15 Fitness Gifts for $15 or Less
Looking for inexpensive gifts or Christmas stocking stuffers for someone who’s into fitness? Stop by your local cycling, running, or swim shop to find sport-specific gifts. If a great locally owned business isn’t nearby, visit a sporting goods retailer or department store, or look online at Amazon.com, Overstock.com, or an e-commerce sport shop. Most of these items will be readily available for $15 or less wherever you go.
1. Moisture-Wicking Socks
These are handy for indoor and outdoor workouts. During the winter, wool socks with moisture-wicking capabilities are especially nice for staying warm and dry.
2. Gym Bag or Bin
A bag to carry a change of clothes, sneakers (or running or bike shoes), towel, water bottle, etc. is useful for those who want to work out before work, after work, or during lunch. A bin or basket to hold sports gear makes everything accessible when packing for an outing or race.
3. Base-Layer Tops and Bottoms
Base layers worn next to the skin under other clothing provide warmth during outdoor, cold-weather activities. Tops are essential to protect the core of the body, but depending on the climate, bottoms can be useful as well. Base layers should be lightweight, flexible, and have moisture-wicking capabilities, allowing for free movement during workouts.
Generally, base-layer garments are expensive, but you can get basic lines at your favorite discount store (check out C9 at Target) or search for them on clearance at your favorite sports store or Overstock.com.
4. Blinking Rear Bicycle Light
Every cyclist needs one of these, even those who don't plan on riding before sunrise or after sunset. Lights can make cyclists more visible in low-light conditions encountered in a rainstorm, in a foggy area, or on a tree-shaded road.
5. Bicycle Tire Tube
Tubes come in various sizes, so make sure you get the right size. Cyclists often like to keep replacement tires readily available in case they have a flat tire or want to rescue someone else who has a flat.
6. Bike Computer
A basic model can give a readout of miles traveled (total and per trip) and average miles per hour. Even casual cyclists can appreciate this device. As a scout merit badge counselor, I have recommended that cyclists use bike computers to track mileage and plan trips based on average speed.
7. Water Bottle
More experienced athletes probably have loads of water bottles, but beginners may not have acquired many yet.
8. Water Bottle Holder or Cage
Many bikes come with a water-bottle holder attached to the frame. Some bikes have no holder in place but have fasteners for either one or two water bottle holders. Runners may also carry water with them using devices that attach around the waist (these are called hydration waistpacks or hydration belts), but these are generally much more expensive than cycling-related holders.
9. Swim Goggles
A friend recommended the Barracuda brand, which I use now. They have a tight seal so that water doesn’t seep in.
10. Small Bag
Many cyclists need a bike bag to carry a spare tube, keys, cell phone, and food; a friend uses a second bag to carry a first aid kit. Runners may also like to carry a small bag that attaches around the waist to hold keys and a cell phone.
11. Race Belt
I don’t have one of these but have seen people use them in running races and the running portion of triathlons. Race numbers attach to the belt so that safety pins are not necessary to attach the race number to clothing; safety pins can damage technical clothing.
12. Easy-to-Carry Sunscreen
Small containers of sunscreen and sunscreen wipes (or towelettes) are handy for those who need to reapply sunscreen during a long outdoor workout.
13. Jump Rope
Jumping rope can provide a great aerobic workout quickly.
14. Sports Watch
A sports watch with stopwatch capabilities can help runners time themselves when training and competing in a race. Watches with a heart rate monitor and GPS capabilities are much more expensive.
15. Fitness Snacks
These include energy gels, electrolyte chews, and less-expensive alternatives such as small boxes of raisins. Cyclists and long-distance runners will especially like these items, which they use to refuel when working out for hours at a time.
- Shower shoes. Pick up an off-brand at your favorite discount store. These are great to use in the gym or pool shower to avoid picking up germs.
- Cue sheet holder for cycling events. I've never used one of these but have seen others with them at cycling events.
- Do rag. Cyclists with thinning hair can protect their skin by wearing a do rag under a bike helmet.
- Bike lock. A lock is especially handy when traveling or running errands with a bike.
- Visor. The visor can help keep hair out of eyes and hold sunglasses in place while running or hiking.
If you have a favorite fitness gift that is $15 or less, share it in the comments.