Top 10 Must-Have Gifts for Healthy Living After Cancer
If someone in your life wants to live a healthier life after cancer treatments, then this gift guide can help you find the perfect gift. Finding a special, meaningful present can be difficult, but these ideas might inspire you.
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Updated November 14, 2022
I have been through cancer. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, I went through two mastectomy surgeries, several rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and hormonal treatments. I came out the other side much weaker than I went in. Determined, I vowed to live my healthiest life from that moment on.
Many cancer survivors also know the value of healthy living. Developing heathier habits is so important to fighting and preventing cancer. Science has proven this time and again. Our doctors encourage us to develop healthy habits, to lessen recurrence rates. So, most of us who have been through cancer want to live healthier lives.
So, you likely can’t go wrong with giving a gift that makes healthy living easier. Here are my top 10 must-have gifts for healthy living after cancer.
1. The Perfect Blender for Healthy Living
I love smoothies made from whole foods. They are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. You can easily balance the macronutrients to suit your needs, such as high protein if you are healing from treatments or low carbs if you are trying to reduce your sugar intake. And you can add greens, such as kale and spinach, and other vegetables, such as cabbage and cauliflower, to boost the cancer-fighting power without compromising taste.
There are an endless number of smoothie recipes. You can make your own signature healthy smoothie very easily with a little knowledge. My newest eBook helps you do just that, plus it has over 100 tasty recipes ready to make anytime.
“Healthy does NOT mean starving yourself, EVER. Healthy means eating the right food in the right amount”
– Karen Salmansohn –
Of course, there are many different blenders for smoothies out there. It can be very difficult to chose one. I was hesitant to spend money on one.
I started my smoothie journey with a regular blender with blades on the bottom. It was a powerful blender, which was great if I was making a single serve smoothie. But if I wanted to make a full recipe, one that my family could also enjoy, that blender just wasn’t powerful enough. I was constantly having to stop the blending process to stir the ingredients, which made a mess every time.
And then I found the Ninja Blender. What a difference it made in my smoothies!
A Ninja Blender has multiple blades along the shaft. It also has a smoothie button that blends a smoothie perfectly. OMG! They are super delicious. What a difference a blender makes. To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. All I wanted it to do was to mix properly. I never expected it to make smoothies so amazing. It was worth every penny I paid for my Ninja.
Anyone would love to receive a Ninja Blender. It deserves my number one spot for gifts for healthy living after cancer. I am in love with mine.
Ninja make a great Blender
2. An Instant Pot is Ideal for Healthier Meals after Cancer
After my cancer treatments, I went on a hunt for the healthiest ways to cook meals. I looked at all the science behind grilling, broiling, boiling, frying, baking, microwaving and slow cooking. There is a lot of research showing that slow cooking is the way to go, especially when cooking meats.
Faster cooking methods, such as grilling, broiling, and frying can produce harmful chemicals in some foods, such as red meats and potatoes.
There are a few ways to cook foods slowly. You can do it in an oven on low temperature with an added liquid. You can use a slow cooker that sits on your kitchen counter and cooks the food for 6 to 8 hours producing delicious dishes.
“Healthy eating is a way of life, so it’s important to establish routines that are simple, realistically, and ultimately livable.”
– Horace –
But the new way to cook combines both pressure cooking and slow cooking into a faster alternative. Instant pots are the new wave of healthy cooking appliances.
I will admit that I haven’t used my instant pot much. I found my slow cooker works great. If planned out well in advance, my slow cooker does the trick. And I am an old dog that is reluctant to learn new tricks.
But I know the advantage of the instant pot, and I own one. It is perfect for making meals for busy people on the go. Busy-on-the-go describes my family so well. And I know I will use my instant pot a lot in the future. Perhaps I will even grow to love it. I certainly know my friends love theirs.
The instant pot receives my number two spot for gifts for healthy living after cancer. Slow cooking is the way to go. And the instant pot makes that process a little faster without compromising on the quality of ingredients or taste.
I got this Instant Pot for Christmas last year.
3. A Treadmill for a Healthy Cardio Exercise Habit
With winter coming, treadmill walking or running is a must in my house. When our treadmill needed a new motor, running outdoors in bitter cold temperatures was not fun. I am so glad it was a quick fix. Life as a runner during bad weather without access to a treadmill is not ideal.
Having the ability to walk or run indoors means that you can keep doing your cardio workouts without interruption from bad weather. This summer saw lots of rain. We also had poor air quality from smoke of nearby forest fires. Poor outdoor air quality makes exercising outside difficult.
I am a big fan of NordicTrack treadmills. We have had our NordicTrack for over 20 years. We use it a lot with three runners in the house. The motor finally gave out, but it was an easy fix to simply replace it. Thankfully we didn’t have to buy a new treadmill. Most places were sold out during the pandemic. Needless to say, NordicTrack is our favorite brand of treadmill.
I love NordicTrack Treadmills.
But there are other brands of treadmills, like Peloton and Lifepro. Other runners seem to like these brands. I have tried them at various gyms while traveling, and they are good choices too. Although, I do think Peloton is a little overpriced.
There are also treadmills that are designed specifically for walking, such as the Egofit Walker and the Sunny Foldable Walking Treadmill for small spaces. These machines are great for those who want to walk for health, weight loss, and fitness. Walking is a great way to overcome cancer related fatigue and chronic pain. I like the idea of these walking treadmills for when you just can’t get outdoors.
This walking treadmill is a great idea for walking indoors
4. Yoga Mat & Yoga Classes for a Healthier Way of Living
Next on my list is Yoga. Yoga is proving to be one of the best exercises for improving life after cancer treatments. There are many studies to suggest that yoga lessens the long-term side effects of cancer treatments. It can boost energy, improve sleep, reduce anxiety, and gently build back strength.
So a yoga mat and some beginner yoga classes are a great gift for healthy living after cancer. They certainly are a budget conscious gift.
My first yoga mat was a Gaiam, so I am partial to this brand. It has held up well over the years. I found their thick mats to be very comfortable for my old stiff body. They also have some very nicely printed mats too. I really like my Gaiam Yoga Mat.
I have a Gaiam mat in pink/purple. This blue/green one is pretty.
5. Resistance Training for Better Fitness and a Healthier Life
There is so much research that suggests resistance training can help in the fight against cancer. The World Health Organization recommends that “adults do muscle-strengthening activities at a moderate intensity on 2 or more days a week.”
There are many types of workouts that qualify as muscle and bone strengthening activity. And equipment to use during these workouts would make a great gift for healthy living after cancer.
Body Weight Training can be an ideal way to strengthen muscle and bones. It has also been shown to help increase metabolism and reduce body fat. An eBook on At Home Workouts can be a great gift for gifts for healthy living after cancer. eBooks are especially great gifts for a friend or relative that lives far away. They can also be printed and bound at a printshop and given as a wrapped present.
Resistance bands, kettle bells and dumbbells are also great gift ideas for those wanting to live a healthy life. These are very affordable, portable, and they can also be wrapped. They are fun exercises to do too. One tip though: if the person you are buying for is new to resistance training, also get them a gift certificate to a gym or a beginners book so that they know how to use the equipment properly.
I would love to try these adjustable dumbells!
6. New Pair of Walking Shoes for Healthy Living after Cancer
When I first started walking, I had on an old pair of running shoes. But running shoes are designed a little differently than walking shoes. The pressure points on the shoe are different because a walking stride is different from a running stride, so feet contact the ground differently.
Walking is the perfect place for someone recovering from cancer treatments to start. Most survivors can walk, if only down to the end of the street where they live. But doing this regularly, after time, they improve and will soon be walking everywhere.
“Walking brings me back to myself.”
– Laurette Mortimer –
Start them off on the right foot, by getting them some walking shoes.
Now, ideally, you should take them to a store that specializes in athletic footwear. Shoes are a very personal choice and should be fitted in-person. But this isn’t an option for many people. Sometimes buying online is the only choice. Be sure that the company you purchase them from has a good exchange policy, in case the size or type of shoe doesn’t fit your loved one.
Walking shoes are a personal choice, but these are nice looking shoes!
7. Gifts that Keep Giving for a Year of Healthier Living after Cancer
Healthy food, self care, and fitness boxes are great gifts to give, especially if you are struggling for ideas.
Vegan Snack Subscription Box
by Vegancuts on Amazon
These fun boxes are usually shipped several times a year and are packed full of seasonal goodies, foods and products depending on which ones you subscribe to. Some popular ones include meal boxes, skin care, home, health, and wellness products.
Self Care Subscription Box
by Therabox on Amazon
I think these are such exciting gift ideas for healthy living after cancer. Who wouldn’t want one of these amazing boxes. It is the gift that keeps giving all year long.
Premium Tea Subscription Box
Monthly Teas by La Tea Dah on Amazon
8. Protein Powders for Healthier Eating after Cancer
Yes, I am being serious! Protein powders might seem like an odd gift, but it really is a great gift for healthy living after cancer. I can picture a gift basket with different protein powders to try. I would love to receive a gift like this. Wouldn’t you?
Those recovering from cancer treatments will need more protein for healing. And take it from someone who has been there, it can be hard to get enough protein into your day for healing. I was told to eat 100 grams per day to heal from my mastectomy surgery alone. And that is when I started adding protein powders into my life. It makes it so much easier to eat a healthy diet.
I also use protein powders for daily living and after recovering from hard workouts. One of my favorite breakfasts is when I add whey protein to my morning smoothies and oatmeal. And I also add it to my baking, including some casseroles.
9. A Massage is an Amazing Gift for Healthy Living after Cancer
Who doesn’t love a massage? A wonderful massage can be the perfect gift. They can be used to just relax after a stressful day. Or they can be used for muscle recovery after a hard workout. They can also be used for muscle and tissue healing after cancer surgery or treatments. Just be sure your loved one has the thumbs up from their oncologist or physiotherapist before using any massagers for healing.
Massage from a Massage therapist is the Best!
Probably one of the best gifts is to get them a gift certificate to a local massage therapist. While an amazing gift, this can be a tricky one to shop for. First find out if the person is already seeing a massage therapist. If they aren’t, then you could either find one who offers gift certificates or get a gift certificate to a reputable spa.
A personal massage is the best, but a great alternative is to find a massager that they can use at home. There are so many to choose from though. Let me tell you about the ones I use.
A Foam Roller for Any Aspiring Athlete is a Good Choice
If the person you are gifting is interested in fitness, you might want to consider a foam roller. This the perfect way to relax muscles and recover from workouts. I like to use my foam roller after my long runs. But it is tricky to learn to use a foam roller on your own, so a Foam Rolling book or classes is a good idea to go with it.
Gift Ideas for Those with Tired Feet
After a day of working on my feet, I like to come home to my foot massager. It is tender to use at first. But after the heat setting starts to relax my feet, the rotating balls of a Shiatsu massager feel so nice. I am using mine right now as I write this gift guide.
I will also use my Yoga Toes to stretch out my toes and relax the ligaments in my feet. This isn’t a massager, but it does help my feet recover from wearing shoes and being on my feet so long. It feels wonderful for about 30 minutes or so, then I have to take them off as my feet start to hurt. But I have gotten into a routine of wearing them for 30 minutes a day. I can attest that Yoga Toes help with bunion pain too.
Massagers for Multiple Areas of the Body
Since my back is such a hard place to massage, I love my chair massager for this. It gets all the major spots, like neck, back and glutes. The heat is wonderful too. It is so amazingly relaxing to sit there, close my eyes, breathe slowly, and listen to the quiet hum of the rollers.
And then there is this smaller Shiatzu massager, which is very affordable, that can massage any area. It is just a little harder to position to get the spot just right. But it is portable and does many jobs well. I have this one too.
“They say you can’t buy happiness. I guess they’ve never bought a massage before.”
– Unknown –
Yes, I own a lot of massagers. What can I say, my husband and I have pain issues, both from running and working out, and daily wear and tear on our bodies. Each have their special place in my home that I can quickly grab anytime I like. This also means that these recommendations to you are personally tested and honest. And you can’t go wrong with a massager, in my mind. They are very popular gifts.
Two More Massager Gift Ideas
I also have two other massagers that I haven’t mentioned yet; my percussion massager and my stick roller. These are good for smaller muscle groups or hard to reach areas.
I like my percussion massager for my shoulders, especially after working on a computer for long periods of time. My shoulders tighten up from all the typing I do to write these blog posts and eBooks.
And my stick roller is great for isolated muscle massage in my legs after a long run. I have issues with my hamstring and piriformis muscles. I take my stick roller when I travel too. It fits perfectly in my suitcase.
So, How Do You Choose a Massager Gift?
If I was going to choose just ONE massager to gift to a friend or relative, I would pick the more versatile Shiatzu Massager pictured below. It can do many of the troublesome body parts and is very portable.
But if you know the person well, and can identify what they do and what areas may be an issue for them, you might pick one of the others.
10. Gift A Beautiful Journal for Healthy Living
And my final gift idea for healthy living after cancer is a journal.
I have been journaling since my teen years, but I found the practice of keeping a diary of my thoughts especially helpful during my cancer diagnosis, treatment and healing. I still keep a journal for my thoughts, calories, and workouts. It helps keep me organized and accountable to myself. A positivity journal filled with happy thoughts, quotes and poems for the gray days is also healing. Journaling also gives me a platform to get the worries and negative thoughts out of my head and onto paper instead.
“I never wrote things down to remember;
I always wrote things down so I could forget.”
– Matthew McConaughey –
There are so many journals to choose from. A journal can be authoritative and professional, like a faux leather notebook. Or it can be soft and pretty like a fabric covered notebook. Or you can find them with inspirational messages on the front cover. You can match the journal with the person you are buying for. Be sure to make it a gift set by adding a beautiful luxury pen.
I hope you found a few ideas for gifts for healthy living after cancer. May you find that perfect gift for the one you love.
Be sure to also check out the 15 Best Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Cancer Patients
Blenders are amazing for so much more then just smoothies. Love love it.
These are all great gift ideas and very thoughtful ideaa to gift to a cancer survivor.
Thank you for sharing. This is a great list – I saved it into my Pinterest
Thank you for sharing this article. I am glad you liked my list.
Great ideas and perfect for healthy living after cancer or other debilitating disease!
Thank you for sharing your story. This is an excellent list whether someone is dealing with cancer or not. Truly appreciate you putting this list together. Excellent!
Thank you for sharing these fab and thoughtful gift ideas.
I can’t imagine how stressful having cancer or having had cancer must be, but these all seek like really good tips!
Thank you for sharing your story and all of these wonderful gift ideas. It is a very well written post.
Thank you for sharing at Blog & Inspire FB Group. Read, and RT and as you may know by now, this is a topic very close to my heart. Lost my Mom and Dad to cancer, and have numerous other immediate family battling with cancer.
I am so sorry. Cancer is such a horrible disease.
What a great list Patricia. But I have to say, these are great gifts for everyone, not just for healthy living after cancer. I love my nutri bullet for making my juices and smoothies. I’m more inclined to have them during the summer months though. I veer towards soup during this time of year.
I’ve often wondered if there’s a difference between a slow cooker and an instant pot. I’ll have to check out the instant pot. I haven’t used my slow cooker in ages.
Would you believe, I thought it was only athletes and fitness fanatics who used protein powders. I’ve never dreamt of adding them to my smoothies! 🤔
I am glad you found my list helpful. After cancer, I have been using protein powders several times weekly. In the beginning it was to heal from cancer, then it was to help with weight loss. Now, it is just to make sure I get protein in for breakfast. If you think about it, most traditional breakfasts (cereal, oatmeal, continental, etc) need more protein to balance out.
These are even helpful if you haven’t had cancer, thank you.
So true! Thank you for pointing that out. I am happy you found this post helpful.
Thanks for the extremely informative post. You have explained the importance of every little stuff in an stunning way. New pair of walking shoes can be really helpful for healthy living after cancer. I am going to gift that to my aunt next week who is having cancer😊❤
Walking is such a great way to stay fit. I am glad you found this article helpful.