Fitness
11 Fitness Essentials to Kickstart Your New Year’s Resolutions: Found on Amazon!

11 Fitness Essentials to Kickstart Your New Year’s Resolutions: Found on Amazon!

It’s no longer January 1st, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to get moving on those fitness goals of yours.  Just think of it as having an eleven-and-a-half month head start on 2022 rather than being 2 weeks behind on your 2021 goals. How do you like them apples?  Because if you’re already counting yourself out for the year, please allow me to virtually and metaphorically slap you upside the head.

**Disclaimer: This post may contain Amazon affiliate and other affiliate links. Any purchases made through these links may result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you), but all opinions are my own. Thank you 🙂 **

Related: 6 Baby Step Fitness Goals that will Lead to Big Changes in 2021

Okay, so now that the tough love is outta the way, let me share with you some products that will kickstart your fitness routine! And the best part – these are all found on Amazon, at the tip of your fingertips, delivered directly to your door.  No pants required.  Just please, don’t make it weird with the delivery person.  Do the decent thing and wait until they drop the package on the porch and get back in the truck before you open the door.

Habit Tracker Journal

I’ve been habit tracking for YEARS now, and this practice has single-handedly taken my fitness journey and personal development to the next levels.  Consistently focusing on individual, specific daily habits is far more effective in getting you where you want to go than a random, pie-in-the-sky hopes and dreams goal ever will, no matter how big, worthwhile, or impressive you think it is.

See how I managed to lose 30 pounds – 20 of it without tracking a single calorie or macronutrient – by focusing on the details that matter here.

I currently use this habit tracker, and I absolutely love the no-frills nature of it.  It’s easy to get distracted by a bunch of random crap some planners want to prompt you to pay attention to when, in reality, those are not things that you need or want to focus your time and energy on.  You simply fill in the blanks at the top of the columns with the habits you’re working on forming, and for each day you’ve successfully completed the task, you put an X in the box.  Easy peasy.  Make it easy on the eyes, too, with these colorful pens.

Here is my “end of month” summary for Nov 2020. After a weird Sept/Oct being in a funk due to a back injury I was determined to dial in my fitness and nutrition in November, despite birthdays and holidays!
**Click HERE for Full Instagram Post and Caption**

I have fun with keeping all my habits tracked under one roof, so to speak. Sure, I have things like calories, weights, steps, and workouts spread out over a number of different apps on my phone, but there’s something about having them visibly and physically on one page for me to review and reflect on all at once.  Not to mention it’s all too easy to get sidetracked by social media, email, and text message notifications on your phone. For this reason, I find the pen-and-paper method to be quicker and more efficient than digital, as contradictory as that might sound.

Related: How to Set Fitness Goals and Actually Reach Them

This book describes the power our small, daily habits have over the big picture of our lives.

Bluetooth Scale

I’ll preface this by saying I am not on team #screwthescale. I weigh myself regularly – in fact, nearly daily. I see the scale and the number it tells me as helpful tools and nothing more.  You know your personality and how your emotions are or are not tied to the number on the scale. If it’s best for you to stay off the scale, then by all means stay off of it.

But, if you’re in the market for a body weight scale, I’ve been using this scale for nearly two years now.  I’m still happy with it and it’s still going strong!  It’s a Bluetooth-enabled scale that wirelessly connects to a free app on your smartphone. Using bioelectrical impedance (like the InBody scans at your local gym or nutritional supplement store), it monitors a number of body composition factors, most notably body fat percentage and muscle mass percentage, along with information like BMR and BMI.  As always, the accuracy of this technology is dependent on a number of factors and should be taken with a grain of salt, but at the very least you can look at overall trends to gauge progress regardless of the numbers themselves.

My weight graph over the past year, from the app that connects to my Bluetooth scale. As you can see, fitness journeys aren’t linear!

Food Scale

Again, I feel obligated to say if you don’t want to weigh your food, don’t.  I believe it’s another amazing tool to have in your fitness journey toolkit, whether you use it every day and every meal, or simply for a few days every month or so to keep your perception of serving sizes accurate and fresh in your mind.

I use this food scale for nearly everything that passes my lips.  I like the different units of measurement (grams, ounces, etc) it offers, and the fact I can move it around my kitchen without needing to be close to an outlet. It’s powered by batteries that I may have had to change out once in the 10 months I’ve owned it.  It easily wipes clean and I’ve not had any issues with it acting up after getting wet from spills or when I give it a swipe with a damp sponge.

Related: I Started Tracking Macros at My “Happy” Weight, and Here’s What Happened

Activewear

Not gonna lie, I workout braless in my jammies and fuzzy socks a LOT.  Since quarantine hit I’ve been working out in the comfort of my own circus tent – er, I mean, home.  Boy, oh boy, will it be nice when the Kidcare at the gym reopens! But honestly, back when I started and there were far too many nap times and preschool drop offs and pickups to work around, I would work out barefoot at home in my nursing bra and jams quite often, too.

So what I’m saying is maybe this one is 100% essential to your fitness journey, however, if you leave the house to workout it’s nice to have something besides jammies and jeans to throw on. Not to mention new activewear is so FUN!  It can really be a good motivator to workout, or a great reward for consistently following through on healthy habits and/or reaching goals, both big and small, along your path to fitness.

Check out some of my favorite, affordable activewear options on my Amazon storefront here.  Tanks with clever sayings, jackets, high-waisted leggings and shorts, basic black and fun prints, sports bras and heavy-duty hair ties, socks and no-show undies…I’ve got you covered! Also on that list is my all-time favorite pair of jorts, so be sure to give those a look – they’ll be perfect for showing off the gains you’ll make between now and summertime!

Exercise Equipment

Okay, now that you look the part with all your fly new activewear, let’s get your home gym set up. You don’t need equipment for a killer workout, but if you’re interested in setting up at least a modest home gym, here are some great Amazon products to get you started! 

Yoga/Exercise Mat – for no other reason than protecting your carpet from all the sweat and tears you’ll be shedding during your workouts. But seriously, it also keeps you from slipping on smooth surfaces, protects your joints against hard floors during stretches, and cushions impact.

They can be easily stored rolled up in a corner or closet, but lay one out and you’ve defined a workout space. This might seem insignificant, but “having no place to workout” can be a big limiting belief keeping people from taking the first steps. With something as compact as a yoga mat, your workout space can be anywhere – in the kitchen, a bedroom, or even a hallway. 

Resistance loop bands – these lil things are magic. Lightweight, portable, packable, and can seriously increase the intensity of your workouts, whether at home or the gym.

Recovery/flat bands and resistance band sets – I love these anchored around something stable and secure as a substitute for a variety of cable machine exercises. The kits generally come with door anchors, too.

Jump/skip rope – lots of bang for your buck here, as well! A jump rope is lightweight, compact, portable (see a theme here?), and is great for when you’re short on time and/or space, or it’s too cold to walk/run outside and you wanna get your heart rate up with some cardio.

Weights – using whatever you can find at home with some weight to it, making your own weights out of empty milk jugs or laundry detergent bottles and water or sand, or just using your new resistance bands, is totally fine and effective. But, if you’re interested in investing in some dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, and plates, they can certainly kick things up a notch. Lots of those – along with benches, ankle weights, rigs, and racks – can be found here in my Workout at Home favorites!

Quarantine and closed gyms have caused weights to be in high demand, so finding available, reasonably priced gear can be somewhat of a challenge these days. But keep your eyes peeled and you’re sure to come up with something!

BOSU and Fit Balls – great for working on balance and stability, these items add a whole new dimension of difficulty to otherwise ho-hum exercises and movements. Plus they come in like, billions of colors, so you can pretty-up your workouts and feel all cute and stuff.

Recovery Tools

Y’all, the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) struggle is real.  It’s not just for beginners, either.  I think as a beginner you’re much more likely for DOMS to scare you away from getting back on the horse when it’s time for the next workout, though.  Prepare yourself.  You will get sore from time to time, and quite often starting out. However, you can do your part to lessen the pain before it hits by routinely doing warm-ups, cool-downs, stretching, yoga, and/or self-myofascial release (aka SMR, aka foam-rolling).

Upon feeling sore and tight, it also helps to have one of these bad boys to retreat to.  This thing is pure heaven, and the greatest gift I’ve ever received – including the gift of children.  I have my eyes on a massage gun, as well, because they look dreamfully and blissfully painful.

I don’t know how to describe the sadomasochistic desire I have to foam roll and unleash the deep massaging power of this pillow all over my body.  It hurts so good, and can be so beneficial to avoid and relax sore muscles.  And don’t forget hot, epsom salt baths for some extra TLC!

Related: 11 Fitness Essentials to Kickstart Your New Year’s Resolutions – Found on Amazon!

Food prep and storage supplies

It’s incredible how easy it is to prepare healthy, yet delicious meals with the right appliances! I use the crap outta these kitchen appliances each week:

Instant Pot (this one is wifi-enabled, so fancier than the one I have, but same size and overall function)

Crock Pot (this is the one I have and has an awesome setting to automatically switch to warm from high or low when the time you set runs out. Great for when you are out of the house and need to set it and forget it!)

Ninja Air Fryer (this is the one I have and it was love at first fry. There are some other great ones out there, and I have other options, like this Ninja Foodi which has slow-cooker, air-fryer, and pressure-cooker capabilities!, linked here)

Nutribullet Blender (great for smoothies, blender pancakes, and more!) 

There is a wealth of recipes and how-tos just waiting for you on Pinterest, so don’t be intimidated by the idea of using a “new-fangled” appliance. I was scared to death my IP would blow up my house when I first got it, and so far my home is still intact (as intact as it can be with a 6- and almost 3- year old, that is).

I formally meal prep lunches far less than I did prior to quarantine and the holidays, but I still do quite often. Don’t be intimidated by the term “meal prep” – it’s simply making a lot of something and eating off it throughout the week. Basically it’s leftovers. That’s not so scary, is it?

Meal prep containers are amazing for keeping portions in check and having something ready to grab-and-go at meal times.  I’ve rarely had the need for separate compartments for my meal preps, but if you think you’ll need multiple compartments, I have a couple options linked here, along with some glass containers if plastic isn’t your thing. I also use extra meal prep containers as regular food and leftovers storage, so again, don’t be intimidated by the “meal prep” part – they’re just appropriately sized, packable, portable, stackable food storage containers.

Related: Meal Prep Recipe Roundup! 8 of my Favorite Make-Ahead Lunches (& My Macro-Friendly Tips)

Things like cutting boards, serrated knives, strawberry corers, potato peelers, and apple slicers make getting in your fruits and veggies quicker and easier.

Protein snacks

This might seem out of place, but I assure you it is not!  If you’re just starting down the path of creating a healthy lifestyle, I can all but guarantee you’re not eating enough protein.  Even if you don’t track macros, I urge you to make a conscious effort to eat. more. protein.  It’s vital to so many things on a biological level, and helps bigtime when it comes to controlling hunger by aiding satiety, or feeling full.

Check out the Go-To Protein Sources Found on My Shopping List here, and here is a quick list of some of my favorites:

Protein PowderPEScience is my favorite in terms of flavor, dissolvability, and is one of the best powders if you plan to use it for baking.

Protein BarsBUILT (discount code SQUATTO for an extra 10% off! I love the flavor and texture of these bars!), FitCrunch (the caramel peanut flavor is as close to a Snickers bar as you’re gonna get!), and Pure Protein (some of the flavors are flops, but personally I love the birthday cake, chocolate salted caramel, and chocolate peanut butter flavors!) bars are my top 3 bars in terms of taste, texture, calories, macros, and price.  They’re seriously hard to beat in any of these categories.  Honorable mentions are Optimum Protein Cake Bites (love the birthday cake and cookies and cream flavors!) and BSN Protein Crisps (omg the Coldstone Creamery birthday cake remix flavor – yum!). I’ve heard great things about Barebells, but I’ve yet to try one!

Protein ShakesPremier Protein (cookies and cream and cafe latte flavors are amazing – I’ve been dying to try the cinnamon roll flavor) and Fairlife are my favorite pre-made protein shakes. They’re great to drink by themselves, pour on cereal, blend with smoothies, or add to coffee.  For 150-160 calories, fewer fat and carbs than protein bars, and a whopping 30g of protein, these come in clutch when you’re low on protein for the day.

Chomps Turkey Sticks (regular and jalapeno available. There’s a variety of beef flavors, too – those just have a few more grams of fat per stick than the turkey), Stryve Biltong, Beef and Turkey Jerky, Light Babybel and Laughing Cow Cheeses, Lean Deli Meat, Fat Free Greek Yogurt and Cottage Cheese, Quest Protein Chips, and Lavash wraps and pitas, are staples in my home and at meal and snack times!

Related: 10 Tips For Healthier Snacking

Techie Gear

Workouts while jamming out to your favorite tunes are far superior to workouts without a kickass playlist.  And that’s a scientific fact.  Drowning out the bullshit that is working out at home with noisy kids, dogs, trash trucks, neighbors, televisions, etc is a nice lil bonus, too.  I feel less distracted and irritated by everything going on around me, at home or at the gym, when I’ve got my earbuds in and the music blaring.

I also like the idea of these, because although I don’t have much of an issue with my earbuds falling out of my ears, it happens from time to time.  Usually when jumping is involved, which is understandable, but not having to worry about it at all would also be pretty cool. I’ve had people tell me their airpods have never fallen out!

A smartwatch is also a wonderful thing.  I currently use the FitBit Versa Lite, and am really happy with it. It tracks my steps, calories burned, and heart rate, and has a whole slough of features and conveniences.  I can see text messages and phone calls come through, and notifications from the apps on my phone that I choose to connect to my watch.  I can view the weather, and set timers and alarms. If I ever go back to having an iPhone, which I’m tempted to do, I may ask Santa for an Apple Watch someday.  I love how the Apple Watch connects with the particular workout program app I use.  Then maybe I’ll also go for those airpods!

Related: My Postpartum Fitness Journey with the SWEAT App

If recording your workouts and checking your form is something you do or want to do, it’s convenient to have an iPad or other tablet to follow your workout on while you record with your phone, or vice versa.

If wearing a smartwatch (or any watch) isn’t your thing , but you want to track your daily steps as part of your new year fitness goals, you can always go the pedometer route, or get this clip-on Fitbit instead so you can still use the features within the Fitbit app and connect with friends and community.

Food Intake Logging & Tracking System

I use MyFitnessPal to log my food, and track my calories and macronutrients. Okay, okay, this isn’t found on Amazon, but it is free. Just download the app and start eating! It’s that easy.

If you’d prefer pen and paper for this, just know you’ll have some math ahead of you and it’ll be quite a bit more time consuming. Here is a food log notebook you could try.  An Excel spreadsheet on the computer is also an option, but I’d think far less convenient.  If something is too much work to constantly update and not readily available to you before, at, and after meal times, it might not be the best, most consistent of methods. 

I post my daily food diaries in my Instagram stories.  I find this helpful for a number of reasons (accountability being a big one!), but it really comes in handy on the days I don’t get around to logging the foods in MFP right away.  Looking through my pictures from the day I’m sure not to forget to log anything so my numbers stay accurate.

Related: Calorie Cycling: Why I Cycle My Calories and Why it Might Be Right For You, Too

Workout program

If you can throw together your own workout routines, circuits, and exercise combinations, bravo! I’m seriously impressed. My stay-at-home mom mind is absolute mush. If it wasn’t for an app on my phone telling me exactly what exercises to do, and exactly how many reps to perform, I’d still be 30 pounds heavier.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know my love for the PWR Program by Kelsey Wells runs deep. I also did Kayla Itsines’ BBG Program for over a year. There are a number of amazing trainers within the app, with what seems like countless programs and unique training styles. All the programs are offered and available under one, low membership price. I am not a SWEAT affiliate or anything – I just love the app, the trainers, and the community. Joining was the best decision I could’ve made!

Related: My Kelsey Wells’ PWR Program 6 Month Progress and Review

SWEAT isn’t an Amazon thing, but Amazon offers hundreds of fitness videos included with a Prime membership, as well! You’ll find videos of varying lengths for Yoga, HIIT, Zumba, Kickboxing, Dance, Full Body, Abs & Core, Low Impact, Meditation, Bootcamps, Kettlebell workouts, dumbbell workouts, Targeted Area workouts – and the list goes on!

Back in the day, I did Shaun T’s Insanity program and saw great results.  I didn’t consistently keep up with it or eating healthy, which is the true key to fitness and weight loss, of course, so I ended up gaining the weight back. But the workouts are intense and effective, the program includes a workout calendar so you know what to do when, and Shaun T’s abs in the videos are pretty sweet.

Related: My Kayla Itsines’ BBG (Bikini Body Guide) 60-week Review

Okay, you are set, my friend! Happy New Year – go get after those goals!

Check out my 2021 fitness goals, and how I work toward them through daily habits and intentions, by following me and my fitness journey on Instagram!

Related: Why I Love My Fitness Instagram Account, and Tips for Starting Your Own

We’ve made it to the first #transformationtuesday of 2021! We’re surrounded by resolutions and goals right now – maybe even feeling pressured to throw some intimidating promises of self-improvement out into the universe. But January 1st is just a day. Any day can be THE day you decide to change your life. But the reality is EVERY day is THE day you need to do what you need to do to change your life.⁣
**Click here for full Instagram post and caption**

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

“The Book’s Cover”: Physical Fitness and Mental Health

Kelsey Wells’ PWR and PWR at Home Programs: How do They Compare?

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Fitness Journey

Why a “Bad” Diet Day is Actually a Good Thing

10 Things I’ve Learned on my Fitness Journey that will Help You with Yours

The 5 Pillars of Diet-and-Exercise Success

5 Quick and Easy Macro-Friendly Weekday Breakfasts

Why I Eat a Low-Fat Diet

Eat Dessert, Lose Weight: My Macro-Friendly Treats

Avoid Mindless Snacking with These Helpful Distractions

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