12 gifts for fitness fanatic in your life
Treat your favourite exercise buff to some ace new kit this Christmas. Liz Connor selects 12 best buys
Searching for the perfect pressie isn't easy, but if you've got a runner, cyclist or gym bunny in your life, the task is made marginally easier by the fact that they'll probably love unwrapping a gift that feeds their fitness obsession.
From posture-aligning yoga mats and speedy running shoes to progress-tracking wearables, we've whittled down the countless options out there to find genuinely useful gifts for fitness buffs, across a range of prices.
So if you're shopping for someone who practically lives at the gym, you needn't resort to panic-buying socks, perfume or slippers this year...
Adidas Believe This High-Rise Wanderlust Tights, £84.95, Adidas.com
We all know there's nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable in your gym gear, and this is especially true when you're bending and stretching in a yoga session. Thankfully, these figure-hugging leggings have a moisture-wicking fabric that works to keep the body cool and dry.
Nike Lean Armband, £18, Johnlewis.com
Whether you know a seasoned marathon runner or just casual park jogger, no runner's kit is truly complete without a decent armband for their smartphone. This one fits snug and securely on the arm, so it won't slip down during a furious sprint session. A clear panel on the front allows for picking the right tunes while on-the-go, and there's a rip-tape closure to keep devices protected from any sudden rainy spells.
Sony WH-1000XM3 Headband Style High-Resolution Audio Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones, £329, Sony.co.uk
Finding a quiet spot to sit and meditate isn't easy, especially if you live in a busy, urban environment. This pair of noise-cancelling headphones from Sony can block out any irritating background sounds such as street noise, chatter and crowds. They also have a nifty 'quick attention' mode that allows you to easily tap off your music.
Fabletics Ellery Bra, £26, Fabletics.co.uk
If you've got a friend or loved one that's a fan of low-impact sports, this supremely soft sports bra will keep her comfortable and supported during a Sunday stretch. It's made from a soft loungewear material that's comfortable enough to snooze on the sofa in, while the seamless design will eliminate any uncomfortable underarm chafing.
Phantai Yoga Mat, £80, Phantai.co.uk
Anyone who's ever done a downward dog on a mat with poor grip will know how annoying it is to slide down it. Phantai mats have far more grip than a lot of varieties out there. They're also a great option for beginners looking to start their practice next year, as the design features alignment guidance to help place feet correctly and stay balanced in difficult poses like Warrior II.
Lululemon Men's Pack It Down Jacket, £198, Lululemon.co.uk
Trudging to the gym in January is notoriously grim; the mornings are dark, it's cold outside and it's pretty much guaranteed to be raining. Make sure he stays warm and dry with this travel-ready down jacket that nips in closely at the neck and wrists to insulate body heat. Best of all, it folds into its own pocket, so can easily be rolled up and packed away when the sun comes out.
Opti Skipping Rope with Counter and Calorie Burn Display, £11.99, Argos.co.uk
Skipping is a full-body workout that you can do pretty much anywhere, so this easy to carry rope is a great gift for anyone who travels a lot or struggles to get to the gym regularly. It's height adjustable and has a handy digital counter that clocks up how many rotations they've done. It'll also show how many calories they've burned in a single session too.
Asics Gel Nimbus 20 Men's Running Shoes, from £150, Asics.co.uk
If the guy in your life is going for a personal best next year, set him up for success with the right running footwear. These lightweight trainers have had a cult following for over 20 years - and for good reason too. The bouncy internal cushioning provides a responsive ride that will power any runner through those difficult final miles.
Garmin Vivosmart 4, £119, Garmin.com
Sleek and slim, the great thing about this unisex fitness bracelet is that it doesn't look as imposing as other fitness trackers on the market. But despite being small, it's still mighty, delivering all the metrics that any gym fan might geek over; from heart rate and step count, to sleep analysis and stress tracking. There's no need to worry about taking it off before showering (it's completely waterproof) and it can be programmed to gently vibrate when the wearer receives a text or a call too.
FWE Kennington 2.0 Windproof Glove, currently reduced to £9.99 from £24.99, Evanscycles.com
Is there anything worse than trying to cycle while your hands are being battered by the elements? If you've got a rain-or-shine cyclist in your family, help keep their fingers warm with these insulated cycling gloves, which feature a thick Velcro cuff that traps heat. And if they're prone to getting the sniffles too, there's also a nose wipe on the thumb.
S'well The Sport Soft Touch Bottle in Zephyr, £35, Amara
A good water bottle is probably the one bit of fitness kit that you'll always need, no matter what sport or activity you choose. This half litre stainless steel reusable bottle features double-walled insulation to keep drinks cold for 24 hours, hot for 12 hours and condensation-free. The mouth is big enough to allow ice cubes and it fits into standard cup holders. It's designed for drip-free sipping to ensure minimal mess, suiting everything from long hikes to tough gym sessions.
Gym & Swim Travel Bags, £19.50, Oliver Bonas
There's no law that says you have to invest in boring designs for your kit and these cotton bags will add a touch of colour to your routine. The set has one gym bag with an abstract design on a pink base and a swim bag with an illustration of dancing ladies, weights and fruits - along with a waterproof PVC lining to ensure you can carry your damp swimwear home without fear of leakage.