On Your Health

Check back to the INTEGRIS On Your Health blog for the latest health and wellness news for all Oklahomans.

Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas

Let’s get real. Christmas shopping can be hectic and stressful, not to mention hard on the finances, but it can also be the perfect time to choose gifts that are good for you!

Instead of splurging on boxes of candy or gift cards, why not find presents that will bring health and wellness to those you love the most? Helping them feel healthy is one of the best gifts you can give. Check out seven of our favorite good-for-you gift themes below. Don’t feel guilty about giving yourself some of these healthy goodies as well!

The gift of cooking classes

Not only are cooking classes a unique and healthy gift, but it’s perfect for the person who has everything. Cooking classes are also a great present for the whole family to enjoy, either by taking a class together or enjoying the feast that your loved one makes.

This healthy Christmas gift helps anyone develop cooking skills that can last a lifetime. It doesn’t matter if your Secret Santa is a culinary genius or someone who “burns water,” there are hundreds of different types of classes and cuisines to choose from at all experience levels. What a way to cook up a great gift!

The gift of adventure

What do you get for a teenager who is hard to impress? An adventure! Oklahoma has tons of active adventures that even the most hard-to-win-over teen can enjoy. All of these are great for inspiring a love of learning and a fun way to get active. Even better, any of these active adventures are great for the adults on your list as well. How about:

The gift of exercise

A simple gym membership will definitely give your loved one lots of options to get active! Many gyms, including the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, have a multitude of classes ranging from cardio dance to weightlifting to yoga.

Healthy Habbits

The gift of reading

You can give the gift of a healthy mind by giving the bookworm (or potential bookworm) in your life a good book. Cookbooks, nutrition books, self-improvement books, meditation and affirmation books and even adult coloring books can be both entertaining and educational. More importantly, books can also be good for your mental health

When your mind gets absorbed in a good book, experts say it only takes six minutes for your body to begin to relax. In fact, when reading was tested against many traditional forms of relaxation, it reduced stress by 68 percent and was the highest-ranked method among those tested.

Need some specific ideas? Dr. Murali Krishna, a psychiatrist in Oklahoma City who founded the INTEGRIS James L. Hall, Jr. Center for Mind, Body and Spirit, has a stirring and uplifting book called Vibrant: To Heal and Be Whole - From India to Oklahoma City that poses tough questions and guides you through exercises to take ownership of your own happiness. 

We’ve written in the past that the Mediterranean Diet could be the best heart-healthy plan out there, so the book The Mediterranean Diet for Beginners is a great gift for those looking for a healthy new start.

The gift of better sleep

Sleep is vital for good health. Luckily, there are tons of sleep products out there to help you get a good night’s sleep. Sleep gifts are thoughtful presents that make every night as happy as Christmas Eve.

A good massage, especially before bed, can help soothe sore muscles, release tension and relax your brain, priming it for good sleep. We especially like Udånder, a Scandinavian spa set in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City, with additional relaxation treatments besides massage that include an aromatherapy steam room, a Finnish dry sauna, soaking tubs and more.

White noise machines can be helpful to not only drown out noise that can awaken light sleepers but are typically set at a frequency that keeps your ears from picking up other noisy distractions. 

Earplugs and sleep masks are unique gifts and are both simple, affordable ways to cut out light and noise that could keep you from falling asleep. 

Humidifiers and diffusers not only help moisturize your nasal passages to prevent dryness, but they also help alleviate snoring. Add a few drops of essential oils to the water to enhance a relaxed atmosphere and stop dry mouth or throat from keeping you from sleep.

Your smartphone and tablets can help encourage deep relaxation with a number of meditation and sleep-assisting apps. Treat your loved one to  for-cost apps like Calm or Headspace, since guided meditation while in bed has been proven to relax and calm a busy mind and could help with dozing off.

Sleep trackers give you insights on your breathing, your heart rate, your REM cycles, your snoring, and whatever else affects your nightly sleep, with many trackers feeding you advice based on that data so you can improve your habits. Here is a list of some good ones.

The gift of health gadgets

Our society loves gadgets, and the number of healthy living gadgets on the market is mind-blowing. From simple pedometers to water purifiers to juicers, gadgets can be a perfect gift for those looking for easy, convenient and effective ways to improve their health.

New gadgets you may not even know exist include portable gluten testers, personal teeth whitening devices, wireless blood pressure monitors, Bioscarfs that filter out allergens and smart forks that help you eat slower. Check out our blog about cool healthy gadgets to add to your Christmas list or check out the “best of” list from Forbes.

The gift of giving back

Maybe your loved ones don’t want presents or gadgets for Christmas. Maybe they have everything they could possibly want or need. What do you give them?

Making a donation to a nonprofit organization is not only a thoughtful gift but one that can have far-reaching benefits as well. There are many Oklahoma City charities that need your help. Additionally, The American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association, The Alzheimer’s Association and many more always need donations to help with research, tools and support. You can even donate in your loved one’s name!

This holiday, don’t let the hustle and bustle of the season detract from the well-being of your loved ones. Take care of them with gifts that will bring them relaxation and help them feel  energized, creative and restored.

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