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What is it about a deployment that drives people to the gym? I think it’s probably part boredom, part stress relief, but every time my husband is deployed, he goes all out with a workout routine and his co-workers are often right there with him. Between the popularity of working out while deployed and the military’s fitness requirements, a fitness care package could easily be part of every deployment. But what do you put in a fitness care package?
After all, standard care package items like candy or processed snack foods probably aren’t going to cut it if your loved one is trying to shed a few pounds. But you can’t really ship fresh fruit and vegetables, now can you? (Please don’t try and ship fresh produce – it will spoil and in some places, it’s actually illegal.) Just like with most care packages, creativity is the answer to this problem.
Squeezable fruit pouches are probably best known as a snack for children, but they make them for adults too! Before purchasing, make sure to do some research to determine which brand best fits your loved one’s dietary needs or taste preferences. You can likely buy them in bulk online, but you may want to buy individual pouches just to make sure they’re a hit with your loved one. It’s very important that you put these pouches in plastic baggies or leave them in the original box to protect them during shipping.
Another healthy snack item is beef jerky, depending on which brand you purchase. I bought these Epic strips on a whim during my husband’s last deployment and he absolutely loved them. I ended up buying them multiple times and he loved having them as a post-workout snack. An additional option would be tuna in a pouch – my husband really liked albacore tuna packaged in just water. They are really nice for care packages because they take up so little space!
But what can you send in a fitness care package beyond just food? There are a variety of magazines, books and DVDs out there that can be helpful to anyone working on their fitness, but they may not always be a great fit for your loved one overseas. Maybe they don’t have a way to play the DVD or don’t have the time to read about working out. Take your loved one’s unique situation into account when you’re planning out your fitness care package.
Other items that fit the theme include a water bottle (I love the Hydroflask), protein powder, a protein shaker and wireless headphones. Wireless headphones are super helpful for working out both at home and during deployment, especially if your loved one likes high intensity workouts. They don’t take up a lot of space and will get a lot of use, even long after deployment is over.
You could also send workout clothing or shoes, women especially love their leggings, sports bras and womens tracksuits to mix and match for their gym attire. They tend to take up a lot of space in your box so think ahead when you’re purchasing items. I usually end up sending workout shorts, shirts and lots of extra socks as those tend to get worn out the fastest. Additionally, I like to include equipment that I know can come in handy after weeks of exercise. Recovery equipment such as an elbow sleeve for sports, refueling supplements and calf socks are all things that come in handy in a care package that I know he really appreciates. I wouldn’t purchase any terribly expensive workout apparel for a variety of reasons. For example, the water where my husband was two deployments ago absolutely destroyed his clothes. We ended up throwing most of them away because they were so beat up. Cheaper pieces (check out places like Wal-Mart, Target or TJ Maxx) will serve your loved one just fine and
A large part of a fitness care package is, of course, the design! I’ve just added a fitness care package to my shop that will be the perfect addition to all of the great contents. It features a fun color scheme, puns and even a little extra sass on the bottom paper. It’s available now and ships for free!
Want even more care package ideas? I’m giving away 165+ ideas (plus what to put in them) here.