Since we can’t give the gift of good health, giving fitness equipment or a gym membership may seem like the next best thing. In some cases this works. In other cases, it can backfire spectacularly. If you want to give the gift of fitness, it’s important to know how to do it in a thoughtful and tactful way.
Common Reactions to a Fitness-Related Gift
When receiving a fitness-related gift, people tend to react in one of three ways:
The person loves the gift, uses it and is soon on the road to better health. (This is unlikely but theoretically possible.) They may or may not stay on this road over the long term.
The person feels insulted by your gift and winds up resenting both it and you.
The person isn’t interested or insulted. They just don’t care. You have wasted both your money and the opportunity to make them happy with a different gift.
Things to Consider
Before giving someone a fitness-related gift, it’s important to ask yourself if it’s something they are likely to want. If they don’t have any interest in fitness or fitness equipment, you should probably choose something else. If they are interested in fitness, however, you may be on the right track.
Storage is a second consideration. If you’re giving someone a bulky piece of equipment, you are asking them to commit to storing it. Make sure that your gift will easily fit into their house or apartment.
If you think they might like the gift itself, you still need to decide if they will be happy to get it from you. Ask yourself if you have ever said anything negative about their appearance. If you have, they may feel that this gift is your way of making them look better. This will be insulting, not matter how much they like the gift.
What to Say
When giving a fitness-related gift, be sure to give it in the right way. Don’t mention the negatives you are hoping will improve. Instead, talk about the positives. Here are a couple of examples:
“I hope you enjoy using this …. as much as I enjoy using mine.”
“I met so many cool people at this gym. I’d like them to get to meet you too.”
The idea is to make the gift seem more like something fun and exciting and less like self-improvement through perspiration and hard work.
Cover Your Bases
Finally, when giving a fitness-related gift, try to purchase something that can be returned. Having an alternative can help you cover your bases in case your gift isn’t appreciated,