Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Health and Fitness Favorites

I've been doing Beachbody programs for years, and along the way, I've found some great items that have made my life a lot easier. Most of these items are low cost, but they can make a huge difference in your fitness routine.

Hanging Pull-Up Bar
This is a must if you are doing any of the P90X programs. I did my first round of P90X with bands and I really didn't feel like I got an effective workout that way. This pull-up bar is not terribly expensive but it made a huge difference for me in my arm and back definition. If you are going to commit to P90X, X2, or X3, invest in one of these.

Rage Fitness Pull-Up Assist Bands
I have zero arm strength, so when I tried doing a pull-up on my own, it was a huge fail! I got these at Dick's Sporting Goods and I am very happy with them. They were a bit of a splurge, but I am able to follow along with the P90X back workouts with no problem using these. There are three levels of weight, so you can reduce the amount of assistance you get as you get stronger.

Yoga Block
I am not a very flexible person. I struggle with a lot of the poses in yoga workouts, especially standing poses. A yoga block is great for extending your reach during the more difficult standing poses and helping you to keep your balance. These are also very inexpensive at Amazon or Target.

Aura Cacia Aromatherapy Mist
I bought this product on a whim at Whole Foods and I use it all the time. There are several different scents to choose from and I have liked every one I have tried. I spray these on my yoga mat before beginning a workout to energize or relax me. I spray this on my face after a workout to refresh  and hydrate my skin. I also spray this on myself during the day set my makeup and give myself a little aromatherapy boost.

Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt Soak
I cannot live without this stuff. When I start a workout program, my muscles get SORE! I hate the feeling of walking around with stiff, achy muscles all day long. Epsom salt soaks are fantastic for soothing muscles and preventing soreness. Mix 3 handfuls in a very hot bath and soak for 15-20 minutes after a hard workout. You will sleep better and the next day, you will feel much less sore. Dr. Teal's comes in great scents like rosemary mint and lavender, but any old epsom salt will work.

100% Tea Tree Oil
Essential oils are great, they smell good and a lot of them have many uses. Tea Tree Oil, in my opinion, is the most useful essential oil. This oil has antiseptic properties, so if you start to break out after starting a workout program, dab this oil on problem areas and you will see a reduction in inflammation. If you want to take care of your skin and scalp, add a few drops to a bath or to your shower products. The oil will cleanse your skin and prevent dirt and grime from building up.

Quest and Power Crunch Protein Bars
I've never been into protein bars, I find them to be chalky and not very good, but these two are the exceptions. When I find myself reaching for candy or a treat in the afternoons or after dinner, I grab one of these instead. My craving is satisfied and I won't ruin my nutrition for the day with sugar and fat. Both of these bars come in great flavors and give a boost of protein. These are great for a clean eating nutrition plan.

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