Alright, so you already have a Theragun or Hypervolt. But beyond the wildly popular portable massager, surely other roads can lead to bliss, right? Right. When it comes to self-care, you need the discipline to prioritize your health, fitness, and nutrition. Having an arsenal of products and services to keep your body firing on all cylinders helps too.
That’s why we tapped personal trainers, yoga instructors, and physical therapists to reveal the self-care products and services they turn to when their body (and mind) cries for relief. After all, it’s been a hell of a year; you deserve some some TLC. Salvation is just a few clicks away…
15 Self-Care Products and Services Fitness Pros Swear By
1. Splendid Spoon Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Reset Plan
Nicole Katz, co-founder of The Mat, an online yoga platform, turns to this assortment of plant-based, ready-to-eat grain bowls, soups, smoothies, wellness shots, and noodles when she’s in need of a body reset. “As a long-time yoga practitioner and yoga therapist, what I put in my body is a very important part of my daily practice,” says Katz. “Eating clean is a form of self-care, and a way in which we value and fuel ourselves to do all we came here to do,” she adds. Splendid Spoon takes care of me, so I can take care of everyone and everything else in my life with a full tank.”
2. Minky Weighted Blanket
Sleep, glorious sleep, how we yearn for thee. “I use this nightly as part of my wind-down routine,” says Tiffany Chow, a NYC-based yoga instructor. “People think yoga is all I need to feel relaxed, but a weighted blanket is certainly one of my go-to relaxation tools. By getting under a weighted blanket on the couch (reading or watching a show), I feel my body relaxing and releasing tension, subsequently promoting a sleepy feeling that helps me get to bed at a reasonable time.” For more of our favorite picks, check out the best weighted blankets for athletic recovery.
3. WHOOP Strap 3.0
Tawnya Nguyen, personal trainer and owner of Movement Society is a fan of this strap that analyzes recovery, strain, and sleep to optimize daily performance. “This tracker sets itself apart because it provides biometrics that are so helpful and points athletes in the right direction,” she says. “With the help of WHOOP, my stress levels have decreased, the quality of my sleep has significantly improved, and I’ve been more conscious in my everyday decision-making.” This is ideal for someone who wants to focus on their body’s recovery from a very active lifestyle.
[Strap free with $30/month, $288/year, or $324/18 months membership; whoop.com]
4. Lively Root Air-Purifying Plants
“As a physical therapist, it’s my job to help people improve their physical pain or symptoms to revitalize their quality of life,” says Jazmin Kan, DPT, at Southland Physical Therapy in Mission Viejo, CA, noting that promoting mental health is a key component of her practice. “A great way to maintain one’s mental health is to care for houseplants. You watch over them, you nourish them, and you watch them grow. There’s something to be said about taking care of someone or something that’s self-fulfilling.” Research shows indoor plants can boost your mood, and given all the time we’re spending at home right now, we’re all for sprucing up your abode. Just don’t judge us if we start talking to ole Fred the Ficus.
[From $28; livelyroot.com]
5. NormaTec Leg Pulse 2.0 Compression Boots
Mecayla Froerer, director of iFit, an interactive personalized training platform, uses these compression boots as a treat on her days off from intense workouts. “Recovery days are one of my favorite ways to practice self-care,” Froerer says. “Whether I’m doing a quick shakeout run on my treadmill, performing a yoga routine, or simply spinning on my indoor bike to flush my legs, I do my best to move. After I get my workout in, I like to use NormaTec compression boots while sitting on my couch drinking a lot of water. It may not seem glamorous, but it’s effective and really helps me to feel like my best self.”
6. TriggerPoint GRID VIBE Plus
“Most of us trainers are givers by nature,” says Michael Cummings, CSCS, director of education for Implus Fitness Brands. “We output all day long and rarely find time for input. But self-care is precisely the medicine we need to recharge. Because of the amount of physical and emotional daily output I give, I really love passive inputs.” That’s why he’s a fan of this foam roller that vibrates at various frequencies to really get the job done in relieving stress and tension. “Endings found in the skin respond to slow vibration and light pressure; they’re responsible for decreasing sympathetic activity. Since I’m amped up all day, it’s nice to have this passive tool calm me down. Another example is using deeper pressure to activate the muscle spindles. These can help decrease muscle tone, expediting the healing and recovery process.”
7. Oura Ring
Mike Guadango, coach, writer, and owner of Freak Strength knows how important sleep is to bringing your A-game. His athletes include NFL and MLB players to Olympic Gold medalists to rugby players. “Sleep is the cheapest, most overlooked performance enhancer we have access to, and we literally do everything in our power to prevent ourselves from doing it,” he says of our always-on culture. “The Oura Ring gives me the ability to objectively quantify and monitor recovery.” Guadango particularly likes that the Oura Ring does more than your standard sleep tracker, providing highly accurate heart-rate monitoring. “Eating too late in the evening can increase heart rate and lead to an increase in C-reactive protein levels, which are linked to fatigue-related depression.”
[From $299; ouraring.com]
8. B Strong BFR Training System
Low on time? Consider blood flow restriction (BFR) training, through which you can build muscle and break plateaus. “With little time in the day for my own workout, the robust exercise response I get from a 10- to-15-minute B Strong session reshapes how I think about problems, allows me to tackle them with a positive mindset, and raises my spirits,” says Sten Stray-Gundersen, MS, an exercise physiologist. “The key to exercise is achieving enough intensity to elicit benefits. BFR quickly induces the hormonal cascade that leads to the benefit of exercise. BFR solves that problem because you fatigue quickly without having to lift heavy weights or sprint to get there.”
9. Beam CBD Dream Powder
“CBD products have really become a lifeline of mine in recent months,” says Marissa Schrader, PT, a yoga and HIIT instructor at Studio Three in Chicago, IL. Beam was founded by Ironman triathletes and this blend is made with melatonin, magnesium, beam nano CBD, and more to usher you off to dreamland. Schrader puts a heaping scoop of the powder into steamed oat milk with a dash of cinnamon to enjoy before bed. “It truly helps guide me into a deeper and more restful sleep.
Your shoulder’s not feeling too hot after you lifted hard…again. Now what? Try Vertiball. “As a physical therapist, I’m constantly looking for tools that will help my patients with their aches and pains. The Vertiball is that tool,” offers Chris Scott, physical therapist and director of rehabilitation at the Repair Sports Institute in Huntington Beach, CA. “It not only assists in taking away muscle soreness and pain, but it’s a device that can help prevent injuries secondary to movement dysfunction. We sell it in our clinic, and it flies off our shelves! The product speaks for itself. Everyone should give it a try.”
11. Ergatta Rower
As a coach of 22 years, Don Saladino, PT, had seen his fair share of workout equipment before Ergatta approached him to become a partner. He was quickly hooked: “The Ergatta rower feels like play—not work—yet it’s become one of my favorite cardio tools because of its expansive ways to structure training. You can have fun and compete, even if you only have 10 minutes to work out,” he says. It’s perfect for when you need to blow off steam after a stressful work call.
12. Travertine Eucalyptus Steam Shower Spray
“This spray turns the everyday shower into a spa-worthy experience,” says Candace Cabrera, personal trainer based in Ridgefield, CT, author of Namaslay: Rock your Yoga Practice, Tap Into Your Greatness and Defy Your Limits. “It adds a sense of calm to my self-care routine in these unprecedented times.”
13. Sakara Detox Water Drops
“I eat clean 90 percent of the time—but when I indulge, I like to detox the next day,” says Jodi Harrison, PT, a two-time World Fitness America and World Fitness Universe champion. “Just a few drops in your water does the trick.” We hear it can help with all those cocktails you’ve been imbibing as of late, too. If you like the water drops, check out Sakara’s supplements, powders, snacks, and more here.
14. The Body Lever
If you’re into the whole myofascial therapy thing, this is one of the best of the bunch. “This handmade, high-quality, solid-wood self-care contraption is genius,” says De’Mario McGregor, PT, in Northern California. “When using The Body Lever, I get more acquainted with my muscular system because of the acute manipulation of this tool,” he comments, noting that he uses it an average of twice a week.
15. Bloom: CBT Therapy & Self-Care App
Chris Cooper, PT, a trainer and massage therapist in Seaford, NY, uses this app built around research-backed cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques on a daily basis. (FYI: He uses a paid subscription at $50 annually, but a free version is also available). “I love this app as it has daily therapy check-ins, plus different paths to take depending on where my head is at,” Cooper says “If I’m in a bad spot mentally, there’s a routine that can help ground me. If I’m in need of something to combat negative self-talk, that’s there too.” For more on first-rate apps to support self-care and mental health—including virtual therapy platforms—check out our guide here.
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