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Exercise Tools & Programs

I engage in many different activities to stay fit. Mixing things up helps me to stay interested in fitness, but there are some activities I enjoy more than others. Yoga, indoor cycling/spinning, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), pole dancing, and walking are my favorite types of exercise. Below are some of the tools and programs I use to be successful in my exercise endeavors.

Yoga Starter Kit/Book/Videos

I have yet to visit a yoga studio. When I think of yoga I think of peace. Although I know that everybody has their own purpose for being in a fitness class of any type and that most participants are minding their own business, I still can feel the energy of people around me. My yoga practice is very personal for me, so I continue to do it at home. I'll have blog posts about it in the future, but here's a brief rundown of how I got started. I purchased a yoga starter kit from Target. It wasn't the one that is pictured below. Actually, the one that is pictured below is a better deal than the one I got from Target. I put all of my yoga props (blocks, strap, mat) to good use whenever I practice. I purchased the book Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley after following her on social media for months. I also found a few instructional videos of hers on YouTube. I'm subscribed to a few other yoga instructors on YouTube including SaraBethYoga, Fightmaster Yoga, and Blogilates, but I really enjoy the way Jessamyn teaches.

Andreas Elite Fitness/Personal Trainer

I got a personal trainer. I knew him before I joined his fitness group online, then I joined his group. Eventually, I began training with him in person because I work in the city where he lives. Ryan Andreas has been a great coach for me. His style of exercise involves a lot of high-intensity, boot camp type exercises, which scared the daylights out of me at first. However, I promised myself that I would commit to it for an entire month because I knew that only good things would come of it. It was probably for the better that I went to the extreme of HIIT from moderate walking because I wouldn't have had the results I wanted otherwise. I've had the desire to get in better shape for a while, but having him in my corner helped me to turn that desire into reality. You don't have to join his group, but consider finding a workout partner, joining a group or getting a personal trainer if your budget allows for it. Knowing that I have someone to workout with has helped me to stay on my active fitness path.

Fitness Tracker

The first fitness tracker I received was from my job. I was given a Fitbit Ionic for a job well done. However, I actually prefer the Fitbit Charge 2 because it is simpler and has an easier time syncing. Regardless of the brand, having a fitness tracker opened my eyes to my own health and habits. I thought that walking 10,000 steps a day was easy before I was blessed with my tracker. I was certainly wrong. Having something on my wrist helps me to hold myself accountable and reach my goals. I've included links to Fitbit and two cheaper, but well-reviewed trackers below.

ClassPass/Fitness Classes/Gym

I don't have a gym membership. I've been paying for what I call "extracurriculars" by the class, which can become quite costly very quickly. Fortunately for me (though not necessarily for them), the spin studio I regularly visit joined a service called ClassPass, which is a subscription service for gyms and fitness studios/classes. I pay a flat fee every month for credits that I can use at any participating gym or studio until I run out of credits for the month. I can add extra credits for an additional fee. I've been able to visit other studios that I probably would have never known about. I continue to use the service because it is cheaper than paying full price (between $20-$25 per class) but as I make more room in my budget, I plan to purchase full memberships to the studios I attend most often so I can go further and make even more progress in the activities I like to do the most. ClassPass is available in most major cities in the US, but not everywhere. If you are interested, be sure to check that it is available where you live before you sign up. Sign up using my link and you'll get your first two weeks for free. Also, up to 10 credits will rollover to the next cycle if you don't use them all. 
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