipient about the benefits of dark chocolate.

By replacing your traditional gifts with healthier alternatives, you can help your friends and family to live a safe and healthy life.

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Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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