As the weather starts warming up and we're outside more and more, fitness comes to the forefront of our lives - or at least my life. Following are some of my favorite fitness related things right now:
#1 - Water
Get rid of all those special energy and exercise drinks and Gatorade wanna-be's. All your body really wants and needs is plain, ol' water. The only thing that your body needs more is oxygen. As temperatures start to rise and you're outside more, water can help prevent dehydration and exhaustion. It's also known to help rev up the metabolism, keep you feeling full longer, and can prevent muscle cramping. It also helps to give you amazing skin!!
Tip: If you're going on long hikes, scouts or planning to spend an extended period of time outdoors, freeze bottles of water. They'll steadily melt and you'll have cool water throughout the day. (I HATE warm water.)
#2 - Good Shoes
Good shoes can make or break your time outdoors. For any long excursions make sure you wear shoes that are well broken in. The general rule-of-thumb is to replace shoes every 300-500 miles, or every 3 months. For people that don't run often, shoes will last longer but as soon as you notice that the soles are breaking down or the tread looks smooth, invest in a new pair. Also, more than anything, listen to your body. If you start feeling aches and pains in your feet, knees, or back, it's time to begin searching for new shoes.
Right now my favorite shoes are the FTHR Shield Running Shoe from Under Armour and the Saucony Triumph. Why 2 pairs? I tend to under-pronate (roll my feet outward) when I walk and run. So, I wear the UA shoes for non-distance activities and the Saucony shoes for any long-distance activity, as they're specifically built for people who under-pronate.
#3 - Cell Phone
This is a pretty basic one for most people. Just for safety reasons, it never hurts to carry a phone. Most people also live and die by the music in their iTunes account, especially when working out.
I also have several apps that I use to help keep track of my blood sugars, food & calories, and exercise. My favorite right now is My Fitness Pal. It probably has the most complete database of food and calories ever! Even for those restaurants that don't offer nutrition facts for their meals - this website has them.
#5 - Make Up Forever Aqua Eyeliner and Waterproof Mascara
These items were created specifically for a professional water ballet team. It's proven, and the best of the best. Even if you're going for a long run, eye make-up tends to smear as you sweat. This is completely smear-proof and waterproof, so you can look nice and still sweat like a pig.
#6- Degree Clinical Deodorant
We often have months of 100+ degree weather during the summer. It's disgusting and hot. You're constantly sweaty and sticky, and that's just from walking from an air-conditioned car to the air-conditioned house. Spending any time outdoors requires hard core stink-proofing. Degree clinical is, by far, my favorite. It also doesn't leave ugly white marks on tank tops.
#7 - Vitamin B, Iron & a daily multi-vitamin
About six months ago I was diagnosed with low vitamin B levels and anemia. I was exhausted all the time, taking naps during the lunch hour and all I could think about was the next time I could cuddle my pillow. In addition to my regular routine of a daily multi-vitamin, I also take sublingual B and iron. Since then I've learned that it's not uncommon for many women to suffer from low B and iron levels, especially during certain times of the month. Even without that knowledge, Vitamin B is still a proven metabolism and energy booster.