Since the majority of New Years resolutions are given up on by the third week (which is ... next week) I thought this would be a perfect time to share some of the fitness gear I've been loving lately. Obviously none of this is essential to getting healthy, but I've found that getting excited over a new fit 'toy' or DVD can really help to keep me motivated!
First up, my new Garmin Forerunner 110! For the last year I've been using the Polar FT40 Heart Rate Monitor and was extremely happy with it. It's basic, easy to use, and as I stated in my original review it helps push me just a little bit further most workouts to hit higher heart rates or calorie counts. I trained for my first marathon using that and RunKeeper, but knew that a garmin may be more beneficial now that I'm going to try to get my pace time down.
I still use my Polar for indoor workouts but I use Garmin now on every run. Being able to look down and see what my pace is has been so much easier than trying to look at my phone on my arm mid-run! I've also noticed that the GPS on Garmin and RunKeeper is dramatically different (I'm sure Garmin is more accurate) so I've actually been running slower than I though. Lameness! I'm sure the Garmin will help me improve my pace and Dad and I (he got one for Christmas as well) are really digging all the detailed analytics you can get when you upload the data online.
For those of you who have followed me for a while you probably know that I advocate NOT using headphones when you run alone. EVER. Just don't. Safety is #1 when running, especially when you run alone, and I just don't think it's a good idea to not be able to hear your surroundings when your out. Now, if you run in a group or on a treadmill then go ahead and blast them tunes! I love working out to music when I'm in my house and these Koss FitClips are perfect. They are made specifically for women, are comfortable, provide great sound, and I love how secure they feel no matter how many burpees I'm doing in my living room.
They come with three different cushion sizes so they are a perfect fit for everyone, and if you don't like the ear clip style they also have the traditional FitBuds. You can purchase them off Amazon, or if you want to snag them right away they are available at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Walgreens, Kmart & Sears.
If you are a runner you already know the importance of a good shoe. I have been running in the Mizuno Wave Sayonara since last summer (on my 3rd pair!) and can't imagine running in anything else now. You can read my full review but in short they are ridiculously lightweight (and every ounce counts when your running 10+ miles!), extremely supportive, and have improved my running posture significantly.
With as much running as I do it's important to me to balance it out with strength training. I like to focus solely on core work 1-2x a week and I do that with Jillian Michaels 6 week 6 pack. I can guarantee I've used this DVD more than any other I own. I've been doing it weekly for over a year now and it's still an incredibly effective routine. I started doing it with 5 lb weights, have been doing it with 8 lbs, and I think it's time I bump it up to 10. It's not only a killer ab routine but it incorporates arms and legs as well so it's a mini total body workout.
Finally, my other favorite home strength workouts are anything by Tracey Mallet, founder of the Booty Barre series. I have a few of her DVD's but the one I do the most is Booty Barre Total New Body. This workout is no joke. Like, the opposite of joking is anger and I sometimes feel that toward her when my legs are shaking and I want to cry mid workout. She has a beginners Booty Barre workout that would be a safe choice if you're not working out regularly yet. Either way, be prepared to work muscles you never knew existed, but get a killer booty as a result!
What is your current favorite Fit Gear or DVD?