Thought­ful gifts for ev­ery­one

Add well­ness to your shop­ping cart this hol­i­day sea­son

The Phoenix - - HEALTH & FITNESS - By Michilea Pat­ter­son For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

Thurs­day was all about the turkey and now it’s all about the sales.

There’s no turn­ing back. The sea­son for cross­ing items off the Christ­mas list has of­fi­cially be­gun. Then right af­ter Christ­mas, it’s time for the New Year which means res­o­lu­tions.

Now is the per­fect time to start think­ing ahead es­pe­cially when it comes to gifts with a well­ness touch. The hol­i­days tend to be very stress­ful so buy gifts for your loved ones that will re­store their men­tal and phys­i­cal health. The gift can even be a spe­cial way to treat your­self.

Be­low is a sam­pling of the pos­si­bil­i­ties avail­able when it comes to gift shop­ping with well­ness in mind.

COOK­ING CLASSES

A com­mon New Year’s res­o­lu­tion is to eat out less or to eat more nu­tri­tiously. This can be quite hard to do if you don’t know how to cook healthy meals. A gift cer­tifi­cate to a healthy cook­ing class or se­ries is a great idea for a Christ­mas present.

Of­ten lo­cal restau­rants and stores will have reg­u­lar healthy cook­ing classes. For ex­am­ple, the all-ve­gan iCreate Café in Pottstown in part­ner­ship with the com­pany Plantie will have a “Ve­gan­uary” Cook­ing Class Se­ries. The se­ries is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to make the pledge to be ve­gan for the whole month of Jan­uary. Find out more about the se­ries at www. icre­ate­cafe.com/health.

An­other place for hand­son cook­ing in­struc­tion is The Kitchen Work­shop in Paoli and Christina’s Cook­ing Classes in Philadel­phia. The cost of cook­ing classes are typ­i­cally be­tween $50 to $200 per class.

MAS­SAGE OR SPA KIT

Ev­ery­one en­joys a good mas­sage so why not make it eas­ier for your loved ones by giv­ing them a doit-your­self home kit. The kit can be de­signed specif­i­cally for the in­di­vid­ual by in­clud­ing items that will truly help them re­lax.

The pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less. Items can in­clude can­dles, bath prod­ucts, body but­ter or lo­tion, face masks and more. Spe­cial mas­sage tools such as the Fas­cia Blaster can be used to help re­lieve phys­i­cal pain ail­ments. Back pain, neck ten­sion and stiff shoul­ders are all very com­mon. The pain may be a re­sult of un­healthy con­nec­tive tis­sue in the body called fas­cia. The Fas­cia Blaster is a mas­sage tool with sev­eral points that’s used di­rectly on the skin to help smooth out the con­nec­tive tis­sue in­side the body. For more in­for­ma­tion about the blaster, visit www.fas­cia­blaster.com.

Es­sen­tial oils can also be used to re­lieve joint pain. Joint pain pops up of­ten around this time of year be­cause of ac­tiv­i­ties like shov­el­ing snow and clear­ing off ice from cars. There are cer­tain oils and mas­sage blends that have sooth­ing prop­er­ties. Some oils even have a warm­ing ef­fect when ap­plied to the skin. Since the mas­sage or spa kit is do-it-your­self, the cost can be what­ever your bud­get al­lows.

TOWER GAR­DEN

The in­door tower gar­den is a great idea for any­one who wants to start grow­ing their own healthy pro­duce but doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily have the out­door space to do so.

The in­door gar­den is also a good op­tion for se­niors or those with dis­abil­i­ties that may find it hard to bend with tra­di­tional gar­den­ing. The in­door grow­ing tower uses spe­cial bulbs that mimic day­light. Air and wa­ter are used to grow vegeta­bles with­out the use of soil. There’s a stor­age tank at the base of the tower which pumps wa­ter and a min­eral blend to the plant roots which means the food grows even faster. The tower is great for grow­ing toma­toes, let­tuces, peas and even fruits.

On the Juice Plus web­site, the tower has a price of $42.25 per month for 12 months. This price in­cludes a full kit with sup­plies and seeds. There may also be some used aero­ponic tower gar­dens avail­able on sites such as Ama­zon so it’s worth do­ing a search on Black Fri­day to see if one can be pur­chased at a great deal. Find out more about the tower at www.tow­er­gar­den.com/aero­pon­ics.

STAND­ING DESK

A stand­ing desk as a gift can be a real life-saver, lit­er­ally. There are sev­eral find­ings that show the ben­e­fits of stand­ing ver­sus sit­ting for long pe­ri­ods of time. Stud­ies show adults spend more than half of their day be­ing seden­tary such as sit­ting at a desk or in a car, ac­cord­ing to a re­port on the Na­tional Cen­ter for Biotech­nol­ogy In­for­ma­tion web­site.

You can help en­cour­age your loved one to stand more by pro­vid­ing them when a spe­cial desk to use when work­ing. There are sev­eral types of stand­ing desks in­clud­ing ones with an ad­justable height op­tion. This type of desk can be used for both sit­ting and stand­ing.

There are also stand­ing desks that in­cor­po­rate a tread­mill, so peo­ple can multi-task by ex­er­cis­ing and work­ing at the same time. Stand­ing desk con­vert­ers turn a tra­di­tional desk into a stand­ing desk. The price for a con­verter or stand­ing desk is typ­i­cally $150 and up but Black Fri­day may be the time to get these fur­ni­ture pieces at a great price.

Black Fri­day and Christ­mas shop­ping in gen­eral tends to be stress­ful for many peo­ple so make sure there’s a healthy re­sult.

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Chef Richard Ray sautés Brus­sels sprouts dur­ing a visit to at East Vin­cent Ele­men­tary when Owen J. Roberts School District cel­e­brated “Go for the Greens” week.

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

An in­door Tower Gar­den at Ru­pert Ele­men­tary School grows a va­ri­ety of vegeta­bles in­clud­ing pars­ley, bok choy and rain­bow chard let­tuce.

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Rose Wal­ters makes use of her new stand­ing desk in her of­fice at the Pottstown Health Foun­da­tion. She is able to stand or sit which makes for a bet­ter work­ing health ben­e­fit in the of­fice en­vi­ron­ment.

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

A client at Birds of a Feather Holis­tic Stu­dio in Lower Potts­grove uses a mas­sage tool called the Fas­cia Blaster. The tool smooths out un­healthy con­nec­tive tis­sue in the body.

DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Gift wrap­ping pa­per and rib­bons are dis­played. Use this Black Fri­day to get a jump on Christ­mas shop­ping for gifts that pro­mote well­ness.

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