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Winter Gifts for Active Seniors

Help Them Keep Moving, Stay Warm, and Stay Healthy

By

Updated December 28, 2012

If you're looking for some great gift ideas for the seniors on your holiday list, why not give a gift that will boost their longevity? Here's a list of gifts to keep the older people in your life healthy, active, and if they're outdoors in a cold climate - warm - this winter.

1. Pedometer

Photo courtesy of Pricegrabber

A pedometer is one of the easiest ways to track your daily activity level. The simplest models have a step counter that can monitor the number of steps you take each day, and help you see whether you're approaching, or exceeding, the magic number of 10,000 steps daily, to be considered "active". A pedometer can make a great stocking stuffer.

2. Earmuff Headphones

Photo courtesy of Pricegrabber
I see these as a brilliant winter invention: earmuffs that double as headphones for your iPod, or radio. No more stuffing earphones under a hat hood, or conventional earmuffs - and your hair still looks good! Some models come with a microphone on the cable so you can also use them with a Smartphone. With a huge variety of colors, and knit, or fake-fur textures, this gift will help someone look stylish and stay warm while they're walking or running outdoors.

3. Touchscreen Gloves

Photo courtesy of Pricegrabber
If you've ever been out for a walk or run, and had to pull off your gloves to answer your cell phone or change the playlist on your MP3 player, you'll know why these are a great gift idea. A variation on the fingerless glove (but warmer), these come equipped with a touchpad-friendly fabric on the tip of each glove's index finger and thumb. Whether they're right-handed, or a southpaw, they'll have no trouble checking for email and dialing out, while they're walking the dog, on a run, or cross-country skiing.

4. Yaktrax

Photo courtesy of Pricegrabber
These rubber and metal traction devices have been a lifesaver for me during the regular melt-freeze-thaw cycle and fluctuating temperatures of a typical Calgary winter. While it takes a bit of muscle to pull them onto running shoes or boots, they offer a grip on slippery sidewalks that you just can't get from your rubber soles. The only drawback is they tend to be noisy on exposed pavement between patches of ice, but your gift recipient will forgive them, because of the great traction they provide.

5. Yonanas Frozen Treat Maker

Photo courtesy of Pricegrabber

If you know someone who loves sweets but is trying to manage their weight and stick with an anti-aging diet, why not bring a little summer into their kitchen this winter with the Yonanas Frozen Treat Maker by Dole? Bananas are a great source of potassium, and this simple device will create completely natural frozen desserts that are fat-free, using bananas as the base in lieu of ice cream, frozen yogurt, or sherbet -- most of which come with added sugar. All they have to do is cut up some ripe bananas, freeze them, pull them out of the freezer to thaw for ten minutes or so before putting them through the machine, add other frozen fruit like raspberries or blueberries, and voila! A tasty and healthy way to eat more real fruit. Just take care to thaw the bananas a bit first (or microwave them for a few seconds), to make sure the machine can process them properly.

6. Jeff Galloway's Advice for Older Runners

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In this book former Olympian and running guru Jeff Galloway offers great advice for the older runner, whether beginner or advanced, on how to keep running and stay injury-free. Drawing on evidence that runners live longer, Galloway includes a structured run-walk program to get started, advice on nutrition, principles of ideal running form, as well as information about running to lose weight. Targeted to runners in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond, he describes the importance of having at least a 48-hour period for recovery between runs, to avoid injury and stay strong. A great concise and encouraging guide for the aging runner.

7. Longevity Journal

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Whether you like to write stuff down or not, there's good evidence that keeping track of healthy behaviors -- like what you eat, and how active you are each day -- will help you stick with your plan. Here are a few journals for your gift list, aimed not just at helping someone watch their diet, but also to monitor whether they're taking steps to reduce their stress (through meditation or getting outside, for example), and to keep moving.

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