Working out is at the top of my priorities this year. Besides finding time for the people in my life, I’ve been trying to make sure that my health the most important thing on my schedule. I’ve found that it’s relatively easy to make small lifestyle changes that have a lasting impact. After implementing regular exercise into my routine, I’ve found a few tips and tricks have helped me stick to my goals. These are my five workout essentials that I use to maximize my workouts:
5. Fitbit Alta – I am THAT awkward person who never leaves the house without her Fitbit. I wear it when I go out and have been known to don it for special occasions (such as weddings – Those dance moves must count somewhere!). The only time you will ever find me not wearing it is if I’m showering. And I genuinely hope that you don’t find me in that situation.
If I had to pinpoint the moment where I really started being more conscientious about my health, I would say it was when I received my first Fitbit. Being able to quantify my movement and activity was monumental in making me realize how little I was moving. It gave me insight on what more I needed to be doing, in order to be living a healthy lifestyle.
With all of the competitions and challenges on the app, my Fitbit still continues to motivate me to reach my daily goals.
4. Hydaway Foldable Waterbottle – I recently went on a holiday to Spain with one of my friends from high school. She has been drastically trying to reduce her plastic output, and consequently, does not buy plastic bottles of water anymore. When I travel, or pack a bag to go to the gym, I find it very difficult to find space for another water bottle, so I usually will buy a quick bottle from the store. The ones I own are usually are big and awkward, and not very comfortable to travel with or to pack in my gym. When I saw her Hydaway bottle, I realized how useful it would be to own one. Not only would I reduce my plastic output when I travel, but it also folds into itself and I can stick it in my pocket. I’ve been using it for a month or so just to the gym, and it’s really helped me consolidate what I carry to my workout sessions. I can throw it in my purse or gym bag, and it doesn’t take up any space. Besides it being super useful, I get loads of compliments and questions about it. Honestly, it was a bit pricey, but it’s been worth it for me because I use it a lot.
3. Comfy workout clothes – I have two whole drawers dedicated to workout clothing. What I have found, after countless workout sessions of trial and error, is that having the right workout gear clothing is absolutely essential. There is nothing worse than being on a run and constantly pulling up your workout leggings or adjusting your top. I like higher-waist leggings, so they don’t roll down or get bunched when I’m doing different exercises. Additionally, I’ve found that if you pay a bit more for a better brand-name article of clothing, you end up getting more uses out of them. In the end, I love Lululemon, Puma or other quality workout clothing, because they tend to last. Also, I’m obsessed with leggings, especially these. I love being able to represent my home state, while I’m working hard at the gym!
2. Bluetooth Headphones for Running – Everyone at work makes fun of me because in the last 6 months, I’ve probably purchased 3 or 4 different headphones. I bought the Mpow Swifts years ago, and I thought they had started to give out recently. That’s when I started buying and trying other ones. None of them had the comfort or the sound of the MPows…
After I started getting annoyed with the other headphones I tried, the MPows started functioning again, as if they knew I missed them. To this day, and many headphones later, these are just the best headphones, in terms of comfort and sound, while working out. Additionally, they do an excellent job of tuning out people at work *cackles*.
When I run, or just plain work out, I need something to keep me going, whether it’s an app, podcast or some music. Headphones are one of the most essential things in my workout, because they really help me set the pace. I use my workouts as a way to catch up on my podcasts, or to just zone out to music. If the headphones are attached to my phone, it makes working out more uncomfortable. I’m not coordinated enough to try and balance myself while running on a treadmill, and simultaneously trying to detangle my phone from its headphones.
1. Motivating apps for working out – One of the best things about having a smart phone is the amount of innovative ways you can use it in your life. Workout apps are an absolute game-changer for me. Recently, I’ve been using an app called Apptiv for loads of different workouts, including for my half marathon training. What I love about it is that there is a personal trainer, guiding you through the workout. Additionally, they curate awesome, motivating music so that you don’t lose your momentum. It’s definitely changed my running game a lot. In the past, I would just run a steady (slow) and even pace. Now, I have a coach telling me when to speed up or slow down, in order to build endurance. If you’re not into running, this app has loads of workouts for yoga, HIIT, and even stretches. I even saw one workout that’s for when you’re sitting at the desk in the office!
In addition to Aaptiv, another of my workout essentials are my Fitbit App, and my Strava. I’m constantly checking my step stats on Fitbit. Also, I just love competing against my boyfriend and other friends to see who can get more steps. Strava is useful during my runs because it’s nice to be able to know how I can go. Also, it’s really fun to be able to share my stats with friends.
Overall, these five workout essentials have been SO helpful for keeping me accountable, motivated and inspired to keep working out. What are YOUR essentials? Do you have any tips and tricks for sticking with a workout? Do you have any fun tools that you use and want to share?