7 Products to Crush Your 2022 Health & Fitness Goals

Happy New Year! As many of us start putting into practice our New Year’s resolutions for 2022, I wanted to share seven products that will help you crush your health and fitness goals this year.

1. Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Stay hydrated with a high-quality, stainless steel water bottle that you can bring with you anywhere- whether that’s to the gym, work, school, going out for a hike, or a jog around the neighborhood. I love this water bottle from the Austin, Texas-based company YETI, which makes high-quality stainless steel drinkware for those with an active lifestyle.

YETI Rambler 18 oz Water Bottle

2. Weighted Blanket

Everyone knows the importance of sleep, and how getting adequate levels of deep sleep can make or break your health. That’s why I highly recommend using a weighted blanket if you suffer from insomnia, including both poor or disrupted sleep. A 15-lb blanket like this one below from Amazon will weigh your body down in bed, helping you to not only fall asleep quicker, but stay asleep too!

Waowoo Adult Weighted Blanket

3. 23andMe Genetic Test Kit

Your genetic makeup has a huge impact on your health; that’s why it’s important to learn about how your genes can contribute to the development of health issues later in life. With a genetic test kit like this one from 23andMe, you can learn about your genes, including if you have a genetic predisposition for or if you’re a carrier of any health conditions. Thanks to my 23andme results, I learned four years ago that I have two genetic variants for early macular degeneration, and since then, have been religiously taking lutein and omega-3 supplements to improve my eye health.

23andMe Genetic Health Service

4. Running Shorts

A solid pair of running shorts is a must-have for anyone looking to add jogging to their 2022 fitness routine. Plus, running shorts are loose and comfortable, perfect for not just jogging, but practically any kind of physical activity, from playing a round of tennis to hitting the gym. Here is a highly-rated pair of running shorts for both men and women from Under Armour.

Under Armour Women’s Fly By 2.0 Running Shorts

Under Armour Men’s Tech Graphic Shorts

5. Yoga Mat

A yoga mat is a must-have for doing mat workouts, like yoga, pilates, or even when performing certain floor exercises with free weights, or when using a workout ball or band. I’ve owned my yoga mat since I was 12, and I’m now pushing 30 – so think of your mat as a long-term investment. A thick, non-slip mat that’s lightweight can easily be carried to your yoga studio, gym, or around the house.

JELS Extra Thick Yoga Mat (2/5″)

6. Rowing Machine

With the advent of working from home, at-home fitness equipment has become increasingly popular. At the beginning of the pandemic, my husband and I got a rowing machine, which is great for a simple, at-home workout, especially if you want to tone up your arms, shoulders, and upper back. I would recommend getting a water rowing machine, as the resistance it provides imitates the feel of rowing through water in real life. While pricier than other home workout equipment, a good rowing machine will last you for years to come.

Xterra Fitness ERG600W Water Rowing Machine

7. Airpods

Staying motivated and ‘in the zone’ is an important part of maintaining your fitness routine. That’s why, when I’m working out, I like to listen to fast-paced music or to an interesting podcast on Spotify or Pandora. According to the Scientific American, listening to music or other entertainment while exercising can distract us from pain and fatigue, elevate our mood, increase our endurance, and reduce our perceived effort, among other benefits. That’s why I would recommend getting a solid pair of earbuds, such as these airpods, to become your best fitness buddies to accompany your workouts.

New Apple Airpods Pro

So there you have it, folks – seven products to help you up your game and crush those health and fitness goals in 2022! What are your go-to companions for your workouts? Let us know in the comments below!

Carrie Ann Inaba Takes Leave of Absence Due to Autoimmune Diseases

Carrie Ann Inaba has said that she is taking a leave of absence from her TV hosting role to focus on her health.

Carrie Ann Inaba, TV host on CBS’ The Talk and judge on ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars opened up about her struggle living with autoimmune diseases and chronic illnesses on her blog, Carrie Ann Conversations.

The Emmy award-nominated TV personality said that she has been diagnosed with several different autoimmune diseases and chronic conditions over the years, including Sjogren’s Syndrome, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), and she also has the markers for Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS), which causes blood clots. The 53-year-old dancer and choreographer says she also struggles with fibromyalgia and spinal stenosis.

As a result of her various autoimmune conditions, Inaba has taken a leave of absence from her role on The Talk so that she can focus on her health, reports MedPage Today.

Talking about her health journey, Inaba said: “Even if we are fortunate enough to get a diagnosis, we can quickly end up with more questions than answers. Often when it comes to autoimmune conditions there is no perfect solution or clear path forward.”

Inaba continued, explaining: “Coping with autoimmune conditions can sometimes feel quite lonely. When I first got diagnosed, some encouraged me to keep my struggles to myself, but I’ve found that it’s always been better to be honest about my needs and realities than to stay silent. I believe strongly in sharing my journey, my solutions, and the things that have helped me.”

In this spirit, Inaba has shared on her blog the products that have helped her cope with her autoimmune disease symptoms – including eye dryness, mouth dryness, joint pain, fatigue, brain fog and more – so that others can benefit from these products and see if they work for them.

This isn’t the first time that Carrie Ann Inaba has opened up about her health struggles. The starlet previously posted on Instagram about how she felt ashamed of her autoimmune diseases, and wanting “…to be what people see. And people see a healthy person, from the outside.” However, confronting her health problems made Inaba reflect on who she is as a person, besides just her identity as a “sexy dancer chick.”

From all of us at Autoimmune Warrior, we want to thank Carrie Ann for opening up about her health journey as an #AutoimmuneWarrior, and raising awareness about the 80+ autoimmune diseases affecting over 23 million Americans. Because of celebrities like her, more people among the general population are learning about autoimmune conditions, and why extensive research is needed to find better treatments, and eventually, a cure.

My #ThisIsSjogrens Awareness Campaign Submission

Did you know that April is Sjogren’s Awareness Month? That’s right, according to the Sjogren’s Foundation, April was declared Sjogren’s Awareness Month in 1988 when New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter read it into the Congressional Record.

The 2021 theme for this awareness campaign is Coming Together to Conquer Sjogren’s. When you post on social media or other digital platforms about Sjogren’s, use the hashtag #ThisIsSjogrens to highlight your personal experience as part of the campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness about the complexities of the disease, and provide a voice to the 3 million+ Americans (and many more worldwide) who live with it every day.

As April is fast approaching, I wanted to share my personal #ThisIsSjogrens submission with the Autoimmune Warrior blog followers. Read my submission, below!

Name: Isabel

Current age: 28 

Age when diagnosed: 20

Please finish with the following sentence: “Since I was diagnosed with Sjögren’s, I have learned…”
Since I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s, I have learned how important self-care is. Although you can’t let the disease rule your life, you must also learn to listen to your body and take the needed time to rest and recharge.

What are your 3 most difficult symptoms?
My three most difficult symptoms are eye dryness, mouth dryness and joint pain, although I also experience fatigue, brain fog and peripheral neuropathy. 

What are ways that you cope with your most difficult symptoms?
For eye dryness, I use artificial tears eye drops several times a day, and I also take prescription eye drops to reduce inflammation in my tear glands. I also had punctal plugs inserted in my tear ducts to increase my tear retention. For mouth dryness, I use artificial saliva and take pilocarpine, a medication that stimulates saliva production, and I drink plenty of water throughout the day. For joint pain, I take a prescription medication that reduces inflammation and pain in my joints. 

What is one of the ways that you’ve been able to effectively cope with symptoms during this past year in the pandemic?
During the past year of the pandemic, I have taken more time to rest which is helping to reduce my fatigue levels. Also, since I now work from home, I’m able to use a humidifier to humidify my home office environment, which helps with my dryness symptoms.

What is the best tip you would share with another Sjögren’s patient?
If I had to give a tip to another Sjogren’s patient, I would say to find a team of medical professionals who are familiar with the disease. Many medical professionals think that Sjogren’s is just dry eyes and dry mouth, and don’t realize that there is a lot more to the condition and the other symptoms it can cause.

How does the Sjögren’s community and the Foundation give you strength?
The Sjogren’s community and Foundation help to connect me with others who have the disease, so I can build a community around me of other patients who understand what I’m going through. 

What do you wish people understood about Sjögren’s and how it affects you?
I wish people understood how much having a chronic illness like Sjogren’s impacts my health and day-to-day wellbeing. I might not be able to do things that I once could due to this disease, but I won’t let that stop me from achieving my personal and professional goals.

To participate in the #ThisIsSjogrens campaign, answer the questions in the Sjogren’s Foundation questionnaire and email your answers to etrocchio@sjogrens.org.

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