Not to go all Marie Kondo here, but I have zero time for "stuff." Between teaching cycling classes, a 9-5 hustle, and squeezing in a workout for myself, I live my life on the go, and my gear has to hold up—not to mention help me look remotely put together. So when I'm staring down a product, I make myself stop to think about whether it would elevate my life in some way: Does it make me faster? Less sore? Just plain happy? That last one is super valid, trust me.
There are plenty of reasons to make purchases, and finding a "why" typically helps me be a smarter consumer and lands me with products I truly love. After all, life's too short to waste time on "stuff." Here's the gear that keeps me going on the daily, no matter how tough the going gets.
My Favorite Kicks for Kicking Around
Go ahead and call me crazy for wearing white kicks in the middle of a New York City winter—I'm not going to stop living in these APL Ascends. They're supportive enough to cross-train in but cool enough to wear while grabbing drinks with friends. Plus, with their Propelium® technology, I feel like I'm walking on floofy clouds.($200; athleticpropulsionlabs.com)
The Perfect Air Pods Silicone Case
If you're like me, you drop your beloved AirPods on a regular basis. That's why I rely on this gold-flecked silicone case from Elago to soften the blow. The carabiner hook helps to keep the case from falling into the depths of your bag (and this particular style is glow in the dark for when they inevitably do).($13; elago.com)
The Game-Changer of PT Tools
If you haven't experienced the glorious percussive therapy of a Theragun yet, don't walk, run to find one. The new Theragun G3Pro is a game-changer in the world of personal physical therapy and pain-relief devices. It's insanely quiet for a tool that shoots 16mm amplitude at either 1750 or 2400 RPMs (depending on the setting). You'll definitely giggle, smile, and say "ohhhhhyeah" as it jiggles your muscles like Jell-O—you can use it briefly across all of your major muscle groups as a stimulating warm-up or tension-releasing cooldown. Yes, it's pricey. But I think it's totally worth it.
A Tracker that Fits My Goals (and My Wrists)
I'm currently using the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music to train for a few races, and I'm officially an Apple Watch convert. This baby does it all—activity and sleep tracking, Vo2Max and recovery coaching, a shockingly long battery life (seven days in smartwatch mode), and space to hold 500 songs so you can run phone-free. Its big brother, the Forerunner 935, is slightly more rich in data but has a considerably larger face. So with my puny wrists, the 645 is just right.($450; garmin.com)
These Floaty-Light Running Shoes
New Balance shoes haven't ever been my go-to for running, but these lightweight sneaks have changed all that. The Fresh Foam LAZR V2 have a fairly supportive sole, an elevated pocket for your achilles to rest in, and great bounce. The knit material on the upper portion of the shoe almost makes it seem like I'm running in some cushy socks, which is awesome for someone like me who broke a toe that will apparently never ever heal. Not to be a total tease, but these actually haven't been released yet—you can get your hands (feet?) on them March 1.
A Trainer for Indoor Cruisin'
I'm a cyclist, but there's no chance you'll catch me on the road when it's 13 degrees outside. The M2 Smart Trainer from CycleOps helps me bring my workouts indoors—if you're a bike nerd like me, you'll appreciate that it seamlessly connects to your favorite training software (like Zwift or Rouvy), and all of your performance data is recorded within the trainer itself (meaning no external sensors required).
Also, if you're someone who actually enjoys climbing hills (shout-out to our video producer, Jenna!), the Wahoo Kickr and Kickr Climb are a powerful duo that simulate grade changes during your indoor training. #noflatearth
The Leggings You'll Have to Rip Off My Dead Body
Sorry for the alarming description, but I need you to understand my feelings for the Salutation Stash Pocket ⅞ Tight from Athleta. They're super soft yet high-rise and compressive, and they'll make you feel incredible in any yoga or barre class (they're also my go-to for maximum comfort during travel). I wasn't a huge Athleta fan until recently, but I truly feel like they've stepped up their game in terms of design and aesthetic. Also, they're a B Corp now, which is pure awesomeness.
A Portable Masseuse
Hold the face masks—this is my type of self-care. Whether I'm needing relief from muscle soreness midday or traveling for a race, the Trigger Point GRD STK foam roller has come to my rescue on several occasions. Not many foam rollers are travel-friendly, but you can slide this one into a backpack or suitcase fairly easily.($35; tptherapy.com)
Shoes for Walking All Day That Aren't Heinous to Look At
These slip-on Rothy's sneakers are my go-to hack for looking somewhat put together when I'm rocking day-old gym hair and leggings. They're ridiculously comfortable—priority No. 1 when I'm standing at a desk or zipping around NYC all day—and are made from recycled water bottles using a 3D knitting process to reduce waste. Bonus: They're machine washable. Boom.
The Pre-Workout Dream Team
I know, I know—CBD is everywhere right now. And sure, coffee and CBD might sound like a contradictory combo, but hear me out for a sec: Lately, this CBD infused coffee from Jane West has been my version of a pre-workout, and I'm really into it. Obviously, caffeine helps when my alarm so delightfully sounds at 5:30am, but I'm also convinced that CBD has helped me feel more focused during my workouts. With 240mg of full-spectrum CBD per 12-ounce bag, a cup of coffee (I err on the strong side) contains about 13 mg of CBD—that's enough to help me shake the stress of the day to come and stay present when the workout gets tough.
The GOAT of Athleisure
We've sung these pants' praises before, but let me say again for the people in the back: These are the best pants ever. Whether you're a commuter, a lunchtime exerciser, or just thrive in comfy clothes, the On The Fly pant from Lululemon is going to change your life. They look like trousers but have the elasticity of leggings, so you can chameleon your way from the conference room to yoga with no problem.
Every editorial product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through one of our links, we may earn a commission. But don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra, and we wouldn't recommend a product if we didn't love it as much as we love puppies.
Jamey Powell is Greatist's associate fitness editor as well as a NASM certified personal trainer, cycling instructor, yoga teacher, and triathlete. When she isn’t sweating, she’s usually eating or trying to pet someone’s dog. You can follow her antics on Instagram.