Do you ever feel like you’re perpetually stuck at the beginning of your fitness journey with no idea where to start? Or you’re ready to make a change, but joining a gym is just not in the budget? Have you ever just wanted someone to spell it all out for you, so you could just make some decisions for yourself? Then check out my recommended Top 9 Fitness Products for equipment you can use at home and on-a-budget!
If you’re nodding your head yes to any of those questions, you’re not alone!
Choosing a fitness program or trying to figure out the difference between dumb bells and barbells can be intimidating enough (hint: Dumbbells can fit into one hand and usually have a short handle or grip. Barbells have weights on either end of a long straight pole and require two hands to lift them), but you don’t need to let overwhelm get the best of you!
I was once where you are! I knew I wanted to change. In fact, I was desperate to change, but I had no idea where to begin!
While it can be hard to figure out where to begin, I wanted to share with you my personal list of products that I consider “game changers”. Why do I consider them “game changers”? I happen to believe that success favors the prepared. When we are prepared we are thinking about what we want to achieve and how we want to achieve it. We’re all familiar with the concept of “dressing for success” and preparing for success in our fitness journey is no exception. I’m not talking about having a cute workout outfit with matching shoes here, although if that motivates you, GO FOR IT! I’m talking about gathering the tools necessary to maintain your health and fitness, even if you never set foot inside of a gym!
You don’t have to break the bank or purchase an expensive equipment or hire a personal trainer in order to be successful. In fact, getting in shape has never been so affordable!
Equipped with the right tools you can turn your living room into your work out room or let your suitcase double as your gym bag! Read on for my recommendations or download my FREE Product Recommendations List here!
TOP 9 FITNESS PRODUCTS
*Click on the images below if you are interested in purchasing or just want to learn more*
High Density Foam Roller: What’s so special about foam rollers? I say, “What’s not?!” I used to think foam rollers were this “gimmicky” thing that people in the gym rolled around on to make it look like they were doing something (true story). The truth is that foam rollers are an excellent way to employ “do-it-yourself” Myofascial release. Myofascial release or massage is a fancy term for increasing blood flow to specific muscles to help aid in their recovery and improve their function. I’ve been using Myofascial massage and Tempering (more recently), throughout the past five years of training and I’ve noticed a significant improvement in mobility, flexibility, and muscle growth and recovery.
Yoga Mat: My two favorite things about this particular yoga mat, besides comfort, are the handy-dandy velcro closures and handle. I’m pretty practical when it comes to purchasing fitness “stuff”, mainly because I can’t stand for things to sit in a corner and collect dust! I also don’t like to spend money unnecessarily (like I did when I chintzed on my very first stability ball because I thought I was being “practical”). I’ve maybe done 10 yoga classes in my entire life (when I was younger, I couldn’t lay still and now? Well, my mind is still going a million miles a minute, but the truth is, yoga is HARD)! LOL. So why invest in a yoga mat if you don’t do yoga? First of all laying on a bath towel on the carpet makes you feel hot and icky (well, it makes ME feel hot and icky) and secondly, have you ever tried to really perform a plank, or bird dogs, or Supermans on a towel? Not comfy! Plus, if you get sweaty, they’re super easy to wipe down with spray cleaner and a rag! Better yet, it rolls right up and tucks in the corner (where there is absolutely NO dust)! 😉
Electronic Food Scale: If you’ve purchased one of my online courses like Bye-Bye Baby Belly™ or Six Weeks To A Better YOU® you know that I preach, preach, preach, about not being a “slave” to the scale! Let’s be realistic though, until you learn what a portion size is or how to “eyeball” healthy amounts of foods, let’s face it, measuring can help you develop good habits. I’ve been at the clean eating gig for awhile now, so I don’t prep my food every Sunday in colorful little containers and I don’t travel with containers in my purse. I prepare food fresh, every day, and I enjoy my meals as they were meant to be enjoyed–with abandon! I didn’t learn overnight how to do that though, which is why I recommend purchasing one. You wouldn’t believe how inexpensive they are, either, and once you get the hang of things, you can let the kids borrow it for science projects or to see how much an overstretched water balloon really weighs!
Resistance Bands: I first started using resistance bands about three years ago and like most people, I initially laughed them off. I couldn’t imagine that anything so small could actually be used to grow my muscles. Even now as I sit here typing this, I can hear some of you saying, “I just don’t believe it!” The beauty of resistance bands is that there is no end to the number of creative ways that you can use them. I particularly love them for filling out my glutes and hips and giving them a nice rounded appearance. Using barbells to perform squats and dead-lifts, and pulling weighted sleds have all increased my muscle mass, but resistance bands provide an extra layer of work for my muscles that I just can’t get any other way.
Resistance Tubes: Resistance tubes, like resistance bands, are probably one of the most highly underrated fitness products on the market today. Heavy lifters and casual gym-goers alike dismiss them as “toys” or “playthings” for the uncommitted. The truth is, scientific studies support the benefits of muscle growth using resistance and time under tension. Performing exercises with bands, particularly when those movements are controlled, can be an excellent way to get back into the swing of working out, or take your workouts to the next level. Just like their counterpart the Resistance Bands, I have nothing but positive things to say about resistance tubes. Besides the fact that they take up very little room and easily fit in your bag or suitcase, resistance bands are just as effective as free weights in building and sculpting your muscles! If you can’t afford hand weights or a gym membership, or if you just don’t feel comfortable using them, investing in resistance tubes and bands should be top on your list! I personally own both sets shown here and I take them with me when I travel. I also use them at home when I have a sick kid or just can’t make it to the gym. Since adding resistance tubes/bands to my routine, I’ve noticed more separation or differentiation in my muscles that weight lifting alone hasn’t given me.
65cm Anti-burst Stability Ball: As many of you already know, I have five (5) kids. When you have kids (and it doesn’t matter if it’s 1 or 19) there is not only a natural curiosity about things, there’s the idea of “what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine.” The first ball I bought was the el-cheapo version (you know what they say, “You get what you pay for”), but I was naive–I couldn’t possibly have imagined that my kids would have the slightest bit interest in something I use for exercise! You can imagine my surprise when I came home one afternoon to find my kids out in the driveway playing dodge ball and kickball with stability ball. Honestly, it’s a miracle it lasted as long as it did the way they were punting it around the yard. I barely had a chance to get out of the car before it was lofted across the lawn and landed squarely in the roses. Yup! Bye-bye stability ball! That’s not to say that if you buy this brand it’ll survive your rose bushes, but I bought the same ball the second time around (I’m a slow learner) and while it didn’t experience the same fate as ball #1, it eventually kept deflating with just regular use. I have the blue version of this ball in my bedroom closet. Great for ab work, hamstring work and providing instability for shoulder presses, rear flies, or chest presses. I finally got wise and bought the anti-burst version and it’s been performing well for the past four years! I’d say that’s a pretty awesome return on my investment!
Beginner Level Hand Weights: These are pretty self-explanatory, but they’re reasonably priced, have a comfortable grip and I like that they come with a stand, although their hexagonal shape keeps them from rolling around on the floor. You honestly can’t beat the price and once you outgrow your need for them, they make an excellent doorstop (plus your company will think you’re a fitness badass when they see them laying around the house). Hahaha.
Nutri bullet: This is where things begin to jump up in price at around $80 for a 12-piece set. I jokingly refer to my Nutri-bullet as my gateway to all things smoothielicious! Before I invested in mine four years ago, I was relegated to using shaker cups to break up the chunks of protein powder in my protein drinks. Blech! Since then I’ve ventured into green drink territory and love adding spinach to my smoothies. I had the honor of meeting Tony Horton a few years back at a Fitness Blogger’s conference (the dude is one super smart guy) and he shared with us a study involving Nutri-bullet and the increased bio-availability of iron that results when the blades cut up spinach leaves. Having suffered TIAs in the past, due to low B12 levels and iron-deficiency anemia, and knowing that I could get the iron that I needed, naturally, was what ultimately persuaded me to make my purchase. I’ve been using my bullet ever since and I’m relieved to say that my hemoglobin levels have been “picture perfect” (according to my doctor) for the past three years since! I have had the motor burn out on me once since I purchased it (I guess that’s bound to happen when you’re using it 2-3 times per day, every day), but the company is the bomb dot com of customer service, and they sent me a replacement, no questions asked!
Vitamix: Last but not least…the Cadillac of blenders! While Nutri-bullets actually “tear” your food into smaller pieces, it’s accurate to say that the Vitamix pulverizes it! Practically any whole food that goes into the Vitamix, comes out liquefied! When I make homemade pesto in my Nutribullet, it comes out with a coarser texture, but when I use my Vitamix (Merry Christmas to me last year), it comes out smooth as silk. Of course, that’s not the only thing I use my Vitamix for. It’s great for smoothies, sauces, and 4-ingredient Nice-creams and while it’s not a “must have”, it sure performs amazingly well for those times when I want to drink my veggies instead of eating them. The Vitamix, unlike traditional “juicers”, retains all of the pulp and vegetable fiber but chops things up finely enough that you don’t feel like you’re choking down lumps. A huge plus for texture sensitive people like me. It’s a great all-purpose kitchen utensil and definitely a big investment, but they do sell them “Certified Refurbished”, like the one pictured here, which brings the price down a couple of hundred dollars!
Investing in your health and wellness is some of the best money you will ever spend! I didn’t use to think it mattered. I honestly believed that health issues were something older people experienced, not Moms in their 40’s still raising their children. It was a hard and scary lesson to learn. My take away from that is that if I don’t take care of myself, who will take care of my family? Remember, you can either spend money on your health now or on medications and doctor’s appointments down the road. I’ve tried the latter and quite frankly, I hated it! I hope you enjoyed reading my post and if you enjoyed it, please be sure to share it with others!
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