Hello friends! Today I am sharing an update on my lifestyle overhaul since taking this up a notch since January of 2017. I also wanted to discuss my five fitness must haves. In my humble opinion, it is a good idea to have these in your gym bag or at home. Accountability, gadgets and knowledge are important when embarking on a fitness adventure. To date, my weight is at 149 (started at 164 lbs), I am closer to my 145 lbs goal. Lots has changed from my eating habits, fitness level, mood, sleep, dropped back to pre-baby weight etc. It’s been intense and tough at times. I’d say the hardest was getting the motivation during the coldest winter months and the discipline of eating well.
#1 A Heart Rate Monitor
It is smart to understand how your heart rate works and why it is beneficial to use during your workouts. Knowing your heart rate during workout sessions can help know whether you are doing too much or not enough, this is based on your age and weight. I’ve been doing HIIT (High intensity interval training) so for me, I monitor my workouts during specific days and exercise types. You don’t need a super fancy heart rate monitor, I use the Polar Fitness and love it.
#2 Jump Rope and a Resistance Band
Back in January of 2017, I could not jump rope longer than maybe 5 seconds and my form was terrible. Since then, I took up jumping rope as a challenge. It is an easy cardio exercise that has lots of benefits like agility and endurance, (no gym is necessary and you can do it anywhere). Jumping rope for me is part of my routine and now, I am able to jump about 45 seconds on a good day. Similarly, a resistance band is a good addition if you are on the go and need a simple way to tone your arms and legs. *I got mine both on Amazon for less than $15!
#3 Nike Fit Plus App
For those days when I am not working out with my trainer at the gym or doing classes, I use Nike Fit Club App to get ideas and guidance on exercise routines. Nike Fit Plus app is free and very easy to use, it offers all levels of training as well as stretching. When I first started out, I was sore all the time and it was due to my lack of stretching know-how. I downloaded Nike Fit Plus and now I use it for my stretching routines and for exercises when I exercise alone.
#4 Protein intake is very important
One thing I learned during this journey is a) you are what you EAT and b) what you eat before and after your workouts matters. I am aware that even if I spent my whole week at the gym, if my diet isn’t right, the time I spend exercising is a complete waste and protein is a huge component here. I eat and drink a lot of lean protein, more so on the days I exercise. I really enjoy making shakes with Neocell Collagen Sport Protein (chocolate and also comes in vanilla). Protein helps build muscles when you lift weights. What I do is usually within an hour post exercise, I will drink a protein shake made with almond milk and crushed ice. Neocell is whey protein and it definitely fills me up mid morning (I tend to workout in the mornings).
#5 Use good body care items for recovery
In my gym bag I carry a towel and a body cloths. Not going to lie, I sweat a lot, some days I work out with weights and lots of high intensity cardio, some days I do kickboxing or Zumba for one hour. I love BAN Total Restore Cooling Body Cloths, they do the best job and smell divine. After I shower, I apply Yuni Wind-Down Wonder Warming Body Oil for hydration and recovery. This is a lightweight oil, free of parabens and it helps restore hydration and warms up nicely on the skin, to soothe tired/ sore muscles.
And finally, I also suggest wearing fun workout clothes and putting your best foot forward. In my updated photo, I am wearing a PAW YOU tank which goes perfectly with my mantra as a dog lover and fitness enthusiast. Feel free to ask me anything in the comments.