While the gift of fitness is one of the most beneficial, healthy gifts one can receive, it has to be under the right circumstances. In fact, receiving home gym equipment or a gym membership can be as offensive as it is beneficial. As much as we at Stamina advocate buying fitness equipment for others, it’s definitely not worth ruining relationships.
To avoid awkward holiday gatherings, consider the following when gifting fitness equipment to a loved one:
Have they expressed desire to exercise more in the coming year?
Or more specifically, have they explicitly expressed it? There’s a difference between, “I need to start exercising more,” and, “I want to strength train and/or build endurance with [insert equipment].” The more specific their statement, the better. A specific reference means they have researched or considered buying equipment already.
If someone makes a vague statement about getting healthy in the coming year, they might be trying to elicit certain responses (i.e. “You don’t need to worry about going to the gym,” or, “You look great the way you are.”) While this isn’t always true, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Would they be more receptive if you exercised with them?
If you’ve already run into the latter, perhaps you should invest in a membership or equipment for yourself as well? For example, if you give a loved one an exercise bike, the implicit message is that the recipient needs to get in shape. But if you gift the exercise bike to both of you, they may be much more receptive to the idea. Not only is it a way to spend time with someone, it’s mutually beneficial. They’ll realize the gift isn’t a slight against their appearance.
Finally, do they have everything they need to truly utilize the gift?
Once you believe your loved one will be excited to begin or continue their fitness journey, make sure they stick to it. You need to make sure that they have everything they need to continually use the equipment or membership. Whether it’s workout clothes, new training shoes, weight lifting gloves or something else, accessories can act as motivation.
Ultimately, you know your loved ones best. If you do decide to get them fitness equipment, check out our holiday gift guide article that will come out next week!