Outdoor Living

Thrive in 2018: Three Products to Keep Your Fitness Goals on Track

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular physical activity is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy body and mind. Whether you exercise for weight loss, disease prevention, or to improve your mental wellness, a commitment to physical activity is the best decision you can make in 2018. Here are three of our favorite products to keep your fitness goals on track so 2018 can be your best year yet.

Grid Textured Massage Roller

aleko foam roller

Click here for more information about Aleko’s Grid Textured Foam Roller 

Even when your fitness goals are on track, many people are caught off balance by sore and tight muscles after physical activity. It’s important to remember that recovery is just as important as exercise. While a professional sports massage is ideal for releasing tension, a massage can be expensive. Many athletes prefer to keep a massage roller on hand before and after workouts to reap the benefits of massage whenever they need it.

The Benefits of Foam Rolling

Foam rolling offers many of the same benefits of a deep tissue massage, including reduced inflammation, scar tissue prevention, releasing joint stress, and improved circulation. Many athletes report faster post-workout recovery with only a few minutes of foam rolling per day.

Why We Like It

The Grid Textured Massage Roller is our pick this year for many reasons. Its compact size makes it easy to slip into your gym bag or store away at home for quick access. The textured surface stimulates muscles evenly to provide the benefits of a deep tissue massage. Here’s our favorite part: this foam roller comes with a pump to make the roller harder or softer, depending on your preference.


Fitness Balance Yoga Ball

exercise ball Aleko

Click here for more information about the Aleko Fitness Balance Yoga Ball

Fitness balls are a hidden gem in the fitness world that many people overlook. They strengthen the core, improve balance and stability, and help users assume a neutral spine position to improve posture. While the fitness ball is a simple tool, don’t let that fool you: there are countless benefits to be gained from this single item. Beyond working out, people find fitness balls useful as a desk chair replacement, as an aid for the birthing process, to encourage proper posture, and more.

The Benefits of Fitness Balls

Do you struggle with back pain and muscular tightness after sitting in a desk chair all day? Most people do, and yet many people assume that there is no fix to this common problem. Exercise balls are an excellent alternative to desk chairs because they improve posture and help lengthen the spine.

One of the biggest benefits of switching to an exercise ball is improved core strength that comes from the body’s tendency to micro-adjust for balance as you sit. The best part is that both the abdominal and back muscles are toned simultaneously, making this a great way to passively reap benefits while you work.

Many athletes also incorporate an exercise ball into their daily fitness routine. Exercise balls are an excellent tool for strength training, gaining flexibility, gentle rehabilitation of injuries, and more. Exercise balls are also a great tool for practitioners of yoga and pilates, often used as props to ease into difficult postures.

Why We Like It

We’ve chosen the Fitness Balance Yoga Ball for a reason: not only is this piece of equipment affordable and easy to store away, this ball is durable, reliable, and simple to use. This ball also has some safety features built in. It is reinforced to be anti-burst and can withstand daily use for exercise and sitting. The soft ridges that line the exterior also make this product anti-slip to prevent accidental injury.  This ball also comes with a pump so you can inflate it and deflate it at your convenience.


Resistance Exercise Door Strap Band

Aleko resistance band

Click here for more information about Aleko’s Resistance Exercise Door Band

With so many benefits, we just had to include a resistance band on this list. Versatile, minimal, and adaptable to work any muscle group, this fitness tool is a game changer whether you exercise at home, at the gym, or during travel.

Gym equipment can be expensive and is often too large to store at home. Resistance bands, however, are low-cost, take up very little space, can be used alone or combined with other fitness equipment, and are adaptable for a variety of physical activities.

The Benefits of Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are a great option for people of any age and fitness level, as they are light and can be pulled on as much or as little as desired. This simplicity is what makes resistance bands so appealing: users can couple them with exercises they are already familiar with. With minimal setup, you can use the band right away.

For those of us who get bored with exercise quickly, the resistance band provides a great opportunity for variety and versatility, with its uses only limited to your imagination. People incorporate resistance bands into their lives for so many reasons: strength training, flexibility, improved grip strength for rock climbing and aerial arts, whole-body exercises, and more.

Why We Like It

We like this resistance band in particular because of its ability to hook into any door. Traditional resistance bands require the user to attach one end of the band under the feet or elsewhere on the body, which makes it difficult or even impossible to work certain muscle groups. Once locked into a door, however, this band is secure enough to pull in any direction and at any resistance level.

Beyond being safe and easy to use, this 35-inch long band includes two soft handles. This grip style prevents the band from digging in and makes it easier to hold. Grab the handles with both hands for an arm workout, hook it around a foot to strengthen the legs, or pull with your whole body to strengthen the abdominal and back muscles. This design is versatile for a reason!

Natassja Cassinerio is a writer and editor who lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her work has been featured in Anomalous Press, Crack the Spine, and other online journals. When she isn’t reading or writing, she hikes with her dog, gets avant-garde in the kitchen, practices aerial silks, and studies the birds of Western Washington.

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