Mother's Day Gift Tips for Her Health & Fitness (cont.)

Also try getting her a couple of sessions with a registered dietitian, Brandeis suggests. To find a registered dietitian near you, "visit the ADA web site at www.eatright.org, where you can punch in your ZIP code and pull up dietitians in your area," she explains. Or you can call the ADA at (800) 366-1655.

Or if your mom is the breakfast-in-bed type -- and who isn't? -- try cooking a gourmet, healthy breakfast to start her day off right. "You can make whole wheat or buckwheat pancakes, a fruit cup, and egg white omelets," she says.

Brandeis, a new mother, adds: Free babysitting services so moms can have some time to themselves are always a good idea!

6 Gifts to Give Yourself

Many moms have a drawer filled with never-used gifts from Mother's Day past, but treating yourself to these easy gifts can cut back on the time you spend returning gifts or hiding less-than-desirable presents so as not to offend the gift giver.

1) Hire a trainer or life coach to help you reach your goals -- whether fitness, financial, or emotional. These days, there are coaches available to get you over just about any obstacle that life puts in your way. Or consider acupuncture, acupressure, or any other New Age healing therapy that you have been meaning to try.

2) Schedule a mammogram or another lifesaving annual screening test. "The American Cancer Society and all the major organizations recommend mammograms on a yearly basis starting at age 40, and done along that pattern there is a 30%-40% reduction in the death rate for breast cancer," points out Lawrence D. Wagman, MD, chairman of the division of surgery at City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif.

"It's important to develop a pattern and personal rhythm, and Mother's Day is a great day to set it around," he says. Why? "You can't miss Mother's Day, it's everywhere and everyone talks about it and everyone celebrates it," he says. "One of the ways that screening programs are successful is by linking them to an event or linking people together so you get a camaraderie effect." Talk to your doctor to make sure that you are up on what screening tests are right for you.

3) Get your hair blown out or get a manicure or pedicure. This is Mother's Day, so book yourself a spa day replete with your favorite services, whether massage, facial, or even makeup application.

4) Join a book club or take a class. Check out local community centers and colleges for ceramics, writing, and arts classes. Or stroll through the local library or bookstore and pick up a guilty pleasure, like the latest James Patterson novel or a classic that you have never read and have been meaning to. Consider joining a book club in the neighborhood or talk show host Oprah Winfrey's book club.

5) Go for the Botox! For moms who want to look as young as they feel, "injectables such as Botox or Restylane are great, and so is microdermabrasion to get rid of dead skin and to get collagen to grow," suggests Peter B. Fodor, a Los Angeles-based plastic surgeon and president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Injectables help get rid of fine lines and wrinkles with no downtime, he says. "She is going to be happier about herself, and that will transfer into her relationship with her husband, children, and the rest of her family." Often, moms do so much for everybody around them and neglect themselves. "To do something for yourself is a wonderful, uplifting feeling." To find a board-certified plastic surgeon near you, visit the ASAPS web site at www.surgery.org.

6) Pick up a pair of cool sneakers or some new yoga wear to look great in that Pilates class you have been meaning to try. "They look good, so you feel good and are excited to show them off -- whether at the gym or when going for a walk," says Linda Sparling, general manager of FrontRunners, a Brentwood, Calif.-based athletic and apparel store. "A new shoe will be more comfortable so you will want to go do a workout."

Mother's Day is a pretty popular gift-giving occasion at Sparling's store. In fact, "We get women who come in and pick out gifts for their husbands and kids to buy for them," she says. "We are even considering a registry so people can come in for holidays like Mother's Day and pre-pick their athletic wear."

Now that you have the wardrobe, try joining a gym or purchasing some home exercise equipment, adds the ADA's Brandeis. Just do it.

Published April 30, 2004.


SOURCES: Ruth Goldstein, spokeswoman, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Glenn J. Wolfing, DMD, prostodontist, Fort Washington, Pa. Alayna Kassan, co-founder, Presents for Purpose, New York. Oliver Zong, DPM. Rachel Brandeis, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association. Lawrence D. Wagman, MD, chairman, division of surgery, City of Hope Cancer Center, Duarte, Calif. Peter B. Fodor, president, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Linda Sparling, general manager, FrontRunners, Brentwood, Calif.

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