Festive treats: Perfect presents for sporty types

It seems like every paper and magazine you pick up at the moment is offering ‘best gift guides for Christmas’, so in the (sort of) festive spirit I’ve decided to jump on to the gift list bandwagon.

I’ve picked out some sporty treats that I hope will help inspire you in your Christmas shopping. Hopefully some of these might make it onto your list, either as gifts for others, or perhaps as sneaky little treats to yourself.

Gifts for runners

1. Cold weather accessories

nike running headband
Nike dri-fit headband, £10 from John Lewis

Breathable running headbands, hats and gloves are all very welcome gifts as winter running necessitates wrapping up warm before venturing out on those chilly mornings and evenings.

I love my Nike headband, which keeps my hair back and my ears warm and I don’t know what I’d do without my More Miles running gloves, which I need to keep my fingers nice and snuggly on icy cold days.

2. Running rucksack

osprey backpack
Osprey Tempest 9, £64.99 from Runners Need

R bought me my Osprey running backpack last year and it’s had plenty of use since then, not only when I run my commute, but also at races, when going to yoga and generally when carting my gym kit around with me.

It’s the perfect size for fitting everything in but not too big that it hampers my runs.

It has a waist and chest strap and it’s breathable so your back doesn’t get too sweaty when you run!

3. Bright, long-sleeved tops

ron hill running top
Ron Hill Vizion Running Top (also available in pink), £28 from John Lewis

When winter hits you suddenly realise that all of your runs are in the dark and bright attire becomes crucial.

Wearing something bright and reflective at night, especially if you are running near roads is really important and the long sleeves keep you warm on chilly evenings.

I’ve got a couple of these Ron Hill high vis running tops and they serve me well either layered up over vests or on their own over a sports bra.

4. Running socks

No one wants to buy them for themselves, but when you are padding along in a new pair of fluffy running socks you are infinitely grateful for they squishy, soft newness! This makes new running socks the perfect stocking fillers for any runner.

5. Foam roller

Foam rollers, available on Amazon from £20

Slightly awkward to wrap and known mainly for the agony it brings, a foam roller is a must-have for any regular runner.

Yes it hurts like hell, but after a foam rolling session your muscles will thank you for it (but maybe not until the next day).

Gifts for yogis

1. Yoga mat

yoga mat
Manuka yoga mat, £38 from Manukalife.com

Another one that’s a bit tricky to wrap, but I can’t tell you how nice it is to have your own yoga mat.

Home practice becomes so much easier and there is really no excuse not to get into your downward dog every morning.

I’ve got a Manuka Yoga Bunny mat from John Lewis which I love. It’s really grippy even when my hands start to get sweaty during an energetic practice and it has an inbuilt tie so it’s easy to store.

2. Yoga socks

yoga socks
Gaiam Toe Sox, a full range of colour and styles available from Gaiam.com

Starting to do yoga regularly has opened up my eyes to a whole new range of useful and stylish sporting accessories, of which yoga socks are one.

While I don’t yet own a pair, these grippy socks help if you find yourself slipping on your yoga mat, or if you want to do yoga while away from home and would rather not take your mat with you.

Yoga socks, £8 from Tesco

You can splash out on a snazzy toe-less pair from the stylish range at Gaiam.com, or try a more low-key pair from Tesco for just £8.

3. Chalk

A revelation to my yoga practice came when I started using the liquid chalk from my climbing during my yoga practice.

liquid chalk
Liquid Chalk, £6.50 from bananafingers.co.uk

Often when venturing off my own yoga mat and onto one of the well-used ones at my yoga studio I find my hands slipping and sliding all over the place, particularly during a fast flow class.

Using chalk helps to counter the sweaty palms making holding my downward dog infinitely easier. This liquid chalk tends not to come off too much on the mat either, so you don’t leave a chalk imprint of your mits behind!

Gifts for fit foodies

1. Spiraliser

Kitchen Craft Spiraliser, £14.99 from Currys

Eighteen months ago I don’t think I had any idea what a spiraliser was, let alone corgetti, but now no self-respecting foodie is without one.

From butternut squash noodles to courgetti spaghetti, our spiraliser has revolutionised supper time for the better.

Mine was a birthday present from my pal Sophie, but this Kitchen Craft spiraliser looks similar, with the same array of blade options.

2. NutriBullet

Still on my wishlist, the NutriBullet is the king among blenders. From nuts, avos and even carrots, apples and chunks of ginger, you can pop everything in, whizz it up a within seconds you’ve got your dream juice. 

Original NutriBullet blender, £89.99 from http://www.buynutribullet.co.uk

3. Deliciously Ella

I think I’m probably the only person on the planet not in possession of this book, but I’ve sampled many recipes made by friends, both at the dinner parties and snacking lunches and it’s at the top of my wish lists!

From breakfast crumbles, to date and cacao balls, and from delicious salads to heart warming stews, Ella offers an array of easy to make, vegan recipes, which don’t have the ominous ingredients list of an Ottalenghi dish. 

4. Graze subscription

My sister bought me a Graze subscription a couple of years back and it was such a deliciously tasty treat! Regular snaking boxes, with treats selected according to your dietary preferences and delivered to your door, what more could you want? 

Media fitness gifts

1. Jawbone Up / Fitbit

jawboneThis is a dangerous choice, as R will attest.

The recipient may be infinitely grateful, but that gratitude may be expressed as the desire to walk everywhere and in an obsession with number of steps per day.

You have been warned.

2. Fitness magazine subscription

Packed with lots of exercise, diet and well-being advice, these are a staple indulgence for many fitties.

I love treating myself to Women’s Health, Women’s Fitness or Runners World, but at around £4 a copy they often feel like a decadent purchase. However,  subscriptions come in as low as £21.99 for 10 copies and there are plenty of festive subscription sales around so it’s worth shopping around.

3.  GPS watch


If you want to spend a bit more a GPS watch makes a useful and thoughtful present. Garmin’s are a good place to start for trusty stats and reliable mapping.

4. Strava premium

If a GPS watch seems a bit too pricey, you could treat someone to an upgrade on their running tracker app. Strava Premium is available for just £4.49 a month or £44.99 for a year and offers pace and progress analysis, target setting functionality and training videos.

5. Running books

natural born heroes
Natural Born Heroes, Chris McDougall, £16.99 hb from Waterstones

Books are possibly my favourite kind of present, both thoughtful and thought provoking. 

I really love running and sports related books and some favourites include Running with the Kenyans, What I talk about when I talk about running, Eat and Run and Natural Born Heroes. Nothing beats a well-chosen book with a thoughtful note on the inside jacket.

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