Fitness Essentials

I’ve gotten a bunch of questions recently about my recommendations about various different fitness gear and so I thought I’d take the opportunity to just bundle it all into one post for ya!  Because I’ve learned, if a few people are asking about something, then others are probably also wanting to know!

I think I am pretty minimalistic when it comes to fitness gear & at-home equipment.  Sure, I’ve thought about investing in an at-home TRX set, but when it comes down to it, I never bite the bullet because I know I can achieve similar results.  I’m not trying to discourage you from a TRX set.  They are seriously AWESOME.  But, my gym at work has some so I can use them there if I wanted them.  Ya know, just have to balance out what is important to you and what’s not.  So first I’ll touch on the pieces of equipment that did make the cut for at-home workout equipment.

Fitness Essentials: At-Home Equipment

  1. A mat.  This is something that in my opinion you really have to have, mostly because doing sit ups on hardwood floor is definitely not my idea of fun and neither is carpet burn.  It’s also a nice place to stretch post-workout so you’re not leaving the outline of your sweaty body on the floor.
  2. Dumbbells.  I think you should at least have one set of dumbbells, if not a few.  We actually have maybe 4 or 5 different dumbbells at our house.  I’d love to say we have an entire workout room, but we don’t.  I have my “workout closet” where I store the weights, mats, foam rollers, etc. but when I do the workout, I’m pretty much just in my living room.  It works just fine!  I really like these dumbbells and these dumbbells.
  3. A kettlebell.  To me kettlebells function differently than a dumbbell, and I really enjoy changing it up with kettlebell workouts.  I have a 12lb kettlebell and use it really frequently.  I’d love to get a 15lb or 20lb one soon.  With KBs, with most exercises you can do more weight with a KB than a dumbbell (depends on the exercise of course) so it’s a great way to challenge yourself and build strength.
  4. A foam roller.  These are so crucial to helping you recover from workouts and keep those muscles feeling good.

Something else that I have at home and absolutely LOVE is a Bosu trainer.  I didn’t want to necessarily classify it as one of my essentials, because it was actually given to me as a Christmas present a couple years ago!!  I love that I have it to use, there are so many ways Bosu trainers can help you improve different areas of your fitness like balance, stability, core strength, and more.

Fitness Essentials: Activewear & Gear

  1. Bluetooth headphones.  One thing I use pretty much in all of my workouts (unless I’m home alone and can blast the music) is a pair of wireless bluetooth headphones.  I’ve been using these for a while now and have tried a few different brands, and I have to say that these are my favorite.  Super durable (aka don’t drown in my sweat), amazing sound quality, great battery life…win/win/win.
  2. Reflective running jacket.  Especially in the winter when it gets dark at approximately 5pm, it’s a good idea to have a jacket that comes equipped with reflectors so you can be seen while you’re out there getting your sweat on. You could also invest in a reflective vest like this one that you can put on over basically anything you’re wearing, and even wear it in the summer months if you’re out early or late in the dark.  This one is another great vest but it is insulated, so better for the cooler months.  There are a few brands that I really like and that I’ve also heard great things about, so I’m sharing them all below.  Not sure you can go wrong with any of them:
    1. Nike Essential Flash Women’s Reflective Running Jacket
    2. Nike Zonal AeroShield Hooded Running Jacket
    3. Zella Interval Training Jacket (I run in one very similar to this, an older one, and this one also has reflectors!)
    4. C9 Champion Women’s Running Softshell Jacket – I haven’t worn this but I imagine as a “softshell” jacket it is not super warm, more of a windbreaker type, but one you could layer over other warmer jackets that you may have.
  3. Running Shoes/Cross Training Shoes.  I get this question all the time about what shoes I run in and what shoes I do my circuits in.  I run in the Brooks Adrenaline because I over-pronate (basically have very flat feet) and need a supportive shoe so I don’t get knee pain.  In terms of what shoes I do the circuits in…I have to admit I’m a bit of a recycler when it comes to that.  Basically whenever I buy new running shoes (every 6-8 months/500 miles or so) I graduate those shoes to become my new circuit shoes, and then I donate my old circuit shoes.  So I basically get over a year’s lifespan out of one pair of shoes that way and it works for me!  I do always recommend that if you’re looking for the right running shoe for you, that you go to a local running store that really specializes in running gear. They can measure you and get you on a treadmill to analyze your gait and figure out what shoe is best for your feet!
  4. High-waisted Leggings.  These are a must for me with really any workout.  If the leggings aren’t high waisted, y’all, they’re just not going to stay up.  Not on me anyways, lol. Check out some of my favorite ones below:
  5. Sports Bra.  I’d be missing a major essential to a female’s workout if I neglected to mention the sports bras!! They are important obvi!  We are all built differently so unfortunately I can’t really speak to the quality or support of sports bras for you ladies that have anything really more than a B since that’s what I have, ha 🙂 But, some of my favorite ones are below.  Also, just FYI I have been wearing this style Nike sports bra legitimately since I was 14 playing soccer and all that, and they’re quality.

So, that’s all I can think of right now! I hope that this helps you and if you have any specific questions about anything please just let me know in the comments!

xo,

Bess

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