Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have already passed, but I know many of you still have lots of holiday shopping to do (or at least I know I am still helping my dad pick up gifts for the family).

Personally, I know I’m a hard person to shop for. I’m kind of a meathead. I’ve been doing CrossFit for about 5 years, so most of the gear I need I already have. I am also very specific about what brands/styles of clothing and accessories I like, so I just avoid putting them on my Christmas list altogether.

In the spirit of tough to buy for people everywhere, I decided to compile a list of items I personally use on the regular to help with my recovery.

These items are great for athletes, people with chronic pain conditions, or even just someone who could use a little extra R&R. Hope it helps!

Foam Rollers

I am a firm believer that everybody should have a foam roller, whether you work out or not.

Foam rolling is a type of self-Myofascial Release, so it can help loosen muscles, allow for better glide for facia tissue, circulate blood and lymph, and reduce inflammation.

While they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and densities, you cannot go wrong with a simple lightweight foam model. PRO TIP: TJ Maxx in Fargo always has TONS of foam rollers near women’s athletic clothes.

Who is it for? Everyone and their grandma.

CBD Oil

Cannabidiol is the latest craze in the recovery game. This hemp derived oil with little to no THC (so Grandma relax—I’m not giving away weed for Christmas), helps stimulate your body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are responsible for receiving signals about pain, inflammation, emotions, and even memories.

CBD has been shown to help with: chronic pain, arthritis, joint pain, anxiety, sleep disorders, headaches, PTSD, headaches, and much more.

This product is available in dropper bottles, gummies, capsules, lotions, and is even being added to food products. I’m a big fan of Swanson’s Health brand or Pure Spectrum.

Who is it for? Sore athletes, people who have trouble sleeping, anxious people, and anybody staying up to date on the current affairs. ***Be sure to consult a physician before taking any supplements.***

Float Tanks/Salt Tanks/Sensory Deprivation Tanks

Most float tanks (or cabin tanks) consist of a shallow pool of water filled with highly concentrated salt water. This allows you to float in the tank. The cabin can be turned completely dark and completely silenced resulting in a sensory deprivation experience.

Between the weightlessness and lack of outside stimuli, the experience is designed to help relax muscles, decrease pain, promote relaxation, decrease stress, and improve sleep.

You can buy a single session or even subscribe to a membership at most places. My go-to spot is Salt2O.

Who is it for? Anyone with sore muscles, stress, or those who just need an hour to themselves.

TENS Unit (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator)

A TENS Unit, or sometimes called a stim machine, is a small battery operated device that attaches to the skin using adhesive jelly-like pads. Once on the skin, the device sends small electrical impulses into your muscles. This creates an electrical generated muscle contraction. Sounds scary, but it really isn’t.

The electrical impulses overwhelm the nervous system, so if you are feeling pain prior to using the unit, the body basically forgets it was in pain, or the pain gets less intense. The device also helps increase your body’s natural ability to produce endorphins. The muscle contractions also help circulate blood and lymph which can help muscles recover quicker.

Personally, I have an Eliking brand unit, but I spent more money on mine than I care to admit. You can usually find ones for under $50 on Amazon that have pretty good reviews. 

Who is it for? People with chronic pain issues, athletes who take few rest days, or athletes working out multiple times a day who need quick recovery.

Massages (You had to know this was coming!)

I’m biased, but nothing says I love you like a massage gift card. Choose a smaller dollar amount for a stocking stuffer, or give them an hour of bliss!

Who is it for? With benefits from athlete recovery, pain reduction, increased mobility, stress relief, and even just an hour away from it all, massages can be an amazing gift for anyone on your list!Personally, I sell digital gift cards and plastic gift cards (text or email me for details).