Gym Accessories I Love & Recommend

The New Year is nearing and many New Year’s Resolutions include being more healthy and getting active! I can already tell that people are starting in on these resolutions as the traffic at the gym has picked up a lot since November – but that’s good! I’ve been a gym goer now since about fall of 2012. It’s a hobby that I love, and I share with others to encourage them to give a new activity a try. I was not into running when I started, so instead I stuck with lifting weights. In 2013, my New Year’s Resolution was to start running and it took me until this past year to really feel like I was good at it. I actually enjoy getting in a good run, especially when I can get a run in outside during the fall – my favorite!

If you’re just starting out at the gym life, go for it! Do what you can and work towards your goals. If you’re like me and work better when you have certain accessories, like having a cute desk organizer at the office, then having some fun gym accessories will make going to gym that much more exciting. Now, I’m saying that all of these items are necessary. In fact a lot of these are things that you can forgo for a long time, but they’re are add-in to your gym bag that I love and totally recommend purchasing if your goal is to stick to the gym and become more fit.

Gym Bag 
So you’re going to need a gym bag to put all of these cool items in. You can use whatever you have around the house or what’s easiest for you to carry around day-to-day. I head to the gym right after work so I bring everything I need and leave it in my car. A backpack works great and can be easily carried so you can carry a briefcase or purse if you’re going to the gym directly from work or school. I got a basic gym bag on Amazon when I started going to the gym, but it only lasted a year before starting to tear. If you’re going to buy a new bag, I recommend getting a good quality one right away to carry the weight of clothes, shoes, water bottle, etc. I purchase a basic Adidas bag on Ebay, new with tags, for a deal around $15, similar to this one here. And it’s purple, my favorite color! It doesn’t have a lot of pockets, but it’s roomy and I can fit all of my gym clothes and shoes then all my work clothes when I’m heading home after my workout.

Fitbit
I’ve already raved on about how much I enjoy my Fitbit in a previous post, but I’m again going to tell you that I’ve had my Flex since August and it’s my favorite gym/fitness accessory. If you’re someone who likes to make to-do lists or likes planning tasks on paper, then you’ll probably benefit a lot from having a Fitbit as you go through your fitness journey. I love seeing how many calories I’ve burned throughout the day and doing the Workweek Hustle challenges with my friends. Since I switched to my new job about a month ago, I’m very happy to report that I’m getting A TON more steps in than I used to! Seriously, go get one!

Blender Bottle
Some may not think that a Blender Bottle is essential to keep in a gym bag, but in my opinion it’s the best option for a water bottle. I personally own two Blender Bottles so that I have a back-up if I leave one at work or it still needs to be washed from the day before. Mine also come with a loop on the top which is handy for a carabiner.  I shared my go to recipe for my breakfast protein shake a few posts ago and I always use my Blender Bottle to make mine. I also like to use it when I’m taking Emergen-C or those Crystal Light packets to shake everything up. It’s also the water bottle that I bring on vacation, hiking, or throw into a (large) purse because I know it doesn’t leak. A few years ago, I purchased a Camelbak because it’s claim is that it’s leak-proof and it has a lifetime guarantee. While I still prefer my Camelbak for the straw on days I’m running at the gym, I have had three caps that have all leaked when I’ve put the bottle in my gym bag after a workout.

Athletic Clothes and Shoes
While I don’t think going out and purchasing all new gym  clothes in totally necessary, I do think that a few good items makes getting dressed for the gym a lot more fun. For the ladies, investing in a comfortable sports bra that works for your body is key. My favorite are the ones with thinner racerback straps – they put a lot less pressure on the upper back and shoulders. I also really enjoy athletic running shorts that are made from the wicking material. Any old tees or tanks are perfect for working out, so no need to invest in those.

Investing in a good pair of cross trainers or running shoes, depending on your fitness routine, is definitely worth it. I went about a year without investing in good shoes because I didn’t think they were needed. Once I challenged myself to start running, I bought basic Asics for around $40 – a great investment then upgraded when I started getting better. As for lifting shoes, you generally want something that more flat and stable. For my lifting days, I also have the Asics Gel Fit Tempo Cross-Training shoe which I love! I got these on sale in early 2015 and I don’t want have to ever replace them – great for lifting too!

Other Basics
In addition to all the fun gadgets mentioned above, it’s a great idea to always have an extra pair of socks, headphones, antibacterial wipes, a mini Febreze, and a small towel in your bag. If you’re someone who likes to shower right after a workout, then you’ll want to add your preferred toiletries and a towel to dry if your gym doesn’t provide them. In the three years I’ve been a gym goer, I’ve never showered at the gym so I don’t keep any of that in my bag. That sounds a little gross, I know, but I use to live a block from my gym and I usually never plan anything too close to when I have a gym date scheduled.  If you plan your gym dates after you leave work and you live in a colder climate, then I recommend bringing your gym bag into your job or office from your car to keep your clothes warmer. There’s nothing fun about putting clothes on that have been in a 20 degree car all day. I usually grab my bag at lunch and let it sit in my office.

Of course accessories aren’t going to be the reason you start a fitness routine or become more fit as the year goes on – that’s all about you. But you can do it. Once you have your reasons for your fitness routine, you’ll have your motivation! I know it sounds crazy to some that I love going to the gym, lifting weights, or running, but it’s the truth and make me more happy than any of my other hobbies.

Happy New Year Everyone! Hope all your resolutions are attained this upcoming year. Leave your fitness goals or New Year’s Resolutions below, I’d love to hear what they are.

Favorites | November 2015

November is over and I’m sad about it. November is one of my favorite months of the year, mostly because it’s my birthday month. This year’s birthday celebration was rather quiet, but I got to spend it with my good friends and enjoy those around me that I care most about. November also brings Thanksgiving and the end of fall. Fall has ushered in winter and a new year is almost here – I can hardly believe 2015 is nearly over! Here are all my favorites from November:

TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture 
I repurchased this a few months ago after moving near a Walmart that carried the line for around $5, but if it’s difficult to find it can be found on Amazon. I tried this conditioner a few years ago when I was trying out a silicone-free hair routine and I don’t remember liking it for my curls. Since then, from the reviews on Amazon and Makeup Alley, the conditioner was reformulated and a lot people don’t like this formula. I however LOVE this conditioner and highly recommend it. This conditioner easily detangles my hair and moisturizes the curls to keep the frizz away. Since switching to this conditioner from some others that contained silicone, I can see a huge improvement in the health of my hair and how my curls looks; it’s rare that I have a bad hair day. While I’m not officially using the curly girl method, a lot of the hair products I’m now using are silicone-free and I’m loving the way my hair is looking and feeling.

Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation Natural Beige
I started a new job this month and I knew that I would be so busy during the day that I wasn’t going to have time for touch-ups. Since I’ve been getting more oily throughout the day, I wanted a foundation that was going to hold up. I had heard really great things about the formula of this foundation, and I haven’t been disappointed. I really like the color match of the foundation and how natural it looks despite being a higher coverage foundation. The lasting powder is about the same as my other matte foundations, but the fact that this foundation comes in a pump makes me like it more than the others. This foundation isn’t going to be ideal for traveling since it’s packaged in a glass jar, but that’s the con I have with this foundation so far. Not the worst thing!

Beauty Blender
I know the Beauty Blender is nothing new for anyone, but it’s really proven itself to me in the past few months. I’ve tried to apply foundation with a brush, just for the sake of trying, and they really don’t work as well as the Beauty Blender. At the beginning of November I tried the Real Technique’s beauty sponge hoping it would be the dupe I’ve heard so much about, but I returned it the very next day.

NYC Sunny Bronzer
I’ve finally figured out how I like my contour/bronzer to look on an everyday routine and the NYC Sunny Bronzer is perfect what I’m looking for. It’s not too warm for me, it’s perfect warming up my complexion. I wouldn’t do a full on contour with this product as it’s not meant for it, but it definitely is a great and easy to use product.

Sigma F23 Soft Angled Contour
To go along with my NYC Sunny Bronzer I’ve been loving this new Sigma F23 brush from their highlighting and contour brush collection. I used to use my Sigma F40 for my bronzing routine because it’s fluffy and doesn’t do a harsh contour. When I got the F23 I was able to do more of a contour, but it still keeps my cheeks look bronze. It’s the perfect brush to get just enough of an effortless contour/bronze look.

Sigma F15 Duo Powder/Blush
Another brush I’ve been loving is the Sigma F15 which I’ve been using with my face powder to set my foundation. Because I usually wear a higher coverage foundation, I don’t need high coverage from my powder. I just need enough powder to keep me from getting oily throughout the day and the F15 does just that. It’s also great for wiping away excess powder if I decide to use the baking technique for setting my under eye concealer.

Z Palette
I’m so excited to finally have a Z Palette in my makeup collection! Jake got it for me for my birthday this past month and it’s already full. I had a lot of Hot Pots from Coastal Scents and I really didn’t enjoy the palettes that Coastal Scents offered. I’m definitely planning on purchasing a few more along with some Makeup Geek eye shadows and depotting some blushes from my collection.

Old Navy
I’ve already dedicated a blog post about how much I’ve fallen in love with Old Navy, so if you’re interested you can check it out here. I highly recommend checking out OldNavy.com for business casual clothes or good basics for every day where. It’s also great for those who are petite or tall and have issues finding clothes that fit correctly. Old Navy only carries those styles online, but they offer free shipping over $50, in-store returns, you can always get a deal with coupons or discounts, and Ebates* is always offering cash back.

What products were you loving this past month?