If you plan on capitalizing on the momentum of the new year to start your wellness journey, the right tools can help give you an extra burst of motivation when you need it. Focusing on fitness doesn’t just involve picking up workout clothing and dumbbells, though.
Investing in your health means investing in every step of the process, from the moments leading up to your workouts, all the way down to recovery. What is actually worth investing in, though? The winners of the 2022 Women’s Health Fitness Awards might be a good place to start. Women’s Health Editor-in-Chief Liz Plosser stopped by the 3rd hour of TODAY to share some of the top picks that can help you reach the goals you’ve set for yourself in the new year.
Whether you want to head out on morning runs or focus more on resistance training, Plosser has something for fitness enthusiasts of all levels.
Plosser says these leggings are squat-proof, ultra-high rise and have pockets. They come in a range of colors like Plum and Ember and in sizes XXS to 6XL, so there’s a pair for almost everyone. Plus, it’s made from recycled water bottles.
These 1.25-pound plates are something small that can make a big difference in your workouts. They’re magnetic attachments that stick to the ends of iron dumbbells, Olympic bars and stack weight machine plates to add some intensity in small increments. Plosser says they’re ideal for physical therapy, since the small increases in weight can help build strength without overwhelming muscles and tendons. That doesn’t mean they’re exclusively for beginners, though — they can help advanced lifters thanks to “microloading”; slightly increasing the weight helps break the “plateau” that often occurs when weight training.
If wrist pain prevents you from doing certain activities, like planks, these pushup bars can help. They take pressure off of your wrists, since you prop your hands on them at an angle.
Whether you’re stretching or practicing st
rength moves, this strap is great for low-impact moves. Since it’s small, you can toss it right in your gym bag or keep it with you while traveling for on-the-go workouts.
The ergonomic design of the Bala Beam makes it great for concentrated and compound movements, according to Plosser. You can use it to row, squat, lunge, curl and more to increase strength, agility, endurance and balance. It comes in two sizes, 15 or 25 pounds, and looks just as pretty as it is useful.
This women-owned brand makes sweat-proof jewelry that you don’t have to worry about taking off during your workouts. Each piece is handmade in Denver, Colorado, by a team of metalsmiths. You can pick a gold-filled or sterling silver style but will still want to take care of your piece to prolong its life.
Plosser says theses are the only sunglasses she’s found that stay put while she’s running. They’re her “go-tos” and they come in a bunch of fun colors and designs, including neon yellow and tortoise shell.
When it comes to recovery, these affordable ice packs are worth considering. They have a non-irritating adhesive that helps them to stick to the area you want to ice, so you don’t have to stay in one place while you ice your leg or arm. Plosser says they’re “especially great for beginners as they ease into routines.”
More Women’s Health Award Winners
Regardless of your workout, these gloves are sure to kick it up a notch. They weigh just 1 pound and feature a velcro strap to help keep them in place.
Hate repetition? Create your own routine with a roll of the dice and keep things fresh.
Women’s Health called these sneakers a “reliable neutral-support shoe” that provides a lot of cushion for every kind of activity.
After a run (or any exercise) you’ll want to slip your feet into these slides. They also boast a cushioned footbed and Hoka’s signature Meta-Rocker design that helps you glide.
This affordable sports bra is made from a soft, antibacterial material that is designed to move with your body. It comes in brown, black and blue in sizes XS+ through L+, so there’s a size for cups A through D.
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