Fitness gift ideas for people of all fitness levels

Portland, Ore. - Buying the right gift this holiday season could be a great way to encourage fitness for a friend or family member in the coming new year.

Sports manager and physical therapist at Providence Health and Services Eric Marchek says the key is to think about the person's fitness level and goals but be careful not to insult.

"Just encourage them in a loving way. You don't want to send the message that they just sit around all day," said Marchek.

Experts say you should first think about the loved one's individual fitness goals.

"You want to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle. Getting them the right gear is the first step towards that," said Marchek.

Popular items can be broken down into several categories, including active, weight training, strength training and just getting started.

For an older adult or beginner, think basic: water bottle or safety light.

For someone who is very active: digital calorie counters called Fit-Bit's are popular. Yoga Mats, Foam Rollers and Kettlebells are also big sellers this year.

"It's important that the person knows how to use the items like the Kettlebells so that they do not get hurt, said Marchek.

Merchek recommends that the best gift of all could be a gift card to a sporting goods store.