Every year around this time, friends ask me what to give their marathon-running siblings or their Zumba-obsessed colleagues. While I'm sure they'd love to receive the latest piece of fitness equipment or a few personal training sessions, those aren't exactly budget-friendly options. So here are five unexpected (and affordable!) stocking stuffers for fitness buffs. If you're looking to lose weight in 2010, consider adding some of these to your list.
This durable, temporary tattoo ($3; pacetat.com) has mile split goals printed in a large font, so runners can easily keep track of their pace during races. Something only a true pavement pounder could love, the runner in your life may even sign up for extra races in 2010 to try to meet the splits printed on this tattoo.
This high-performance specialty detergent ($26; windetergent.com) promises to remove stains and sweat, and refresh workout clothes and keep them looking new, no matter how many miles you've logged. A laundry product might seem like a strange idea for a holiday gift, but any active person knows that his workout fabrics can easily become stinky over timeâand once they reek of sweat, the smell is impossible to get out with normal laundering. The fitness enthusiast on your list will thank you (and her treadmill neighbors will too!).
Goody StayPut headbands
These inexpensive headbands ($5; drugstore.com) are the perfect stay-put workout solution for bangs and short hairstyles. Plus, they look sleek enough to wear while running errands after a gym session.
Revlon Luxury Paraffin Bath
Tired feet are easily forgottenâespecially in the winter when you don't have to bare your toes. A paraffin bath ($189; amazon.com) makes the perfect gift for runners, walkers, hikers, and anyone else who regularly gives her feet a beating during exercise. And while a home foot treatment may seem like a girlie gift, I guarantee that a hot paraffin foot bath will make any guy want to take care of his feet!
Naturia dry shampoo
A quick and easy solution for gals who hit the gym before work or during lunch hourâeven Health's beauty editors swear by this dry shampoo. Simply spray Naturia dry shampoo ($12â$24; sephora.com) on your roots after a sweat session and brush through. You'll have a work- or party-perfect style without getting your head wet. And the best part? Your pal won't have to lug heavy shampoo bottles and styling products to the gym every day.