It’s Christmas time again and we all know how good this time of year is. Parties, presents and time away to refresh and recharge should all be at the top of our priority list. Now I am here right now to give you ideas for what you might give to your family and friends who are health conscious and enjoy their training. Whether it is a “secret santa” at work or a gift to a loved one, you cannot go wrong picking up presents from the following list. And if you are still stuck for inspiration after reading this, check out my list of goodies from last year by clicking here.
1) YouBar. These things are customized protein bars that you can mix and match ingredients for whatever your taste buds require. Gogi berry, cacoa nibs, cashew butter, maca powder… there are a heap of great options that you can play with to make a great tasting bar for a gift. Plus you can even personalize the wrappers (in my last order, being super creative I named mine the “Coyne Bar”!). One of the best thing I like about them is that they can be made with rice protein which for people who are diary sensitive and want to avoid too much whey protein is a pretty cool. Anyway I’ve set up a special with YouBar and anytime you order, just enter “coyne” in the coupon code and you will get 5% off your order. You can check them out here.
2) Healthy Toes Stretchers. These little beauties I recommend to every patient that I see with foot issues – from plantar fasciitis to bunions. Clinically, I have found they compliment soft tissue work with ART really well and speed up recovery rates. Even if you do not have foot problems, we are on our feet the most out of any other appendage so it makes sense to devote some time to them. And ladies this is even more important if you wear high heels! You can pick up a pair from Amazon here.
3) FATGRIPZ. I know I included these in my gift list from last year but I still can’t get over how versatile and effective these things are for your training. From increasing your grip strength so you can handle more weight in exercises (especially grip dependent exercises like chin ups or deadlifts) to fixing elbow problems to evening out strength imbalances between arms (which is a really cool but as yet unexplained benefit from using these suckers), I would make sure these are in your gym bag. And if you haven’t seen this, I made decided to make a “take the piss” video last year for FATGRIPZ that hopefully you get a laugh out of.
I don't know what I was thinking on this day but it sure was fun...
4) Pong Casemate For iPhone or Blackberry. I use this on my iPhone because it has been shown to decrease what is called electromagnetic radiation (EMR) by manufacturer claims of up to 95%. This EMR From mobile phones have been clinically shown to mess with sleep patterns and decrease testosterone, sperm motility, sperm mobility and sperm volume in men. Studies from fertility clinics have backed this up by also showing that the more cell phone usage a male has, the less likely he will be able to do his bit in the bedroom and helping the female to conceive. Plus there is also a growing link between cell phone usage and brain cancer. So that is why I use it but even if you are skeptical of the potential damage cell phones cause, I would recommend you think of this as a health insurance policy. Better to be safe than sorry… Again you can pick up a Blackberry case (click here) or iPhone case (click here) from Amazon.
5) ithlete. This iphone app and gadget plug into your iPhone and give you a measure of your Heart Rate Variability. I first learned about this in university from a cardiovascular disease perspective but heart rate variability (HRV) is the variability between the time intervals of heartbeats. An increased HRV indicates recovery and good health and a decreased HRV indicates overtraining, stress and an increased risk of mortality (not fun!). Because of the sports performance implications, it is used with a number of professional football clubs (AFL & NRL that I know of) here in Australia. Now although endurance athletes will take to this quite eagerly as it is superior to just monitoring heart rate with a Polar or Garmin, it is also useful for strength & power training because it measures nervous system activity. For instance, it will tell you whether today will be a good day to train power or if HRV is low, maybe you need some non-neural work like hypertrophy. Anyway to check this out to see if sounds like a gift you want to give, click here for more information.
HRV is the next step up on just measuring heart rate