I’ve been on my fitness journey for about 8 weeks now, and I’ve been having a great time exploring the fitness tools available to me and figuring out what I love. Since I talked about what I’ve learned in my last post (10 Things I’ve Learned (So Far!) in my Fitness Journey) this time I’m going from the abstract concepts to the actual tools that I’ve used to lose 30 pounds so far. Read on to see what’s working for me, and then let me know what fitness tools you’re using in the comments below!
Yoga with Adriene
When I started doing yoga, I was using an app that just showed pictures of the poses and told me how long to hold them and when to move on to the next pose. Let me just tell you, that is not the way to do yoga. I discovered Yoga with Adriene on Youtube one day when I was searching for a yoga routine for my achy legs and found her Yoga for Tired Legs video. I haven’t gone back to that crappy yoga app since. There are a lot of excellent yoga channels on Youtube, but what stands out to me is Adrienne’s personality. She’s funny, and she keeps things light and enjoyable. She also offers modified poses for beginners or more advanced yogis, so her yoga routines are great for all levels. Right now I’m nearing the end of her Yoga Camp 30-day practice, which is a great way to jump in and get on a regular yoga schedule. Plus, I love doing the 10-minute Yoga at your Desk practice at work on those busy, stressful days when I just need a quick break.
My Food Journal
I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been seeing a nutritionist. When I made my first appointment, I was asked to bring a 5-day food diary. Well, did Type-A Kellie just write out a list of foods she ate for five days? Hell no. I went to Target and bought a fancy journal and then designed a weekly food diary layout. Yep, I’m a little bit crazy. But hey, it works!
This gives me space to log all of my meals, snacks, exercise, and water intake, plus I track my weight and weekly goals. When I have to write everything down, it makes me really take stock of what I’m eating and whether it’s helping or harming me and my ability to reach my goals.
I’ve recently been using this on another level, too. On weeks when I feel blah, like I’m not making any progress or I’m being lazy, I go through this journal and look at past weeks. I find where I was really successful, and I try to replicate those weeks’ meals and workouts. It’s a great way to get myself back on track on those plateau weeks!
Neila Rey/Darebee Running Plans
When I started running, well, I wasn’t much of a runner. So I started out with a very simple running plan from Neila Rey (now darebee.com). It was the walking to running plan: Starting at 30-second intervals, over the 30-day plan I worked my way up to running 5-minute intervals.
Now I’m doing the 8 Weeks to 5K plan, in preparation for running a 5k in the fall! Neila Rey/Darebee is also full of other great workouts, running plans, meal plans, and motivational quotes, so it’s a great fitness tool all around.
Map My Run
Speaking of running, I love to use Map My Run to track my runs. It’s an app that uses GPS to track my location when I run, so I can see a map of the run I just did, plus my distance, speed, average mph, and I can compare it all to past runs to see where I’m improving or where I could use more work. It’s under the umbrella of Under Armour fitness apps like My Fitness Pal and Map My Ride, so they can all be used conjunctively to track your fitness. And if you like to share your workouts on social media, you can do it straight from the app, with a space to add text and reflect on your run!
Spotify Running Playlists
I definitely have a lot of workout playlists on iTunes that I’ve made for different moods and types of workouts. Sometimes when I run I want to listen to some serious 90’s hip-hop, and sometimes I want peppy show tunes. But I do love using Spotify’s specific running playlists when I want to switch things up. It actually tracks your running speed and matches music at a similar BPM, and I must say, it’s pretty cool to run at the same tempo of the song I’m listening to. Plus, it cuts out the slower beginnings and ends of songs, fading in and out at the point where the tempo picks up, so you don’t have the downtime of a normal playlist.
My “Secret” Motivation Album
I have a photo album on my phone called “Motivation,” which is full of motivational quotes (a lot of which come from my Healthy Life board on Pinterest), inspiration photos, and my own photos of my progress. I really love to go through this when I need a little boost of motivation. Sometimes when I’m running, I’m tired, it’s hot, and I just want to stop, I will pull this up and go through it as I run to remind myself why I want to keep going. It’s much the same as a motivation board on Pinterest, but for me, having it easily accessible on my phone is perfect, because when I’m working out, I don’t exactly want to have to open Pinterest and click through a bunch of links to get to my board!
Spotebi Strength Workouts
I switch between a good number of strength workouts to change things up and make sure I’m not just targeting the same few muscle groups each time. But I have been doing Spotebi workouts pretty frequently because they are consistently great routines. There are a ton of different options, and each one includes a custom interval timer so you don’t have to keep checking your phone’s stopwatch, and a music playlist, because who likes working out in silence?!
A few other favorite sites for workouts that deserve a mention: Christina Carlyle (home of the Lazy Girl workouts that are all over Pinterest, a favorite of mine on my lazy days), Skinny Mom, and Pop Sugar Fitness.
There are SO many amazing fitness tools out there, and I’m excited to keep exploring and finding new things that work for me. So let me know in the comments–what are a few of your favorite fitness tools?