2016 is right around the corner. The beginning of the year is always the time to get re-motivated into fitness or push your fitness level to the limit. Whether you’re picking up a gadget for someone else or yourself, our list of 8 is diverse. Fitness aficionados and beginner exercisers can use these items easily at home or at the gym. From small and simple to more complex, it’s on our list.
1. TRX – The TRX suspension trainer is a fabulous way to take bodyweight training to the next level. You don’t need a home gym to enjoy a total home fitness program. This system provides everything you need to build strength, increase your flexibility, spot-train, and fit in a comprehensive, healthy workout anytime you want, anywhere you want. The TRX beginner suspension system starts around $185.
2. Medicine Ball – Medicine balls are a fantastic way to get in a dynamic strength workout anywhere. You can tote them to a park, use in your house or at the gym. They come in varied weights and sizes. We like the soft medicine balls because you can avoid bouncing (and the possibility of pouncing into a face or something expensive such as a piece of furniture, etc) and have more control over where the ball might go. Medicine balls usually run anywhere from $10 – $30 depending on the weight and brand.
3. Foam Roller – If you workout, chances are you are tight from time to time. Self myofascial release can help significantly with the aches and pains from tight muscles. Foam rolling is a great way to increase blood flow and flexibility and therefor limiting soreness and tightness. Foam rollers vary in size and density. We suggest starting with a 3 ft foam roller with good density to begin. They range from $20 – $50 depending on the size and quality.
4. FitBit – Ready to track your heart rate, distance, floors climbed, activity, sleep and more? The FitBit gives you a wealth of knowledge about your daily movement. Track your steps, how much deep sleep you’re getting and calories burned during workouts and throughout the day. This is the perfect gift for those gadget geeks and those needing a way to keep track of all of their fitness information. FitBits can easily be obtained at your local sports store or online. They range from $99 and up depending on the model and how much information it tracks for you.
5. Jute Yoga Mat – Whether you’re an eco friendly fitness freak or just a yogi that loves eco mats, this is a great mat to add into your floor moves. Jute is a natural fiber plant grown primarily in India, Bangladesh and China. This mat also features a non-slip backing of PER material that contains no formaldehyde or heavy metals and is static free and resistant to mildew. We love the Jute Yoga mat from Hugger Mugger which runs approximately $40.
6. Polar Heart Rate Monitor – Heart rate training can take your training to a whole new level. Insuring that you are in the correct training zone will help you train smarter – not harder. Track and monitor calories, fat burn percentage along with tracking your heart rate. From simple and straight forward to complex, there are many different Polar Heart Rate models. If you’re a beginner, we suggest starting with one of their base models which would cost around $100 depending on the exact model.
7. Resistance Band Kit – Strength training has never been easier. Resistance bands are the perfect way to get in your resistance training without using heavy weights. In addition, you can store them easily and travel with them as they don’t weigh much. A workout on the go has never been easier! Resistance bands come in different strengths allowing you to get as much or as little resistance as you’d like. This kit comes with varying resistance bands which makes it easy to switch back and forth. Pick on up for around $50. Price varies depending on kit brand and items included.
8. Stretch Strap – Get stretched and loosen up tight muscles and joints. This stretch strap allows you to stretch all muscle groups and with convenient loops, you can stretch parts of the body that are tight without getting into awkward positions. Allows you to benefit from PNF stretching without a partner. Stretch straps can be picked up at a local sporting goods store or ordered online. They are pretty inexpensive beginning around $20.
Margot Rutigliano is a freelance writer as well as the owner of Vita Vie Retreat. She has been a fitness trainer, wellness coach and healthy living adviser since 1999. Vita Vie Retreat is a boot camp vacation offering healthy lifestyle transformation programs for men and women of all ages and fitness levels.