January is a funny month, so many of us get gung ho about a new fitness trend and swear that we will be running a marathon in six weeks, but by mid January the previous packed Gyms start to empty out as people slowly but surely give up. I personally don’t believe in setting yourself goals in January that you won’t be able to keep, after all it’s not very kind on yourself to set yourself up for failure, so I gently ease myself back in to fitness and wellness after the Christmas indulgence, of course it is much better to keep up your routines if possible but I am a realist and whilst I didn’t completely give up on fitness in December it did take a back seat.
I have had my fair share of fitness gadgets over the years but here are the products that I find to be useful, not all of them are must haves, in fact I would argue the only real thing you need is a good pair of trainers and a willingness to move but these are the things I have found to work well for me over the years:
The fitness gadgets and equipment:
I had recently started to notice that I was experiencing some ankle and knee pain after running and after examining my old trainers I knew that it was time to replace them. I am not a long distance runner, I never do more than 5 k at a time but I like to go to my local running shop to kit myself up with good basic running shoes that I can also use for cross training at the gym. The service you get from the smaller stores makes choosing much easier and they let me try on plenty of pairs and gave me good advice on what would be best. After much thought I finally settled on some Brooks which felt like they were made for my feet. Something that I love and have come to depend on is my Polar heart rate monitor, I have the Pink FT4 and I am very happy with it, it is one of the more basic models but does everything I need it too, it tracks heart rate and calories burnt and the chest strap is very comfortable compared to previous models I have had. I often will often set a calorie target for the workout of around 500 calories and if I want to leave before I reach it the numbers inspire me to do another ten minutes, it’s a great tool to push yourself. Another great little gadget I have is a Gymboss timer this is a timer you can programme to beep for set times so it’s great for HIIT training or anything with rounds such as boxing, you can get apps that do the same on your phone but I like that you can clip this one to your top. Mine is one of the older models but it has lasted a few years and survived being thrown in my gymbag.
Supplements and Wellness:
I have talked before on the blog about how I don’t really like to overdo things in the supplement department, but there are a handful of things I like to take. I still take the Bare Biology Omega 3 daily (and have repurchased) and I think it has great benefits for my skin and well being, if you are Vegetarian or Vegan Viridian have a Beauty oil that is also very good. Talking of Viridian I have been testing their Qi-Ribose powder and so far I am really enjoying it, it is designed to help reduce fatigue and tiredness and I have noticed a positive boost in my energy levels, Viridian are a great ethical brand if you want vitamins and supplements so I would highly recommend them. I also have repurchased their coconut oil several times now and it is the nicest I have found, really smooth and tastes delicious, I love taking a teaspoon of this daily and even use it for the perfect roast potatoes too. Something I always struggle with when I am exercising more is the keeping the bugs at bay and this Echinaforce Echinacea hot drink from A Vogel has been working really nicely to help me feel better if I have a sore throat or if I can feel a cold coming on, it taste just like hot blackcurrant squash and is made from Echinacea and Elderberry. Every morning before going to exercise I make a smoothie, the reason for this is I can’t eat anything heavy beforehand as I just feel queasy but on an empty stomach I tend to crash and burn, I have been adding a scoop of protein from the Organic Protein company to some almond milk and berries and have been really enjoying it, it just has a creamy taste to it so it mixes well with other ingredients as it is fairly neutral and I love that the company uses organic Whey and is very ethical and conscious of packaging ect… The scoop that comes with it is made from recycled milk bottles which I think is a very nice touch too. This is a great one to go for if you are trying to avoid extra sweeteners and additives and is one I will be repurchasing as it tastes better than my usual brand, word of warning though if you are trying to loose weight don’t overdo it, add it in to your porridge or smoothies rather than having breakfast and then lot’s of extra shakes.
The Beauty Essentials:
I don’t pack a huge amount to go to the gym usually as I tend to shower at home but I keep a variety sample sizes (just in case!) in a Tili bag which I got from A Beautiful world, these a great for ensuring your gym bag is spill free. Gyms can be grubby places and I always carry a couple of wet wipes from the brand Mendill I love the refreshing lime scent of these but am a bit sad to see they have disappeared from the UK stockists so I am not sure if I will be able repurchase but they are great for wiping your hands or equipment and keeping everything hygienic. I am picky about what I use for my post workout shower, I need a body wash that cleans thoroughly without drying and my product of choice is the Ancienne Ambiance Goddess body wash which has a castille soap base that leaves you feeling really fresh and clean and has a beautiful sweet Vanilla scent which I am just in love with. Another favourite recently has been the Mount Olympus Body scrub from Bathing Beauty (I got mine from Sophia’s choice), this gorgeous salt scrub is really invigorating thanks to the rosemary and lemon zest and perfect for pampering the skin post exercise. Muscle soreness is an inevitable part of exercise but there is help at hand, I swear by the Herbfarmacy Meadowsweet muscle balm this balm is organic and packed full of herbs to reduce inflammation and soreness and it really works, this is my second jar and I never want to be without now! My last two products are great for taking of your feet, particularly important when you are exercising. I haven’t found anything I like to use more as an intensive foot treatment than Weleda Skinfood, this will restore even the most beaten up feet to their former glory, pop some on add some cotton socks over the top and wake up to super smooth feet that feel much happier, I have lost count of how many tubes of this I have bought but it has been many over the years. Another product I really like for feet is the MuLondon White chocolate elbow, knee and heel cream again another repurchase this is a great Vegan alternative to the Skinfood and it smells of chocolate… need I say more.
Would love to hear what your fitness and wellness essentials are, what keep’s you moving?