Seven last-minute gift ideas with a healthy twist

It’s that time of year where you’re scrambling to find gifts that are the perfect trifecta of thoughtful, useful and affordable. With the new year looming, people are also thinking about improving their health by eating right, getting enough sleep and exercising.

At Salem Health, we’ve combined these ideas into a helpful gift list to match your budget to all the people you are buying for this holiday season.


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Gift idea: Gift certificate for shared adventure

Health benefits: Plan a trip for a loved one — consider camping, hiking, biking, kayaking, rafting, surfing, windsurfing, stand up paddle boarding, snowboarding, snowshoeing or skiing! All these activities get people moving in the great outdoors. Best of all, people don’t have to travel far to get to any of these adventures in Oregon, which means less time driving and more time playing.

Recipients: Outdoorsy types

Price range: A hike may be free whereas gear rentals can vary. Guided tours usually cost around $30 on the low end to higher prices for multi-day excursions.


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Gift idea: Fitness trackers

Health benefits: Fitness trackers don’t scream, “YOU’RE OUT OF SHAPE!” but they do nudge people into becoming conscious of their physical activity. Some trackers count calories and remind users to move. Others log users’ sleep, type of physical activity and movement intensity. Advanced models offer online platforms for users to compete against each other.

Recipients: Fitness newbies and experts alike

Price range: $15+


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Gift idea: Kitchen gadgets

Health benefits: These help make the humdrum process of everyday cooking more exciting. One we particularly like is the vegetable spiralizer. It cuts carbs by turning ordinary vegetables into noodles! We tried simple zucchini spirals with marinara and didn’t even miss the pasta.

Recipients: Home cooks, from amateur to gourmet

Price range: $6+

Kids activities

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Gift idea: A memorable day out

Health benefits: It’s great to help kids establish healthy, active habits from a young age. Set a great example by playing along at an indoor obstacle course, trampoline gym or children’s museum. Salem Health sponsors a room at the Gilbert House Children’s Museum, which also includes a number of interactive activities to exercise young minds and bodies.

Recipients: Kids of all ages

Price range: Free to $15+ depending on age and day of the week

Mind and body alignment

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Gift idea: Yoga, Pilates and tai chi gear and classes

Health benefits: These activities promote mindfulness, flexibility, balance and core strength for people of all ages and fitness levels. Consider gear like mats, bolsters, foam rollers and straps — or gift certificates to sample different kinds of classes. People can participate from the comfort of their own homes, in classes offered at the Salem Health CHEC or through other studios. There are even regional yoga classes held at local breweries for your Oregon beer aficionados.

Recipients: Anyone!

Price range: Classes at the CHEC start at just $3.33 per session! Gear can start as low as $10 for a basic yoga mat.

Sleep and rest

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Gift idea: Bed sheets, white noise machine, aromatherapy, non-caffeinated tea

Health benefits: These gifts make great sleep aids. Sleep is an underrated health necessity. Drowsiness can potentially lead to accidents, injury and illness in addition to emotional distress and mental blocks.

Recipients: Busy parents, stressed professionals, students

Price Range: $3+ for a box of tea to $350+ for a top-of-the-line set of bamboo king size sheets


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Gift idea: Your undivided attention

Health benefits: When was the last time you sat down and had a meaningful conversation with someone or played a game that wasn’t on a screen? Doing activities together can help boost physical health while listening to a loved one’s feelings can boost emotional health. For kids, a special walk around holiday lights or a trip to the park can be a fun way to get moving and create lasting memories.

Recipients: Anyone!

Price range: Free!