In honour of National Fitness Month I am sharing some of my favourite fitness products. I know how overwhelming it can be to sift through all of the reviews and countless options when searching for new gear. I spent A LOT of time reading reviews and looking for the best brands, etc that I could find.
I just want to note that I do also have a few free weights that I use on occasion. I didn't list them because they are ancient and I have no clue where I obtained them. They are 15lb dumbbells that I use for an arm day when I'm not working on handstands.
Below you will find each a photo and link to each product, why I chose that specific one and how I use it.
1lb Bala Weights - $65
These are my most recent purchase for fitness equipment and I LOVE them. I was a little skeptical that they are only 1lb.. but after wearing them around the house for an hour I was amazed that my legs were actually a little sore. I've used these while doing yoga and also during a core session and I was actually pretty grateful they were only a pound. Trying to do 100 bicycle crunches with these babies on your ankles is not easy. They have added the perfect boost to my body weight workouts and were absolutely worth the price tag.
This tumble mat is my second most recent purchase. Granted this is not a product for everyone, BUT if you have kids in the middle of this pandemic... I HIGHLY recommend this. I bought this inflatable pad so I could safely practice my handstands away from the wall without fear of falling. My handstands progressed immediately. Added bonus, my kids love this thing. It inflates and deflates easily but I prefer to keep it blown up so the kids can get some energy out on rainy days. I store it against the wall when we aren't using it and so far it's been a great addition. I plan on trying it outside once the weather gets nice as well.
I splurged and bought an Apple Watch a few years ago. When I'm on my fitness game its a great addition to my workouts. I will admit I used it a lot more when going to the gym but as I ramp up my home workouts I am trying to get back in the habit of tracking my progress, especially my heart rate. I've also loved having the model with its own data so I don't need to keep my phone on me at all times. This is VERY handy if you have kids. I'm constantly moving around the house or outside, in and out of the lake and pool. I love having the ability to take a call on my wrist if I can't get to my phone.
Yoga blocks are an essential part of my practice and I use them almost daily. I have a few foam blocks but these cork blocks are my absolute favourite. They are strong and sturdy and do not get slippery with sweat. If yoga is in your fitness routine at all then I definitely recommend at least one of these. I also use them for my body weight workouts to add a little extra weight and stability.
This strap is another yoga essential for me. I use it very regularly in my practice to help me deepen my flexibility without compromising my alignment or risking injury. It can also double as a mat strap if you don't have a bag for your mat.
Percussion Massagers have been all the rage lately and let me tell you, they do not disappoint. This was a pricey investment but in my opinion absolutely worth it. A few month ago I was rear ended in my mini van. There was no damage to the car so I naively didn't collect information. Within an hour I had neck pain and headaches. I called insurance and was fortunate that they provided me with money to put toward health services. I decided to use part of the funds on this purchase because let's face it, having a daily massage is not realistic. I use this massager almost every single day. In my field of work it's been such a big help to relieve tight muscles and to help me with recovery.
This spin bike saved me from gaining the Covid 15. I purchased this when we went into lockdown around Christmas because I needed to find a way to get my cardio in. When gyms were open I would use the spin bikes there during every visit and in the summer I ride my mountain bike on the back roads and trails around my house, but for those winter, spring and fall months I need something to keep my heart rate up and make me sweat. The one thing I would say is necessary if you buy a spin bike is the Peloton app. There are Peloton spin bikes as well but they run upwards of $2000. The app has other programs than spin as well but I LOVE being able to take a class through my iPad. I work 10x harder than if I just hop on the bike with my own music.
Let me tell you, if Covid is stressing you out as much as it is me then swinging at a heavyweight bag feels SO cathartic. I bought these to use at the gym but when they all closed my friends lent me their bag to hang in my basement. On days when I feel particularly anxious or just need to get out some pent up energy this is a great option. You'd also be amazed how quick your heart rate jumps when you go a few rounds.
This is by far the most expensive yoga mat I've ever come across. If it hadn't been a gift I likely wouldn't have brought myself to spend that kind of money. However, now that I have one I would absolutely buy another one. I have several different yoga mats (Gaiam, Lululemon, Manduka, Lole) and none compare to this brand. I have this blue mat as well as the arm balance mat and I love both. The grip is the best out there, it has super handy alignment markers all over the mat, and they are eco-friendly. As a bonus they often put some of their proceeds toward a good cause.
If you have other products or brands that you love or that you'd like to know about please comment below!
All the love,