This blog intends to be a mixture of different posts: hence why it’s on the lifestyle category. However, I’ve noticed that I’ve posted a lot of food-related articles and few sports and fitness articles recently. Maybe that’s because I love to eat, but I also have a passion for fitness! So… in this blog post I’m going to be discussing my favourite fitness gear. All the photos I took myself, and be assured that I also did a whole lot of research. I hope you enjoy!
I have a variety of clothes, this is partly because I wear them around house as well as whilst exercising, and partly because it means I don’t have to keep on top of washing! I don’t stick to one brand; if can find something that is functional and reasonably priced, I’ll purchase! My favourite/ most relied on brands are: Nike, Adidas, Asics, Ronhill and Karrimor. Here I’ve shown two Adidas tees (blue and yellow) and one Nike pro v-neck (pink). I wear each for different exercises, for example, the Nike v-neck is very tight fitting so is best for when I don’t want something heavy flapping around – gymnastics, stretching etc. Also, the yellow Adidas tee is very bright so perfect for running as it keeps me visible. It’s one of their ‘climacool aeroknit’ tees, featuring ventilation aplenty, and supreme comfort, making it my new favourite!
2. Vision Bib
All my running clothes are black, so I was recommended to purchase this Ronhill pink vision bib at a specialised running store. One of its awesome features is a little light that fits into the back, it has two settings: on and flashing. This is when my inner cyclist comes out and I fiddle around with all the settings… most definitely fuelled by my bike-crazy family! It’s so important to be seen whilst running, especially in heavy traffic areas when it’s dark out.
3. Phone arm strap
This has been the most useful purchase, as it means I can listen to music and track my runs without having to hold my phone. Some of its features include being sweat proof, adjustable (I can fit this easily onto my arm without any help, pretty impressive..huh?!), incredibly comfortable, and touch screen (I can use my phone whilst it’s in the strap). My Mum bought me this online from amazon for my birthday a while ago, the brand is MPOW, it’s great quality and so far it hasn’t fallen apart! I would recommend this to any runner, as it makes running so much more convenient.
MPOW phone strap (link)—NOTE, when purchasing, make sure you buy the right size for your phone!
This is a completely obvious essential! How could I not include my 2-month old Asics trainers? These have been my first Asics and so far I’m very impressed. They’re super supportive, which is important since I have a weak ankle from soft tissue damage that never healed properly. The gel support makes every step feel springy and light, they also encourage good technique whilst I run. I went to Decathlon – one of my favourite sports shops to get fitted – they checked my running style in them and I was told they were most suited to me!
I love using weights to increase the difficulty of an exercise, thus, getting more out of it. For example, holding a 4kg weight whilst squatting or lunging, or one 2kg weight in each hand whilst running on the spot or star jumping. The set includes 2x of each: 6kg, 4kg and 2kg, as well as a stand to keep them safe… and away from toes (I’m super accident prone and stub my toes on pretty much everything!)
6. Muscle Roller/Massage Stick
These are great for recovery, especially after an intense workout. My Dad bought these post-injury (IT band syndrome). His physiotherapist recommended these to help recovery after too much cycling without warm-up stretches beforehand… (that’s another blog subject!) The larger roller is ideal for targeting larger areas like the quads, hamstrings and IT band. To use, I lie on a gym mat, another of my favourite pieces of equipment, with the roller underneath the most troublesome spots and roll the whole way along. Be careful not to over roll, but be firm. The skinny massage stick allows smaller, harder-to-reach, bonier spots to be massaged. To use it, I grip both ends tightly in each hand and roll with even pressure along my calf muscles and the backs of my thighs. I found this really helpful website which explains sports massaging in great detail, link here.
7. Resistance Tubes/ Bands
I have recently completed Blogilates’ 30 day #JourneyToSplits and these came in very handy. They help to get deeper into a stretch. Mine are only low resistance, so in order to tone muscles you’d probably have to repeat exercises many times. However, for stretching, these are perfect! When I first used them, I was worried they were going to snap and ping back into my face, but I trust them now! I would recommend them to anyone who wants to increase suppleness and flexibility, especially if recovery from an injury. These were bought from a supermarket ‘bargain aisle’ and have so far done the job; you can buy these from any sports shop without breaking the bank.
Another one of my Dad’s purchases, but I find this piece of equipment really fun to train on! There are many exercises that can be done on a TRX, I found a website which pretty much has everything you need to know, link. We fix ours to a closed door and complete a range of exercises including: push-ups, pull-ups and planking. This is probably the most pricey of all the equipment, but still a lot less than many pieces of gym equipment.
There is a saying, ‘All the gear, no idea’ which, in some cases, I would agree with. We can so often focus on the kit, without putting in the time to actually use it. So long as you have the motivation and commitment to look after your body, you’re good to go! However I have found these pieces of kit especially useful to get more out of a workout. For example, if I feel comfortable and confident in my sports clothes, I work harder and enjoy it more. I think it’s something psychological in humans that makes us want to look and feel good, but if it works, I’m up for it!
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