Wellness essentials that you need right now
It is January - time for a new start, new resolutions, and the best intentions. If wellness is one of your resolutions (as it is mine, every. single. year.) I have some recommendations on some simple tools that you may enjoy.
1. Yoga Mat: This is the most basic piece of equipment, and frankly the one thing you need for a full body workout, even if you're not using it for actual yoga. There are yoga mats to fit every aesthetic and every budget - my favorite ones are by INCLINE, mainly because I really like the prints and you can buy a mat and towel for under $40 on amazon. Seriously, how instagrammable is this print?!
2. Kettle bell: These fall in and out of fashion when it comes to workouts, but they are widely considered the best single tool for an all-body toning workout by most coaches. I spoke with Angela Greene of Tremont Athletic who said "while there are many great things about kettle bell training, one of the biggest benefits is that all of the exercises are essentially total body exercises. This means you get total body strengthening and conditioning with one single tool." Angela's approach to fitness incorporates many different tools, but she finds herself adding kettle bells to her client's workouts as well as her own.
3. Wireless headphones: Ugh I really wish we didn't need to charge ONE more thing in our lives, but wireless headphones to have the benefit of not getting in your way or getting pulled out of your ears because you tend to flail your arms while you work out. There are endless options available online - I bought the Anker Soundbuds because they came highly recommended, and they're under $30 and lightweight and available on Amazon (thank you Amazon Prime!)
4. Aaptiv: Every year I go through phases where I commit to working out regularly, but sometimes I end up at the gym or even at home with a desire to work out but no motivation or creativity to actually decide what I'm going to do. Enter the AAPTIV app - this app features guided audio workouts for any kind of workout you prefer. So far I've tried treadmill workouts, the elliptical, strength training and yoga, and they are honestly really enjoyable. You can choose the length and intensity of your workout, and an Aaptiv trainer will guide you through your workout. They have really good playlists, and their prompts are easy to follow. I even found myself enjoying my elliptical workout, which, lets be honest, is usually the most boring workout in the world. Aaptiv offers a free trial month and a subscription - I probably use this once or twice a week. Could you just use a pinterest workout instead? Sure. I prefer Aaptiv because it eliminates the need to look at my phone, where I can be easily distracted by texts or Instagram. As an Aaptiv member, I can give away a free month trial to 10 people, so if you're interested in a trial, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Aaptiv" and I'll send you the free month!
5. Headspace: I started using this periodically last year - its basically guided meditation for dummies, or people like me who tend to fall asleep during meditations and need the voice prompt to gently wake me up. There is a free beginners meditation that you can access as many times as you like (also available on spotify), and then a subscription model that ranges between $7.99 - $12.99/month depending on whether you make a single payment or monthly payments. I started with the free version and liked it so much that I signed up for the paid version. I wish I could say that I meditate every day, but I definitely find myself calmer and more balanced when I do. I recently went through a period of feeling extremely restless with my career and restarted by meditation practice in an attempt to have an attitude adjustment - and IT WORKED! So if you're feeling a lack of motivation, or a general blah feeling, give meditation a try - it might just work for you too!
This year I'm also trying something new as an experiment to see what happens if I commit to one, small, quick activity everyday. As of January 1st, I'm committing to #100daysofpushups - this is exactly what it sounds like - pushups every day for 100 days. There is nothing specific about these - just do pushups everyday with good form until you get too tired to execute a pushup correctly. You then record your pushups and see how much progress you make in 100 days. If you'd like to join me, post your progress to instagram (or instastories) and tag #100daysofpushups. I do pushups on my feet, but if you're an absolute beginner, there's no reason you can't start on your knees and who knows, you may get strong enough to do them on your feet before Day 100!
I hope you're feeling as motivated as I am about your wellness goals for 2018 - there's no better time to take care of yourself than the present, and I hope you will take that first step, no matter what it looks like! Good luck - I'll be rooting for you!