Did everyone have a splendid Christmas with family & friends? With 2019 just days away, I’ve been actively setting intentions and getting a head start on my new year goals. If you read my recent life update post, you’ll know that one of the things I am prioritizing is more self-love, healthy choices, and building a stronger relationship with my body. As I get older, this has become especially imperative to me. I was talking to a friend the other day about how we take a lot of things in life for granted. One of the biggest things is health. Without health, we can’t love or help others. We can’t do the things that give us meaning in life. Literally everything we do requires health! Yet, it’s easily one of the things we overlook everyday as we go about our busy lives. It can be challenging to adjust lifestyles but wherever you’re at, I’m sure we could all agree that new fitness gear helps get us on the right track 😉 Check out some of my favorite trendy, yet practical must-haves and get motivated to have a very active 2019 with me!
Apple Watch Series 4
David surprised me with an Apple Watch Series 4 for my birthday earlier this month. I still don’t totally know how to make full use of it, but love that I’m able to track my fitness milestones daily. There’s just a feeling of accomplishment that comes with closing all my circles before I close the day! The watch allows you to track time spent, calories burnt, and heart rate during any workout, whether it be strength training, barre, or a simple walk. Spotify and other basic iPhone functions like Messages, Mail, and Weather can also be accessed on the watch. This is nice because I can stash away my phone during my workout so I’m not tempted to spend too much time browsing Instagram. Come on, I can’t possibly be the only one. In all seriousness though, my Apple Watch has helped to set my priorities straight.
Glass Water Bottle
Glass water bottles have been game changers for me. I have two – a small and big one. The small one is ideal to bring along to the gym because it’s not as heavy. I like these over other water bottles for several reasons. Not only are they environmentally friendly, water from a glass water bottle tastes fresh and pure! You don’t get that weird plastic or metal taste in your mouth after a while, and cleaning is a breeze. Ever since getting mine, I drink so much more water! My body feels more hydrated, and my skin has cleared up a lot too. Don’t forget that staying hydrated is key to good health!
Yoga mats have so much practical use beyond the yoga studio. I always bring my own to fitness classes because unlike other gym equipment, something about a yoga mat is just more personal. I don’t have to worry about wiping down someone else’s sweaty mat before using it. Germs spread fast in a gym setting and with it being flu season, I’m not down to risk that chance. My yoga mat travels with me to barre, pilates, Tabata, and core training classes. I also have a preference for thicker mats to protect my wrists and just to make my workouts as comfortable as possible so I can focus on where the challenge should be.
Supportive Sports Bras
Supportive sports bras are so important for any type of workout you are engaging in. They protect your precious girls! Long gone are the days I worry about premature sagging from running or jumping around in Tabata. Lately, my favorite sports bras have been from Lorna Jane. I have a few cute ones from Lululemon but found that they don’t provide nearly as much support. All of the LJ bras I’ve purchased so far have very firm padding to not only give an attractive lift, but also ensure that my boobies are snug and move around as little as possible during exercise. It amazes me how well-made and functional they are, without compromising style. They may be a bit pricier than your everyday sports bra, but for good reason. I’ll invest in sports bras that will keep my girls happy and perky any day!
Breathable Run Shorts
Living in the desert, quality run shorts are crucial whether or not you live a super active lifestyle. In addition to body pump classes and the treadmill, I also wear these to walk the dogs and run errands, because they are just so comfy. My favorites are by Lululemon, called the Hotty Hot Shorts… gotta love that 2.5 inseam! They are super flattering and more importantly, extremely breathable. I particularly love the original Hotty Hot I style but it looks like they’ve been sold out for a long time or discontinued. So, the Hotty Hot II style it is! Both are really similar, but the Hotty Hot I style has the drawstring in front and the fabric is a tad more “movable.” I hope they’ll restock on this style; I’m dying to get my hands on a navy pair.
Quality Sweat-Wicking Leggings
Love me a good pair of leggings – especially when it’s chilly in the mornings. Alo Yoga makes some of my favorite leggings. Particularly, their Alosoft line is INCREDIBLE. The word “soft” does not begin to describe the amazing feeling I get from wearing it. I stocked up on a few Alosoft leggings during Black Friday and have no regrets, despite spending a bit more on myself than I would have liked before the holiday craziness began. Again, probably pricier than your everyday legging but worth every penny. David got the black high-waisted moto style legging from Alo as part of my Christmas gift and I’m in love! While it’s designed for use in the yoga studio, it can easily be dressed up for a night out in the city too. Versatility is big in my book! Looking to invest in new leggings or any gear from Alo Yoga? Get 10% off your first order.
A cozy, yet lightweight jacket to get you out of the house and to the gym is necessary during fall & winter. Finding nice fitted workout jackets has been surprisingly tough for me. I actually only have one that I absolutely looooove. I got it two years ago at a Lululemon outlet. At the time, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be, so I only bought one. Oh, how I wish I invested in a few when I had the chance – in different colors! Since that lucky day, I haven’t found another worth the splurge. Firstly, my size is pretty rare to come by and when it’s available, the fit might not be quite there. I’m picky because I don’t like my jackets too long. I like them super fitted, but roomy enough so I can breathe. The good news is, I just ordered a few online from Lorna Jane and keeping my fingers crossed they’ll work out!
Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds
Wired earphones are so last year! Up your fitness game with a fine pair of bluetooth wireless earbuds. Even this small change makes a difference – you’ll never have to worry about your earphones getting tangled up again. You won’t even have to bring your phone with you to the gym if you have a smart watch. The Apple Watch connects to Spotify via WiFi so I’m able to listen to music and podcasts on my bluetooth wireless earbuds without my phone nearby! Talk about a productive, distraction-free workout.
Solid Workout Sneakers
Stylish sneakers are nice, but make sure they are also well-fitted and comfortable for your feet. You can easily get fitted at a shoe store. Just be sure to bring along the socks you normally train in so that you can get a better idea of what will & won’t work for you. Keep in mind that solid workout sneakers don’t have to be expensive; I found some of my favorite pairs from my local Marshalls and Famous Footwear stores! I’m currently obsessed with my white Adidas; I’ve had them for a month and they still look good as new… pretty proud of myself for being able to keep them so white for so long 😉 I recommend getting a few pairs so that you can rotate them out to match your workout outfit and keep all of them lasting longer.
Plantar Fascia Insoles
Once you’ve found your workout sneakers, it’s time to make sure that your feet are getting the proper amount of support they need. This is to prevent any heel injuries and discomfort in the feet and even legs. Plantar fascia insoles are staples in all my sneakers for that extra cushion. They alleviate that nasty pressure I get on the balls of my feet after walking for a long time. If you have flat feet, you will be delighted to learn that these bad boys do a wonderful job protecting your feet from the shock of each step you take, and support your arch to prevent the plantar fascia from stretching further so it can heal. The added padding encourages a snug fit for secure support and good balance, which is pivotal for any workout and daily walking!
Yoga towels differ from regular towels in that they are designed to absorb sweat, are quick to dry, and are sized to fit a standard yoga mat. For me, they serve an additional use too. If you’ve ever attended a body pump class, you may know that they always have you place the bar on the “meaty part of your back” for the squat track. After a few classes, I’ve concluded that I do not have enough meat in that area (or any at all for that matter), so I end up feeling more pain there rather than my legs and butt when I’m doing squats. Having a yoga towel folded up and draped around my neck has helped immensely to mitigate this discomfort while absorbing my sweat. I’m finally able to focus on getting the most out of my squats!
I don’t know about you, but my hands are fairly sensitive. Lifting in general was something I used to avoid because I was afraid to get calluses. Then, I discovered training gloves! Since then, they have become a gym bag essential because they protect my hands from tears and blisters on my palms when I lift! Training gloves also provide an enhanced grip so that you don’t have to worry about sweaty hands causing equipment to slip or move around.
What are some of your fitness essentials?