Lisa Bankard: Give the gift of health |

Lisa Bankard: Give the gift of health

Lisa Bankard

— It’s that time of year when we stop to think of the loved ones in our life and what special gifts we can give them to show our love. Are you running out of ideas? Can’t find that “perfect” trinket? Why not give a gift of health?

Steamboat Springs is a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors and all it offers for physical activity. How about giving a pair of snowshoes? When the snow gets deep, snowshoes make it easier to get around, plus you’ll find beautiful areas and trails to explore.

If you can’t afford to purchase new items, check out some of our local consignment or thrift stores. Better yet, if you are unsure whether the person you are buying for will actually use the snowshoes, maybe consider buying a gift certificate for rentals.

The same goes for cross-country skiing. There are several places in Routt County that provide packages for lessons and rentals. Be sure to include in the gift your companionship and support. Offer to go along; it can be much more fun to have a buddy to ski or snowshoe with than to go alone.

Several of my co-workers committed to going together to the ice rink’s Learn To Skate program at lunchtime instead of going out to lunch. What a great gift for a friend or family member. It’s much healthier for the waistline and puts some fun into your workday.

Steamboat is now lucky to have several fitness businesses and exercise studios sprinkled throughout town. Buying a gift membership, exercise class card or personal trainer sessions can be a wonderful gift of health for someone who may be interested in starting an exercise program or for someone wishing to fine-tune their current program.

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There are a wide variety of classes and programs to choose from – whether it’s yoga or pilates, spin classes, ab labs or boot camps.

Maybe the person you are still trying to find the perfect gift for already participates in a number of activities or programs. In that case, how about a gift certificate for some down-to-earth pampering, such as getting a massage, facial or pedicure? Steamboat is home to several fine spas and salons that offer a variety of services. These are not only for our visitors but for hard-working locals as well.

If you are on a budget, how about giving a gift subscription to a health-related magazine or wellness newsletter? You could also consider a magazine geared to a hobby that your friend or family member would enjoy. This is a gift that keeps on giving all year long.

Gift certificates – the increasingly popular gift of choice – can allow the recipient to purchase the exercise gear, equipment, apparel or services that they’ve been looking at for months. Virtually all of our local stores, gyms and spas offer gift certificates.

Don’t forget that a gift of health can be the gift of time. We all seem to fall short of having enough time to do the things we need to do as well as having enough time to do the things we enjoy. Maybe you could offer to baby-sit for someone so they could go for a ski. Or how about starting a healthy cooking dinner club, gathering with friends and family once a month to share a healthy meal and camaraderie?

Let the focus of the gift be health and friendship. The sky’s the limit when it comes to giving the gift of health.

Lisa A. Bankard is coordinator of Wellness and Community Education at Yampa Valley Medical Center.