20 things that will help you eat better and get in shape in 2020
This is your year to shine
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Forget that whole “new year, new you” thing. Let’s take it up a notch—new decade, new outlook. While a major diet revamp works for some people and the gym is a great place to get your fitness on, you don’t have to become vegan overnight or commit to a long-term membership to get healthier. Small changes in your eating and exercise habits can quickly add up to have a huge impact. Here’s what you’ll need to take steps to get trimmer and fitter in 2020—including some personal favorites that have worked for me and other staffers at Reviewed.
1. A reminder to get moving: The Fitbit Charge 3
Let’s be honest: We all need a reminder now and then to get up off the couch and get moving. The Fitbit Charge 3 can give you the extra boost of motivation you need, especially heading into the new year. Our favorite fitness tracker has a long battery life of up to seven days, a touchscreen that automatically adjusts to lighting conditions, and is waterproof. From the office to the gym to the pool, there's no limit to where you can track your fitness activities. Plus, if it wasn’t your most active day, you can disregard looking at your step count and scroll through your texts instead (we all have lazy days sometimes—just embrace them).
2. A versatile kitchen tool for every meal: Instant Pot
This baby can make pretty much anything you can dream of—soups, stews, full chickens, meat loaf, even yogurt. The super-popular cooking device can help you get into the habit of cooking every night instead of ordering takeout. If the Instant Pot was running for election in 2020, it would be a guaranteed victory.
3. A fun way to get more veggies in your diet: Imperfect Foods subscription
It seems like 2020 is going to be a year when sustainability and reducing waste becomes more prevalent in everyone’s lives. Might as well join in on saving the planet with saving some veggies first. Imperfect Foods delivers, you guessed it, imperfect, e.g., “ugly” fruits and veggies to your doorstep that would otherwise be tossed in a landfill. Twisted carrots, slightly bruised apples, and funky-shaped potatoes are all types of produce you can get in your delivery. Do they look a bit strange? Yes. But do they taste any different? Absolutely not. One of our writers tested the subscription service this year and not only loved that she was “saving” produce from being wasted but she also realized she was eating better.
4. A way to re-energize the office: iMovR Standing Desk
I don’t know about you, but when I sit at my desk for too long, my legs get cramped, shoulders tense up, and I generally start to feel like an office slug. However, when we tested the best standing desks, it was a true workday game changer. Instead of hunching over my computer all day, I felt like I had space to breathe and room to stretch while up at my standing desk. We liked the iMovR Lander Desk for its ample space for your laptop and knick knacks, as well as easy-to-use buttons to control the height of the desk. Investing in a standing desk this year might just make you feel like you got a brand new job.
5. A great way to explore your city and get active: ClassPass
If you take one thing from this list, know this: ClassPass is one of the greatest fitness innovations I’ve experienced in a long, long time. Living in a city where boutique fitness classes can range anywhere from $20 to $35 can be tough (especially as I want to try every new studio that pops up in Boston).
With ClassPass, you pay a fixed monthly rate, depending on how many credits you would like to book classes with each month. The app makes it simple to reserve your spot and even check who of your friends are going. Best of all? ClassPass offers a free two-week trial so you can see how it works before you commit to an ongoing charge.
6. An easy way to cut out deep frying: the Philips Air Fryer XXL
Air fryers used to be something that made people wrinkle their brow in confusion, but it seems like the past few years they’ve been popping up on kitchen counters across the country. If you just can’t seem to cut deep-fried foods out of your diet, air frying them is the next best thing. Our favorite air fryer does a great job of providing the perfect crispiness to French fries and fried chicken, without the mess (or calories) of submerging them in hot oil. At this point, anything that can make fries even one percent healthier is a true miracle.
7. To give your muscles some extra TLC: Lululemon Reversible Yoga Mat
Yoga mats are useful for two types of people: Those who won’t stop saying how yoga changed their life... and everyone else. For the hardcore yogi and the total beginner, yoga provides a low-impact way to stretch and strengthen the body. Whether you’re toting our favorite yoga mat to a strenuous heat yoga class or simply turning on some YouTube yoga in the living room, this mat will ensure zero slippage and adequate cushioning.
8. The perfect tool to whip up a snack on the go: Magic Bullet Blender
Getting healthy is the marriage of two activities, exercising and eating right. (I know, I wish it was from just sitting on the couch, too.) However, nothing makes eating right more fun than making smoothies. It’s basically like drinking milkshakes in disguise, filled with fruits and veggies instead of ice cream. Our favorite smoothie blender can whip up an easy morning breakfast or a post-workout treat in seconds. Added bonus: it won't take up too much cabinet space either.
9. An outfit that will actually make you want to go work out: Durable, inexpensive leggings
I don’t understand the hype around super-pricey leggings. I have tried enough brands and styles to know you don’t need to drop $100 to get flattering, opaque, perfectly fitting leggings— I’ve found the best ones and they’re only $16. You can snag these leggings by 90 Degree online for a few dollars more, and you’re pretty much guaranteed that T.J. Maxx and Marshalls will have some on their racks in the $16 range. Whether I’m heading to a spin class, doing yoga at home, or crossing the finish line at the Boston Marathon, you can bet I’m wearing my 90 Degree leggings.
10. A way to stop ordering so much takeout: A Home Chef subscription
The hardest thing about cooking (and therefore eating healthy) is the preparation. You have to make sure you have the right ingredients, find time to go to the grocery store, avoid people you know while inside the grocery store (just me?), then lug all of your bags back inside your home. No wonder so many people give up and just go for takeout. Enter, Home Chef. The best meal kit subscription we’ve ever tested will have your meals fully stocked with ingredients and ready to hit the table in about half an hour. With gluten-free, vegetarian, and even vegan options, you can ensure you’ll have a healthy home-cooked dinner, without any of the hassle.
11. A simple way to spice up a workout routine: A set of resistance bands
Whenever I’m feeling generally uninspired with my workout routine, I often turn to resistance bands. The ones in this set from Amazon are compact and lightweight, so toting them around feels like virtually nothing and they’re super-easy to store. Plus, you can work out pretty much every part of your body by using them. Resistance bands are great for someone getting back into a workout routine, too—no scary machines to decipher, just colorful bands to play with.
12. An almost-substitute for an at-home masseuse: A foam roller
Pre-workout? Foam-roll. Post-workout? Foam-roll. Just aimlessly watching TV? Foam-roll. Starting a new fitness routine comes with plenty of aches and pains. Instead of shelling out cash for a one-time massage, investing in our favorite foam roller is the answer. It’s (kind of) like having a masseuse constantly available in the living room, which is pretty much everyone’s dream, anyway.
13. Entertainment for those never-ending cardio sessions: Waterproof, wireless headphones
There’s something terrible about being on cardio equipment at the gym and being forced to listen to the soft rock that’s piped in. That, plus the grunting of other people as they lift weights, is enough to make you give up your New Year's Resolution entirely. Do yourself a favor and pick up these waterproof headphones that are under $20 that our executive editor prefers to AirPods. Just let these live in your gym bag and never again will you have to listen to the cacophony around you—or your dreaded inner monologue—during another workout.
14. A home workout that makes it feel like you’re at a studio: The Mirror
The only thing better than a workout class? Not having to leave home to go to one. Our e-commerce editor tested and loved The Mirror, which doubles as both a projector/TV screen of on-demand fitness classes and (yes) a mirror. During the workout, fitness instructors appear on The Mirror, coaching you through exercises that are effective and also don’t take up too much floor space. Once the workout is done, all you do is turn it off and you have a beautiful piece of home decor hanging on your wall. What’s not to love? Well, now that you ask... the price. The Mirror is a serious investment, but one worth making if you want to take your love of studio classes to the next level and bring them into your home.
15. The only gym buddy you’ll ever need: A great water bottle
I’m not exaggerating when I say that there is an entire drawer in my kitchen devoted to water bottles. Excessive? Yes. But I truly feel somewhat naked when I am without one. My go-to favorite that has been by my side for a decade is my Nalgene. It has survived high school sports, college athletics, and is now banging around the inside of my bag while I bring it to every fitness class Boston has to offer. (Now that I think about it, it has been to an insane amount of places and I should probably clean out my water bottle more often.)
In our testing, the Brita Stainless Steel Filtering Bottle came out on top as our favorite water bottle. The wide mouth ensures ice cubes will fit in and the premium insulation means the water will stay cold for up to 24 hours straight.
16. For a workout that will make you feel like a kid again: A jump rope
Intimidated by cardio? Just pretend you’re on the playground again. The Survival and Cross jump rope is far from the tattered skipping ropes you used in elementary school, though. Originally designed for boxing gyms, this adjustable rope allows for people of any height—even over six feet tall—to tailor the length to their needs.
17. A way to trick yourself into eating more veggies: A spiralizer
I recently hopped on the “zoodles” bandwagon and I’m never getting off. Yes, it does take a bit of tricking your brain, telling it that you’re eating mounds of pasta when in reality you’re just eating mounds of zucchini (or whatever vegetable you spiralized). The best spiralizer we’ve ever tested is small, simple to wash, and stores easily in your kitchen when not in use. It takes just minutes to go from whole vegetable to veggie noodles, steaming or sautéing in a pan. More veggie noodles 2020! End rant.
18. For runners who love stats and data: A GPS running watch
I will be the first to admit this, but I am a full-blown slave to my Garmin watch. This watch was my little buddy on all of my marathon training runs, beeping every mile to tell me my pace and let me know how many miles I’ve gone, based on its GPS tracking. It’s a great tool for measuring your progress on each workout and over a training cycle. Buyer beware: I become a different person when I strap mine on my wrist, absolutely obsessed with my pace and if I can set a personal best (because of course, this watch keeps track of all of your best times, too).
19. A way to treat yourself post workout: Figs compression socks
The best part about working out? Recovering after. The best tool you can have on your side (aside from a foam roller, see above): compression socks. These snug, stretchy socks gently apply pressure to the feet and calves to help improve blood circulation. So whether you’re just watching TV or running errands after the gym, pop on a pair of the best compression socks we’ve ever tested, and let them help ease your post-workout soreness.
20. For all your workout-supplement beverage needs: A shaker bottle
You don’t need to have a gigantic container of whey powder sitting on top of your fridge to be the proud owner of a Blender Bottle. It's ideal for mixing up protein and supplement shakes, but the whisk-like ball works well for powdered hydration drinks, too. Regardless of your pre- or post-workout drink of choice, the leak-proof bottle is great for on-the-go sipping.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.