I am a member of a gym, but I take along with me my own mat, my own ball (on ball workout days), my own stretch-rubber-band tubing for tubing days–I vary my strengthening workouts and you should, too! If I could, I’d take my own free-weights with me, but that’s going a little far, isn’t it, y’allses? Too heavy for my gym-bag, ungh. Dang.
So, here are some of the items/products I use:
And, once again, I am not advertising these items, and do not receive anything from the company(ies), these are just things I use and have worked for me.
What they say: Keep your yoga mat clean and fully hygienic with the Gaiam yoga mat wash. Made of tea-tree extract and natural essential oil blends, the USDA-certified organic mat cleaner is 100-percent all natural and nontoxic. More significantly, it lets you easily remove sweat, dirt, and other impurities after an energizing yoga routine, so you needn’t practice the next day on a soiled mat.
What I like: It’s portable and easy to use in between a good washing of the mat, and as well, I use it on other items and sometimes even spray it inside my shoes.
What I don’t like: It’s a little strong-smelling, so be careful when you spray! I’ve had a few coughing moments when I’ve over-sprayed or been too close.
The gym bag I use is the Gaiam Tree of Life Yoga Mat Tote Bag–also purchased from Amazon.com (at the same time as the mat wash).
What they say: Our tree of life yoga tote bag is made from 100% cotton and embroidered in rich detail with the tree of life. This tote will fit any standard or premium yoga or Pilates mat up to 28-Inch wide. The roomy mat bag with magnetic snaps (for easy access when you’re running a little late to yoga class) features a zippered outside pocket and a zippered inside pocket. Fully lined in nylon fabric.
What I love: This bag is cute as can be, and it fits a lot more than I thought it would: my mat, tubing, shoes, socks, water. I like the zippered pockets that I can fit more things, like my iPod nano/earbuds, my heart-rate monitor, the mat wash, etc. I haven’t yet washed it to see if it will shrink and become all wrinklety, but I’ll find out when I do wash it–I haven’t had it that long. I love this bag.
What I don’t like: It can be a bit long and bang up against things and people if I’m not paying attention, but it has to be to fit the mat so that’s not really an issue for me. It’s not made in the US, but I have trouble finding made in the USA items. I sometimes wish it were in darker colors so that when I have to set it on the floor, it won’t show dirt so much, but I do like the “natural fiber” color all the same.
I also use another Gaiam product–my Gaiam Yoga Mat – Purple— for yoga/pilates/and any other mat
work–that I bought from Target. I’ve had this mat for years now and it’s still as good as new. I also have a Wai Lana yoga/pilates mat that I love, but since it’s thicker and heavier, I leave it at home and take the thinner Gaiam one to the gym. The mat I am using in the photos is the Wai Lana and I found it on sale at TJ Maxx--it’s been years and still going strong.
What they say: Not a lot on the sites, but you can do your research. I recommend the Gaiam or Wai Lana only because it is what I have always used, in my personal training days, too, and they work well and last.
What I love: These mats have lasted me, as I said, for years without showing any wear and tear. I’ve even washed them in the washing machine and hung them to dry. They are comfy and have remained “sticky” as long as I keep them cleaned regularly.
What I don’t like: Can’t think of a thing!
I use a heart-rate monitor not only because my heart rate can tend to go high quickly–I have the heart of an 18-year-old man the tech said when I had a stress test *laugh*– but I also want to keep track of my progress. I bought, on sale at Best Buy, a Polar RS300X SD Heart Rate Monitor Watch with S1 Foot Pod (Black). I’m major put off with Best Buy right now, so I have provided the link to Amazon, huhn–but of course you all can shop wherever you like! This comes with a band that goes around my chest. The watch also keeps track of my work-outs, and other things I haven’t yet tried, like the foot pad.
What they say: A smart, intuitive training computer for runners and cross-training athletes, the Polar RS300X SD wrist heart rate monitor helps you to train at the right intensity with personal training zones. The RS300X SD comes with Polar’s S1 foot pod, which accurately measures your running speed/pace and distance. Committed runners will find the most value in the real-time pace and distance measurement of the S1 foot pod. And even though it attaches to your shoe laces, it’s so light that you’ll forget it’s even there, which means it won’t affect your running performance.
What I love: My brother, who had a heart attack and has to keep track of his heart rate during exercise, loves the Polar and recommended it to me–if he uses it and trusts it, then so do I. And I’ve loved it. It’s easy to use and I feel confident in the product.
What I don’t like: Maybe a little pricey, though I did find mine on sale. However, I think it is worth every penny! The foot-pad looks a little big to be bouncing around on my foot when I do high-energy treadmill dance-aerobics, so I have yet to use it (plus I keep forgetting)–the size of it puts me off but as soon as I can remember, I’ll try it on a Lake J walk.
Balance Balls and Yoga/Pilates instructional videos:
When I first started out on the balance/exercise ball, I bought Yodney Yee’s and Suzanne Deason’s ball instructional videos. Since then, I’ve bought another ball (the one in the photos) and gave away the original ball to a former client, along with at least one of the instructional videos.
Rodney Yee and Suzanne Deason–both working with Gaiam, had (and I am sure still do) some of the best instructional videos out there. And not just for balance balls, but instructional videos for yoga and pilates, as well. I highly recommend them–they are strict on form, and gently take you through the workouts in a calm and soothing manner/voice. Love them both. I purchased these items at Target but they are on Amazon, and I am sure on sale at Wal-mart and other places, as well.
I have some old Theraband exercise tubing that I use, but need to do more research on a stronger one. I’ll think about sticking with Theraband, but will see what’s out there since it’s been years since I’ve replaced my tubing. The newer Theraband tubing I saw on Amazon look stronger–and believe me, you only want a tube to snap and smackervate you once; after that, nope, don’t want that to happen again – lawd! About 9 years ago, I had an old cheaper exercise tubing that tore and KASNAPPED against my chest–that red-welp stayed there almost a week-OUCH! Believe me, paying more for quality is oft-times worth it.
All right, all y’allses wonderfuls! There you go. Some products you can use and you can take them to the gym or use them at home! So whatchoo waiting for? Let’s become KICK-ASS WOMEN — and yeah, you MEN TOO! :-D