By Annika Tomlin
Returning to a fitness routine after the holidays is no small task. After being in a self-induced sugar coma for a few weeks, the last thing most people want to do is complete an hour-long workout. Here are 11 workout essentials to make getting back into a fitness routine easier for everyone.
#11 ANTI-CHAFE BALM
Between quarantine and holiday weight gain, you might notice body parts starting to rub up against each other when doing physical activity. That is where an anti-chafe balm comes in handy. Think of it like deodorant for your legs or other body parts rubbing against each other. No one likes getting a rash from your own body rubbing up against it. An anti-chafe balm can help soothe the area as well.
#10 BOOST OXYGEN
Boost Oxygen is 95% pure Aviator’s Breathing Oxygen in a portable, easy-to-use handheld canister. After running a few miles or trying out a CrossFit class, most people are out of breath. Boost Oxygen helps ward off the shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness and nausea. It also helps improve sleep and mood while increasing mental alertness and stamina. Safe for all ages, Boost Oxygen supports altitude acclimation for those steep hikes and dealing with poor air quality on those muggy days. Available at boostoxygen.com starting at $7.99.
#9 AKK SHOES
These breathable, lightweight shoes come in a variety of styles — from fashionable sneakers to those with memory foam. Available on Amazon in women’s sizes 6 to 11 and men’s sizes 7 to 13 priced at $19 to $33.
#8 YOGA MAT
Whether you are doing yoga or just need a more comfortable surface to do floor exercises, a yoga mat comes in handy. Available in a variety of colors and thicknesses, a yoga mat is a great workout device no matter the type of workout. From stretching to Russian twists, a yoga mat helps alleviate some of the challenges of doing exercises on hard, flat surfaces.
#7 RESISTANCE BANDS
While gyms are still having restrictions of use during the COVID-19 pandemic, resistance bands offer a low-impact alternative to weight training that is also more versatile for at-home workouts. Resistance bands also help build endurance for those who want to focus on something outside of solely free weights. They are available in a variety of forms, including therapy resistance bands, loop bands that help with strengthening the legs and butt, as well as power and mobility bands that are used for stretching and correcting mobility issues.
#6 FOAM ROLLER
Foam rollers help release tension and pain in muscles and improve flexibility and range of motion. This product is available in a variety of formats ranging from a flat smooth surface to ones with a plethora of ridges to help relax tense muscles and offer a massage-like feel when used. Foam rolling also helps increase blood flow and decrease soft-tissue density.
#5 BEAR BLOCKS
Bear Blocks provide a wrist-saving solution to common workouts. From pushups and mountain climbers to burpees, planks and even downward dogs, the wrist bones are compressed and strain the ligaments because of the acute angle the positions require. When using Bear Blocks, you can help the hand angle downward by 20 degrees, which places the wrist in a more comfortable position. Available at bearblocks.com priced at $49.99.
Sliders offer a way for people to work on improving their balance, stability and core strength at any location. This versatile product offers the ability to intensify a workout while being able to use it at home, at the gym or on any flat surface. Sliders not only intensify the use of your muscles that aren’t normally being used, but they also tap into your small stabilizing muscles and increase the number of muscle groups you’re working out.
#3 MAMASK SPORTS
Masks are required in most fitness facilities. The Mamask Sport has an outer fabric made of neoprene, a durable and elastic fabric that is appropriate for all weather conditions. The inner lining is made of a unique textile solution combining copper ion fiber with polyester for antimicrobial, deodorizing and cooling benefits while working out. This breathable mask is ideal for an active lifestyle. Available at mamask-usa.com starting at $21.99.
#2 FITNESS TRACKER
Well-known fitness tracker devices include Fitbits and Apple watches as well as many more with a range of abilities for any price point. The majority of fitness trackers help to record the number of steps that a person takes as well as the timeframe when they are actively engaging in a form of aerobic exercise. More advanced features include heart-rate monitors, measuring skin temperature, and Apple watches allow for the use of most cellphone features such as texting and calling. Fitness trackers are easy to use and can help keep people on track with their fitness goals while also offering a sense of competition when your tracker is connected to a friend or family member’s tracker.
#1 ELECTROLYTE HYDRATION POWDER STICKS
Hydralyte electrolyte hydration powder sticks can improve post-performance recovery from yoga, barre, cycling, hiking, boxing and gym workouts. This product is formulated with the right ratio of glucose and electrolytes for fast, on-the-go and effective rehydration. Hydralyte has 75% less sugar and four times the electrolytes of a sports drink. Available at hydralyte.com, this product ranges from $5.99 to $34.99. CT