Wrapping Paper Roll Call: It's Crunch Time—Get Your Shopping in Shape!

Illustration for article titled Wrapping Paper Roll Call: Its Crunch Time—Get Your Shopping in Shape!
Photo: Prostock-studio (Shutterstock)

Ummm...we are now within two weeks of Christmas (and Kwanzaa—and nearly halfway through Hanukkah)—have you locked down your holiday gifts yet? With shipping slower than usual this year, most retailers aren’t guaranteeing holiday delivery on orders placed past the middle of this week, so your options are dwindling—and perhaps your finances are, too (we see you, mid-month payday). Accordingly, if you’re giving gifts this year, you likely want them to be both meaningful and useful well after the holiday passes—and inspiring, too.

As we pointed out earlier this week, the ongoing pandemic has solidified two main factions when it comes to fitness, which we previously dubbed the “Get Tight, Get Right Gang” and the “Let It Go League.” (If you’ve somehow managed to be part of the “Maintenance Minority,” we envy salute you.) As a new year at last approaches, most of us are either experiencing at-home fitness fatigue or resolving to get back into our pre-pandemic wardrobes by the time we can all regularly socialize again.

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Regardless of which camp you belong to (even the “Whatever’s Clever Crew”), safeguarding our health remains paramount right now as we head into 2021. Whether making a resolution or maintaining a routine, keeping ourselves, our families and our communities healthy should be our highest priorities, which means this year may be one of the few in which the gift of fitness might be gratefully accepted in the altruistic spirit in which it’s intended.

With that in mind, we’ve gathered some of our favorite health-fortifying options by Black founders and retailers—meaning you can flex your support for Black-owned businesses while also helping your loved ones strap on that Fitbit and flex their muscles. And what’s more? You can skip the slow delivery and score gift cards for most of these brands.

EleVen by Venus Williams

Venus Williams’ activewear brand has plenty of goods for tennis lovers and fitness generalists alike (and even a current streetwear collab with K-Swiss), but one of the brand’s bestsellers, the EleVen by Venus Williams Resistance Rope is also a bargain, checking in at only $20—but paying it forward in toning.

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Illustration for article titled Wrapping Paper Roll Call: Its Crunch Time—Get Your Shopping in Shape!
Screenshot: EleVen by Venus Williams

Ascot Manor

Speaking of tennis, it’s one of the sports best equipped for this socially-distanced era—and Ascot Manor’s designs go far beyond the typical “tennis whites” (double-entendre intended). What’s more, this woman-owned brand is supporting the next generation of Venuses, Serenas, Naomis and Cocos, re-investing a percentage of sales “to help support under-resourced, highly-skilled competitive junior tennis players with both financial and apparel sponsorship.”

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Actively Black

“Black is you, Black is me, Black is us, Black is we,” The Last Poets famously rhymed...and this newly launched all-black line of fitness apparel made for us, by us is actively on brand with that message, providing a line of sleek separates for men and women in our signature color that works equally well as streetwear.

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Rochelle Porter

If she’s more prone to look on the bright side, she’ll likely love the vibrant prints from this activewear label—in fact, they’re made to mix and match! Looking to spread the high-impact of these prints? The brand makes coordinating designs and goods for little ones and the home, too.

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CycMode

Think Peloton has the market cornered on indoor cycling? CycMode is an Atlanta-based “4,000 square-foot flagship production hub and multi-studio space for immersive indoor cycling on bikes that move, HIIT/strength training, and yoga workouts.” Launching January 2, CycMode will host daily livestream group fitness classes to national at-home subscribers—so gift them a membership.

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Barbell Commission

If you can always depend on him to do the heavy lifting, he’ll dig the no-pain, all-gain designs of Barbell Commission—because muscleheads can make a fashion statement, too! This label’s low-frills designs will give both style and needed support to his squat day.

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Sworkit

Those of us who’ve been working from home most of this year may have had less success finding new ways to workout at home—which is why Sworkit’s at-home and on-the-go workout system of over 400+ workouts is right on time. This Shark Tank-winning app offers a curated collection of over 800 body weight and small equipment exercises, meaning there’s a workout for everyone on your list.

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VeganSmart

Is someone you love making a pivot into the meat-free life? Help support their journey with the plant-based flavors of VeganSmart, which are perfect as a meal replacement (the perfect protein-rich accompaniment for a concurrent weight-loss journey), or as a guilt-free snack or treat—and with a subscription, they’ll never run out.

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Nomads Swimwear

Fun fact: every body is a bikini body, and every body deserves stylish swimwear—which is why we love the size-inclusive designs Taylor Paige Long creates for Nomads Swimwear. Sized from Small to 4X, these stunning designs will make her feel like a siren, no matter her size.

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Beach Hours

This yoga-centric brand has absolutely gorgeous apparel—and equally gorgeous yoga mats in cork and suede, elevating that much-needed moment of stretching and serenity into pretty stylish one, as well.

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Brukwine

Wine it up! This Caribbean dance-inspired workout series of live and on-demand classes is exactly the festive infusion their fitness routine needs. A monthly VIP subscription (currently on sale for $45) offers unlimited access to Brukwine’s entire on-demand library, updated with 12 new classes per month. Plus, it includes exclusive deals and discounts on Brukwine’s club-ready gear.

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Impano Sports

If they’re the outdoorsy type, this Rwanda-based brand has the goods for their hiking, running and track and field needs, offering stylish apparel and gear for men and women, plus an eco-friendly fabric line.

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Nagast Footwear

With kicks named for Black excellence and designed in the powerful red, black and green motif, we had to put this sneaker and apparel brand on your radar, because when it comes to Black pride, it’s never a trend; it’s a legacy!

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Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?

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