This article is part of a series on weight loss using European approaches to losing weight and staying fit. This latest article looks at which fitness apps and gear are the best to invest your time and money with the hope to stick to a regular exercise program. The French and Italians embrace these trendy fitness techniques, even the chic workout gear-we are very technophile and fitness friendly here! Now the hardest part is up to you and your personal self-motivation. Using the right fitness equipment is only half the story on how to get fit. The best fitness tools are ones that help keep us moving forward, even on days we don’t feel like exercising. Here are my favorite long-term fitness equipment gear and tools, the ones that help me to put on my sneakers and walk and walk and walk.
What are the best fitness apps and equipment that will keep us (really) sticking to a regular workout schedule?
When I started writing this article I thought deep and hard about this question,
What motivates me to keep exercising? What can motivate others, even those who haven’t established a regular fitness schedule to start one and stick with it.
What equipment and fitness technology helps me to reach my exercise goals?
And my answer is:
I need to feel good while exercising and look good too. And the more I work out, the more I want to look even better.
I want to know how much exercise I did and how much working out helps me to get fit and stay lean.
I want to have fun and use my time exercising as a way to take a break from everyday tasks and lower stress.
With these factors on my list, I reflected on what helps me to feel good and really want to move. And that is why I recommend putting your money where your body goes. Here are my favorite fitness apps and gear that motivate you to get out and move. Just do it. Even beginners. It is never too late to start exercising. And with the right gear and tools you are halfway there.
My Favorite Fitness Gear and Technology That Helps Me Stay Motivated To Move
The right shoes
This is my number one area to put your money where your body goes. When your feet are happy, you are happy. Invest in a good pair of sneakers or shoes for every fitness sport you like to do. Your knees and back will also be happier with the right shoe for the right sport. If you are just starting to exercise, the best is to begin with walking. And a good walking shoe or sneaker is essential to keep you moving forward.
The best workout gear in your budget for your varied fitness fun: swimming, biking, running, yoga, tennis
My second big motivator: the right clothing with an added touch that it makes me (think) I look good working out. I have a friend who bikes back and forth to work everyday (10 km) and does biking on the weekends for fun. You know what keeps him motivated? That biking shirt that keeps him dry and warm. The biking gloves that stop friction on his hands. And those cycling shorts that help smooth out the bumps. It makes his ride to work easier because he has the right workout gear. This is the same mantra for yoga, a zumba class at the gym or playing tennis. Even buying a good pair of anti-blister socks for hiking can make a difference in whether you climb that mountain again. Invest in workout clothes that are made for the sport and that make you feel good. Trust me, it works!
A decent set of headphones and an armband
My third favorite: having fun and using sport as a release from everyday stress. I like to use some of my fitness time to listen to podcasts, learn a second language and to listen to music. For whatever you like to listen to while working out, you’ll need an armband that fits your phone, ipod or other music machine plus a set of earphones that won’t fall out when jogging, walking or biking. I use my Ipod earphones (like you see in the picture), but if you are a runner, there are earphones that even wrap around your ears. Choose well and you won’t need to stop moving to slip those earphones back in your ears.
Some workout music that will make you go that extra mile
Music, really good workout music can push you to walk further, jog faster, and bike longer. Set up a workout music playlist on your music machine that you know is going to help you when you work out. It doesn’t have to be hip-hop music, if you want to walk and feel peaceful, you can set up a playlist with new-age or classical tunes.
High-quality weight scale that measures body fat
A good quality scale that measures weight and body fat percentage is also on my list. Getting fit can help you lose weight, but more importantly, regular exercise builds lean muscle mass and lowers our visceral body fat. Another key way to stay motivated to workout regularly is to see the numbers: slow and steady weight loss (or staying weight stable) and slow and steady body fat loss with increases in muscle mass. A good scale will give you the measurements to track your progress.
Now we come to more sophisticated technology such as activity bands and fitness applications to use on your smartphone. These modern day tools also have a place in getting you fit, but I don’t put them number one on my list on where to put your money. While it is important to have a tracking method with your fitness goals, these tools and fitness applications usually work well in the short-term.
Saying this, I do recommend using them, especially as a marker to start. A high quality fitness band like the Nike Fuel band (seen in the picture) will set you back a few dollars, but these bands measure your activity and thus, they can be initially motivating to set your activity goals and know how much you are actually moving during the day.
If you want to take your fitness plan seriously, especially in the beginning, use one of these activity bands as a good initial activity goal setting method. If you set a goal of doing a certain amount of steps or activity, the bands can show how you are doing on that day and push you to go out in the evening and move more to meet your goals.
This article explains it better: “My Life With The Nike Fuel Band Activity Tracker” And a review of the two other popular activity trackers: FitBit One and Jawbone Up. If you need a good start to making and measuring your fitness activity, one of these bands will be a good investment, for the short-term.
A good fitness application on your smartphone
The beauty of fitness applications is that some of them are free or very low cost. The downside is that they are not the most motivating way to get of the house and move. As with fitness activity bands, these fitness apps are part of a good initial tracking method and for this reason I do recommend them. And they work well in the short term. My favorite fitness apps are: Fitocracy, My Fitness Pal and MapMyFitness. Do you have a favorite fitness app? Share it with us.
Best workout technology and tools is to follow your body’s needs
Feel good when you work out, make it fun, add some music, wear workout clothes that makes you feel good in your body and shoes that make your feet happy. This is where I recommend to invest your money and time.
And add a tracking method such as a good activity band and a fitness app that measures your progress. You may give this technology up after a while, but the right fitness clothes and shoes will keep you moving in style, keep you motivated for the long term. And isn’t this the goal?
Over here in Europe, we do love our fitness tools and technology. But it is so Oh la la French or Che Bello Italian just to get out our chic workout gear and just move, move, move!
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