How to Make a Non-Offensive Fitness Gift

Exercise equipment this year is even more in demand than most others. Kettlebells and barbells reappear in the warehouse from time to time after a prolonged drought, and if you manage to catch a Peloton at all , you are one of the lucky ones. A home bike or dumbbell set can be a fantastic gift this year if your loved one is a dedicated worker. But there are pitfalls in this line of gifts.

For example, you might think of last year’sPeloton ad in which a woman was presented with one of the company’s very fashionable motorcycles. Some people found the ads annoying and strange; others will bloody kill the peloton under the tree.

Trainers are very similar to a puppy : a person must be 100% ready for it, and it cannot be given as a surprise or on a whim. So, to save you the hassle of the holiday, here are the rules for giving a fitness gift:

A person must specifically want it

First, you shouldn’t look like you are telling the person to change themselves. If your gift contains even the slightest subtext like “hmm, maybe you need to lose weight”, then in no case should you give it.

A gym membership, or worse, a Weight Watchers membership, is a classic gift for an asshole. Like the peloton, this means that the recipient is on the path of transformation. And such a journey must be made voluntarily.

The only time you can give such a gift, especially to your partner, is if he specifically asked for it and is ready to explain to his friends that it was their idea, and they practically begged you to do so. Never surprise anyone with anything that can lead to a personal transformation.

He must reflect their interests.

There are many different ways to exercise, and this is because we all have different ideas about what motivates us and what we enjoy. Even if you think you know what your gift loves, you may not necessarily be guessing correctly about what he actually likes when it comes to exercise.

So, let’s say you want to give someone the opportunity to try a certain action. Think of it as an experience they could try once: say, a week-long pass to a climbing wall instead of a pair of climbing shoes and a harness.

Or perhaps they are already doing a certain job and you want to give them a gift to help them enjoy it more. Don’t walk into a store and say, “Hmm, what do you get for those who like to ride a bike?” They will already have their own bike, accessories and so on. If you buy a pair of shoes, they may not be compatible with your friend’s pedals.

If you want to buy a fitness accessory, you must fulfill one of the following conditions:

  • Ask them (or a gym friend who knows them well) what exactly they want.
  • Be a gym buddy and use your own judgment. You get a special exception if you really know your person and their sport.
  • Give them a gift card or something that can be easily returned for what they really want.

They must be ready to commit.

This is why fitness gifts, especially large ones, are most like pets: most of them come with the assumption that the person will keep up with their activity. These are gifts, which are a secret routine work that requires a person to repeatedly give up one hour of his day just to take advantage of your gift.

Once again, communication is key. Does your person really want to devote the next year of their life to become a Peloton devotee? Maybe they will! But you never know until you ask. Communication is important when it comes to personal gifts that can be offensive and require serious commitment. But if you’re sure this is what they want, choosing the perfect gift shouldn’t be difficult.

This post was originally published in December 2019 and was updated on Monday, December 14, 2020 to add context and align with the current Lifehacker style.

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