Friday, 16 August 2013

Gym Essentials

First of all, I'd like to apologise for the lack of photos and the quality of the photo in this post. My poor wee camera is broken so I'm having to use my phone for the time being!

I have a bit of an obsession with muscular women- not huge body building women, but women that have visible muscles. I found and fell in love with her body and it has really helped to kick start my motivation to get back to the gym and try to eat healthier. To be honest, I thought I’d be better at the healthy eating than the gym seeing as was a "picked last" kid in school, but I somehow manage to keep up the gym but get tempted to eat unhealthy food too much! So, here are my gym essentials:

 1. A well-fitting Sports Bra (For women, obviously)

I cannot stress this enough! It makes me feel nauseous seeing any females doing exercise, especially running, without a sports bra. Maybe it's because I have larger lady lumps, but I just can't believe how many people don't seem to realise/care how much damage they're causing! Even teeny tiny breasts jiggle A LOT during running, surely it must be painful?! Anyway, enough of my horror. As I mentioned I have a larger chest size so I go for a sports bra which clips on as opposed to one that pulls over the head. I love the Shock Absorber bra I have at the moment (here) as it gives me good support without feeling too tight around my chest.

2. Gym Shoes

They may be expensive, but a good pair of shoes makes the gym so much easier and makes it less painful on your feet. As I do a lot of running I went to Sports Direct and got a pair from the "She Runs" section. Unfortunately I can't find them on the website to link. The good thing is its split into two kinds, High Arch and Low Arch. As I have a high arch obviously my sole needs more support, I find that cheap pumps hurt my feet and make the balls of my feet really sore.

3. A water bottle

I either use a reusable plastic sports bottle or a sports cap standard water bottle, as the one time I tried running with a screw top bottle I nearly choked spilling water over myself. When I run outside I have a triangular bottle to make it easy to hold, but it doesn't fit into the gym machines. I think this one doesn't need any explanation to be honest!

4. A towel to wipe down machines

I never used to bother bringing a towel with me to the gym. Then one day I was on the treadmill and my eye was itchy, so obviously I itched it. BIG mistake! Within minutes I started sneezing non stop. I stopped running and went to sit down until I stopped. When I put my hand up to cover my nose as I sneezed, I thought my skin felt funny. Looking in a mirror, I noticed my left eye had started to swell up a little. Presuming this was due to the sneezing I went to the changing room and got changed. In the 5 minutes it took me to change and leave the gym my left eye was swollen almost shut and my right was swelling up too. In tears, I phoned my mum to come pick me up and my boyfriend to tell him I was coming to his flat, which is a 10 minute walk from my gym. By the time I got to his flat my left eye was completely swollen shut and my right I could barely see out of. I was in hysterics until my mum came and took me to the doctor, who gave me some antihistamines. It took 2 days for the swelling to go down. All of this was because someone hadn't wiped down their machine after and I hadn't bothered before. I was allergic to something, be it their perfume, deodorant or even their sweat and touching my eyes after touching the machine caused the swelling. So PLEASE bring a towel and wipe machines before and after use! 

5. An armband

When I first start my workout, I go on the weight machines and do cardio last. I like to listen to a podcast (The Complete Guide to Everything) (here) whilst I do weights, so it doesn't require me to do anything on my phone except start the podcast. I find that listening to a podcast makes weights easier as I’m concentrating on the voices rather than the pressure (I want to say pain, but it's not that painful!) of doing weights. As I’m quite small the first armband I had was too big and the strap was too long for my arm, so I bought a cheap one off of eBay. It’s still a bit big, but hopefully as my muscles get bigger it'll fit better! When I run outside I use an app called Zombies, Run! (here) so I use the armband for that as it tracks my run better. 

6. A play list that gets you pumped

As I mentioned I listen to a podcast when I am doing weights, but when it comes to cardio- usually running- I like a good play list full of upbeat songs to keep me going. I change it up regularly to stop myself being tempted to change songs often or stopping because the songs don't motivate me anymore. I've read that for running a song with a BPM (Beats Per Minute) of between 140-160 will help boots performance, but to be honest I just go for songs I know make me want to get up and move.



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