Thursday, July 9, 2015

Favorite Workout Tools

Trail running while listening intently to a podcast
I know yummy allergen-free fueling recipes are great (who doesn't get excited about trying a new recipe post-run? What?  Not everyone?).  But sometimes I do excited about other things too, and on the days I'm not just slipping on shoes and going for a run or walk with the pups, I do have some fitness tools I like to utilize to switch it up.  SO here are the things I can't live without on my fitness journey.

1.  Fitness DVDs.  I used to abhor fitness DVDs, probably due to a cheerleading conditioning elective class in high school in which a teammate's mom "coached" us by making us do the original Billy Blanks Tae Bo videos over and over.  Now though, I see the appeal of rolling out of bed and into the living room to do an early morning yoga or Pilates workout without worrying about my appearance or having to take more than a few steps to get on my mat.
Plus, when it's dark out or terrible weather, or when I'm traveling, it's an easy way to switch up my workout.  My current favorite is PiYo for low impact, but I also have DVDs ranging from Burlesque to gentle yoga to Insanity.

2.  My Yoga Mat(s).  Ok, I have about 5.  But my favorite has always been my lululemon The Mat.  Thanks to being a former lululemon employee as well as an on and off yoga instructor for 5 years, I have had the opportunity to try out many mats, and this is the one for me.  But really any yoga mat can be used for a variety of exercises and stretching routines.  If I had to keep just one thing besides my running shoes, it'd definitely be a yoga mat.

Yogi gets a little jealous when I roll out the mat instead of clipping his leash on

3.  My iPod.  And no, not for music.  I actually embarrassingly have usually 0 to 5 songs on my iPod, and it's the original nano I've had for years.  I got into listening to NPR and audiobooks a couple years ago and that's definitely my secret to hanging in their for the long run days.  I also love podcasts, and if it weren't for my iPod or phone, I'd probably take the dogs on much shorter walks.  Turns out though when you're listening to an interesting story or learning something new, you can walk or run miles and miles without realizing it.  Check out my post on my favorite podcasts HERE.

4.  My Bosu Ball.  Although there are many challenging bosu workouts out there, I usually use mine to sneak in a little exercise or flexibility training.  Sometimes I stand on it when I'm at the computer or blogging or doing any task where I can balance on the ball and work on heel raises and squats.  Occasionally I look up a YouTube workout or make up my own routine until I work up a sweat, but for the most part it's a stealthy relaxing way to strengthen and tone.

Check out the Bosu Ball complete with pump and bosu here:
BOSU Balance Trainer, Blue

5.  My aqua belt.  Yes, I love aqua jogging, preferably along in a pool with my iPod in a little baggie clipped to the top of my bun while I hustle up and down the pool.  I love it, and I love having my own  belt so it doesn't seem so public-pool germy.  I can vouch for this one working fantastic and lasting for years so far:


5.  Light weights, flexibility band, medicine ball, Garmin watch, gliding discs: there's a lot more things I like to use on occasion, but those four are my definite favorites.  I'd love to know what you like to do or what equipment you use on your non-running days!

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