Tim Allen Gives Gifts Of Fitness
By John Morgan, Spotlight Health
Tim Allen is
making sure you're "nice" when it comes to getting fit.
With medical adviser Stephen A. Shoop, M.D.
Every holiday season we suggest some of the best health gifts you
can give to the loved ones in your life. This year we got a little extra help
from Santa himself -- or the next best thing -- Santa Clause 2 star Tim Allen.
In fact, Allen was so helpful we came up with two lists. This one is over-flowing
with coveted fitness presents. A second list we'll publish next week will bring
good cheer to people with other health issues.
As jolly old St. Nick, Allen has a magical way to gain and lose weight. But
if you or the people on your 'nice list' rather not continue shaking like an
ever-increasing 'bowl full of jelly,' Allen explains a few of his fitness gift
"First, my weight loss IS magic and I'm not allowed to explain it," says
Allen, whose recently released Santa Clause 2 on DVD makes a great stocking
stuffer for those who believe laughter is the best medicine. "But I can tell
you what I'm planning on giving this season. A gym membership and sessions with
a trainer -- trainers are great for friends who need that initial motivational
Motivation is exactly what Americans need. Far too many party-goers and football-bowl
game couch potatoes will continue to pack on even more pounds during the holidays.
With excess weight gain definitively linked to heart disease, hypertension,
certain cancers and type 2 diabetes, now is the perfect time to jump-start that
special someone's fitness program.
Allen, now 50 and fit, stays trim himself without special effects but in fact
uses a trainer to supervise his workouts.
"I do have a personal trainer who keeps me in shape with a combination of weights
and cardio," Allen states. "I personally think true results come from consistency,
discipline and a healthy fear of the actual trainer."
Fitness guru to the stars Debbie Rocker believes that trainers are ideal for
people who truly want to improve their fitness, reshape their bodies and feel
"It seems like we're smarter and fatter every year," Rocker notes. "What is
lacking is not technology and tools. It's motivation. People need to find someone
who speaks their language and strikes a chord in them to exercise. When you
train with a coach, you learn to focus and this helps people avoid injury and
get better results."
While a portly physique lends itself to the archetypal image of Santa Claus,
when it comes to fitness, the best and most economical holiday token of love
is easily the revolutionary new fitness book - ProBodX - available for under
Another excellent, low impact workout with both upper and lower body benefits
is rowing. And you don't need water or a person with a megaphone yelling at
you. The Concept 2 roweris now in its fourth generation and is smoother and
quieter than ever before. At $850, this elegant machine provides the single
best cardiovascular workout you can get from a piece of exercise equipment.
If this gift doesn't get your heart pumping faster, be sure to read Part 2 of
the gift guide for tips on heart scans.
According to orthopedic surgeon Robert Klapper at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center
in Los Angeles, walking with weights is "one of the best nurturing exercises
available." But walking with hand barbells or strapping on ankle weights can
disrupt one's gait and cause injury. By transforming walking into a better weight-bearing
and cardiovascular exercise, the $80 Walkvest is an excellent gift to promote
weight loss, strengthen the heart and improve bone density.
And to insure your workouts create optimal cardiovascular and calorie-burning
benefits, the Mio cardio-watch is stylish, light-weight, comfortable and easy-to-use.
At only $119-$149 it's also easy on Santa's wallet and is a lot more economical
than hiring your own personal coxswain for your rowing machine. "I use the Mio
because it is a simple, one item monitor," says Kathy Kaehler, celebrity trainer
and NBC's Today show fitness correspondent. "It allows you to check how
you are doing...calories and heart rate, which can be a big motivator for improving
you health and fitness level."
Few refute that purposeful exercise-walking is beneficial, and golf is yet
another opportunity for low-impact, recreational fitness. While it's been said
that 'golf is a good walk spoiled,' with the Nike Air Dual Strap System the
walk will be a lot more comfortable. This $40 backpack-like harness attaches
to a golf bag and incorporates small air bags to distribute the weight over
a wider area, relieving tension on the shoulder joints and spine.
Golf is also a fun way for the family, and especially kids, to enjoy outside
exercise in a safe environment. Tiger Woods has added a few new clubs to the
Nike Golf Learning System he introduced for kids last holiday season -- a 3-wood
(SRP: $59.99) and a 7-iron (SRP: $49.99).
Keeping exercise fun is embodied in the ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing.
More and more fitness experts are recognizing the exceptional total body workout
surfing provides. "Surfing is a fantastic workout because you are constantly
exercising on unstable planes which force you to engage your entire body not
just a few major muscle groups," says Edythe Heus, fitness author and New York
Chiropractic College graduate.
Foam boards from Surftech SofTopsare making wave-riding a lot safer for grommets.
A great resource for learning about surfing before your lesson is Matt Warshaw's
indispensable tome -Encyclopedia of Surfing or some inspirational surfing DVDs
like Shelter and The Campaign from Poor Specimen Productions .
And for those who plan to 'surf' on the snow, Santa has a sleigh full of choices
when it comes to snowboarding safety gear. Expensive lines like Giroare joined
by Acid Helmets which offers one of the highest quality helmets for a truly
modest price ($50). For only $18, Dakine wrist guards will almost certainly
prevent a trip to the emergency room for the most common snowboard injury on
the slopes - a broken wrist.
While most boarders are less concerned about their looks than their skiing
cousins, they do place a premium on good visibility. Oakleyprovides unmatched
quality in their Wisdom ($95-$135) and A-frame ($85-$125) goggles which exceed
the American National Standards Institute specifications for optical quality
and protection. Made from a patented lens material called Plutonite, Oakley
goggles screen out 100% of UVA, UVB, UVC and harmful blue light.
And with all these new fitness 'toys' to help burn calories and keep the heart
healthy, another hi-tech gadget will help keep you properly motivated.
Tanita body fat monitor & scale allow you to determine how much fat you're
burning using bioelectrical impedance analysis. This is important when building
muscle because muscle weighs more than fat so your weight can actually increase
even though you're more fit. Tanita's nicely-styled body fat analyzer ($49-159)
can eliminate a demoralizing trip to a regular scale.
At the risk of looking a gift horse in the mouth, before beginning any exercise
program, it is important to remember to consult with your physician first. If
you're still in need of some healthy gift ideas, in Part 2 of our annual guide,
Allen and his elves will recommend products designed to promote health rather
is the leading creator of celebrity-featured health-issue awareness campaigns,
connecting consumers with impassioned celebrities whose personal health battles
can open eyes, dispel myths and change lives. Spotlight Health helps sufferers
and caregivers meet the challenges of difficult health circumstances with understandable,
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to make informed healthcare choices.
Created: 12/13/2003  - Donnica Moore, M.D.