For some, taking a vacation is about doing bare minimum and that’s valid. But for others, exercise is an important part of the recharging process, so we make sure to include it in our itinerary. Whether it’s going for a long walk through the streets of Paris or New York, hiking the Pitons of St. Lucia or swimming in the waters of the French Riviera, you won’t catch us being sedentary for any extended period.

As always, support Black-owned fitness brands whenever possible! Shape magazine highlighted several which center Black and brown people, plus-sized people and other folks who aren’t considered in the mainstream fitness world. Graci Noir, founded by dancehall queen Spice, Ruby Love and Tier are just three examples.

Want to throw a gift our way when we’re gearing up to globe trot? Here are some suggestions.

1. Gift Cards

Photo by Christian Wiediger

Not sure exactly what to get the athlete in your life? Try a gift card. You can either get one that works like a debit card, or one that is connected to a specific company.

And not for nothing, some of these sporting goods stores are expensive. Modell’s? Paragon Sports? Nike? Yeah. A gift card would be so helpful.


2. Fitbit

Photo by Andres Urena

Like cellphones, there are Fitbits at different price points. They look pretty great, too.

Fitbits can be instrumental in helping us track steps and maintain our health goals.

More advanced models have additional features like GPS tracking, music storage, and sleep tracking.




3. Resistance Bands

Photo by Kelly Sikkema

When you want to work on toning, resistance bands are great. You won’t always have access to dumbbells or kettlebells, and it probably isn’t practical to travel with them.

They are usually available in sets with varying levels of stretch capability.

Earlier this year, The New York Times did a feature on some of the best resistance bands on the market. Check it out here. 




4. Massage Gun

Photo by Junny Junny

Ask anybody who has ever done a marathon, hiked or climbed hundreds of stairs- your legs are incredibly sore.

That’s where a massage gun comes in handy. They are the perfect antidote for sore, overworked muscles, and they have a variety of speeds.

Some athletes also use them as part of their warm-up routine.


5. Sneakers

Photo by Lefteris Kallergis

We can go through sneakers quickly and proper support is crucial for the health of our feet and knees.

This is one of those gifts that really require you to know the person (and their style) well.

Make sure you know what kind of sneakers to purchase. Something that works for basketball players probably won’t work for long-distance runners.

Also: Converse sneakers look cute, but offer basically no support.


6. Workout Apparel

Photo by Boxed Water Is Better

Who says we can’t look fly while we sweat?

As mentioned, there are many Black-owned fitness apparel companies which deserve your patronage.

Vertical Activewear uses eco-friendly fabrics and offers sizes between XS and 5XL. Their products are designed for dancers, yogis and aerialists.




7. Yoga Mats

Photo by Dane Wetton

Yoga mats are available in a variety of sizes and levels of thickness.

They are lightweight and easy to carry.

According to Rei, “thinner mats can help increase stability for styles of yoga with more active poses or balanced, focused poses. Thicker mats are better suited for forearm and kneeling poses and for yogis with tender knees or achy joints.”