February 19, 2010

Fun Friday: Favorite Workout Tools

Ummm...okay, I could go a little higher tech than this.
Photo: andy_carter

If you Google the “Top Weight Loss Tools” like I just did, you’ll find an avalanche of ideas and many with some product they’re trying to promote. (Quite honestly, I doubt ginsu knives and erectile dysfunction products count but who am I to judge?) Our Cranky Fitness readers are a sophisticated lot who have seen it all and done it all when it comes to weight loss and fitness, so who better to ask than you?! It could be whatever gadget, idea or habit that you find you rely on the most to help keep your head in the game.

Everyone's favorite workout tool? Being this guy's yoga mat.
Photo: Engin Erdogan

From my personal point of view, my favorite tools are my iPod (helps make exercise suck less and seem shorter), my food journal (helps me keep track of what I’m eating and in how many metric tons), my dog (makes me accountable to someone even though I’m holding the leash and he isn’t – let’s hear it for opposable thumbs!!) and my blog (by far the BEST source of support and humor around – and it’s FREE). And if money weren’t a consideration (oh, if you only knew how many sentences I start with that phrase), I’d add a personal chef and trainer to that list who both bear a striking resemblance to Hugh Jackman (tools sometimes cross over into fantasy so just please bear with me. Oh, I apologize – I just realized that sounded a little dirty even though I didn’t mean it to.).

A fellow blogger had this neat post with links to all kinds of cool online tools for those of you into tracking and measuring your stats. For the technology-impaired among us, our favorite tool could be a piece of equipment like a bike or a treadmill.

Low tech yet oh-so-effective
Photo: smowblog

A pedometer is still a little too wonky for me but others swear by them and the 10,000 steps they aim to measure every day. I mentioned my iPod above and have stored many decades of music to move to, but our friends Miz and Shauna have come up with a great podcast team called Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone for that take-along motivation that only they can provide. Or maybe you've got a couple of favorite workout DVDs that you couldn't do without.

So what about it? What are your favorite fitness tools that have helped you out the most along your weight loss journey, and why?


  1. I JUST posted about how DVD's are helping me out a lot right now! Although, I agree, my blog is by far the best weight loss tool I have had at my disposal throughout this journey.

  2. Without music exercising would be pure torture, so my vote is for Pandora. I just Quick Mix it and get an ever changing array of my favorite kinds of music. That is what keeps me going at the gym.

  3. Garmin. I hate to run without it. Tells me how far, how slow and helps me get back to the starting point if I get lost.
    Then my blog. Keeps me accountable - hate to have to admit to being lazy so I keep on running so I don't have to.
    Mirror - the GREAT MOTIVATOR.

  4. My two Must Haves: iPod, and large quantities of caffeine.

    In fact, I think it may be time for a second cup of coffee...

  5. My MP3 player is definitely at the top of the list.

    I love my resistance band and stability ball for the diversity. I can stretch or get my cardio in using either one of those devices.

    I would also have to include my TYR goggles. I love them because they don't leak.

  6. iPod. I wouldn't do any excercise whatsoever without it!

    Other than that, I don't have any suggestions but will promtly steal the ideas you get from here :)

  7. Bicycle (road), Bosu, stability ball, and a schedule set in advance. The perfect shoes for long walks & short runs. I admit to liking the fancy-schmancy computer on my bike, and to liking the cool graphs it produces, and the resulting ability to appreciate the number of miles I've managed to ride. For me, it's about using the tools to learn to love moving more than sitting still. Anything that does that makes the problem pretty much go away.

  8. I love my resistance band, exercise ball, Bosu ball, and ankle weights. I think medicine balls or kettle bells are great tools, too, but I don't love them enough to own them. And my foam roller is a leg-saver!

  9. I love my resistance band, exercise ball, Bosu ball, and ankle weights. I think medicine balls or kettle bells are great tools, too, but I don't love them enough to own them. And my foam roller is a leg-saver!

  10. I love my I-pod. Seriously, Lady Gaga is solely responsible for the current condition of my thighs. LOL! I also love my Bosu ball for core work.

  11. I'm with the rest of the clan - my iPod is essential. And my treadmill. Because often the weather here sucks and if I didn't have the 'mill I wouldn't bother.

    I really love the workouts I've downloaded from podfitness. If I'm ever slacking on workouts I just load those babies up and kick my own @$$.

  12. Oh, and I'll take a dose of that Hugh Jackman trainer/chef as well!

  13. Well I have not been doing a good job exercising but when I do my heart rate monitor really keeps me from killing myself I think.

    I have a page on my website that links to various fitness gadgets that my readers have bought off links on my site - voting with their wallet so to speak. There are certainly some interesting ones on the list!

  14. I'll take Hugh Jackman any day! :-)

    But in the real world, I need my iPod shuffle for that dang cardio & my weight gloves for my love of lifting!

  15. Hugh is mine, mine I say!
    (Just don't tell his wife.)

    Incidentally, I have a picture of him on my blog today, since it's Friday.

    I think all the workout tools have been mentioned. Two great weight loss tools that I've found are
    The Mary Lou scale:

    And the pocket video camera:

    The scale helps me focus on the immediate goal, rather than getting depressed about how much farther I have to go.
    The camera lets me see flaws that I would gloss over when looking in a mirror.

  16. Good walking shoes are number one. Second, the iPod, so I can force myself to get on the stationary bike when it's too cold/dark/icy to walk outdoors. (No, the bike's not third--I hate its evil guts.)

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  17. The tried and true that I come back to, always, is the mantra "Motivation follows action."

    Other stuff helps once I get started, but without the knowledge that this is true, I would seldom start.

  18. My favorite tools are my jump rope, resistance bands and pessimistic friends. I can take them anywhere and their resistance is limitless.

    Rahim Samuel
    Publisher, Wellnessbymanymeans.com

  19. My favorite workout tools:
    Google docs - keep track of mileage and water intake
    boyfriend - he's my running partner
    blog - support system
    Runner's World - great source of information for a newbie

    Tools I would like to own:
    Nike+, Timex Ironman watch, Deuter Speed Lite backpack

  20. I live by my Polar HRM, my exercise shoes and excellent DVD's...What I would like is year round warm weather and sun =)

  21. Thank you bazillions for the podcast shoutout Gigi :)


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