Health & Fitness

By Leslie Rice Hart


For the Health, Fitness and overall well-being enthusiasts in your life here are a few gift ideas for the holidays. Some are useful and practical while others are extravagant. Whether you’re spending $20.00 or $200.00 giving a gift to someone special is always fun.

One of my favorite sneakers is Converse. They are so fun, funky and just plain cute. Take a look at some of the newest styles for women and kids. They are so reasonably priced from $30.00 and up. Visit their website at for more selections.

Private Yoga classes
Most of us are busy, busy, busy and just can’t find the time to get to a yoga class (though you know you need it!) this is the ideal gift you can give a friend (and yourself, for that matter) this holiday season.

Ricki Grater LCSW, ADTR, certified yoga teacher and body mind therapist, will come right to the home or office. She’ll work at the individuals own pace, giving the personal attention that is deserved.

Whether one has never done yoga before or is a regular yogi, they will come out of the session in bliss. Ricki tailors each session to exactly what her student needs, whether its to release stress and tension, gain flexibility, strengthen and tone, work with an injury or condition, or simply to revitalize, re-energize and feel better. She draws on a spectrum of yoga traditions – from Anusara to Kundalini, and is also certified in Prenatal yoga as well as Restorative yoga.
With over 17 years as a body mind healer, Ricki is uniquely able to intuitively and compassionately create a healing journey that is just right for the individual – body, mind and spirit!

$120/hour or special discount rates for packages. (Manhattan and Brooklyn).
You can also meet with Ricki at a convenient Manhattan or Park Slope location.
A unique gift you can give yourself and a few special friends is a “yoga party.” What a joyous way to welcome the holiday season. Bring in or cook up some delicious food and drink. After bonding with a wonderful and invigorating yoga session, break bread together. These parties are specially priced depending on how many people are attending. Everyone will have a rejuvenating good time.

Contact Ricki at for more information.

Oakley Sunglasses for the sports enthusiast. For the very affordable price of $70-$125 you can give someone special a sleek pair of Oakley Fives 3.0 series. Very Lightweight, comfortable and even prescription ready. Visit their website at for more great styles for men and women. You can also see a large variety of frames and styles at

A Subscription to Cooking Light or Shape Magazine. These magazines are full of great information on everything you can imagine for the health and fitness buff.

Visit the websites at or

A great gift is a cooking class from Institute of Culinary education for about $95-$105. The classes are 3-4 hours and the best thing about them is you get to eat the food you prepared. There are a variety of classes to choose from, everything from A- Asian to Z- Zuppa (that’s soup in Italian) Give yourself the gift, too and have fun cooking together. I went to a party here, had a great time and learned so much. They send you home with recipes to prepare in your own kitchen. Bon Appetit! Visit them at

The Sales Representative extraordinare, Christopher Richards, at the Brookstone store in Rockefeller Center sold me on the amazing handheld Massager Max-Maximum Performance Massager. He enthusiastically showed me all the “bells and whistles” of the latest model with features to penetrate deep, working out knots and enhancing the body’s circulation. This massager is $200 with last years version selling for $99.00. Christopher demonstrated all the features on me and I was so relaxed afterwards I wanted to know if he was included with purchase. I know what I am getting my husband!

Another great item I found at Brookstone was the FM Radio/pedometer. It tracks the steps you’ve taken, the distance traveled, calories burned and length of your workout all while you are listening to your favorite songs on the radio. It sells for $50.00.

Visit one of their retail stores or go to to order.

The Logitech wireless headphones are great. There are no wires to get in the way while your exercising. They are high quality with about an 8 hour battery life before having to recharge. They make a version for the ipod and the MP3 player. They are $129 for the MP3 version and the ipod compatible is $149. They come in black and white. Visit them at The Sharper Image also carries a similar version of wireless headphones.

Environmentally friendly exercise T-shirts made from Organic cotton soy and hemp. Some of the clever names of the adorable t’s are Miso Cute and Edamame. Find these at

Nike ID line, as seen on Oprah’s Favorite Things. Go to the Nike website and custom design your own shoe, made to order with your favorite colors. You can even get your name put on the item. Visit them at [url=][/url]

Puma Sports Bags- One of my clients had an adorable and versatile sports duffle that can double as an overnight bag for $60.00. She purchased hers at the Puma store at 521 Broadway near Spring, telephone number 212-334-7861. They do not have near the selection on their website.

Visit a local Puma store to look at all of the sizes, colors and styles.

Originally published December 2005



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