Last Minute Gift Idea: A Fitness Journal - For Yourself

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After standing in lines or scrambling with crowds for Xbox 360's, T.M.X. Elmo's, flat-screen TV's and other popular gift items, the average consumer will tally up about $800 in holiday spending this year. A mother/daughter fitness publishing team suggests spending $15.95 on a gift for yourself--a fitness journal--to give your loved ones the gift they really want from you.

After standing in lines or scrambling with crowds for Xbox 360's, T.M.X. Elmo's, flat-screen TV's and other popular gift items, the average consumer will tally up about $800 in holiday spending this year. A mother/daughter fitness publishing team suggests spending $15.95 on a gift for yourself--a fitness journal--to give your loved ones the gift they really want from you.

"No gift can compare to having a healthy, fit parent or spouse," says Jennifer Luhrs, 56, who along with her daughter Alexis, 28, publishes the Streaming Colors Fitness Journal, a calendar you color in with your positive fitness actions each day. "Our journal makes it easy and fun for people to gradually alter their eating and exercise habits to create the healthy lifestyles that benefit the entire family."

The Luhrs women cite four ways that improving your health and fitness habits over the next year will create a gift your family will appreciate for many holidays to come.

  • Less worry. Though it may be uncomfortable for them to tell you so, family members are aware from extensive media coverage that overweight, inactive people face serious health risks, like diabetes and heart disease. No one wants to see their loved ones sick or unhappy.
  • Less financial strain on the family. By avoiding lifestyle-related illnesses, such as lung cancer due to smoking, your family will have more money to spend on activities or things they really want or need.
  • Better role model for the kids in your family. Studies show that a child's eating and exercise habits are directly related to their parents' (Golan, Weizman, Apter & Fainaru, 1998.) No matter what you tell your kids to do, they'll most likely model what they see you doing.
  • More fun. A healthy lifestyle gives you more energy to enjoy activities with your family, especially as you age. Coloring the journal makes it fun and easy to track your new activities and see your progress.

The Streaming Colors Fitness Journal uses color as an immediate reward for positive actions taken each day. The choice of activities and colors is completely flexible. Yellow in one section might indicate exercise, and blue in another could show water intake. A spot of red might celebrate a donut-free day. Seeing too many empty white days in a row is a reminder and motivator to take action.

"It's the perfect holiday gift, in part because it doesn't require you to be perfect yourself," says Alexis Luhrs. "Just choose a few areas you want to improve, take small steps, and move ahead at your own pace. The idea is simply to get moving in the direction of healthier habits."

The Streaming Colors Fitness Journal ($15.95) is available online at http://www.streamingcolors.com and at amazon.com. Ask for it through your employer, health care provider, fitness trainer and other retailers.

Luhrs Media Company is a small, independent publishing firm located near St. Paul, Minnesota. Founded in response to the alarming rise in childhood obesity, it seeks to develop fun, practical tools to help people avoid lifestyle-related diseases.

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JENNIFER LUHRS
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