By Leslie Barker

The Dallas Morning News

Maybe you have your shopping finished by now. If you don’t, we’re with you. And we’re here for you, too, because we have ideas for the fitness-oriented person on your list.

Most are simple items that you’d think might be boring. But if they’re useful or fun, what could possibly be boring about that? So here we go.

The priciest is $99; the cheapest is $9.90.


Yeah, roll your eyes if you want. But socks are on many a Dear Santa list.

Dena McIntire of Bokchito, Oklahoma, and Lisa Pritchett-Ackerman of Burlington, Texas, would both love a pair or two of Feetures Merino 10 wool socks, which cost about $17 a pair.

Trish Knight of Roanoke, Texas, likes the compression socks found on They’re not cheap ($39 a pair), but they sure are cute.

MP Magic Socks are designed to not smell. They’re $9.90 a pair. Find them at, and if you see “sold out,” don’t despair. We’ve been told they’ll be replenished.

Weighted vest

As the name implies, it’s a heavier-than-normal vest, and exercising with one is said to increase heart rate and workout intensity.

Aduro makes them in 6- , 12- and 20-pound weights; they range in price from $31.99 to $99.99 on the website.


Who couldn’t use a knit cap, even if your outdoor winter exposure consists of dashing to your car so you can drive to the gym?

Love Your Melon donates half its profits to nonprofits working in the field of pediatric oncology.

Since 2012, Love Your Melon has donated $4,758,816 to those organizations as well as 147,386 beanies to kids who are battling cancer.

Melon refers to the head of someone who has lost his or her hair to chemotherapy.

This beanie costs $30 and comes in a variety of colors. Other products include blankets and scarves.

Lebert EQualizer

Ah, what to do with these metal bars?

Do push-ups on them, or lie on the floor and do pull-ups. Stand between them, hold onto each and do high-knee leg lifts.

Use them for dips with your feet off the ground as well as on. Put your back leg on one of them and do a lunge or squat.

They’re on sale now on for $99.

Interval timer

Tara Skibar of Roanoke, Texas, has her eye on the Gymboss Classic, which comes in a bunch of colors and costs $15.99.

“I practice the Jeff Galloway run/walk method” of training and running races, she says. An interval timer like this one lets her know when it’s time to run and when to walk. “I’ll also use it for speed workouts. I’ll set the timer and sprint for the duration.”

Boxers also use these, she says, to time their rest periods between cardio punches.

A magazine

Sure, you can read most everything online.

But there’s something about going to the mailbox and seeing a Runner’s World magazine there. Or a Men’s Health. Or Shape. Or Mindful.

They’re inexpensive and will keep giving every month.

A pillow

One of my soapboxes is sleep: I make a steadfast point of trying my darndest to get seven hours.

But way too many people think it’s some sort of badge of honor to get by on only a few hours.

Big-time wrong! Sleep is so important!

I’ve even read that if you’re tuckered out, your body will be better off sleeping than working out.

The Serenity Embroidered pillow sold by Threaded is only the cover and costs $69. You can buy the pillow itself for $15.

At 20 by 20 inches, this is a really nice size for the couch or your bed, depending on where you decide to flop.

Another plus: The factories in India that make these support women’s empowerment through education and by teaching financial responsibility as well as offering self-defense classes to workers.

Water bottle

Tram Yeany of McKinney, Texas, particularly likes this one from Nathan Sports because “it’s lighter than a regular water bottle and also straps around your wrist.”

The Exoshot Handheld Flask comes in black and orange or black and blue and holds 12 ounces.

There are water bottles all over the place, so you have lots of choices. We all could probably do with more water in our lives, so just about anyone would — or should — use this.

Gift card

Yeah, that may sound kind of cheesy. But having an athletic son who is very honest about my gifts in the past, I always include what I know for absolute certain he’ll like. Namely, a gift card.

He has a particular outdoor store he loves; another idea might be for a pedicure or massage. You’ll think of somewhere perfect, no doubt. Start listening to those people on your list; they’re bound to give hints, intentionally or otherwise.

Besides, as much as I mentioned online shopping here, a gift card to a local store — running store, bike store, camping store — has a different kind of appeal.

There’s just something so sensory about touching stuff, about trying it on, about actually talking to an in-the-know salesperson.

Plus, you can offer to go to that favorite store with the recipient.

Because what, after all, is a better gift than time?