Move It Monday: Fitness Faves & Giveaway

by tinareale on August 26, 2013

***Fall session of Best Body Bootcamp begins in TWO WEEKS! Don’t forget to register!**

Why, hello there! Monday again already? I can’t wait to catch you up on this weekend and all the birthday fun, but I still need some time to sort through pictures and the like. In the meantime, I have a fitness inspired post for you with ten of my current fitness faves – products, exercises, motivational tools, etc. For full disclosure, I did receive the Aurorae yoga mat in this post free for review. No other compensation was received and all other items shared are my own purchases.  I would love to hear some of your current faves, too, in the comments!


Squat Push-Up Exercise. Lately, I’ve been doing Insanity workout DVDs with Peter some mornings of the week. Not the full program, but a few DVDs here and there. I’m enjoying their fast pace and challenging bodyweight exercises. In a recent workout, Shaun T did this crazy squat push-up combo exercise. It is harder than it looks and I love it. Fair warming, bootcampers…you just may see this as one of the advanced options in the later phases. Just saying.

And speaking of Best Body Bootcamp – the Facebook group is totally revving me up. With BBB participation, every member has access to a members only Facebook support group. I check-in through the day and always leave with an extra dose of motivation for my own workouts. That community keeps getting better and better.

Barre workouts. I guess in addition to all the heavy pounding and Best Body Bootcamp strength workouts, I’ve been turning to some lower impact but still effective workouts. Out of those, I’m finding myself a huge fan of barre work. I even ordered myself a few DVDs from The Bar Method as a treat to myself for my birthday. I’m hoping they live up to my favorite Physique 57 DVDs to give me some other choices to put in rotation.

Super Sculpting Workoutsource

Epsom salt baths. With all that working out, no wonder I need some good recovery for my muscles. I have taken a few epsom salt baths before, but don’t really have the patience for baths. Then, my sister gave me some lavender bath salts for my birthday. I could soak in those all. day.

Jay Robb protein powder. I’m a huge fan of Vega protein powders – especially the Vanilla Almondilla energizing smoothie blend. But it can be crazy pricey and a pain to always have to order online. In fact, I ran out and needed an option for my daily smoothies that I could get right away. I picked up the Jay Robb vanilla whey available at my local Kroger and have been a fan. It still doesn’t top my Vega, but it’s great for a more convenient and slightly cheaper option.

Under Armour workout tanks. When I received a coupon for a sporting goods store, I went to check out the gear and these tanks caught my eye. I now don’t want to wear anything else when working out. They are comfortable, long enough to not ride up, sweat-wicking, and come in fun colors. An all around win!


IDEA Fitness Journal. The only “fitness magazine” I need. I always liked reading fitness magazines for the occasional good exercise idea or fitness topic, but the standard ones are often so watered down with “fluff” as I’ll nicely put it. Entertaining, yes? But I much prefer the loads of information I get from the IDEA Fitness Journals I receive through my membership with them as a CPT. Plus, can’t beat the CECs from them.

New Balance 890 running shoes. I’m running a lot less lately (more on that in a future post), but I’m happy to report that my old favorite shoes are BACK. I ran in the first version of the New Balance 890s my first year running and had zero issues. Then, their second version caused some problems for my feet and I never found a just-right pair since switching from them. Now, with the third version, I find them just as fabulous as before. I even broke them in with an eight mile run and had no issues whatsoever.

Cathe workouts and sliding discs. Yep, still Cathe obsessed. Her stuff never gets old. It amazes me how she always comes up with new ideas. I know the sliding discs aren’t that new, but I’ve used them in a few of her workouts recently and they work muscles I forgot I even had. Ouch! In a good way.

Aurorae Yoga gear. Ahhhhh, yoga. What used to be a workout I looked down upon is now easily one of my favorite workouts of the week. I’ve picked up a hot yoga practice, attending one to two times per week, and couldn’t be happier. Well, at least now that I have this new Aurorae yoga mat.


I’ve been a fan of Aurorae products since trying them out years ago back when I blogged at Faith Fitness Fun – who here remembers that site? Their original mat served me well for years, but I found myself slipping and sliding a lot during hot yoga. I’m a sweaty beast (and seriously believe I sweat more than anyone in that class ever). When looking at yoga towels, I immediately headed to Aurorae’s site. I emailed to ask about their mats and thanks to the previous partnership, they kindly offered me a new mat for review.


In addition to the new mat, they sent along one of their oversized (and super plush) sweat towels and a tank from their new line of yoga apparel – perfect for yoga as it moves with your body and doesn’t get all bunched up in weird places. If you’ve done yoga, you know what I’m talking about. As for the mat, I received a special yoga towel and mat hybrid they feature – the Synergy mat.


A few key details about this mat:

  • slip free microfiber towel as top surface of the mat (perfect for hot yoga)
  • 5mm thick mat with non-slip surface on bottom – for comfort and protection
  • 72” long (extra long mat) to fit all sizes
  • light weight
  • easy to care for (machine washable)

My thoughts after using it about a month? I would tell anyone looking for a quality mat to look no further than the Synergy mat. Even if you don’t do hot yoga, this mat still works well for general practice. Namely because you have a much better grip, it’s super comfortable on wrists and knees while holding poses, and you can wash it in the washing machine. I love that – once again, considering my beast sweat mode. So, thank you Aurorae!

And you can thank Aurorae, too, because they are offering a giveaway for the Synergy mat as well! Follow the directions below. You have until Thursday evening at 11:59 pm EST to enter. I will announce the winner in Friday morning’s post. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tell me a favorite fitness item of your own these days! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!


1 Miz August 26, 2013 at 7:30 am

so so so excited.
cant really afford :-) got em anyway.
Im worth it right?

2 Abigail August 26, 2013 at 7:36 am

My favorite fitness item right now is my foam roller! It has seriously improved my running life sooooo much :)

3 Caroline August 26, 2013 at 7:40 am

I’ve been obsessed with barre this summer and love the whole body workout that it provides!

4 Danielle @ It's A Harleyyy Life August 26, 2013 at 7:42 am

I love dumbbells– weird right?

5 tinareale August 27, 2013 at 6:50 am

Not weird! Those are a must have!

6 Kim August 26, 2013 at 7:50 am

Would love the Synergy Aurorae Yoga Mat! Looks awesome!
I’m lovin my KOSS Fitclip headphones!

7 Sarah August 26, 2013 at 7:53 am

I have a 2 month old and because of that my favorite fitness item is my stroller

8 tinareale August 27, 2013 at 6:50 am

Oh, yes! Strollers make everything more doable with the little babies. I used to love walks and pushing that thing is definitely a workout.

9 glenneth August 26, 2013 at 7:56 am

my favorite fitness item right now is the FitnessGlo website.

10 [email protected] August 26, 2013 at 8:01 am

I love Shaun T and Insanity! That said I’ve now ended up with Morton’s Neuroma thanks to all the heavy pounding, running and working on my feet…so addictive though!

11 tinareale August 27, 2013 at 6:51 am

Ouch! I’ve heard that those things are pretty painful. I know I probably couldn’t have managed it well alongside more running.

12 Heather @fitncookies August 26, 2013 at 8:11 am

I love Insanity too :) I think Kettlebells are becoming my favorite! I love using them for everything!

13 Karen August 26, 2013 at 8:20 am

That webpage is great! i have to rein myself in from spending too much

14 Lesli August 26, 2013 at 8:39 am

I love my new Mizuno running shoes!

15 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More August 26, 2013 at 9:11 am

HOLY squat pushup! There’s nothing about that move that looks like fun… ;)
My favorite fitness item would be my new running shoes. I haven’t worn them yet but I’m already excited for tomorrow’s workout when I CAN wear them!

16 Allison August 26, 2013 at 9:32 am

My current favorite item is my new running shoes. I’ve been having trouble with my left foot and knee and am hoping that these new shoes will help. I’ve only used them a few times, but so far they feel great.

17 tinareale August 27, 2013 at 6:52 am

Hope they keep feeling great!

18 Amanda August 26, 2013 at 9:40 am

Oh, I would love to have this mat! The slip free microfiber is the feature that appeals to me most because I sweat a TON!

19 Rachel August 26, 2013 at 9:58 am

Yes! I’m in great need for a new yoga mat :)

20 Tori L August 26, 2013 at 10:21 am

My favorite are my new shoes I just got! I got them to give me enough time to break ‘em in before bootcamp!

21 Rebecca Wright August 26, 2013 at 10:22 am

Sounds like an amazing mat! I’ve been wanting to pick back up into yoga and this would be great to help motivate me!

22 Rebecca Wright August 26, 2013 at 10:24 am

Also my favorite feature would have to be the length, I hate a short mat

23 Jessica Z August 26, 2013 at 10:30 am

I like that the Synergy mat is slip-free, because I am always having to readjust my pose/position to ensure that I won’t fall out of whatever pose/position I am in!

24 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries August 26, 2013 at 10:36 am

I love my new Reebok Sublites! A great shoe for functional workouts!

25 Valerie August 26, 2013 at 10:43 am

Good thing I’m wearing restrictive clothes; otherwise I’d totally be trying that squat push up in my cubicle.

My favorite fitness device is my fitbit flex. I love seeing how many steps I get in a day.

That synergy yoga mat looks awesome. The plush surface sounds nice. I could use the extra softness for my poor sore knees. It’s cool that you can machine wash it as well.

26 tinareale August 27, 2013 at 6:53 am

Haha! I bet that would be a fun sight for the coworkers. My knees would always hurt on other mats and definitely no issues with this one. Love the Aurorae mats.

27 Lenore August 26, 2013 at 10:53 am

Hi Tina!

Any mat that will stop me from slipping and wanting to throw in the towel – I’m done for it! I’ve managed to do splits from the Warrior positions to a face plant in the downward dog due to sweaty beast modes…

Have a great day!

28 Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! August 26, 2013 at 11:07 am

right now I’m loving my yoga dvds – I was really bored and unhappy doing strength workouts, so yoga is what’s working for me now. As the sweatiest person I know, this mat would be *perfect* for me!

29 tinareale August 27, 2013 at 6:54 am

Too bad we couldn’t do yoga together and have super sweat alongside each other. I always hate being the most crazy sweater around!

30 Amanda August 26, 2013 at 11:19 am

Just started using the RunKeeper app and love it!

31 Katelyn M August 26, 2013 at 11:40 am

Paying for a gym membership is not an option for me, so I workout to fitness DVDs at my house. My current favorites are Weight Loss Pilates and Gaiam Yoga for Weight Loss. I find my current yoga mat to be a bit slippery and the Synergy mat would be the perfect solution. Thanks for the opportunity! :)

32 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions August 26, 2013 at 11:40 am

Ahhhhhhh New Balance 890s!! I forgot that we were shoe twinzies for a while there. I used to run in v1 of the 890s as well and LOVED. THEM. I was SO upset when the v2s came out with that weird support type thing near your big toe joint? I don’t know if you know what I’m talking about, but there was definitely something funky going on inside that shoe and I did NOT like it. Not one little bit. It was still there in the 890s v3, so I’m currently in Asics, but man. It’s like my 890s v1 are an ex-boyfriend I just can’t get over (my…solemate? Bahahaha. Worst joke ever). My Asics (Gel-Cumulus 15) are serving me all right, but they’re just not the same. I really wish I could just go back in time to when I bought that first pair of 890s and buy like 20 pairs all at once. I’m in the middle of marathon training right now so I’m not looking to make any dramatic shoe changes, but the next time I need new shoes, I’m really tempted to give the 890s a shot again, especially since I, like you, had no issues with the first 890s. I’ve never really run in the 890 v3s, so I don’t know for sure how my legs will react to them…but I’m tempted to give it a shot. I miss them so much!

33 tinareale August 27, 2013 at 6:55 am

I don’t really notice the toe thing much (but did when trying the v2s). I’ve loved these shoes. Now, I haven’t been running as much distance in them as before so that may help. Regardless, I’ve done up to 8 miles with no complaints. And I know just what you mean about the “solemate”. Haha.

34 kristin August 26, 2013 at 12:17 pm

I would have to say yoga mats and the flat ladder.

35 Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine August 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm

a machine washable mat…Awesome!

36 Emily August 26, 2013 at 12:30 pm

I’d love to win this mat because I have a hard time finding mats that I don’t slip on. On most mats, I can go from downward-dog to plank-esque pose in about 2 breathes if I’m doing hot yoga:(

37 Cori @ olivetorun August 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm

The fact that it is machine washable sold me.

38 Jessica Styers August 26, 2013 at 1:17 pm

My favorite fitness item right now is my GPS watch. I am currently training for my first marathon so it is my best friend during my long runs.

39 Heather Murphy August 26, 2013 at 1:30 pm

I have never tried an Epsom salt bath, but heard they were great! I will definitely have to try it this week with the lavender- sounds relaxing!

40 Sarah August 26, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Favorite item: I just got a jogging stroller! Love it.

41 Jeannie August 26, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I’m loving my new Asics right now – the new yoga mat would really help with the post-run stretches and yoga!

42 Danica @ It's Progression August 26, 2013 at 2:28 pm

I love that it’s so easy to take care of (lightweight and washable)!

43 kristina edson August 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I currently have an aurorae yoga mat and LOVE it. I have noticed I slip and slide a bit in hot yoga thought so their new synergy mat looks very appealing! Hope I win!

44 tinareale August 27, 2013 at 6:56 am

That’s how I was with my original mat. Loved everything about it but still the slippage when in hot yoga. This mat definitely took care of it.

45 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat August 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I’ve been in the market for a new mat since I’ve upped my yoga practice!

46 Kara D August 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm

This mat would be great because of its anti-slip properties.

47 MB August 26, 2013 at 3:24 pm

I’m amazed at how much I can do with a simple exercise ball at home!

48 Heidi Nicole August 26, 2013 at 3:44 pm

I’m learning it like my booty shorts for running…does that count?

49 tinareale August 27, 2013 at 6:57 am

So counts!!!

50 Alexandra August 26, 2013 at 3:58 pm

I’ve been loving my resistance band! Its so great for at home workouts and I feel like I can get a great strength session in without having to purchase a bunch of at home exercise equipment.

51 courtney August 26, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Love my foam roller!

52 Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves August 26, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Those squat pushups are tough! In a good way ;)
I’ve been loving the Grid foam roller–muscle life saver. And at dance today, my teacher had us do plank hand walks with towels under our toes as sliders. It was killer!

53 tinareale August 27, 2013 at 6:57 am

I lvoe that move! I call them alligator walks, They kill the shoulders and core.

54 Marni G August 26, 2013 at 7:28 pm

My favorite fitness item right now is probably my TRX. Simple, challenging and versatile. I go through phases of using it and always come back to it. Love it!

55 Arlene @ Adventures in Weight Loss August 26, 2013 at 7:32 pm

A machine washable non-slip yoga mat sounds like a fantastic idea.

56 Heather @ Better With Veggies August 26, 2013 at 7:57 pm

I think my Living Proof shirts are my favorite right now – although it’s a tough call. But, I only have 3 and I wear all 3 every single week (and get excited when they are clean for the next week again!), so I think they win. :)

57 tinareale August 27, 2013 at 6:59 am

I want some of those!

58 Danielle Johnson August 26, 2013 at 8:26 pm

i love the non slip surface! i swear every mat i buy, i slide right off!

59 jen @nutcaseinpoint August 26, 2013 at 8:32 pm

I love my new lululemon shorts- im a crop person and finally broke through and tried the shorts- theyre great for hiking!

60 Brittany @ Delights and Delectables August 26, 2013 at 8:53 pm

I love Shaun T… those are a hard combo! I am in love right now with my kettle bells!

61 Katie Contests August 26, 2013 at 9:02 pm

I like that it’s machine washable

62 Tessa at Amazing Asset August 26, 2013 at 10:09 pm

My current favorite piece of equipment is my foam roller! I am entering into 6 or so months of no running due to overtraining my legs to such an extent, that a ton of scar tissue developed and basically my muscles were tight balls of blahhhh (accurate description right there I know). After going to PT a few times, he said the best advice he can give me is to REST and foam roll, each and every day to break up those crazy knots. Although painful, I know it will be worth it. Gosh I miss running!

63 tinareale August 27, 2013 at 7:01 am

I remember feeling that way too…then afterwards determined that while I enjoy running it really is nice to just FEEL better too so it was totally worth it.

64 JessW August 26, 2013 at 10:23 pm

I’d love a new yoga mat!

65 Jordan August 26, 2013 at 10:25 pm

My favorite new-to-me fitness tool is definitely the kettlebell.

I definitely could use this yoga mat, my studio is offering hot yoga starting in September!

66 Wendy B. August 26, 2013 at 11:37 pm

I love that you can put the mat in the washing machine. Score!

67 Megan (The Lyons' Share) August 26, 2013 at 11:49 pm

I can’t stray away from my regular faves – Garmin, foam roller, and compression socks! I am a Vega lover, too – so maybe I’ll have to try Jay Robb as a replacement!

68 Carla S August 27, 2013 at 12:21 am

My favorite fitness items right now are yoga mats,cable machine,and stairmaster.

69 Lauren (@PoweredbyPB) August 27, 2013 at 9:16 am

I love epsom salt baths! My current favourites would be compression calf sleeves, yoga strap and magnesium oil spray.

70 Erin August 27, 2013 at 10:48 am

I really need a new yoga mat, this one looks great!!!

71 Bayley August 27, 2013 at 10:52 am

As someone who is slowly getting into yoga, I’d love to have a new mat! The fact that it’s also machine washable is a huge plus as well!

72 Brittany August 27, 2013 at 11:19 am

I love my Brooks running shoes and my resistance bands…so easy to travel with!

73 tinareale August 28, 2013 at 6:50 am

Resistance bands are so great! I love how versatile they are!

74 Shauna'h Fuegen August 27, 2013 at 11:52 am

I love the sound of that yoga mat! I could use the extra absorbent powers even for regular yoga :)

75 Carissa August 27, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I recently got a pair of minimalist running shoes and while I admit, I haven’t gotten out there and used them as much as I wished this summer, I really like the way they feel!

76 Katie August 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm

I need more yoga and I need more energy in my life!

77 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers August 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm

My fav fitness item as of late is my set of Tracy Anderson pregnancy project DVDs. They’re not my favorite style of working out, but it’s a nice change from my normal routine.

78 Beverly Aragon August 27, 2013 at 2:45 pm

I have wayyyyyy too many fitness faves, but lately I’m really loving my new Polar HRM!

79 Lisa August 27, 2013 at 5:22 pm

How thick was the mat? I’ve been looking for a new yoga mat because mine is falling apart. :(

80 tinareale August 28, 2013 at 6:49 am

I believe it is their standard 5 mm thickness. It’s a lot thicker than any mat I’ve ever gotten from a standard sporting goods store, but not so thick that I feel like I’m on a squishy pillow and unable to balance during standing balance poses. If that helps at all. Haha.

81 Lisa August 28, 2013 at 11:47 am

Great! Good to know. I’m looking for a thicker mat.

82 Denise August 27, 2013 at 7:15 pm

I love the yoga mat: hot yoga for the win!!!!

83 Debra Lee August 28, 2013 at 1:03 am

Kettlebells for me!

84 Melissa August 28, 2013 at 1:18 am

The fact that it’s machine washable is SO nice. My current mat isn’t and I constantly (aka still am) procrastinate cleaning it!

85 Amanda Tipton August 28, 2013 at 9:02 am

I have looking to get back into yoga and have been looking for a new mat. This one sounds perfect!

86 Gina Helton August 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm

I would say I am most interested in the Fit Bit right now. I like how much is tracks in regards to fitness and the syncing technology!

87 Alyssa @ Don't Look Down August 28, 2013 at 2:20 pm

My current fav item is my bike because I’ve been spending the most time on that.

88 Shelley B August 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm

The no-slip mat seems PERFECT for me! I am constantly slipping during yoga.

89 Katie M August 28, 2013 at 10:50 pm

I love that you can wash the Synergy mat in the washing machine! My yoga mat is kinda smelly, but it is such a pain to clean.

90 Lindsey leone August 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm

I need a mat, my dogs really like what I have now, I nee my own!

91 Arlinda August 29, 2013 at 4:54 pm

I love my dumbbells. My arms have never looked better.

92 Coco August 29, 2013 at 10:28 pm

The top surface of that mat sounds really neat. I love Cathe too!

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