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Although I love to exercise, retail therapy ranks pretty high on my fave list of things to do. Consequently, I’m sharing my annual gift guide to help keep you fiscally fit and fashionable. All five gifts on the list are under $100, helping you or a loved one to stay on your fitness journey without busting budgets.

ExcelSteel 9-ounce Slim Double Walled Stainless Steel Flask – $9


Every exerciser can use a sturdy water bottle. Over time, water bottles get lost, grimy and, quite frankly, need to be replaced. This item holds water, smoothies and doubles to keep hot drinks warm. The sleek design is unisex, stores easily in gym bags, purses, backpacks, etc. Get it here.

Skullcap – $20 (or less)

Nike Men’s Pro Combat Skull Cap via

If you’re seeking an option to keep your head warm on chilly mornings/evenings, then you need a skullcap. A skully is good for cooler temps during outdoor exercising. Ladies, a skully is not just for the fellas; women can rock these too. Find these athletic skullcaps online or at sporting goods stores under all athletic brands. I like this one made by Nike. Bonus: A skully doubles as a cover-up for bad hair days, with a little flair.

Puffer Jackets

Frost-Free Puffer Jacket for Women – $40

Now that it’s cold, I wear my ‘puff’ jacket almost daily when headed to work out. It’s warm, gives me room to layer and washes easily. Puffer coats are also convenient for travel; they pack effortlessly and spills can be wiped quickly if needed. This Old Navy version comes in six colors.

Men’s Puffer Jacket – $98

Men also need a versatile jacket, and this one from Brooks Brothers has the quality that the brand is known for. 

Nike Free Run Sneakers – $85

A great pair of sneakers is vital to any successful workout. What you wear on top pales in comparison to what supports the body, a la, a great pair of sneakers. These Nike sneakers are lightweight, have just enough support, easy to pack in in my gym bag and make my feet feel great.

Charlotte Spa & Esthetics’ Swedish Relaxation Massage – $90

A visit to the spa is ideal after a grueling workout. I’ve got ya covered with a visit to Charlotte Spa & Esthetics. “I love this spa! I will definitely be returning really soon,” says a review posted online. Bonus: It’s a chance to shop local.

Be healthy. Be well. Enjoy the holidays!

Sondra Hines is a freelance writer who covers fitness and healthy living. She enjoys helping others reach their fitness goals and conducts fitness workshops on local, regional and national platforms. Sondra is a former adjunct professor and holds national certifications in Group Fitness and Zumba.

Sondra E. Z. Hines is an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor, Zumba instructor, workshop presenter and motivational speaker. A former adjunct professor, she has 15-plus years as a fitness instructor...