Fitness is an important part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle! Depending on the way you exercise, sometimes physical activities require a lot of equipment. Instead of compromising your fitness, I am sharing some affordable fitness accessories!
Since the beginning of my journey to lifelong wellness, daily movement has been my rock. This movement varies but is often in the form of running, strength training, or some other form of daily exercise. I started moving more because I was on a journey to weight loss (here’s a post on that!) but that evolved into a journey of an overall balanced and healthy lifestyle. That lifestyle includes physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. I quickly found that exercise was extremely beneficial for my overall health and actually helped improved several of the other areas in my life.
As exercise became a daily part of my routine, I realized how expensive it can be! From a gym membership to seasonal apparel to the fitness accessories and gear needed for certain activities, the costs can easily add up. That’s why I made this list of affordable fitness accessories!
Here’s the deal. The Smith family balls on a budget. We are the sales rack/clearance/never-pay-full-price-for-anything people. We are the people that buy something and then use it over and over until it is on the brink and cannot be used anymore. If we love it, we will get the same thing and then use it over and over, and then repeat. We also err on the side of only purchasing the essentials. We prioritize staying safe and getting what we need, but in an affordable way.
Here is a list of a few of my favorite affordable fitness accessories! These are the products I use every single day and have helped me so much to reach my fitness goals and journey to wellness.
Each sport or physical activity requires some sort of gear. Be it golf, swimming, or lifting, there are going to be some extra resources you need. The gear I use depends on if I’m training for something, but I’ll be honest that my two favorite activities are running and lifting, so most of the the accessories I have are tailored for helping me with those hobbies. My typical work out schedule looks like running about 3 times a week, lifting about 3 or 4 times a week, 1 rest day, and then incorporating stretching, yoga, elliptical, other sports, and walks. Though I work a desk job from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., I take advantage of being active when I can! Here’s some of the basic gear that has helped me along the way.
One of the most annoying feelings is the feeling of headphones falling out of my ears. I spent hours researching because there were so many options and landed on Yurbuds. For only $13, they have exceeded my expectations! I use them while running, strength training, and leisurely listening. The pros are that these headphones are super versatile, affordable, and decent quality. After using them every single day, multiple times a day, my first pair lasted me for a year and I then made the decision to re-order the exact same pair. The only con is related to quality and the fact that sometimes the rubber part falls off the end so you have to watch it closely. If you can get over that, these are a great for a basic pair of work out headphones that won’t fall out of your ears while exercising.
When I started on my health/fitness journey, I invested in a FitBit. The FitBit was a great resource to help me keep track of my work outs and daily steps. As my love of running increased, I became interested in finding a watch to better help me track my runs. I used MapMyRun for a long time but when the location services stopped working on my phone (so my phone would tell me I ran over 13 miles in less than 5 minutes…), I decided to invest in a Garmin running watch. I love this watch for so many reasons, specifically its fitness features, GPS accuracy, durability (and it’s waterproof!), and quality. The biggest con is its price, but for me, it was absolutely worth the investment. I wear this watch 24/7 and love it.
As I was on a mission to find a solid pair of headphones, I was also on a mission to find an arm band for my phone. Similar to the headphones, I use this arm band every single day while running and strength training. I love that it’s super strong and my phone has never fallen out (even with burpees!), I’m able to control volume/songs easily, and that I can unmount my phone in the middle of a run. The downside of this is that it doesn’t protect from the elements super well so I have to be careful if it’s raining or super cold outside because it could damage my phone. However, I’ve used this through all of the seasons and am on my second one because the first one was used until it could no longer function.
This is definitely a “for special occasions” kind of water bottle. The Nathan Handheld was recommended by another roommate, Allie. I only bring a water bottle with me if I’m running more than 8 miles, so this actually became my best friend while training for a trail half marathon. I like this bottle because it doesn’t move around on my hand, there’s a tiny pocket for little items, and it doesn’t leak. Though this isn’t used as frequently as some of my other gear, it’s been a valuable companion throughout my running career!
Similar to the hand held water bottle, this running belt is awesome for helping you hydrate and fuel on a run. I use this belt exclusively on long runs because it is extra important to carry nutrients so I’m able to run well! The pocket is large enough for keys, nutrition, chapstick, gum, and other accessories.
This running belt is perfect for a pair of keys, chapstick, ID, or any essentials you might want to take on a run. It’s study, holds tight to your hips, and comes in so many different styles!
I LOVE athletic wear. In high school and undergrad, I lived in comfy athletic clothes and totally embraced looking grungy. Leggings, t-shirts, hoodies – you name it and I was probably wearing it. Since I’ve moved into a professional job, I have really scaled back on the athletic wear I own because I simply don’t get to wear it unless I’m working out or on the weekends. This just means I only own what I need and I only have the basics that work for me. I picked out one of my favorites from each apparel category and have them below!
I’ll be honest that I’m not too picky about socks to use while exercising. If the pair of socks doesn’t fall into my shoes while I’m working out, I probably won’t care much else about it. However, just because I’m not very picky about socks, doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a quality pair! I bought a pair of Feetures running socks during an REI sale, and they have rocked my world. I use these as my special socks when I go on longer runs and they keep my feet dry, happy, and fresh (as fresh as they can be after a long, hot run)!
I am OBSESSED with my Mizuno running shoes. Mizunos were my first real pair of running shoes and I loved them so much that I have now ordered the same pair (just different colors) for years. The Wave Inspires are supportive, durable, and keep me injury-free. It is super important to invest in a pair of shoes that will keep you safe and doing what you love. When I start lacing up my Mizunos, which I exclusively use for running, I mentally get psyched and ready to go for my run!
A Quick Note About Running Shoes
Tip: I recommend going to a local running store and getting fitted for a pair of running shoes. They’ll give you shoes that fit your form, comfort, and work out needs. Also, most people will tell you to get a new pair of shoes around 400 miles of running because that is when your shoes start to get worn out and you risk injury. As someone who is frugal, it is sometimes hard spending money on so many shoes, but it is WORTH IT to avoid the injuries.
I love the feeling of a supportive sports bra (anyone with me on that?). As with socks, I’m not super picky about sports bras so I have many brands and materials, most of which have just been accumulated at different sales over time. Out of all of them, the Nike Classic Swoosh Support is one of my favorites because of the compression fit, support, and the simple design. It’s great for running, gym sessions, and all other activities!
Remember earlier how I wrote about how one of the most annoying feelings is the feeling of headphones falling out of my ears? The other annoying feeling is the feeling of my bottoms falling down when I’m active. Personally, I don’t like bulky clothes when I run or strength train, so having bottoms with a lot of compression work super well for me. I have several kinds of leggings and capris, but this pair never lets me down! They are affordable (I got these on sale at Costco!), durable, and have high performance.
This pair of compression shorts is quite possibly my best running companion. I basically wear them year-round, except for the super extremely cold months of the winter. The compression element keeps them super tight so they never fall down while I’m on a run and I have never experienced chaffing. I have a couple of pairs from some other brands, but this pair is affordable, high quality, and I have zero complaints about them. I am absolutely obsessed with these shorts and will always have a pair in my drawer for my running needs!
I’m a “messy bun with a big head band” work out girl. I have some long and thick locks so I can’t mess around when it comes to head gear. I can’t stand the feeling of my hair sticking to sweat, so 98% of the time I wear my hair in a tight messy bun while I’m working out. These headbands are awesome to keep hairs out of my face, soak up sweat, and add a little bit of pop to my outfit. Definitely recommend these for some long hair runners!
Strength training is so important for overall fitness. Building muscle will make you stronger and can increase your performance for all sorts of activities. It’s not always easy to make it to a gym so I keep some strength training gear in my home!
These resistance loop bands are awesome for at-home workouts. You can use them for upper body work, back work, and overall strength. With so many resistance options, these are great as you continue to progress and need more resistance.
Similar to the resistance band loops, the are awesome bands for at-home workouts! Whether you’re working on building lower body strength or abs, you’ll be able to customize your workouts with these bands.
Y’all. If you’re someone who doesn’t prioritize recovery, let me tell you that I used to be with you. I used to push my body super hard and then not give it any opportunity to rest and repair. Unfortunately, working out in that way leads to injury. If you haven’t experienced it yet, you aren’t untouchable or you won’t be forever. Our bodies NEED time to recover, whether that looks like going on a leisurely walk, practicing yoga, stretching, or some other day of rest activity. These are some resources I have found super helpful on my road to recovery and staying injury-free!
Foam rolling has been one of the most beneficial parts of healing from present injuries and avoiding future ones! I used to be one of the people who said “Ain’t nobody got time for foam rolling!” and would stretch for two seconds after a run and then carry on with my day. I’m not saying this is the sole reason I ended up getting injured, but I bet it was a factor! Whether it was an IT band problem that persisted for weeks or a hamstring problem that lasted a few days, I started foam rolling and it helped SO much. I try to foam roll once a week or a few more times if something is extra store. There are so many tutorials online if you don’t know how to begin or want to figure out how to roll a certain area.
I’m sure you might have picked up on the fact that it’s hard for me to rest. Yoga has been an activity I’ve been trying to incorporate into my routine more frequently. It has helped a lot with mindfulness, breathing, and slowing down. I keep this mat rolled up in the corner of my living room and it works great on my carpet floor. It’s thick, long and I have no complaints!
Even if you are staying hydrating while working out, it’s helpful to use electrolytes to help with hydration. Electrolytes are important because they help balance the amount of water in your body and move nutrients to your cells. Most electrolytes can come in a tablet that dissolves in water or even a little packet. My favorite electrolytes are Nuun hydration tablets.
Fitness is great. Incorporating movement and work outs into my daily routine has positively impacted my life and improved my overall wellness. With social media and today’s culture, it’s easy to think that to be well or to have successful work outs you need to purchase all of the high-end and expensive products on the market. Y’all. You don’t. While it’s important to have what you need to be safe and comfortable, you don’t need to break the bank. Overall, I think it’s important to invest in whatever works best for you! My favorites might be your least favorites, and that’s totally cool. I hope you’re able to find the accessories you need to be well on your fitness journey!
P.S. If you liked this post, check out my post about race essentials. If you have affordable fitness accessories that are your favorite, comment with them because I’d love to check them out!
This is not a paid review and opinions and experiences expressed in this post are all mine. This post does contain Amazon affiliate links. Jordo’s World is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. If you purchase an item through the link I will get a small percentage of the sale which goes toward the development I do for this site.