12 days of green shopping: Get fit gifts

Photo: istockphoto.com/Dr. Heinz Linke/Russell Tate
Help those you love get fit for 2008 with these green and healthy gifts. Easy poses Inspire someone to take a yoga or Pilates course with a luxurious yoga mat from Beinjoy. Three close friends combined their names to create a company offering Zen-inspired mats and cushions. Considered functional works of art, these Love Mats are made with eco-friendly material called TPE (thermal plastic elastomer). They're hypoallergenic, recyclable and toxin-free with a pleasant non-slip, "sticky" surface and come in soothing tones of Plum Violet or Blue Breeze. Mats measure approximately 183cm x 61cm x 5mm (72"x24"x0.19"), cushions are 61cm x 21cm x 12mm (24"x 8"x0.47"). Each comes with a beautiful hand-made Chinese tie-closure. Sun salutations, downward dog, the seal and the 100 will be a joy to do on these mats. Active wear Loyale has created an inspiring active wear line made with organic cotton in several sophisticated colours. Greenloop carries the Loyale line as well as several other companies offering green exercise clothing. Gaiam has a line of work out clothing that ranges from organic cotton unitards, bamboo yoga pants to pop bottle fleece hoodies. Lotus Organics offers a line of yoga clothes made with organic hemp and cotton with non-toxic dyes. No electricity needed Treadmills and other workout equipment can use a lot of electricity or take up a lot of room. Rowing is considered one of the best aerobic exercises, burning calories and working all the muscles. But these machines are the bulkiest of the lot and hard to move. The compact and sleek WaterRower is light and can be stood up on one end after your workout. Hand crafted in solid Ash and stained Honey Oak, this rowing machine uses a patented WaterFlywheel that emulates the same natural dynamics of a boat moving down the river. It also has a feature for self-regulating resistance. Suitable for the whole family. Two wheelers that fly Nothing beats a bicycle for getting fit. Those who like to travel with their machine will appreciate a folding bike from Montague. The complete line of full sized full functioning has excellent choices for either city or back road biking. The best bike for the urban landscape is one of the nimble Dutch city bikes from Jorg & Olif. Their classic design in European colours make these bikes a cool way to commute. Add one of their groovy baskets or cargo racks and you're set to go. For those commuting to work a Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs) may be just the ticket. Whether it's an electric scooter, bicycle or motorscooters, these clean, quiet, and efficient vehicles offer the advantages of car without the burdens. The Electric Bikes Company has a full range of vehicles to choose from. Greening the slopes Pick up a hand-crafted snowboard from Venture Snowboards created with sustainably- harvested wood and low impact materials. With a comprehensive recycling program and the entire operation powered by wind power, these boards are extremely enviro-friendly. The small but committed Arbor creates snowboards and skateboards with natural fibers that include bamboo, sustainably-harvested wood and recycled materials. Their eco-technologies have created enviro-friendly boards famous for their high level of function, style and durability. Both companies donate money to organizations protecting the environment. The final touch For an added bonus include a gift coupon promising to come and work out with your loved one. Having a workout companion combined with a thoughtful gift can be the best motivator of all. Anne Colvey is an environmental journalist based in Quebec who snowboards to get over her fear of heights.