Top five gifts for the athlete in your life

Giving gifts to your athlete friends and family members is not always easy. Here are a few ideas…

Do you have an athlete on your Christmas list (or any gift-giving list!) who seemingly has everything? These people are generally the hardest to buy for. Either they have everything they think they need or they’re super picky when it comes to what gear they use, including make, model, colour, size.

Well, here’s my top five gifts for those individuals who stump you!

1. RoadID

Based out of the USA, RoadID is a genius company that produces stylish wrist bands that carry all of the information that someone would need if anything were to happen to your athlete and they weren’t able to speak for themselves. You can put name, DOB, phone number, medical history, emergency contact info and just about anything on this little silver plaque that sits on a sporty band. They even make them now to fit most FitBit’s or fancy GPS watches. They ship to Canada and generally ship within days of placing your order. This is a GREAT stocking stuffer and something that every athlete should have for everyone’s peace of mind.

2. Injury prevention: foam roller and lacrosse balls

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Two of the most common tools I get my patients to invest in are a foam roller and a few lacrosse balls. A foam roller is great at targeting any IT band issues, tight quads, stiff backs etc. Lacrosse balls are awesome for almost any part of the body – whether it is your low back, upper back, shoulders, glutes, hamstrings, you name it and they work it. Lean against the wall with a lacrosse ball along your lumbar paraspinal muscles. Those muscles are ALWAYS tight. And do a few little mini-squats and you can thank me later. Or maybe you won’t. Because you’ll be preventing injuries before they happen and therefore hopefully won’t have to come in to see me at physio! Sold at most major sport stores including Sport Check and the Running Room. My favourite: http://www.tptherapy.com/

3. Good quality ice pack

Sound simple? Sound silly? Yeah, that’s because it is. But it is so rare to find someone who actually has a good ice pack these days. Most of us are still using peas and corn, or lumpy bags of ice. There has been a lot of controversy about icing these days but there is still a time and a place for a good icing. Any acute (i.e. has happened within the past week or so) injury can usually benefit from a bit of ice a couple of times a day. And if your athlete has an awesome, comfortable and convenient ice pack sitting in the freezer, they are more likely to throw some ice on that injury and stop it from becoming anything chronic or worse.

4. Personalized medal holder

If you or someone you know competes in races that award you a medal every.single.time you know how frustrating it can be trying to figure out what to do with all of these medals. Where do you hang them from?! Usually with me, they get either thrown in a box in my closet or draped over a doorknob acting as a cheap burglar alarm system. BUT what if you could surprise your athlete with a custom medal hanger to let your medals live out the glory that they deserve?! SonomaSteel is based in California and will create just about any type of medal hanger you want. The owner is a triathlete himself so knows that the medal struggle is real…hence the company! Find them here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SonomaSteel

5. Massage, chiro, physio gift card

Most athletes (myself included) can always use a good adjustment or treatment whether we think we do or don’t. But most of us never make the time to do it. Why not force us to by providing us with a gift card that we know we have to use?! Come visit us at Arbutus Physiotherapy (or your local awesome, interdisciplinary clinic) to get yourself set up with a gift card. Trust me, your athlete will be grateful!

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Posted by Sophia Chadwick

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