Great gift ideas for healthy holidays | Wifi Walker, J B Chaparal Properties

Great present ideas for healthy holidays

If a suspicion of a health-related benefaction inspires a same feeling of dreariness as receiving a mail-order flake or a six-pack of tube socks, it’s time to enlarge your horizons. Health doesn’t have to be ho-hum: Think equipment to assistance we stay in shape, accessories desirous by biology, stories about a frontiers of medicine and many more. Read on for some suggestions from a Los Angeles Times Health staff.

Activity tracker

Fitbit Ultra, $99.95

Devices that lane earthy activity have trickled into a marketplace given a entrance of a Bodybugg complement done famous on a uncover “The Biggest Loser.” If you’re deliberation one as a gift, don’t disremember a Fitbit Ultra.

Fitbit Ultra is a wireless apparatus about a distance of a income shave that attaches to wardrobe or can be placed in a pocket. Weighing in during 0.4 ounce, it provides benefaction feedback by tracking calories spent walking, running, dancing or in bland activities. With a 3-D suit sensor, it can calculate a power and generation of exercise. Fitbit Ultra also has a step opposite and stopwatch, and it provides accumulative statistics. Users can even guard characteristics of sleep, such as when they nap off and how mostly they arise during a night.

Fitbit announced a giveaway iPhone concentration in Oct that allows users to record food and activities and lane their swell toward aptness and calorie goals. The Fitbit Ultra is neat and has a entertaining arrangement and a battery that will final a normal user 5 to 7 days.

The device can be purchased online or in many stores. Fitbit can be synced with a Fitbit nourishment and activity website, and there are no monthly user fees.

If you’re hearing your weight and haven’t attempted a wireless activity tracker, you’re blank out on a apparatus that motivates and informs.

— Shari Roan

Real life inside a hospital

“Boston Med” DVD series, $34.95

Television viewers are preoccupied by hospitals — hence all a hospital-themed prime-time dramas, soap operas, mysteries and even sitcoms. But genuine life trumps fiction. For proof, watch a ABC documentary array “Boston Med.”

This interesting eight-part array follows doctors, nurses and patients whose lives join during 3 of a country’s many eminent hospitals: Massachusetts General, Brigham and Women’s, and Children’s Hospital Boston. All are dependent with Harvard Medical School, and together they benefaction a array of stories that showcase a full operation of tellurian frailty.

There’s a baby diagnosed with a serious heart forsake before he’s even innate (and whose father is half a universe away, apportionment in Iraq). The 8-year-old lady who goes into cardiac detain in her propagandize gymnasium. And a film selling executive who isn’t saved by a long-awaited donor heart though becomes a donor himself instead: His mom agrees to give his face to a male who mislaid many of his after descending on an electrified transport rail. (The mom and a studious accommodate during a finish of a series.)

There are also divulgence looks during a private lives of a people who work in a hospitals. We watch as an obstetrics-gynecology proprietor goes from house-hunting with her beloved to violation adult with him since of her perfectionist work schedule, for example. And we feel a torment of a surgeon perplexing to hang adult a lung transplant in time to make it to his daughter’s ballet recital.

“Boston Med” competence not make we wish to go to medical or nursing school, though it should give we new honour for those who do. The DVD set is accessible during a ABC News online store.

— Karen Kaplan

Brain games

Lumosity subscriptions, $29.95 and up

Why not give a benefaction of neurons? Research tells us that for smarts as for muscles, it’s possibly “use it or remove it” — those who are intellectually intent are reduction expected to uncover signs of dementia.

One of a many affordable, enchanting and demonstrably effective sources of brain-training games is Lumosity, constructed by a San Francisco-based Lumos Labs. Lumosity’s online games practice a accumulation of cognitive skills, including operative memory, spatial perception, attention, speed and mental agility. They have good graphics and give subscribers glorious feedback to safeguard progress. Plus, these games unequivocally are undergirded by clever research. Gift subscriptions to Lumosity operation from $29.95 for a two-month devise to $79.95 for a full year’s access. Visit

Other games can be purchased on CD-ROMs, including brain-fitness programs from Posit Science that concentration on heard and visible estimate — cognitive skills that directly impact greeting time and operative memory. A package that includes both is now ignored and costs $345. Another choice is Happy Neuron, that offers CD-ROMs as good as online games. A apartment of some-more than 39 fun hurdles designed to urge operative memory, viso-spatial and executive functioning skills can be accessed during A three-month benefaction subscription costs $29.95.

— Melissa Healy

Germs we can wear

Infectious Awareables silk scarves, $35

Disease-causing pathogen and viruses are icky, though these scarves (and neckties and crawl ties and boxers) are kind of beautiful. we have dual scarves myself, a red-splotchy one depicting a parasites that means malaria and another formed on a small rod-shaped and tailed strains of pathogen that means dental plaque. (This sold pattern is dropped — or “eradicated,” as a site terms it — though a new board pattern is accessible for scarves and ties. Each object “discreetly” works a name of a pathogen it depicts into a border, and if you’re meddlesome in plagues and scourges, there’s credentials information about any one during a association website.

I’ll acknowledge that some of a equipment aren’t expected to be found on anybody’s wish list — nobody we know will be receiving a span of gonorrhea fighter shorts this gratifying deteriorate — though I’d gladly benefaction a one depicting healthy heart flesh or another in black, green, blue and pinkish that facilities mould. Other offerings embody avian flu, measles, anthrax and a Foodborne Six, that facilities common causes of food poisoning (Campylobacter, Norwalk virus, salmonella, listeria, E. coli and shigella).

Some competence find a grounds uninspired given a pang caused by spreading agents, though a Encino-based association behind these panoply explains that a aim is to lift recognition helped along by a bit of humour. Infectious Awareables donates a apportionment of a deduction to disease-fighting causes such as AIDS Project L.A. and Rotary International’s polio expulsion campaign. My mom has a headband we sent her and wears it with delight. You can check out a preference during

— Rosie Mestel

Yoga helper

Skidless Towel by Lululemon, $65

Some people who practice persperate some-more than others. We won’t name names, though … OK, it’s us. We persperate like a plantation animal. In some instances it can be annoying, in some it’s embarrassing, and each once in a while — such as during yoga category — it can be officious dangerous.

That’s because we’re beholden for a microfiber Skidless Towel from Lululemon. One side looks like a unchanging towel. The other side has small silicone dots that hold your pad and concede we to assume any soldier poise though your towel shifting divided — and we along with it, invading a space of a chairman behind we who shoots we a unwashed look. Not that that’s ever happened to us.

The towel, that measures 68 by 24 inches, is pricier than anything you’ll find during a bonus linen store, though it’s value it for a assent of mind alone. Namaste.

— Jeannine Stein

DNA reading

“My Beautiful Genome” by Lone Frank, $15.95

Taking a array of genetic tests to inspect her risk for several diseases, Copenhagen-based scholarship publisher Lone Frank tries to know how expected it is that she’ll rise a breast cancer that killed her mom and to benefit discernment into a bouts with basin that she shares with several relatives. Along a way, she entertainingly explains a basis of genetics and probes how scientists investigate DNA to improved know tellurian history, illness and even a tellurian essence — “the intersection between a bombard of a earthy being and a chairman we commend as human,” as she puts it.

She visits, interviews and spasmodic pokes fun during luminaries such as DNA co-discoverer James Watson. She also skilfully weaves her story into a broader hearing of genes, genetic screening and their place in society. Are consumers unequivocally prepared to learn, for instance, that they’re rarely expected to rise Alzheimer’s illness or cancer? Should genetic information be accessible to employers or published on a Internet? And how many do gene studies unequivocally tell us about ourselves, anyway?

In Frank’s case, training about her DNA provides substantial comfort. “It is distant some-more gratifying to be means to appreciate myself as both a biological and a amicable being,” she writes. “My genome is not a straitjacket though a soothing sweater to fill and shape, to graze adult and widen out in.”

Give this discourse to a crony and we competence hear requests for a pricier benefaction — genetic contrast — subsequent year.

— Eryn Brown

DIY Pilates

CorePlus Reformer, Gaiam, $29.98

Pilates workouts, that concentration on lengthening and strengthening muscles, have valid overwhelming for people looking to tinge adult rather than bulk up. For those who don’t wish to sinecure a personal trainer, dedicate to a organisation category report or get bending adult to complicated machinery, there’s a CorePlus Reformer.

The device, from health product businessman Gaiam and Pilates maven Mari Winsor, facilities 4 handles during a ends of 4 resistance-cord loops firm in a core to form an X shape. It can be used to tinge legs, arms and abs, all from a comfort of your vital room. An concomitant 45-minute DVD demonstrates opposite workouts to aim a top body, reduce physique or core, depending on your time and ability.

It’s not a usually kind of Pilates fast available, though for self-motivated beginners who are brief on time and gangling money for classes, it competence be an ideal indoor winter workout.

— Amina Khan

Handout photographs pleasantness of, from top: Fitbit Ultra; AMC; Lumosity; Infectious Awareables; Lululemon; Lone Frank;

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