All the gear with some idea

The health and fitness industry is flooded with variety and choice when it comes to training/lifestyle accessories. Admittedly I’m guilty of having purchased some “fad” fitness products then a year later it’s gathered dust. However there are useful products out there, but the main thing is to ensure that it does relate to your health and fitness goals. In today’s blog I’m going to list 5 items that I continue to use in my weekly lifestyle and explain how I find them beneficial to me, both in my work and personal life.

1) Myfitness Pal – This is a free app available to iOS and android users, you can also access this via your laptop or desktop pc. Myfitnesspal is used to track your food and exercise progress via a variety of methods. I have found this to be a fantastic tool to help identify most weight management related issues whether it be with myself or clients. Myfitnesspal has also helped influence food choices through personal accountability whilst educating the user.

2) Weightlifting shoes for squatting – I was first introduced to weightlifting shoes by a previous strength coach who noticed my squat technique was a little shady. My squat issues were related to my tight calfs which affected the ability of my ankle to dorsiflex correctly therefore limiting squat depth and therefore causing poor form. The priority was to fix the issue via various mobility/stretching techniques however squat shoes were suggested as a measure to assist me in the interim. Squat shoes have raised heels, which assists in greater squat depth through increased ankle range of motion. Squat shoes also add extra stability in comparison to standard gym shoes. As much as they’ve helped me i’m not saying everyone needs a pair, but if you struggle with lower limb mobility then combined with a regular stretch routine, squat shoes may be of some benefit to you when performing squats regularly.

3) GPS activity watch – Before deciding to buy one of these I researched the market. In the end I bought the Polar M400 watch, which comes with a chest strap heart rate monitor. This watch has come in handy for both personal and client use. The GPS facility is handy for outdoor runs to help track pace and distance fairly accurately. I use the chest strap to monitor both myself and client heart rates during various workouts. The battery life varies on how often you use the watch and there is a smartphone app to sync all of your data with. Again not everyone needs one of those watches. Owning a watch won’t make you fitter or stronger on its own, however if you’re serious about improving gym or outdoor performance then they are a great bit of kit. 

4) Baselayer gym clothes – Being an individual that feels the cold relatively easy I have always invested in both upper and lower body baselayer clothing. They are useful for both exercise and non exercise related activities when the temperature drops. Wearing baselayer clothing has helped improve my muscle recovery and maintain muscle temperature during exercise. The theory behind baselayer clothing is that they compress the muscles which assist in reduced lactic acid build up in addition to muscle damage during and after training. These items are both useful for anyone ranging from a bidding athlete to a morning dog walker.

5) Whey Protein shakes – There always is and will always be a huge divide when it comes to using health and fitness supplements. Being asked if I use protein shakes is probably up there with the top 3 most commonly asked questions I receive. The answer is yes I do, however it’s not necessary for everyone to do so. “Whey protein is a mixture of globular proteins isolated from whey, the liquid material created as a by-product of cheese production” Source Wikipedia

I use protein shakes purely to supplement my diet and lifestyle during times that i’m unable to sit down to eat. I would never use protein shake as a meal replacement down to the simple fact I love my food too much! I mainly mix my protein product with water for a pre or post workout drink aid. An average scoop of the brand I use contains 19g of protein and when mixed with water works out to be around the 100 calorie mark. I also mix protein powder with yoghurt to increase the protein content. When I have a bit more time I additionally like to make protein pancakes.

There are various different forms of whey protein products available so if you are considering using one do your research or consult a medical professional before doing so and don’t just go for the cheapest brand! If you have any adverse reaction to these or a milk allergy then do not use the supplement.

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