Favorite Exercise Products

Before having kids, my favorite ways to exercise were running outside, cycling, soccer and yoga. Since my time is more limited, I’ve been lucky to find gyms with childcare options. We (the kids and I) go to 24 Hour Fitness every morning and I’ve enjoyed lifting weights, strength training and spin classes. Here are some of my favorite exercise products:

favorite exercise products

Fitness tracker – We’ve still been using our Alta Fitbits and I still enjoy tracking my progress. I feel like we do make more of an effort to move around and walk more. I read and enjoyed this article which rated 87 types of fitness trackers! Definitely valuable information for when we upgrade our current trackers.

favorite exercise products

Shoes – I’ve worn Asics running shoes since high school. I’ve tried a few different brands and always come back to Asics. They are great for my neutral foot position, arch and running stride. For running I prefer a little more sole support. For the gym, I like Nikes  since the sole is pretty basic and good for various types of exercises.

Yoga mat – I’ve had this Gaiam yoga mat for years. It’s been very solid and was affordable, I’ll probably have it for years to come.

Pants – I love Zella, Ahtleta and Lululemon 7/8 pants (or petite version). They have great stretch while keeping their form. They aren’t the most affordable but very high quality and worth the cost. I recently tried glyder apparel pants which are very soft and stretchy but don’t have as much form as other pants. For running shorts, I love Lululemon’s 4 way stretch shorts.

Tops – I love Lululemon tanks because they are lightweight and very soft.

Socks – I prefer ASICS socks, they don’t slide down or move around while exercising.

Hydro Flask – staying hydrated is so important to your overall health and I’m still loving my Hydro Flask because it doesn’t leak or collect condensation.

Nike backpack – I take a ‘sport’ backpack (similar to this one) to the gym to hold my water, towel, keys, and diapers.

Foam roller – Still one of my favorite products that is also very affordable! Foam rollers are easy to use and basically a free massage. I love using mine especially on sore hamstrings.

favorite exercise products

Foot roller– I found this foot roller at Homegoods for around $5. It’s a great, cheap massage for the arch and ball or your foot.  You just roll it under the sole of your foot (while sitting in a chair) and apparently you can use these cold or hot although I’ve only tried at regular room temperature. I love using it when my feet feel sore, especially after a long day of walking.

favorite exercise products

Blender Bottle  – This blender bottle is perfect for making protein drinks. I’ve still been using the strawberry protein powder I posted about here. This bottle does a great job breaking up and mixing the powder without any clumps. While I still don’t crave protein drinks because of their flavor, I’ve found that 1) it serves it’s purpose of filling you up with protein and 2) it tastes much better colder and when the foam has settled (from shaking it).

Peppermint oil – This combined with the foam roller are my favorite things for sore muscles to refresh them. I used to buy peppermint oil in a roller bottle at a drug store but recently found them for a better deal on Amazon.     favorite exercise products

How to get motivated: new year, a new fit you

Every year I have a yearly fitness related resolution. We’ve done half marathons, bike races (including a century!), duathlons, etc. Last summer I injured my achilles tendon and was so bummed to not be able to accomplish my goals. I worked through 6 months of recovery and focused on strengthening my muscles and flexibility. This year I feel even stronger and extra motivated! Fitness and wellness is something I’m passionate about and wanted to share some tips to start the new year.

I’m excited to have two amazing guests contributors today sharing their motivation tips. Jess and Kiana are both fitness experts I admire and they are also moms!

fitness motivational tips

1.  Consistency – be consistent in eating in moderation and exercising to see results! We all fall off the boat sometimes but the most important part is to pick up and start again. Focus on how you feel rather than numbers on a scale. Hang in there and work to develop healthy habits. I promise you your hard work and dedication will pay off!

2.  It’s ok to have treats and rest days every once in a while. I love exercising but I also love good food. One treat won’t kill you and your body needs those rest days. Your body and muscles need to recover and over-training can lead to plateaus and exhaustion. Challenge yourself but don’t push yourself to the point where you can’t enjoy food or where you’re constantly out of energy.

3.  Find a form of exercise that you love! There are countless forms of exercise – yoga, running, cycling (outdoor or spin classes), zumba, boxing, weightlifting, walking, swimming, team sports, partner sports (like tennis and racquetball) – try new things until you find what is a good fit for you. When you do something you enjoy, you’re more likely to be consistent at it. That being said, mixing up your workouts can usually push you out of a rut or a plateau. I’ve done road cycling for years and a year and a half ago decided to try a spin class – turns out I love it! It’s a great work out and there’s more benefits to indoor cycling than I thought.

fitness motivational tips

Hi everybody! I am Jess! I have always had a passion for fitness. It has been important to me my entire life and I know it’s because of the way my parents raised me. We always enjoyed family bike rides, walks, playing sports and I was a competitive dancer. Just because it has always been important to me doesn’t mean that it has always been easy. I have had times in my life when I have been injured, coming back from a pregnancy or just lacking the desire! Let me share with you my 3 tips to keep a healthy lifestyle as a priority!
1: How do you want to feel at the end of your day? Accomplished? Frustrated? Healthy? Tired? Happy?
We all make decisions throughout our day that are in our control. We choose what we eat, what we wear and outside of job commitments we choose what to do with our time. Absolutely every person has 30 minutes of time in their day to get something done for themselves. If you want to feel accomplished, energized and happy then make the choice to be active even for 30 minutes! This is a choice! It’s a positive decision to better yourself. I am not saying 3 hours. I am saying only 30 minutes! Whether it’s when kids are napping, on a lunch break or even if it means setting your alarm 45 minutes earlier in order to squeeze in your fitness it’s all worth it!
2: Are you being fit for you? Or are you being fit to make someone else or people around you happy?
This world we live in can be hard. We feel pressures to look a certain way, wear certain clothing or to fit into a mold. Are you exercising to be proud of yourself and to achieve goals? Or are you exercising so that your friends will think you’re more beautiful? THIS is the time to prioritize. The second you begin to respect yourself and what you are personally capable of you will be unstoppable. When you set personal goals instead of goals to look like your friend you will blow yourself away. We are all different. We all look different. We are all good at different things and this is beautiful! Enjoy fitness because it makes YOU feel good. It makes YOU happy and it makes YOU feel accomplished. Do this for you and not because you want to look like someone else. YOU are worth it.
3:  It’s ok to be selfish. Think I am crazy? Sure. Think it! But read this first. How can you give 100% of yourself to others if you have nothing inside to give. Here is my personal example. I am a mother of 3. Finding the time to exercise is not always easy. It’s something I have to schedule and prioritize. But, the days I exercise verses the days I don’t are night and day. The days I exercise I enjoy my children more. I see more positive than negative. I am more active with my kids! I am so much happier! So, what I am getting at is that being what some may call “selfish” and taking 30 minutes to 1 hour for myself means that I actually in return have 110% of myself to give. See how that works? My kids see that I make fitness a priority. They enjoy exercise and they know that mommy likes to be strong! I am not only taking a little bit of time for myself but I am also being a positive example for my kids.
I hope these personal tips help even a little bit for your new goals this upcoming year. You can make the choice to be physically fit! Find a friend. Find a group! Find a new program and take the time for yourself! Follow me on Instagram @jesstoolson for daily workouts if you are lacking the ideas for your workouts. I hope that each of you can be strong both mentally and physically! Let’s cheer each other on! Xo, Jess
fitness motivational tips

Hi everyone! My name is Kiana from Glitter&Donuts blog. I am a mom to the sweetest one year old boy, I work full time as a second grade teacher, I have been married to my husband for almost 5 years, and we live in UTAH! I am so excited to be a guest on Jen’s blog today!

Jen asked me to share some motivational tips for exercising today. I have a love for health and fitness and I am really excited about this topic!

Number 1: I would say that the most important thing is to schedule your workout into your day. Find a time that you can fit in a workout every day and don’t skip out on it. That time for me is in the evening after I put my son down to bed. I work full time and waking up even earlier in the morning just isn’t going to work for me. I have been doing this routine for almost a year now and it works out great! I don’t even have to think about it anymore, it just happens.

Number 2: Find an exercise or a workout program that you enjoy and don’t be afraid to change it up when you’re getting bored. If you are doing a 90 day challenge and you get tired of it half way through don’t be afraid to change things up. Don’t stick it out to the end if you are just going to dread every workout. Find something new to do! I have done quite a few different activities; cardio & weightlifting, running, I did 12 weeks of Kayla Itsiness’ Bikini Body Guide, and I am currently doing Bikini Body Mommy. Find something you like and don’t be afraid to change things up when you’re bored.

Number 3: My last piece of advice is to focus on how you feel rather than how you look. I know a lot of people workout because they want to lose weight, and if you’re doing things right then you will! For me it’s about how I feel. When I workout I just feel so much better about myself. I am more motivated in every aspect of my life. I want to eat healthier, drink less soda, have a cleaner home, and just be more productive all around! Find out what is truly motivating you. Also, follow some fitness accounts on Instagram. Those are super motivating and they give you good tips also!

What do you do for exercise? I want to know! I am almost done with my 90 day program and I am looking for something new. Stop by my Instagram @kiana.probst, follow along and introduce yourself! I’d love to meet you all!

Thanks again. And thank you Jen for having me!

Happy Wednesday!