Fitness Essentials: Recovery Mode

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I thought it was time for a new essentials list!  You've seen my beauty must-haves, and my gym bag essentials, but how about the things I keep at home for when I'm in recovery mode?  This is the stuff that doesn't weigh down my gym bag but rather I use to help my body recuperate after a few challenging workouts, or on a rest day.  

1. Loop It Up Mat Strap:
Ok, yes, this holds my mat and can be a to-and-from class piece, but it doubles as a yoga strap that I can use for stretching at home!  My foot fits nicely in one loop, and my hand in the other.  Stretch out those legs!

2. Mini Foam Roller:
Best for traveling b/c it fits in my suitcase without taking up much room at all!  You better believe I was rolling out my legs in San Francisco last month after soulcycle and walking all over the city.  

3. Sweat Towel
This is more of a gym bag piece, but at most of my workouts where I need the towel (cycling, etc.) they're provided, so it comes with me when I need something softer on my skin than the provided bleached-like-crazy towels, or I keep it at home for post run or post-Tracy DVD moments.  So great on my skin, and easy to wash!

4. Resistance Band:
A great one to have!  It weighs nothing so is a good travel piece for when you're not sure what fitness options will be available, and at home I can use it for both stretch and targeted toning exercises.  Yes, I'm that crazy person who comes home from a workout and thinks, "let's do more arms or abs!"  Mine came from FITNESS magazine as a free gift with my subscription.  Get your own here!

5. Full-Size Foam Roller:
You're finally able to give yourself a deep tissue massage at home!  HURTS SO GOOD!  Need to know how best to use it?  Crunch Fitness Trainer Josh Feldman in NYC taught me to roll till you find a knot (you'll know when) and stop there for about 30 seconds.  No need to roll back and forth - let the pressure do its job.

6. Meditation Blanket:
As I said in my weekly email this past Monday, this doesn't get as much use as I'd like it to.  That's about to change!  The blanket both gives me a designated place to sit and check out (or in, depending on how you look at it), and comfort on my bottom while I sit.  Meditation beginner? I love Elena Brower's encouragement

Soon I'll be adding 1, 2, or 3 pound weights to this list - time to make my Tracy arms regimen more challenging!  

What are your at-home fitness and recovery essentials?  Share your favorites in the comments!