Whether you’ve been fitness focused most of your life, have finally reached your weight loss goal or are in the midst of a renewed commitment to healthy living, staying fit is a commitment that takes work. The better equipped your fitness toolbox, the more primed you are for success. Here are five stay-fit must haves.
TRX Suspension Training
You may have seen this yellow and black contraption of straps at the gym, but did you know that there’s also an at home version of TRX that you can set up in minutes (and fold away) — for just $199? Appropriate for all ages and fitness levels, this training system “simultaneously develops strength, power, endurance, mobility, durability, balance, flexibility and core stability.” Fitness pro Kevin Asuncion of Movemofitness swears by it. “I use this almost every day. If there was only one piece of equipment I could keep, it would be this one.”
Exercise research continually shows that those who track their fitness progress and set short-term goals are more likely to succeed. Experiment with what motivates you, including a pedometer that counts steps, a heart rate monitor and apps like the Nike + GPS that maps your daily activity. Nicole Palacios, personal trainer and fitness expert in North Vancouver, British Columbia, recommends the Android app, Lose It!, which keeps track of your food consumption and exercise to help you stay accountable.
To stay fit, you need to fuel your body with healthy nutrients — especially in the morning. But that can be easier said than done when you’re managing a busy schedule and eating too many meals on the go. To combat the convenience issue, Palacios says there’s no easier (or tastier) way than by making fruit and veggie smoothies in a blender at home. In addition to buying fresh produce, she suggests stocking your freezer with bananas out of the peel, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, so you don’t turn to processed foods when you haven’t had time for a grocery shopping trip.
A workout refuge
Staying fit requires work and time and you’ll be more likely to succeed when you stack the odds in your favor with a system that fits with your schedule and feeds your passion. If you love the outdoors, invest in at-home workout equipment like a medicine ball, light dumbbells and a mat and get some fresh air with a boot camp or circuit style workout in your backyard. If you’re trying to squeeze in workouts between child rearing, seek out a gym with a childcare facility. Likewise, if you find a format or instructor that makes you look forward to a workout, invest in your health — even if costs you more than other options. Workouts that fit your life feel a lot less like work and become something you look forward to doing.
A water bottle
Celebrity trainer Reggie Chambers says that staying hydrated is a must to staying fit. “The more water you digest, the more your body gets rid of body water weight.” Plus, it will help you to feel fuller longer and keep you from turning to snacks when what your body really craves is hydration. Drink before you’re thirsty and get in the habit of keeping a filled water bottle with you at all times.