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In high school, I was an athlete. In college, I used running and dancing as a way to feel empowered; I was at my happiest when learning hip hop choreography or training for races. After burning out on runs early in the pandemic, and with most dance opportunities canceled or virtual, I found myself in a strange purgatory of post-college athleticism.
This past fall, I got serious. My brain needed a signal to turn off at some point within the Groundhog Day slog, and having physical milestones and achievements had always been a gratifying method of ensuring that happened. Turning the calendar over to 2022, excited to create a sustainable and energizing regimen, I’ve collected the brands and workouts making it easier to stick with a fitness routine – and reap the benefits for months to come.
5 Workout Ideas You Can Stick With Past January
A variety of workout options make staying fit past January not only feasible, but also fun. I’ve picked options that actively incorporate data to help you achieve goals -- making it much more appealing to keep going come February 1. If you’re looking to invest in one piece of equipment that will determine your routine, here are some options for your splurge.
1. A Cheap(er) Spin Bike Than The Peloton (+ The App)
After browsing for a mid-range spin bike to cut down on my sedentary time, I asked for the Renpho AI Smart Bike ($499.99) for Christmas. It allows me to bike as I please, and when I’m looking for instruction, I use the Peloton app for classes. I anxiously pored over reviews for days; Renpho won because it tracks my data over time (and generates personal plans for me based on resistance), is relatively compact, and connects with other riding apps like Zwift.
2. Get Those Steps In With A Foldable Treadmill
For those who miss having more steps in their day, a light foldable treadmill is a no-brainer. The Treadly 2 (starting at $749) is a machine that literally fits underneath your couch when not in use. Some WFH-ers swear by treadmill desks, which can often cost several thousand dollars. In contrast, the Treadly offers flexibility, visible stats, and internal temperature management to ensure the machine’s longevity.
3. This Smart Jump Rope Is Easy, Quick Cardio
My TQE Secret Santa gifted me the SmartRope Rookie ($39.95) from Tangram, and I was positively stoked -- thanks Remi! I generally jump for calories -- I’ll hit a certain threshold then move into the strength portion of my workout -- but I’m starting to attempt different skills like the CrossFit double-under. I wanted this smart rope to track my jump counts, calories, duration, and goal achievement on its synced Bluetooth app. Plus, it’s portable and travel-friendly, so it’s a relatively easy way to stay active no matter my schedule or location.
4. Bored? This Sculpt Class Is All About Variety.
One of our editors, Christine, swears by Ness Sculpt classes: a virtual full body, beat-based sculpt session that uses a variety of props to keep it spicy. She sought a low-impact workout that would build strength without hindering her recovery post-knee surgery. The merits of Ness’ sculpt offering is the variety – from gentle prenatal and postnatal classes to intense cardio and focus classes -- and easy instruction.
5. Add Some Weight To The Routine You’ve Just Conquered
Add a little resistance to your regimen with the stylish, much-praised wrist and ankle weights ($50 for 1lb) from Bala. TQE editors love these, adding them to walks or to household chores for some light extra toning. Bala also offers other shapes you can adapt to your movements: the Bala Bars ($55 for two 3lbs), the Bala Beam ($99 for 15lb), and the Power Ring ($90 for 10lb).
I personally gravitate towards the UWrap line from Equipt Movement, an attractive set of vegan leather wrist and ankle weights ($65 for two 3lbs). The brand combines design and movement to create fitness gear so visually interesting you want to leave it on display because “you reach for what makes you feel good.” Equipt has a sculptural looking ergonomic weight called the Ubarre ($159 for 8lb) that devotees use as interior décor after exercise.
Need weights that adapt with your limits? The JaxJox DumbellConnect ($499) system is a gold standard. These digital adjustable dumbbells are 16-in-one, meaning you can change them on a scale from 5 to 80 lbs. Its sleek, compact design and robust capability are enough to lend you the power of a gym wherever you are, along with the accompanying JaxJox app that tracks your reps, weight, sets, time, power, and overall volume.
Track Your Progress And Take Care Of Yourself
Like your first investment in exercise equipment, finding a fitness tracker can be a pricey yet worthwhile endeavor. Habit-tracking is a phenomenally successful practice because we’re inherently motivated by streaks, closed rings, and all those other addictive gimmicks that remind us of our motivations. It’s why most of our product recs have a tracking component for accountability and progress.
I’m currently doubled up with my trusty Apple Watch Series 3 ($399 for Series 7) and a newly-arrived Whoop 4.0 ($180 for six months’ tracking). In the past, I’ve wholeheartedly endorsed Whoop. I adore that it includes factors like my sleep, alcohol consumption, stress level, and more to make those decisions. However, Whoop’s rollout of the 4.0 was…not great. If you’re willing to wait, or can acquire a 3.0 device, I’d recommend the system as a whole, but for now, I’d opt for a similar tracker like the subtle Oura Ring ($299) which also has excellent sleep and recovery tracking -- and is quiet enough to blend effortlessly with what you wear normally.
For recovery, I’ve been addicted to the Vyper model vibrating foam roller ($199) from Hyperice. This three-speeds, compact foam roller feels so luxurious on my aching muscles, and it makes me want to cry a little less when I think about squatting more weight the next day. On some of my rougher days, the motivation to go use this thing is what gets me through my workouts.
You’ve decided to improve your fitness, whether that’s incrementally to feel better or in pursuit of a concrete goal. Let’s make it a little easier for you by optimizing the process.
Haven’t you heard? February’s the new January.