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Holiday gifts that get you outdoors, moving

December 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Video games are hot gift items for the holiday season, but why not give the gift of health this year? There are many active gifts that can get people of all ages moving.While video companies are creating new games that make you move, nothing beats going outside to play. Sports Authority's Randy Kaefer suggested a variety of fitness and finance-friendly options including the Hit-A-Way Jr.

"Fantastic for toddlers, meant for ages 3 to 6, allows them to work on their batting practice. It has the same idea as tether ball. You hit the ball, it wraps around the poll, and comes right back at you," Kaefer described.

At only $29.99, it's not a bad idea. For more elite, older players looking to refine their skills, the Lightning Bolt pitching machine can help build hand-eye coordination as it shoots out special soft balls every five seconds at 30 miles per hour. The cost is $49.99.

Also, if you like badminton but you don't have room for a sport court or maybe a net, try Speedminton. It's a cross between tennis, badminton and racquetball.

"You don't have a net, you don't have anything to lug. You have a nice small package with a couple rackets and the shell cocks are a little bit different. They're shorter and again faster," described Kaefer.

The Speedminton is going for $34.99.

How about a gift for the soccer fanatic?

"The Star Kick - great stocking stuffer at $11.99, allows you to play soccer by yourself. You don't have to chase the ball. You're not kicking against the garage door," Kaefer said.

"You get a good work out out of it. So you can have 10 minutes passing ball to each other and get a lot of work on foot work and passing and kicking so it's a pretty good product. I would use it on my own and on my kids as well," said soccer coach William Alas.

Finally, the Pro-mini hoop is a slam dunk gift for kids of all ages.

"It can go on the back of someone's bedroom door, but it's really meant for that office guy stuck at a desk job. You need that break from the computer and you get to shoot some hoops in your office," said Kaefer.

Available in two sizes, the hoop set starts at a penny shy of $30.

"You get to go outdoors. Some things you can do by yourself, some things you do with groups of people," Kaefer said. "Backyard, take it to the park, small portable, no excuses not to be outdoors."


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