The bloggers here at M+M love to collaborate! From time to time we want to bring you a list of our favorite things – whether it is actual products we’ve deemed tried and true or ideas we want to share. So, to kickstart, here are some Fitness Faves!
Amy – favorite yoga product
What: Manduka Black Mat Pro Yoga Mat
Why: This is the cadillac of yoga mats. It is expensive but comes with a lifetime guarantee – worth it even if you are not sure where your yoga path is leading you. This mat is thick, hard and practically slip-free. Though some people might think a soft, squishy mat is the way to go, in a yoga mat you want a strong, stable foundation. Otherwise, those poor wrists and ankles get over stretched when bearing weight.
Tips: Buy your mat in a package on Amazon to save a little moolah and get a bag for free. The bag is heavy duty and comes in a lot of colors. You can also find the mat and bag in surprising places like Soap.com and enjoy fantastic customer service with your purchase. Care tip: After your practice, fold your mat in half first and then roll it up. This way the inside of your mat only touches the inside – rather than gathering up all the crud from the bottom of your mat and studio floor to give you an unwelcome greeting the next time you unroll.
Jennie – favorite gadget to add intensity to your fitness program and foot product for injury prevention
What: BOSU Ball
Why: Because adding intensity to your program increases the amount of calories that you burn and this product makes that easy! It is a little bit of an investment, but well worth it if you’re looking to burn more calories and add variety to your current fitness program. The BOSU Ball comes with an instructional DVD. It is an easy to learn fitness program but it will definitely challenge you. The BOSU Ball will improve your balance, coordination, and strength, and will help you get over that “plateau” that occurs in many fitness programs.
Where: BOSU Home Balance Trainer
Tips: This product will challenge you! Make sure that you continue to practice proper exercise form when using it so that you get the most bang for your buck and minimize injury. If you can’t maintain form, do some repetitions on the BOSU Ball and some off. Slowly work up to doing the entire routine on the BOSU.
Jennie’s next fave…
What: Superfeet Insoles
Why: They are an inexpensive alternative to orthotics that are podiatrist-approved. These insoles are a great solution for those who have flat feet, high arches and everything in between. If your feet hurt during your exercise routine or just from simply walking around, try these insoles! I can’t live without them in my running shoes. I have high arches and use the green ones to help prevent plantar fasciitis (a common arch injury). Did I mention I can’t live without it? Literally, I may actually die from the pain in my arches. 🙂
Where: Superfeet: Premium Insoles
Tips: If you are unsure whether you have a low, medium or high arches go to your nearest Running or Sporting Goods Store and try on the different Superfeet colors until you find the ones that fits your heel and arch perfectly. Use the insole already in your shoes to trace, then cut the top portion of your Superfeet to fit perfectly in your shoes.
Jenelle – favorite running shoe and workout app
What: Saucony Cohesion 6 Running Shoe
Why: I am a supinator! My foot doesn’t sufficiently roll inward after landing. This places extra stress on my feet and causes shin splints and a host of other things. I love running, however, and the Saucony Cohesion 6s help me continue my relationship with the pavement. These shoes feel great! They offer great cushion as well as flexibility. My favorite part? They are very reasonably priced. Zappos is selling them right now for only $44.95. Read the reviews on Zappos: 101 reviews give it 5 out of 5 stars!
Tip: Try them with Jennie’s super feet recommendation!
Another favorite from Jenelle…
What: The Nike Training Club Mobile App
Why: It was hard for me to get out of the house the first few months after giving birth. I really wanted to work out but going to the gym meant waiting until my husband got home AND making sure I had enough milk stored. The Nike Training Club mobile app was a great alternative for me because I was able to workout at home while my daughter napped. The app features more than 100+ workouts from 4 different categories: Get Lean, Get Toned, Get Strong or Get Focused. Full body workouts are from 30 to 45 minutes. The app also includes targeted and professional athlete workouts that are only 15 minutes long. These were perfect for those days when I was on a time crunch.
Where: Nike Training Club
Tip: Create a workout music playlist that you can play right in the Nike app for that added motivation!
Kelly – favorite way to incorporate kids in a fitness routine
What: make fitness fit into your lifestyle
Tip: I have really dropped the ball on my fitness in the last few years. Between all the school schedules, nap schedules and dodging cold and flu season in the gym child care, I haven’t been in the gym on a consistent basis. Determined to not turn to total mush, I make myself a little note card at the beginning of the week indicating different exercises to accomplish at some point in the week. I do not have a home gym. In fact, I barely have any hand weights. When it comes time for serious strength training and lower body exercises, though, my kids really earn their suppers. Lets start with the 20 pound baby for some walking lunges. She loves it and what a great warm up it is! My 40 pound 3-year-old is great for some squats and even some step ups (using his step stool!). And when I’m really motivated to tone this tush, I call in my 8-year-old. She is 60 pounds and LOVES to be involved. Deep squats here we come!