Workout Gear and iPhone Apps: My Favorite Purchases of Late

My whole life, I’ve always had a knack for observing (hence the name of this site, dummy 🙂 ). Rather than doing a ton of research, I usually just observe what other people are doing, wearing, watching, reading, or whatever to figure out what I think is cool or interesting. I ask them for the name of the brand, or product and then I’ll write it down and do some digging later on. In doing so, I’ve come across a lot of great, worthwhile products. If you have any products you recommend to myself or anyone, feel free to leave a comment or post a link to where readers can purchase. In the meantime, here are my favorite purchases that have really improved my day-to-day life all around:

Foam Roller

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I use a foam roller every single day, whether it’s to loosen my muscles before a workout or run, or to combat sore muscles before I go to bed. This has been one of the most valuable items in my everyday life. I have a 36-inch and 18-inch version, but I think the 18-inch is much better in terms of saving space and to travel with.

Bose Bluetooth Headphones

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Obviously not the cheapest purchase, but extremely worth the money if you travel a lot or like to focus with music. I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop blasting A Tribe Called Quest at full volume and the people sitting next to me are none the wiser. The sound quality is incredible, but be warned once you hear music out of these headphones nothing else will sound quite as crisp and clear. That 90’s hip hop bass and snare through these headphones is something else.

Iron Gym Pullup Bar

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This thing is awesome. Easily fits in to any doorframe. I keep it on a closet door and try to do 5 pullups/chinups every time I pass it. When I first got it I could barely do more than a few pullups whereas now I can comfortably bang out 15-20 in a row. I also love to just hang from the bar first thing in the morning or right before bed to stretch out my spine after a long day of sitting.

TYR Polarized Swimming Goggles

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If your a swimmer or want to start swimming, goggles are a key component. I went a full year wth shitty Speedo goggles that constantly filled with water or pinched my nose. The TYR goggles were a gift given to me before my triathlon and I’ve now been using them for 3+ years with zero complaints. They are the most comfortable goggles I’ve worn by far and they have the perfect suction so they never fill with water. They are anti-fog and also polarized so they act as sunglasses when swimming outdoors.

Succulent Desk Plant

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Kind of a lame choice for this list, but just having this on my desk both at work and my apartment has made it look a lot more professional. It’s also nice to have a bit of nature next to you when you’re cooped up in an office. I like to keep my space clean, neat, and simple and this is one thing that really makes everything around it much nicer.

Taylor GS Mini Acoustic Guitar – Mahogonay 

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This was the first large purchase of over $300 in my life. I think I paid a little over $600 for it but that’s besides the point. I was in the market for a new acoustic guitar so I went to the Sam Ash in my neighborhood and it was almost like the scene from Wayne’s World. I saw it and immediately knew it was meant for me – “Oh yes, she will be mine.” As soon as I put it in my hands it felt like it was made for me – the specs were perfect for my arms, hands, and fingers. It’s sitting in my apartment right now and as I’m typing this from my parent’s basement I miss it incredibly. It’s shorter than a typical acoustic guitar, but it makes up for it in sound quality. The bass is unbelievable and the volume that comes from it is booming. This is probably the happiest purchase I have ever made in my entire life. Can’t say enough about it. It also helps that it is an absolutely beautiful piece of woodwork.

Marble Notebook

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Man I miss these things. All my friends in college used to rag on me for carrying this around but I still love them – much better than the 5-star ring notebooks. I especially love the classic look and feel of them – haven’t changed the design in decades. Every morning and night I jot down ideas, notes, quotes, and other little things whenever I feel the need to write down something noteworthy. I bring this everywhere and it’s been great to go back and flip through the pages to see what I was thinking about in March or June, for example.

MVMT Watch

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These watches have exploded recently. I noticed a friend of mine wearing one a few years back and fell in love with its simple design. They are only $100 so I bought one immediately and I get compliments every time I wear it. After a couple of years the leather band started to fray so I got a new one for only $30.

Blinkist App

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This is an app you can download in the AppStore that takes best selling books and shrinks them down in to bite sized 15 minute audio books. You can also download the written SparkNotes if you’d like. Blinkist pays PHD students at Ivy League schools to annotate the most important parts of different books on business, science, etc. I’ve had it for 10 days and I’ve “read” 16 books just from walking around the city and commuting.

LuluLemon Pace Breaker Shortscarbon-pace-breaker-short-for-men-by-lululemonLook, I know the price tags at Lululemon are in-line with a local college tuition, but their stuff is absolutely worth the price. As a rule, never pay full price for anything obviously. But it is tough to find sales at Lululemon. I’ve bought some absurdly expensive shorts, sweatpants, and shirts from here, but I’ve never regretted a single one. I’ve had the same 2 pairs of sweatpants for six or seven years and the quality hasn’t decreased a bit. These shorts have been one of my best purchases of the last year. At $65 they are definitely steep, but I wear them to bed every night and almost every day in the summer. They can double as swim trunks, or formal wear if you’re in a jam.

Clearly my favorite purchases revolve mainly around fitness, music, and reading. If you have any recommendations or feeback please let me know. Leave a comment with any questions!

-KB

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