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Ho ho healthful holiday gifts

Need an idea that not only will surprise but will improve too? Here are some diplomatic suggestions.

December 01, 2012|By Mary MacVean, Los Angeles Times
  • Soft, colorful and environmentally conscious skidless mats, hand towels and other yoga accessories from a company born in a Santa Monica garage.  $64 skidless mat, $18 towel, Yogitoes, 2403 Main St., Santa Monica, (310) 437-8975
Soft, colorful and environmentally conscious skidless mats, hand towels… (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles…)

It's tricky, deciding to give someone a present to improve them in some way, but here are some for accomplished or budding yogis, serious exercisers or for those who just need a little emotional or physical pampering.

CHIEF JOSEPH TERRY JACQUARD BATHROBE

Relaxing is an important part of keeping healthy, so here's a comfy, thick, unisex cotton terry robe in a classic pattern honoring the Nez Perce chief, from Pendleton Woolen Mills in a pattern designed in the 1920s.

$178, (800) 649-1512, http://www.pendleton-usa.com

KAI

Candles, perfume, shampoo and more — free of sulfates, parabens and phosphates — from this Malibu company show off the power of an aroma to soothe the mind. The sexy gardenia scent and clean packaging might do the work of a therapy session or two.

$37, 8-ounce body lotion, $49, six-item travel kit, http://www.kaifragrance.com and at spas and boutiques

YOGITOES TOWEL AND MAT

Soft, colorful and environmentally conscious skidless mats, hand towels and other yoga accessories from a company born in a Santa Monica garage.

$64 skidless mat, $18 towel, Yogitoes, 2403 Main St., Santa Monica, (310) 437-8975

RAMISIS MIND WORKOUT

One of a series of unusual British puzzle games from Sonic Games that have been going for several years and, for "National Treasure" types, involve opening difficult puzzles — Ramisis is pyramid-shaped — to find codes that lead to other clues or monetary prizes.

$260, Marbles the Brain Store, Santa Monica Place, (310) 395-1526, http://www.sonicgames-uk.com/isis-adventure/ramisis-puzzles/5/1

ELECTRA TOWNIE

For newcomers to bicycles, this bike has a comfortable seat, like a lounge chair, and even comes in red.

$299 for one speed, $399 for seven- or eight-gear bikes, http://www.electrabike.com

SUSHUMNA CHOCOLAT

The chocolates, named for the line of energy containing the seven chakras leading to balance and serenity, contain ingredients meant to match each one (chai and cardamom for sensual, mushroom essence for transcendent) and are boxed in several sizes.

$18 for a boxed set of seven chocolates, (855) 536-2462, http://www.sushumnachocolat.com

O'KEEFFE'S WORKING HANDS and HEALTHY FEET

For the driest of dry skin, this hand cream with a cult following was made for ranchers, farmers and other outdoor workers, from the makers of Gorilla Glue. Water and glycerin are the primary ingredients.

$7.99, http://www.okeeffeescompany.com, and at Home Depot, Target, hardware stores and pharmacies

TIE-DYE TOPPED YOGI PANTS

The Hard Tail catalog could scare away all but the most accomplished yogis, but the mostly cotton knit pants make anyone look cool with no special skills. Solid color pants with a tie-dyed fold-over waist.

$81 for capri length, Hard Tail, 1322 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, (310) 393-8787. Also at Nordstrom.

HOME WORKOUTS

It doesn't take much to work out at home — mostly the determination to use a few pieces of equipment. GoFit's stability ball has a handy workout printed around the ball, and the exercises can help improve balance and strength. A timer is useful; the Ultrak T-3 has a number keypad and counts up and down. And to build muscles, try the very portable resistance tubes, so you can stick to your routine even on trips. BodyFit makes a set in various levels.

Ball, $29.99, http://www.gofit.net and at Target and sporting goods stores. Timer, $19.95, http://www.cei-ultrak.com and at sports websites. Resistance tubes, $12.99, at Sports Authority stores or http://www.sportsauthority.com.

CLARISONIC FACE BRUSH

Don't have the time for a full facial? Clarisonic's skin-cleansing brushes take only 60 seconds to freshen your face. The company's four models remove dirt and makeup, and leave your skin feeling smooth, soft and, most important, clean.

$119 to $225, http://www.clarisonic.com

KUVINGS JUICER

Kuvings' NJ-9500U juicer makes a great gift for any raw foodies. It can cut, crush and slice vegetables, fruits and grains in less than three minutes (including seeds and skins). Best of all, the juicer can make 30 to 50 cups without needing to be cleaned.

$149 at http://www.kuvings.com

POLAR H7 HEART RATE SENSOR

The Polar H7 keeps accurate heart rate readings that can be transmitted to any Bluetooth-enabled device or compatible Polar device. And you can use the Polar Beat app for iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 to track your workout progress.

$79.95, http://www.polarusa.com

IMPROVE YOUR MIND

Reading anything is obviously good for the mind, but these books might also do a body good. "The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises," by Adam Campbell ($24.99), or the men's version; also, "The Happiness Project," by Gretchen Rubin ($14.99).

Widely available in bookstores and online.

VOYAGER LANTERN

There are never enough lights when you're camping, and this one goes from picnic table to hanging in the tent. Bright light without glare, and it comes in several colors.

$39, http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com

DTOX DAY SPA FACIAL

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