I'm an Idaho raised, Utah girl and wife to the love of my life, mama to two beautiful baby girls, girl boss with an amazing team supporting me, wedding podcaster and coach, believer and follower of Christ, and, of course, a wedding photographer!
I love telling love stories, uplifting and encouraging, and sharing what I know because sharing is caring!
When I started as a Salt Lake City Wedding Photographer, I was a mom of an 8 month old baby. Finding time to exercise was few and far between, or so I thought. What I discovered as I had my second baby was that exercise was something I had to MAKE time for. Once I did, subtly but surely my perception of my body image and my mental and emotional health was so much healthier. I used to NEVER exercise so changing to someone who exercises 6 days a week almost without deviation has been quite the journey and I’m so passionate about what it’s done for me!
Once I realized that no price is too high for being able to actually move my body and have it do what I need it to do every day and have the energy I need, it changed my whole perspective. Exercise and the equipment I use are an INVESTMENT for the rest of my life.
I’m a mom so exercising at home is important to me. Having a gym membership sounds nice but is impractical for wanting to work out with littles, so I work out at home. And we’ve lived in smaller spaces for most our lives so we needed small items we could use to exercise effectively. Here is my list of my favorite exercise items!
These weights are so worth the investment. We’ve had these since we got married and I use them almost every day! With weights ranging from 5 pounds up to 50 pounds they are so versatile and can be used for any workout. They are SO adjustable so you can get the perfect weight you need. A traditional dumbbell set from 5-50 pounds goes for at least $600 ranging up to in the thousands. Plus they take up sooooo much space. These are compact, easy to store and move around, easy to hide in your living space, and affordable. We’ve even brought them in the car with us! These are the #1 item I’d recommend for working at home especially if you don’t have the space or budget for a full dumbbell set.
I use a Gaiam yoga mat similar to this one and it has been great for me! I don’t think the brand of yoga mat matters much. What I look for in a mat is that is won’t peel easily (we had an old mat that we STILL find pieces of because it was poor quality and flaked up really bad), is thick enough for the support I need, and has a grippy surface I can feel stable doing yoga on.
For certain workout programs, you may need a pull up bar. We just use a standard over the door bar and it works great for our needs right now. I use this when doing the P90X3 workouts which I talk more about below!
If using a pull up bar, I have to have something to help me up. I used to use a chair but we got these bands and I LOVE them because I get a much better workout and can feel the muscles that are supposed to be working actually firing. I also love that the bands are covered with fabric to keep it safe because while using resistance bands I’ve had them snap and it’s scary (that’s why I use dumbbells instead, plus I get a better workout with dumbbells.)
Having protein after a workout is important so you replenish your energy, otherwise I feel gassed after. I’m not picky about brand of protein but this brand I have really enjoyed the flavor which is big for me because I’m picky about how they taste! I also like the Premiere Protein that are premixed. There are a lot of things to look for in protein depending on what your priorities are which I won’t dive into now but a google search might be worth your time!
Having something to quickly shake up your protein is important! Just a generic blender bottle like this is what we use and it’s great!
Running is what got me exercising and I looooove my Brooks Ravenna 10 running shoes (they’re new model is the Ravenna 11) and my husband loves his Brooks Ghost shoes. Running shoes are an important investment if you’ll be running a lot to prevent injury. I went to a running shoe specific store and they analyzed my run so that they could help me find the perfect shoe for me! I’d recommend doing that and then buying that shoe from that store if possible or online!
Almost as important as your shoes is your socks if you’re running a lot. I love the light to no cushion Feetures socks I got. Choose which cushion level works best for you and remember that long runs will make your feet heat up so I light lightweight, thin socks!
We have iPhone SEs so we use an armband similar to this. If you have a smart watch, this isn’t needful, but we use one since we don’t! I also just use my apple headphones because I love how they fit my ears. Finding a pair that fits your ears well is important. Then I use a thick headband (scrunnci I think) to cover my ears when it’s cold so they don’t hurt. I listen to podcasts, audible books, or spotify!
Some of the places I love to shop for workout clothes are Amazon (love Nike), Old Navy, Target, Fabletics, and Lululemon. Even Walmart carries some Danskin gems. Just find things that make you feel cute and like a warrior! As well as are functional and are comfortable so you don’t get rashes!
I get asked a lot how I do it all – run a business as a Salt Lake wedding photographer and be a mom. I really think the mental and emotional clarity that exercise brings makes a huge difference and is a part of how I can stay productive and motivated! Hope this helped!
As for my actual workouts, I use BeachBody on Demand (not an add, just love it!) and I LOVE the versatility of the workouts. From weightlifting to yoga to hip hop, they have SO many options. They have programs already set up that can be customized to your goals and needs and there are so many to choose from. I use LIIFT 4 (exclusive to BeachBody on Demand), P90X 3, and Cize and have loved all of them! You can buy them separately or sign up for BeachBody on Demand which is what I do.
*Includes affiliate links. Stock images used.
April 8, 2021