The 5 MUST haves for any fitness fanatic
If you are a gym or fitness goer, there are certain things that you have and use during your workout sessions. Some can be small like wearing a baseball cap backwards, and some can be big like wearing a lifting belt and having chalk on your hands when doing a power lift.
I will be talking the 5 MUST haves for any fitness goer.
Number 1 – Fitness tracker / smartwatch / Sport tracker
My first fitness tracker was the Fitbit Surge. The continuous heart rate and GPS feature are what stood out from the rest. As someone who has a heart condition, it is very important for me to know my heart rate at any given time, especially while working out. The GPS feature was also a selling point because I run a lot outside and like to keep on pace.
Not only did the Fitbit Surge have always on HR and GPS, but it also has a step counter as well as a function to control music from the face of the watch. Pair this with a phone in pocket and Bluetooth headset, the easy controls on the face to skip to the next song made it worthwhile.
2 year ago, I switched to the Apple watch which is more of a smartwatch with some fitness apps. I personally use the Nike + run app, Gymaholic, Runkeeper, Runtastic and Cardiogram
If you like to know steps are taken, heart rate, have music controls at your fingertips, then a smart fitness tracker is for you. Apple watch and Fitbit aren’t the only fitness trackers in the game, Garmin is a huge player also with their TX series for runners out there.
Number 2 – Wireless Bluetooth headphones
This for me is a game changer. I mean a real game changer. Most, if not all of us have spent one time or another untangling a wired headset. You put it away nicely, yet somehow it gets tangled and you spend the next 10 minutes trying to straighten the darn thing it, and by this time, you are already frustrated and have wasted precious workout time.
With wired headphones, you either have the cord way too long, or the cord isn’t long enough. If the cord is short, you end up trying to put the music player closer to your head, which isn’t always as comfortable as you’d hope. Depending on where the player sits, and the motion of your body, the headset get pulled right out of your ears and off of your body. Now, if the cord is too long, then you have to tuck and hide the cord so that it doesn’t interfere with your workout.
In comes the wireless headset. I have 1 different pair of Bluetooth headsets that I have on rotation. The first pair is my first ever purchase, the Jaybird Blue Buds. It is a thin ( need to measure ) cord with a left and right earpiece. On the left side of the headset are the controls. 3 buttons. You have volume Up/Down and pause.
The Blue buds are fairly easy to set up. you will get the headset into pairing mode (green and red alternating lights). Once in pairing mode press and hold both volume buttons for 3 seconds. You will need to have your phone with you or music device that can connect via Bluetooth. Once it is found a voice will tell you that it is paired.
The only downside to the Bluebuds, in my opinion, is the cord can either dangle in front of your face or rest on your neck. Sometimes I find if it is resting on my neck, the cord moves and therefore I need to re-adjust the cord while running or lifting weights. Another problem that some people have, is the fit of the earpiece, granted Jaybird does provide about 4 different size rubber tips to help. I also noticed that if I am running and sweat gets in my ears, it pushes the headset out and I have to try to push it back in and make it stay.
My second pair of Bluetooth headsets is called The Turbine T2 Hurricane. This was a pair that I got off of Amazon because it was a lightning deal and was so cheap. The reviews were great so I went ahead and got them.
Much different than the Jaybirds, this headset is over the ears and has a top part that connects the earmuffs ( think Beats By Dre headset).
Pairing on this set is pretty simple as well. In terms of fit, well I have a small head, therefore I spend a little bit of time adjusting the head strap to fit on top of my head correctly, If I am wearing a running hat or baseball cap, I have no issues with the fit, however, If I am not wearing either, I do spend some time adjusting prior to working out. One great thing about the T2’s is that not only is it Bluetooth, but the unit also comes with an aux cord that plugs into the right side of the headset and the other plugs into a standard headphone jack. This is great if you are listening to music on a device that doesn’t have Bluetooth or if the Bluetooth battery is dead.
One thing about Bluetooth headsets are depending on the usage, there is a battery and it does die. It really is a downer when you want to workout and 5 minutes into the said workout, your headset dies. Make sure that if you are using a wireless headset, to make sure it is charged or has enough juice to last your workout.
Number 3 – Techincal workout gear (for the heavy sweaters)
Nike, Underarmour, Lulu Lemon and Adidas have one thing in common, yes they are huge sport branding companies, but they also have amazing workout clothing.
Each one of these companies has their own patent workout clothing that helps the body breath during the workouts and not allow the sweat to build up.
At the start of my exercise career back in 2004, I would wear 100% cotton t-shirts, shorts and socks.
I personally sweat a lot and noticed that the more I sweat, the heavy the clothing got. Not only did the clothing weigh me down, but I also noticed that the stench of the sweat was horrible and didn’t really go away during the wash.
As I got deeper into running, I found myself looking into breathing material clothing and stumbled upon Nike’s Dr-fit lineup. They have the Dri-fit tanks (short/long sleeve), Shorts/track pants and socks. Make sure to always read the labels to make sure what the materials are made from and how to wash them properly
Number 4 – Skipping rope
In my opinion one of the best and hardest cardio based exercises out there.
Yes, skipping rope brings us back to our younger days when we would skip with our friends in the schoolyard or with our friends in our driveways. I remember back in elementary school, we had Jump Rope for Heart, which is a fundraising campaign that would raise money for the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada.
Let’s fast forward to present time, I am sure most of us haven’t skipped in ages. I actually love taking out the rope with my clients, because, just like riding a bike, you never forget. It does take a few minutes to get your feet, hands and head in sync.
Going back to why this made my list.
A nice 10 minute skipping routine can really rack up the calories burned. Not only is this a cardio based exercise, but we also call this a “compound exercise” because it uses every muscle in the body from your heart (cardiorespiratory) legs, thighs/glutes, core, arms, and back/chest.
When starting out, don’t focus too much on the time. Just get back into the groove. I always stress to my clients when we are doing a skipping exercise that if the rope hits your foot, you get tired, your nose gets itchy, don’t worry. Don’t get upset. Just move on. Most importantly, move on and keep skipping. The skipping rope is very small that it can almost fit into your back pocket.
Number 5 – Resistance bands
This by far has to be one of my best purchases that I made. These bands can really give you a tough workout ( depending on the level of fitness and level of bands ).
These bands are small and compact that won’t take up much room in a bag or your room.
These are my top 5 must have’s for any fitness person out there.
What are your must-have fitness things?
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