Gadgets can help you stick with the program or just make things easier. I have 3 of the essential fitness products every fitness enthusiast needs.
1. A Foam Roller
Unless you are a top-class athlete with money to burn you won’t have a masseuse with you at all training sessions. So, the next best thing is a foam roller. It’s like having a personal masseuse with you whenever you need one. But at a one-off investment of 10 to 30 euro or so, they are a hell of a lot cheaper and convenient once you know how to use one properly.
Why is it important for every gym-goer or active person to have one? Every muscle in our body is made up of fibres and each muscle has a skin around it called the facia. It’s like a sausage skin.
When we exercise we use our muscles and they become torn and even the thin fibres that make up the muscle tissue becomes cross-linked and stuck together. This is what gives us the soreness after working hard a day or 2 after. That and dead blood that was used to carry oxygen and glycogen (energy-sugar) to the muscle cells. If left untreated you can develop bad mobility in your joints, more injuries and chronic pain.
Here is a foam rolling exercise video to do before training sessions, or just to do to keep your body mobile, injury and pain-free. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEyLrs-Ps7Q
2. A BPA free Water Bottle
You would think drinking from a water bottle was ok. However, a lot of plastic containers are damaging to our health. Most water bottles are made of plastic, aren’t they? Well, plastics are made up of polymers literally meaning “many units” these are the blocks that build plastic after going through a chemical change.
How do we know if a plastic is safe? If they go through detailed tests from food authorities, labs and independent third-party labs.
What is BPA = Bisphenol A is a monomer (single unit of plastic) used in some plastic to coat food tin cans to prevent metal degrading from containing food. Another one is BPS Bisphenol S. These are some labels you will see on bottles stating that they do not contain these chemicals which is good. Provided that this is not a lie. Get reputable brands.
Why is BPA bad?
It is said that BPA and other plastic chemicals mimic and can mess up our hormones. The very hormones we need to function properly and reach fat loss and muscle building goals. Our sex hormones oestrogen and testosterone and more are affected by the toxins in plastics. When you buy a bottle of water they say on it do not reuse, leave in sunshine or heat and consume within 2 days or so.
This is because the chemicals like BPA can seep into the water we are drinking damaging our health slowly but surely. A question for you? Have you ever been thirsty and seen you had a bottle of water sitting in the car, probably for days in sun heat and the water tasted like chemicals after you drank it? I know I did.
So, what can we do? Invest in a decent water container from a good brand and keep it clean. I know bodyfirst.ie do great BPA free water jugs try them out, they do large and small and in blue and pink.
3. Proper Fitness Footwear
Depending on your training the optimal footwear is essential. This really depends on your commitment and budget too. You see if your lifting weights a lot, as in deadlifting, squatting, Olympic lifting etc you are better off investing in a good pair of weightlifting shoes. This will make things easier, safer and optimise your major lifts.
If you are running long distance or sprinting, you need the right type of runner while considering your foot shape too. This will help you perform better going faster and lasting longer. Plus, you will lessen your chances of getting injured and rubbing causing blisters.
For weight-lifting, you can spend approximately 160 to 250 on shoes. Just remember you will lift more as you will get more force from the floor as there is no cushioning under you, unlike running shoes. You also get a nice bit of ankle height to help you squat deeper, especially if your ankle mobility is bad. You also get more stability security. If you don’t have the budget or the commitment though, you can use a pair of tight vans or converse hightops.
For long distance running a pair of aisics seem to be best. You will spend over 90 to 250 euros though for this brand. These runners will give you great cushioning, durability and stability. But if your looking to save money you can opt for the Nike, Adidas or other good brands you will spend 30 to 100 for these.
Then you have your fashionable gym runner that has no purpose other than being comfortable while doing bicep curls in the squat rack.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.