The holidays, somehow, are upon us and we can’t wait to share what’s on the team’s holiday wish lists this year. From our gym bags to yours, happy holidays!
Be sure to follow us on Instagram – throughout December, we’ll feature chances to win goodies from the guide.
Why we love it: This jacket is the perfect marriage of lightweight yet heavy duty, tough yet elegant and understated yet high tech. Wear it anywhere, on the way to work out or to dinner with friends – and the wide assortment of colors lets you find a match that’s exactly your style.
Who it’s a great gift for: Anyone, anywhere, anytime (all the time).
Why we love them: Great for biking, running or wearing to carry your groceries home. We know all too well how real the struggle is in finding the right pair of gloves that let you do everything (i.e. send Snapchats with the weather filter to your snowbird family members when its negative 15 degrees), but still truly keep your fingers warm. These gloves are thin enough that you won’t know you’re wearing them and Mizuno’s Breath Thermo fabric will warm you up as you sweat.
Who they’re a great gift for: Anyone who wants to use their hands during the winter!
3. Run Chi Hat (available in-store at Fleet Feet Sports)
Why we love it: Who doesn’t love a good beanie in the wintertime? The iconic Chicago skyline on Fleet Feet’s signature winter hat this year is a fun way to commemorate the running season with fellow runners.
Who it’s a great gift for: The runner friend who also complains about his or her ears getting cold anytime they’re not decked out in their running gear.
Why we love it: Athleta gear is always moisture-wicking, making it ideal for hot yoga (an especially desirable activity as the months get colder and colder). The print on this sports bra is both eye catching and easily matched with neutral colors. When fashion meets actual function, we simply can’t say no.
Who it’s a great gift for: Your main yogi.
5. Athleta Fastest Track Top ($54)
Why we love it: Layering is key, but if something works wonderfully and can stand on its own, we’re even happier. This top features some of the softest material we’ve found in a running top and its “unstinkable” technology makes it more long-lasting than other moisture-wicking clothing picks so you can wear it again and again – and again.
Who it’s a great gift for: Your fastest runner friend.
6. Fitness Under-Gear
Why we love them: What’s not to love?! This base layer looks like a bike short, but don’t underestimate it. They’re an extra layer of warmth, thin enough that you won’t even notice them, and serious enough to actually make a difference for your cold weather workouts or commuting needs.
Who it’s a great gift for: That friend you know all too well that would layer up with whatever is necessary to make a run outside happen.
Knix Athletic Thong ($20)
Why we love them: We don’t often think about what to wear under our workout gear. But when it comes to performance, undergarments totally matter. These Knix are moisture-wicking and seamless, a perfect combo to up your workout game.
Who they’re a great gift for: Yourself! Odds are you own pairs on pairs of leggings and shorts but have neglected the workout underwear section of your wardrobe. Treat yourself to a pair and see how you feel!
7. Smart Wool Neck Gaiter ($30)
Why we love it: In this fun yet functional print, this neck gaiter from Smart Wool is as stylish as a scarf, but you don’t have to worry about it falling off of your face. Wool makes it an MVP when it comes to staying stink-free so you can wear again and again.
Who it’s a great gift for: Friends who refuse to store their bikes for the winter. They’ll think of you every time they make it to their destination without windburn on their faces.
8. SweatStyle subscription box ($20 monthly subscription fee, can be applied to purchased apparel)
Why We Love It: At aSweatLife we love to try new things and because we’ll try any workout any time of year, we want to be ready for whatever that might look like. SweatStyle, a boutique athletic apparel subscription service based in New York, offers you a personal stylist to choose from the many fitness brands to tailor a look for you. Your looks can be based on what you need – and you just might be surprised to find some gear you wouldn’t even know to look for on your own.
Who it’s a great gift for: The friend you know who loves surprises and athleisure.
9. YakTrax ($42)
Why we love them: Trudging your way hoping not to fall all the way from your front door to the train ends with this nifty invention. Sure, if you’re a wintertime outdoor runner, they’re an absolute necessity, but these bad boys are removable and customizable for the shoe you’re wearing so you can make any fall or winter shoe in your closet more fit for our unpredictable (yet predictably nasty) winter weather.
Who they’re a great gift for: Not just your runner friend, but for anyone who takes necessary precautions before daring to brave the Chicago tundra by foot.
10. Plantronics BackBeat FIT wireless headphones ($129.99)
Why we love them: Quite simply, they stay in place. Although it’s a must for in-ear headphones, many other types still haven’t fully solved this problem. When we spend less time readjusting, we spend more time rocking out to Jeana Anderson Cohen’s badass playlists. Plantronics are also reasonably priced without sacrificing sound quality.
Who they’re a great gift for: The friend or family members who likes to hit up the gym on their own instead of attending group fitness classes. Without cords to worry about, they can lift without getting tangled.
Why we love it: These wipes have no parabens or sulfates and are individually wrapped, so they’re perfect for your on-the-go, pre- or post-workout cleansing needs. Not only do they work wonders in removing make-up, they feel good on your face as a mid-day rinse or post-sweat session.
Who they’re a great gift for: Every athlete you know (and we firmly believe that if you enjoy a sweaty workout and set goals for yourself you’re an athlete).
12. Nike Tech Bonded Tote ($175)
Why we love it: Just because you carry your sweaty clothes from your morning workout with you all day doesn’t mean you don’t mean business when you walk in the boardroom. This bag is big enough to carry your gear for workout and career. It has compartments and pockets galore to separate everything you need to keep apart. It’s also big enough so you can easily find what you need when you’re on your way to and from your meetings.
Who it’s a great gift for: Your friend or family member who’s the HBIC and knows how to fit a workout into her day no matter what.
Why we love it: In the winter, it’s even harder to stay hydrated. Water can make us colder. If it’s not piping hot and doesn’t rhyme with Shmott Doddy, what’s the point? This little portable water bottle fits the curve of your hand while running and it features a strobe light to keep you visible during the shorter days.
Who it’s a great gift for: Perfect for a co-worker you know who’s active outdoors in the dark.
14. The only notebooks you’ll need
The Productivity Planner ($24.95)
Why we love it: Ideas are the lifeblood of all good things, but without a plan of action and a way to streamline those ideas, we’d be lost. Tools like this journal – which you can use as your daily agenda, note-taking system or brainstorming device – give some structure to the chaos that can be your day. Plus, it’s compact, making it easy to throw into any type of bag you’re carrying and hardback which makes it more durable during your busy travel days.
Who it’s a great gift for: Your non-stop, go-go-go friend. Also the friend who loves bullet journals.
Five Minute Journal ($22.95)
Why we love it: Although we love movement in our days, we also value slowing down for a few mindful minutes. Taking time to cultivate gratitude, whether that’s for a whole day or just five minutes, can significantly improve your happiness. There’s really nothing more rewarding than creating your own happiness, especially around the holidays.
Who it’s a great gift for: Perfect for a holiday gift exchange among friends or coworkers, for someone who would appreciate a more thoughtful gift that doesn’t break the bank.
15. Krave Jerky ($7)
Why we love it: The flavors in this jerky are out of this world. And what’s more, this protein-packed snack can be more than a tide-me-over on its own. Krave curates recipes that use this flavored jerky to add an extra punch to a larger meal.
Who it’s a great gift for: Your meat-eating friends who fight the good fight against hanger. Use it as a stocking stuffer that a friend or family member will be more than grateful for.
16. Vital Proteins Collagen peptides (10 oz, $25)
Why we love it: One of the easiest health additives to incorporate into daily life, this flavorless collagen protein powder is how we kickstart our day. Adding one scoop to our morning cup of joe turns us into superheroes (or at least, that’s how we like to think of it).
Who it’s a great gift for: The friend or family member who isn’t sure how to add protein to their diet. There’s almost nothing easier to do than add a scoop to coffee or a blender full of goodness.
17. Post-class preparation pack
Why we love it: Sometimes, it’s the little things that count. On days when you’re feeling more tired or worn down, a pick-me-up doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. Rosewater spray is moisturizing, refreshing and doesn’t interfere with any of your regular skincare routines.
Who it’s a great gift for: The friend who works harder than anyone you know and never does anything for herself. This no-fuss pampering takes seconds.
Why we love it: This product is a problem-solver. We love how this stuff cuts your getting-ready time down to matter of minutes and smells like heaven (just like DryBar) so you can freshen up and feel completely renewed after using it. And the smaller size is light and compact to carry with you all day long.
Who it’s a great gift for: The friend who lives out of her backpack and never factors in enough time for the full getting-ready routine.
18. UNICEF Kid Power Band ($39.99)
Why we love it: Did you know that about one in four children in the United States is inactive and about one in four children in developing countries is malnourished? The UNICEF Kid Power bracelet empowers kids to get active and stay active, to earn points which turn into funds that UNICEF uses to deliver lifesaving packets of therapeutic food to severely malnourished children around the world. When our passion for being active simultaneously helps youth around the world get healthy, what’s not to love?
Who it’s a great gift for: A generous child in the U.S. who wants to help out a child somewhere else in the world – and who wouldn’t want that?
19. Perfect Push-Up ($19.95)
Why we love it: Being a stickler for form means being safe and effective in your workouts. We’re big fans of maximizing your time – and your results. And as many times as you may hear the cues to improving your push-up form, it’s one of those moves that’s nice to have some extra help on – especially since they show up in so many different types of fitness classes.
Who it’s a great gift for: The friend (or boyfriend) who blasts out 100 push-ups in a row but would eat a big slice of humble pie after having to actually do one “correctly.”
20. Nutri Ninja Pro blender ($69.99)
Why we love it: It doesn’t matter what time of year it is – a smoothie is always a good idea. A single-serving smoothie is an even better one. With a blender container that is also a cup, it leaves less mess. Bonus: it comes with a recipe book to give you endless ideas how to use it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Who it’s a great gift for: The friend who wants to shave even more time off of their morning routine.
21. Sweat with Bec Booty Bands ($25)
Why we love them: We’re all about bringing fitness to wherever we are, and making a workout happen no matter what. We’ve been using bands in our “bodyweight” workouts everywhere – from our 30-minute workouts to big #Sweatworking events – for an added challenge. These bands are no joke and you’ll be sore for days on end with any of Bec’s workouts that use them.
Who they’re a great gift for: Your friend who travels for work or uses her weekends wisely for quick getaway vacations.
22. Ab Carver Pro ($39.99)
Why we love it: More like “why do we love to hate it.” The Ab Carver Pro will make your abs burn for days like you’ve taken a Pilates reformer class without ever having to leave your living room. Take one of aSweatLife’s at-home 30-minute workouts to another level by adding this tiny little torture contraption to the equation.
Who it’s a great gift for: The friend trying to add to their at-home fitness arsenal.
23. Bellicon rebounder (Starts at $399)
Why we love it: It’s a trampoline. For adults. After trying out the Bellicon Studio in the west loop and our calves and glutes were sore for days, we learned you can own one of these nifty fitness treats to have in the comfort of your living room. We’ve never been fans of treadmill TV-watching, but rebounding … that’s something we can get behind.
Who it’s a great gift for: A very special someone who you know loves to try (and commit to) new fitness endeavors. It’s no cheap ticket item, but it’s worth the investment.