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Gift Ideas for Holiday Health

Focused on Health - November 2011

holiday gift healthby Adelina Espat

What’s the greatest gift you could give? It’s the gift of health.

Unfortunately, you can’t gift-wrap a life free of illness. But, you can gift items that may help loved ones enjoy a lifetime of good health.

Not sure what items to add to your healthy holiday shopping list? You’ll find something to please everyone in our 2011 gift guide.

The Gift of Exercise: Video Games and Health Apps

Want to encourage the couch potatoes in your life to get up and get moving? Gift these items — and let them know that adding just 30 minutes of activity to their day can help them prevent diseases like cancer.

  • Active play video games offer kids and adults hours of healthy fun. Popular game consoles, like the Kinect® and Wii®, allow players to add “exercise,” such as swinging, walking, running and dancing, to their game.

But, studies show that not all games are created equal — some result in more “exercise” than others. Read our active play video game buying guide to make sure you select the right ones.

  • An app store gift card is the perfect gift for those who are constantly connected to a mobile device. There’s a wide selection of health apps that complement offline exercise efforts. You can purchase app cards at online stores like iTunes and Amazon.

But, not all health apps get the job done. So, be sure to include this handy checklist with your gift to help the recipient make the best selections. We’ve also got a list of free health apps to get them started.  

holiday gift health

The Gift of Food: Cancer-Fighting Recipes and Food Baskets

Inspire the fast food lovers in your life to cook healthier meals with the gift ideas below. Eating healthier foods is one of the best things a loved one can do to help fight off diseases like cancer.

  • Whip-up a cancer-fighting dish from our recipe database. Then, gift it along with the recipe.
  • Make a holiday basket filled with cancer-fighting foods. Use our food list to find items to include. And, be sure to include a copy of our cancer prevention grocery list. That way, the recipients can replenish their supplies throughout the year.

The Gift of Reduced Stress: Massages and Art Therapy

Almost everyone can use a little help reducing gift health And, a little stress relief makes a good gift because long-term stress can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off cancer.

Try giving a gift certificate for one of these activities to help recipients learn about new ways to better cope with stress.   

  • Massage
  • Art or music therapy classes
  • Yoga classes

The Gift of Healthier Relationships: Romantic Evenings

A night-out package will thrill parents with young children and inject a little boost of health. Why? A recent study shows that people in healthy relationships are twice as likely to live longer than those in unhealthy relationships.

Include in your package a gift card to a favorite restaurant or night out at the movies. Attach a note offering your services as a babysitter — compliments of the giver!

The Gift of Reduced Environmental Toxins: Glass and Ceramic Containers

Ceramic or glass containers are practical and popular gifts. You’ve probably already given these items completely unaware of their health benefits.

So, what do they have to do with cancer? Well, toxic chemicals that can contribute to cancer may get into water and food when using plastic containers. To be safe, it’s best to microwave and store food in ceramic or glass containers.

Include with your gift this list of helpful ways to reduce everyday toxins. Together, these small changes may reduce your loved ones' exposure to every day toxins. And, that may lower their chances of getting cancer.

Want more healthy holiday gift ideas? Check out our previous gift guide. And, don’t forget to include a card that explains how your special gift helps the recipients reduce their chances of getting cancer.

This holiday season, think of gift giving as an opportunity to share life’s most precious present — good health!

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© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center