Fit Friday - New Year Countdown!

Friday, December 11, 2009

As you all know by now I recently renewed my fitness qualifications and am once again a qualified fitness instructor and personal trainer, as such I have dedicated most Fridays to fitness posts. Over the last year I've been on a fitness mission starting almost exactly one year ago (one year on the 18th) and my life has been so enriched for getting back in shape. I never thought I'd be so in shape again that I would consider being a personal trainer again, that I would be motivated to change other people's lives and be excited to push myself, mind and body, towards new fitness goals and new ways of working out.

One of the things about being a fitness instructor is paying it forward and I want to do that here on the blog, encouraging all of you to pick a fitness goal for 2010 and work it, bring it, and achieve it! So for today as it's the run up to holiday madness, people frantically buying gifts plus the start of the new year, here are three things you'll need to achieve a fit and healthy you in 2010! Perhaps things to put on your list for Santa? :) I've included the basics and I've added some shopping suggestions of things I personally use, it might seem like an ad for some products but I really love and use the products I've recommended almost every day.

1 - Heart Rate Monitor! I've talked about this before but it bears repeating. You cannot know how many calories you are burning by relying on online calculators or gym equipment. Get a heart rate monitor (one with a chest strap) and then plug in your information and get busy! It's important to know this so that you can effectively calculate how many calories you need to eat in order to lose weight. I bought this Heart Rate Monitor: Polar F4 Women's Heart Rate Monitor Watch and I've never been happier! It certainly opened my eyes to how many calories I was REALLY burning.


2 - workout gear! Especially important are shoes! If you are new to exercise you can get away with some yoga pants and a tee but you need good shoes on your feet! I get through a few pairs of workout shoes a year, you'll know once the shoe is loosing it's cushioning. Usually that's when I start to feel my feet aching and my knee twinging because the shoe is losing the cushion for all the impact on it. Remember if you run you'll need to replace those shoes every 300-400 miles. My preference over the last 10 years has been for Adidas shoes , Adidas tends to have a wider toe area I find which for me is more comfortable. I love new workout shoes, it's like walking on air. This is the shoe I work out in currently and I love them.

For clothing I tend to be bias towards Nike Dri-Fit workout gear. Been using it for 15-20 YEARS and love it. Champion Sports brand has a similar range too which I also like, but I do like Nike. Always have. My favorite outfit right now is a pair of teal blue cheerleader style shorts with a matching bra top. I like matching bra tops, for me it's a dealbreaker on shorts/pants if I can't get a matching bra top. Holds the boobs in place and looks good at the same time! Remember if you're a woman - sports bra tops or sports bras are very important!!! For weights/yoga I like something like the 3-pack, FRUIT OF THE LOOM, Spaghetti Strap Sport Bras So comfortable! And because I'm small busted and won't be jumping around doing weights/yoga they offer enough support for me.


For running/high impact activities I go for something with more "bounce minimizing" capability. Again I do like the Nike ones but that's just me. These Nike Women's Core Bra Top are pretty good, and again with the Dri-Fit that wicks away the sweat!


For larger busted ladies, I suggest a proper structured sports bra PLUS a sports top. Yep wear two if you need it :) This will stop black eyes, reduce boob pain from exercise and will reduce sagging due to excessive "bouncing". I highly recommend good sports bras for all women though, protect your breasts, and keep them as perky as possible! Plus - no stares!

3 - Equipment. If you just plan on walking around the neighborhood you'll be fine with the above two suggestions. Maybe you plan on running distances? Training for marathons? I'd recommend some kind of GPS device like a Garmin. Personally I use an ap on my iPhone because if I'm on a run outside anyway I want my phone and some kickin' tunes! You could ask Santa for a Gym Membership or some Home Gym Equipment or Workout DVDs. Around our house we have the Reebok Speed Pac 25 Adjustable Dumbbell Pair which work pretty well. Each dumbell is adjustable from 2.5 lbs - 12.5 lbs


We also have the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar which is currently hung over my office door. I'm not great at these but they are a must have for the workout DVD program I follow which is P90X Extreme Home Fitness Workout Program this IS NOT for beginners though, but if you're hardcore and want results this is a 12 week program that will give you results! Trust me! I've done it, and am about to move onto the next program P90X Plus


It seems like a lot of stuff initially but really it depends on your goals. Are you a gym bunny? Do you like group class formats or running on a treadmill? Then go join a gym. Me I like having my equipment here at home :) That's why I like the P90X DVDs with the weights and pull up bar. We also have free weights on an Apex Olympic Hollow Bar Kit but I haven't used them much as I've been doing the P90X routine. I used the dumbells from that when I need heavier weight than the Reebok ones (15lbs and above) but honestly they are a little cumbersome for my frame. The dumbells themselves are HUGE. I'm clumsy enough last thing I need is a set of Dumbbells that are way to big for me that I clunk myself in the shin/knee/shoulder/head with them! I think I'll be buying a set of 15lb Body Solid Iron Hex Dumbbell Pairs or something similar, then buying more heavier ones as and when I need them.

For beginner DVD workouts I'd suggestTurbo Jam Maximum Results DVD set, Chalean Extreme DVD Set, Debbie Siebers' Slim in 6 by Beachbody or Jillian Michaels - 3 DVD Set Haven't used any of these personally, but people I know have and they like them. I know my library does some Jillian Michaels DVDs for loan, so maybe check out your library or family/friends and see what workout DVDs they have that you can borrow to try out.


Bonus items: Not necessary but good for documenting progress are a body fat caliper and tape measure. Body fat calipers are good so that you know you are losing FAT rather than muscle (important). And measuring yourself at specific points is better than relying on the weight scale! These are two I personally use below:




Ok hope that helps with some idea's for a Holiday Wishlist! If you do see Santa could you tell him I'd like some new workout outfits, a new pair of shoes (I am due for a new pair soon!) and like I said, maybe heavier solid dumbbells that I don't hit myself with!

Cheers!

Di

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