Unfortunately, over the years this has become a loaded question. If you buy a gym membership or gift card for someone, you believe you’re giving a thoughtful gift because you’re considering their well-being, financial situation, and what they like to do. Unless the later is not true, in which case you’re perceived as saying they need to get in shape. And even if they do, and have outwardly stated they WANT TO, you’re still the bad guy.
“Not so fast!” as Lee Corso would say.
Think about it as giving someone a massage or a day at the spa: you’re giving them something they usually wouldn’t splurge on for themselves. “Exercise” can be the same way.
To give fitness as a true GIFT, in other words as a luxury and not as necessity, ask yourself these questions about your friend/family/signifigant other. We’ll call this person Alex to make things easier.
1. What kind of physical activaty does Alex like to do?
If Alex doesn’t go to the gym, there are probably more reasons other than time and money at play. If Alex actually enjoyed it, s/he’d figure out a way to go. So, what does Alex really like to do? Tennis, yoga, group activities, basketball, surfing, skiing, racquetball, weight training? Unfortunately I’m going to have to take golf out of this equation because it fails to get your heart rate up.
2. Where can Alex do this?
Find a private studio, instructor, or group that specializes in the activity. Tap into the luxury of the activity. So you purchase hours with a trainer, not just a gym membership. You get a package at a yoga, pilates, or spinning studio. Find a tennis pro near Alex’s home or office.
Now the gift is truly a treat!
If Alex wants to be active but he hates the gym, your thoughtful gift of an activity s/he actually enjoys doing can serve as the gateway to getting Alex back in action!
Here are a list of studios I love in major cities:
- SOULCYCLE – indoor cycling total body workout
- Hot8Yoga – all different types in a hot room
- YogaWorks – variety of yoga
- Equinox WEHO – love the group fitness classes
- Core Power Yoga
- BLAST900 – high intensity full body workout
- Eclipse 1 on 1 private studio – trainers
- Stellar Bodies – reformer training
- Pure gym – high-end downtown gym
Kind of a short list, but that’s where I rock out in town.