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10 Products to Pamper a Fitness Fanatic

Holiday Gifts for the Active People in Your Life
  -- By Jennipher Walters, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor
It's holiday gift time again, and, like me, you may be at a loss as to what to buy your fitness-loving loved ones, especially those who are already decked in top-notch performance wear and already own the best workout gear. Well, here's an often-forgotten gift idea for your loved ones: beauty products.

And I'm not just talking about beauty products for the ladies, either. There are tons of products on the market that are perfect for both female and male exercisers. Some help to increase performance, some make the transition from the gym to life more fashionable (and less stinky), and others just plain make you look good and feel great. But they all make good gifts, whether it's a center-stage gift, a stocking stuffer or a little something for that hard-to-shop-for aunt or uncle. Each item is a way to show that you care about the recipient. Working out is hard, sweaty work. These gifts help to reward those in your life who are dedicated to being active.

See the gift guide below for 10 ideas for everyone on your list (including yourself)!

Dry Shampoo
Perfect for: someone who hits the gym before work or a social event and doesn't have time to get ready (or doesn't want to look like they came from the gym).

I know, you're wondering what the heck dry shampoo is, right? Well, it is as it sounds—a product that cleans your hair without having to get it wet. These usually come in sprays or powders that you can spritz or sprinkle on your hair to help soak up the sweat and oil and freshen up your 'do. They won't make you look like a supermodel, but they will help you look more like your pre-workout self. And because these products range in price from $5 to more than $20 , they can be the perfect gift whether you're on a budget or want to splurge!

Post-Workout Body Wash
Perfect for: germ-o-phobes and those who consider a post-workout shower an integral part of their fitness routine.

You're probably thinking that body wash is body wash, but did you know that some companies make soaps that are designed specifically for exercisers? Most specialty workout body washes are antifungal and antibacterial and help you wash off some of the germs floating around the gym. While some high-end health clubs and fitness studios supply these special soaps, you can buy it yourself and take it with you wherever you shower post-workout. GymSoap is one such brand and has a very mild scent that's good for both men and women.

Performance Wear Detergent
Perfect for: loved ones who complain about stinky workout clothes.

We've all seen the laundry products out there that reduce odors, remove stains and brighten in a single wash. Now a detergent is available for high performance workout clothes, too. Over time, those high-tech fabrics can become stinky and soiled, reeking of sweat even long after the workout (and washing cycle) is over. Specialty detergents like Win ($6.99 for a bottle that will wash 14 loads) promises to remove embedded stains and sweat to refresh workout clothes and extend their life. Coach Nicole tested Win and gave it her seal of approval, making it a great gift for the fashion-forward fitness enthusiasts on your list.

Foot Treatments
Perfect for: the runners, hikers and walkers in your life whose feet take a beating.

The feet—especially in winter—are easily forgotten but are very important to all exercisers, and especially runners, hikers and walkers. Foot baths, salts, lotions and masks make the perfect gift for those who regularly give their feet a beating. Many of the foot care products out there are a little girlie, but a foot massager like this is guaranteed to make any guy a foot-care believer! And if you don't think your loved one would use a foot-care product very much, buy them a gift certificate for a reflexology session or a pedicure at a local spa. Perfect for both women and men, and if someone is tentative about getting an appointment, part of your gift can be you going with them (and enjoying the foot benefits, too)!

Massage
Perfect for: endurance athletes, weight lifters and anyone who complains of soreness or muscle cramps from time to time.

Massage is the perfect gift for a year of hard workouts and exercise sessions. Wrap up a gift certificate for a 60- to 90-minute session with a local massage therapist who specializes in sports massage for a thoughtful and personalized gift. Or buy them an electronic massage chair or a self-massaging tool. Massage is extremely beneficial for muscles that are used often, and it feels great. The gift options are endless! The Stick is a personal massager specifically designed for exercisers that has received rave reviews from athletes, coaches and fitness enthusiasts!

Face Care
Perfect for: women who need a quick and portable make-up remover.

Disposable face wipes are an affordable and incredibly useful gift for the woman in your life who hits the gym after work or social events. Some wipes, like Pond's Clean Sweep, require no sink or water and get your face squeaky clean and remove make-up. These wipes usually come in packs of about 30 and are easy to throw in a workout bag or purse. They also fit nicely in a stocking.

Hand Treatments
Perfect for: weight lifters, climbers and others who play sports that rely on the hands, such as football, tennis and golf.

Much like the feet, the hands take a beating and sometimes don't get the love and care that they deserve. Change that this holiday by giving a gift certificate at a local spa for a paraffin hand treatment or giving someone an at-home paraffin kit . A treatment involves oiling the hands, and then submerging them in a bowl of paraffin wax that is heated to about 120 degrees for 10 minutes. The treatments turn dry skin (common this time of year!) into soft, supple skin, and the warmth of the treatment can help with arthritis. Plus, it just feels good!

Muscle Soak
Perfect for: those who love baths or wrack up serious time at the gym.

We all know how relaxing a bath can be, but take it to the next level by giving your fitness fanatic a soak designed to pamper the muscles. This Jack Black Body Rehab Scrub & Soak is pricey at $35 a tub, but it's well worth it as it has ingredients that claim to loosen knots, increase body circulation and soothe aching muscles. Now that's a gift worth giving (and receiving)!

Swimmer's Shampoo
Perfect for: swimmers who hit the pool all winter long!

Swimming is excellent impact-free exercise, but the chlorine sure can wreak havoc on your hair. To help your loved ones combat dried out (or worse—green!) hair, buy them a year's supply of special shampoo that fights the drying effects of the pool or give an entire swimmer's beauty kit!

Gym Bag
Perfect for: gym rats who have been lugging their gear in the same bag for the last 10 years.

Gym bags have really gotten fashionable in the past few years. What used to be a basic duffel bag is now offered in hundreds of colors, styles and functions. From eco-friendly bags to sports-specific backpacks to totes that could pass as a purse, there's a little something for everyone on your active gift list, and each has plenty of room to store all of their post-workout beauty essentials, too!


There you have it: 10 beauty products that make excellent gifts for the fitness fanatics in your life. They're just so good that you may want to add them to your holiday wish list, too!