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Archive for April, 2010

Walking and Running: Essential Gear Plus

April 10th, 2010 No comments

Get decked out in the right equipment

When you’re serious about staying in shape, going for a walk or run involves more than just pulling on a pair of old sneakers and heading out. If you want to be comfortable, stay safe and have fun you’ll want to consider a few essential pieces of equipment.

What you’ll need
Shoes - Asics, New Balance, Saucony, Nike, Adidas - the list of respected athletic shoe brands is long. Make sure when you’re *choosing shoes[Athletic Shoes] that they are made specifically for the activity you’ll be doing. Walkers have different needs than runners and require different footwear.
Warm weather clothing - Since your plan is to work up a sweat you should be wearing moisture-wicking clothes that pull the sweat away from your body and keep you cool and dry. Cotton is an ok choice, but it can get wet and cause chafing. Clothes should be comfortable and non-restrictive. It’s handy to have a zippered pocket somewhere on your outfit to hold house keys or other valuables.
Cold weather clothing - If there’s a chill in the air it’s best to layer clothing on the body and keep extremities warm with lightweight mitts and a hat. Wind resistant outer layers keep away cold breezes. You’ll be glad if you splurge on thermal socks. If you live in an area that gets lots of snow and ice, strap a pair of Ice Joggers over you’re shoes; they have tiny plastic spikes on the bottom to keep you from slipping.
Skincare - Skin lotions and lip balms don’t exactly sound like walking and running essentials but they are. Products with an SPF will protect you from the sun’s damaging rays all-year-round, while extra moisturizing products will keep your skin from getting dry and chapped in the winter.

Extras
Pedometer - Basic *Pedometers[Choosing the Best Pedometer] can be bought for as little as $10, or more advanced ones for as much as $50. The better models will include a calorie counter, heart rate monitor, distance calculator and be able to differentiate between walking and jogging steps. Some keep track of your steps for up to a week at a time and allow you to upload your data to computer.
Tunes - Whether you want a top-of-the-line iPod to hold your library of 10,000 MP3s, or a bargain basement player that’ll hold 250, having some sort of music or instructional tape to keep you motivated is a good idea.
Nordic walking poles - Want to boost your calorie burn by as much as 46 percent without feeling like you’re working that much harder? How about reducing tension in your neck and shoulders just by walking in a way that also reduces stress on the knees? These handy poles are the answer. They generally cost about $70 to $100, and come with tips to help you tackle all terrain, including metal tips for slip-free winter walking.

Reward Yourself with Fitness Accessories

April 10th, 2010 No comments

New exercise equipment can really motivate

Having a high-fashion outfit, the best gadgets and the priciest fitness equipment money can buy won’t make you an instant pro, but sometimes feeling a bit more like one is all you need.

Why you should give yourself fitness-related rewards
Instead of going out for dinner or splurging on a favorite high-calorie treat, try rewarding yourself with something that’ll help you along your fitness path. A comfy new sports bra or weighted hand gloves can give you incentive to continue your workouts or provide you with a new way to stay active.

Small rewards
Pedometer - These handy gadgets will help you make sure you’re getting your recommended 10,000 steps a day. Studies have shown people who wear pedometers increase their daily activity, often resulting in 100 extra calories being burned per day. Many new pedometers double as calorie counters, so you’ll know how many you’ve burned.
Sweat-wicking socks - It might not sound like much of a reward but the right socks can make a big difference in comfort when you’re sweating up a storm on the stationary bike. New Balance makes a great CoolMax line that’ll only set you back about $7 to $12 per pair.
MP3 player - iPod is the gold standard of MP3 players, but the units often have prices to match. Unless you have a collection of 1,000 or more essential workout songs you’ll be better served looking for a one or two GB MP3 player that’ll keep your workouts interesting with a more-than-enough storage of 250 to 500 songs. For the low prices some online retailers are charging for MP3 players (I got one for under $20) there’s no reason to break the bank.

Worth the extra splurge:
New headphones - You’re headphones might be in decent working order, but that doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade to something better as a reward for reaching a fitness goal. To get the most comfortable headphones that’ll stay on while you work out expect to spend anywhere from $40 to $150. Shure sells many top-of-the-line models, but also a few decent ones priced around $50.
Mini stepper - This pint sized piece of fitness equipment won’t be what you’ll use for your daily cardio, but it’s a great way to *fit in a little fitness[Sneak Fitness Into Your Daily Routine] during your downtime. A basic stepper costs as little as $60. Set it in front of the couch and step off some extra calories while you check in with your favorite prime-time characters.
Two-piece yoga suit - Yes, a pair of old sweats performs the same function, but a matching yoga suit does it so much better. If you clothe your newly buff body in something flattering you’ll be inspired to go to the gym and show it off. Canadian company Roots has a great yoga line with separates you can mix and match.