The best fitness and health gifts for starting the new year off stronger than ever

Noelle Ike, CNN Underscored
Updated Tue November 26, 2019

For the person in your life who's always at the gym, passionate about fitness or looking to start an exercise routine, the holidays are a great way to give them gear, equipment and apparel that's sure to motivate them and enhance their life.

Whether it's a membership to ClassPass, a top-of-the-line activity tracker, a game-changing kitchen tool like a smart blender or super soft sweatpants, fitness is absolutely a form of self-care. And equipping your loved one with perfect tools is a way to set them up for a year of health and happiness.

We've grouped fitness and health gift ideas into categories that will fit into routines, so you can choose whether you're looking to help someone invest in a home gym essential or just gift a soft hoodie. And if you're looking for more gift-spiration, we've rounded up our favorite gifts for him, gifts for her, for the traveler, the home cook in your life or the tech-obsessed.

Game-changing fitness tools and services

ClassPass (prices vary;

Perfect for anyone looking to get started, ClassPass is an incredible and affordable way to try different exercise classes that you can easily fit into your schedule. For those who might not know exactly where to start or how to jump in, ClassPass lets you filter classes (from boxing to barre and everything in between) and read tons of reviews about instructors and studios. You can also choose class times from the app, so everything you need to be more active or find the perfect class is at your fingertips.

23andMe Health + Ancestry Service ($99, originally $199; and

You may be wondering what a DNA kit can tell you about your health or fitness abilities. Well, 23andMe's Health + Ancestry Service actually provides incredibly detailed information on how your DNA can affect your diet, exercise and even sleep habits. You'll receive reports on things like your genetic muscle composition (like whether yours is similar to that of elite power athletes) and your genetic weight, to let you know if you're predisposed to weighing over or under the average. It's a great starting point to better understand how your DNA may impact your fitness or health goals.

Theragun ($399;

Skip the massage gift card and instead, invest more in a tool that will help you for years. The Theragun aims to help you unwind, take care of your body and recover from everything from injuries to workouts. Having made waves across the internet and fitness circles, it's a relatively simple handheld device with two different speed settings that help to target soreness, knots, tightness and more through what Theragun refers to as "scientifically-calibrated deep muscle treatment." It's also famous for being the most quiet massage gun on the market. And while it's definitely a splurge, the reviews (from people claiming it's "worth every penny" to a "life-changing device") definitely speak for themselves.

Bearaby The Napper Weighted Blanket ($259;

If you've ever had trouble falling (or staying) asleep, weighted blankets aim to stimulate "happy hormones" like serotonin and melatonin, which helps us relax and fall asleep more easily. And as we all know, quality sleep is essential to recovery from working out. This option from Bearaby has been a favorite of ours and of our readers this year, and the gorgeous, unique colorways make gifting this blanket a lot more fun and luxurious than other weighted blanket options.

Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike ($129, originally $149;

Building out a home gym or investing in substantial at-home fitness equipment doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. If you're looking for a super solid bike option that won't take up too much space in your home, this option has a 4.5-star rating from over 6,400 reviews on Amazon. While it doesn't include all the options of other popular at-home bikes, this one will cost you way less, and can help you decide whether you want to invest in a more luxury bike option.

TRX All-In-One Suspension Training ($144.95;

If you're not looking for a complete home gym, but rather reliable equipment that can compliment body weight exercises, this suspension training kit on Amazon is a favorite, with a 4.7-star rating from over 880 reviews. Using nothing but gravity and your body weight, this kit enables you to exercise anywhere you have the space to hook up the simple equipment. Reviewers love the quality, the versatility and the effectiveness of the gear. Plus, it won't take up a lot of space.

Everyday gym bag essentials

Apple AirPods Pro ($234.98, originally $249;

The brand new Apple AirPods Pro are a great way to tune out distractions when it's time to zone in on your workout. These compact true wireless buds come with active noise canceling technology, plus they're sweat and water resistant, so there's no need to worry when you're killing it in the gym.

Powerbeats Pro ($249.95;

If you're looking for high-quality Bluetooth headphones better suited for running or intense HIIT workouts, Powerbeats Pro are your best bet. Unlike the AirPods Pro, they feature adjustable ear hooks that guarantee they won't budge or pop out no matter what you're doing.

Dagne Dover Landon Carryall in Medium ($155;

This gym bag is sure to garner compliments, turn heads and last you years. It's the perfect size to double as both a work bag that fits an extra pair of sneakers, boxing gloves or whatever you need for that post-work sweat sesh. The Neoprene material is extremely lightweight, and also a breeze to keep clean. Simply throw it in the wash whenever it's starting to smell less than optimal. There are a ton of useful pockets and zippers to make organization a breeze, and the range of colors makes it a great option for everyone.

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle (starting at $44.95;

It's important to stay hydrated, and after a long workout there's really nothing better than taking a swig of ice cold water. To keep your water cold, Hydro Flask has Dual-Shield Technology that locks in the temperature, so even hours after you fill it up, your water stays cold and refreshing. The bottles come in seven colors with a variety of lids so you can tailor it to your workout and style.

Jade Harmony Yoga Mat (starting at $79.95;

This isn't any old yoga mat. The Jade Harmony Yoga Mat comes in 16 fun colors, and prides itself on its superior grip and comfort. Plus, it's made from sustainable materials, and the brand actually gives back to the planet with every purchase. Made from natural rubber as opposed to synthetic alternatives, the material works to provide a more secure grip while you're holding your poses. Reviewers specifically love it for hot yoga, when other mats can turn into a total slip and slide. With a 4.5-star rating from over 2,300 reviewers, this is a mat worth the splurge for the yogi in your life.

Apple Watch Series 5 ($384;

The latest Apple Watch doesn't change much with design, but it does something big with the display. It's now always on, so whether you holding that yoga pose at the gym or riding a bike, you don't need to take an extra action to monitor your workout. It's a big change that doesn't take away from the day-long battery life. Additionally, it can still take an ECG and looks sporty in the aluminum variants.

Fitbit Versa 2 ($148, originally $199.95;

FitBit's latest device aims to mix a smartwatch with an activity tracker. It keeps the class leading tracking technology that Fitbit fans have enjoyed, but tosses in some smart features like messaging, calls and even Alexa on your wrist.

Bleecker Dopp Kit ($95;

For the guy who throws toiletries into his gym bag, this Dopp Kit from MZ Wallace's new men's line is a super sleek, yet masculine, option when it comes to packing all your gym essentials in an organized way. It also doubles as a perfect toiletry bag for any traveling, since it's big enough to fit a toothbrush, shaving kit, cologne and much more.

Kiehl's Men's Skincare Starter Kit ($39;

A perfect addition to the Bleecker Dopp Kit, this skincare starter kit from Kiehl's is the perfect stuff to use after a workout. It's simple, yet super refreshing, reinvigorating and does wonders on oily or acne-prone skin. It's also the perfect opportunity to test out popular, best-selling products before committing to a full-size option.

Everlane Nylon Weekender ($78;

This sleek, everyday gym bag can hold a ton without looking bulky. It's super lightweight, yet durable, and the cherry on top is that it's waterproof. Plus, it's technically a weekend bag, so for the guy or girl who prefers to keep things minimal, this is a really do-it-all option. Reviewers love its high-quality construction, particularly at its affordable price.

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller ($44.99, originally $64.99;

Foam rollers are a real game-changer when it comes to post-workout recovery. They work to loosen up your muscles and act as a massage after a trying session, and you'll be able to loosen up your quads, calf, lats, back and much more with this 5-star rated option. A great option for the person who's just getting into working out or always says they need to stretch more.

Drybar Four Pack ($39;

Dry shampoo is a must-have if you're going from the gym to dinner (or anywhere you have to look and smell acceptable). This four pack comes with Drybar's cult-favorite Detox Dry Shampoo, which will leave your gym hair feeling, looking and smelling fresh and clean. You'll also get a texturizer, heat protectant and hairspray, which you can either take to the gym or pack for upcoming travel.

MZ Wallace Matt Bag ($135;

For the yoga enthusiast in your life who has everything they need, this yoga mat bag is a total luxury that they'd be thrilled to receive. The stunning rose gold color in combination with the adjustable strap and exterior pocket (perfect for your keys and wallet) makes this a stylish, yet practical, option.

Activewear that everyone will love

Allbirds shoes (prices vary;

Allbirds has ridiculously comfortable shoes for every kind of workout. Plus, they're extremely lightweight, which makes carrying them around a breeze. The standard runners are great for indoor gym sessions, the Mizzles are water-resistant and a good option if you're going out into the rain and the tree runners are light and ventilated for high-intensity workouts. The sustainable shoe seller has a wide range of footwear in different styles, colors and design that make sure your feet stay comfy no matter what activity you're doing.

Bombas Compression Socks (prices vary;

Drop the sweaty tube sock and upgrade to Bombas. With loads of sock tech, like a honeycomb structure for support and anti-microbial and moisture-wicking fabric, you won't have to fear icky gym socks anymore. The comfort and performance of Bombas will change the way you think about socks, and what makes it even better, for each pair Bombas sells, it donates a pair to someone in need.

Nike Sportswear Club Fleece ($33.97, originally $45;

This iconic, unisex fleece hoodie is a staple of athleisure, but it was designed with more than just style in mind. Super comfortable with a relaxed fit, this hoodie is perfect for the gym and for sporting around town.

Outdoor Voices CloudKnit Sweatpants ($85;

Flattering sweatpants? Look no further. The CloudKnit collection from Outdoor Voices is made from extremely soft, comfortable material. And yet, they're also extremely flattering. Available in both a men's style and a women's style (matching sweatpants anyone?), you can pair them with any of the tops in the collection for an outfit you'll be working out (and lounging) in all year long.

Betty Ski Base Layer Top and Leggings ($105 individually or $170 together;

The Betty Ski Base Layer Top and Betty Ski Base Layer Leggings are perfect for all colder weather activity — from runs to skiing and everything in between. The festive, holiday-themed patterns are perfect for a winter getaway or photoshoot, and that's on top of the material being super comfortable, warm, breathable, yet sweat-wicking.

Streetside Half Zip Hoodie ($158;

There's nothing better to throw on after a workout than a warm, fuzzy jacket when it's chilly outside. And this hoodie from Alo Yoga is everything anyone could want, whether you're headed to the gym or not. It features a large kangaroo pocket perfect for storing your phone, keys and a credit card or cash.

Adidas Ultraboost 19 Shoes ($180;

If you're looking to spoil the runner in your life, these sneakers are a splurge, but feature nearly 5-star reviews from over 900 reviewers for a reason. Reviewers love their extra support and spring, and note that the knit design comfortably hugs the foot. They are also available in a huge range of color patterns, so they'll work for anyone in your life.

Nike Tech Fleece Jogger Pants ($55;

The Nike Heritage Jogger Pants are made of super soft fabric and have a streamlined cut so you can look good and stay comfortable while you're putting in reps at the gym. With multiple pockets, there's plenty of storage room for anything you need for a quick trip to the gym. The best part is how they double as a great gym pant and a cozy choice for post-workout naps.

Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress ($100;

The brand's No. 1 bestseller, the Exercise Dress from Outdoor Voices is a super versatile piece of activewear that's definitely a bit of a splurge, but one that almost anyone will appreciate. Whether she's a tennis player, a runner or a biker, this dress can keep up with it all. And while it'll probably get more use during the warmer months, it truly makes for the perfect gift. Particularly the new leopard print, which can double as a casual or formal dress — simply pair with black tights, boots and a jacket.

Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Legging ($68;

When it comes to inclusive, mindful and sustainable activewear, Girlfriend Collective is doing it right. And the brand's Compressive High-Rise Leggings are one of its bestselling and top-rated products for a reason. The leggings are available in a wide range of sizes and colors, and that's not to mention how comfortable and flattering they are.

Gildan Men's Fleece Hooded Sweatshirt (starting at $6;

If you're looking for a super soft sweatshirt and don't care about name brands, we'd recommend this option from Gildan. Available on Amazon, and featuring a 4.5-star rating from over 5,000 reviews, you can't go wrong with this basic. It's available from small to XXXX-large, and in 15 colors.

Hydrate Crop ($58;

For the woman who needs super sweat-proof, efficient workout gear that still looks good, the Hydrate Crop is made from a trademarked material that's simultaneously deodorizing and hydrating. That's right, it'll minimize smell and keep your skin from getting super dry. And don't let the strappy design distract you — the fabric and design is also compressive and supportive, making it wearable for those higher-impact exercises. Really want to impress someone? Pair the Hydrate Top with the Ultra-High-Rise Hydrate Legging for a wow-worthy set.

Alo Yoga High-Waist Moto Legging ($110;

These celeb-loved leggings (they've been spotted on Taylor Swift and Bella Hadid) are great for everything from working out to going out. They're a true statement piece without being loud, and are the epitome of stylish athleisure.

Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover ($119;

This Patagonia fleece is a winter workout's best friend. Warm enough to wear it on your way to the gym, but light enough for a run outside in the snow, this pullover is a versatile layer that keeps you cozy when you're pushing yourself.

Carbon38 Sheer Crop Tank ($39;

The perfect tank for every type of activity, this option is buttery and silky smooth to the touch. It's luxe, and sure to be a beloved staple in any woman's wardrobe. You'll probably want to stock up on more than one of the sleek color options.

Food prep and useful kitchen gadgets

Spiralizer 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer ($22.99;

Dieting and healthier eating resolutions often call for little to no carbs. The Spiralizer Vegetable Slicer enables you to turn vegetables into your next spaghetti dinner and stay true to that keto or paleo diet. The Spiralizer's revamped blades are even stronger than before and can cut through hard root vegetables like sweet potatoes and turnips for unlimited vegetable-spaghetti possibilities.

Dash Rapid Egg Cooker ($14.99, originally $18.79;

For you egg lovers out there — yes for protein — there's no easier way to scramble, hard boil, soft boil or poach eggs than with the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker. With an auto shut off function, your eggs will never overcook and you don't have to babysit them if you're short on time. Whether it's for a quick breakfast or a protein-packed snack, making eggs has never been this over-easy.

Porter Bundle — Ceramic ($110, originally $125;

If you want to take care of the planet as much as you take care of your body, reducing plastic waste is a huge thing everyone can do. Perfect for meal prep, this ceramic bundle is a collection of matte-colored items such as bowls, mugs and a water bottle. They're dishwasher and microwave safe, so the switch is easy, convenient and good looking.

Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt ($79, originally $99.95;

All hail the Instant Pot. The miraculous pressure cooker churns out meals, making those precious mid-week meals a piece of cake. This six-quart Instant Pot is a seven-in-one kitchen appliance that's easy to use, easy to clean and saves you time. No need to waste time cooking when the Instant Pot can do all the work while you're on your grind. Meal prep has never been easier.

NutriBullet NBR-1201 ($49.88, originally $59.99;

Making a quick, on-the-go smoothie has never been easier than with a NutriBullet. The 600-watt motor gives you plenty of blending power to make the nutrient-rich smoothies you need to fuel your workouts. The NutriBullet also comes with resealable lids so you can just grab and go when you're running out the door.

Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series Smart Blender ($449.95, originally $599.95;

For heavy-duty blending projects you can't go wrong with a Vitamix. You can make hot soup (the friction from the blades brings it up to serving temperature), grind nuts and coffee, and blend basically anything with Vitamix's laser-cut, stainless steel blades. For any difficult or complicated blending needs, Vitamix is the way to go.

"The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom" ($16.94;

If you're looking for a way to jumpstart your diet, look no further than "The Whole 30." This 30-day guide (that's also a No. 1 New York Times bestseller) comes with rules and recipes that transform your diet to a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable way of eating. With rules such as no alcohol, grain, dairy or added sugars, it's a strict month that's sure to make you rethink your relationship with food.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer's listed price at the time of publication.