Gym Investments – Shoes

When I started going to the gym, I was sill in college and the shoes I purchased to use on the elliptical were some basic tennis shoes.  I had some Saucony tennis shoes that I bought on Amazon just to do some basic cardio and to wear to my retail job for my eight hour shifts.  After really committing myself to the gym I invested in some running shoes and eventually some more athletic shoes that I would use for lifting.

For my New Year’s Resolution of 2013, I decided I wanted to make running my resolution.  I ran once with my Saucony tennis shoes and decided I wasn’t about it.  I invested in $40 ASICS running shoes, which had a lot of gel in the heal, and it changed my life.  I’m terrible at running, still, and I honestly don’t really enjoy the activity.  That being said, now that I have been running for a good amount of time getting back on the elliptical is hard to do; I’d rather just run and get it over with.  A few months ago, my starter shoes ripped and I ran out the same day and picked up another pair of ASICS shoes, partially because I was committed to the brand and because of a good deal at Sports Authority.  I love Sports Authority by the way.  The store has great deals and clearance items for athletes and gym goers.  I like looking halfway cute while I’m at the gym (though that shouldn’t be the priority), but I never spend more than $15 on any single item of athletic clothes.  Even my athletic leggings purchased from Forever 21 were around $11 and they’re great.  Seriously, invest in quality items which enhance your fitness activities, but save on fabric that will just get sweaty.

Last year, while browsing my local DSW I found a pair of ASICS Gel-Craze Cross-training shoes for around $40 that I’ve been rocking the for the past year and half.  They were definitely a step-up from what I had been wearing and I could also wear them to work on my lazy days or running errands on the weekend.  I waterproof all my shoes with a spray you can pick-up at any shoe store, but I still keep from wearing them during inclement weather.

Before Christmas I added some shoes to my Amazon wish list hoping to get them for a gift so that I could wear them to Iceland.  I’m glad I didn’t end up getting them there was a lot more snow in Iceland than I was expecting so I wore my boots the whole time.  The other reason I’m glad I didn’t end up getting them for Christmas was because they went on sale right after our trip!  I was browsing Amazon for some white boards markers and found the shoes I wanted for over $20 off, directly from the ASICS Amazon storefront.  I purchased the ASICS Gel Fit Tempo Cross-Training Shoe for around $40 dollars and I’m glad I went for the deal.  These shoes weigh only a couple of ounces and have far less gel than my previous lifting shoes making squats a hell of a lot easier.  The lighter shoes is also easier to walk in than the others because of the weight and because this style is a little slimmer.

There’s a bit of a trend here, that ASICS athletic shoes are the only tennis shoes I own.  I had heard that ASICS was the preferred brand among runners which is why I started out with them, but it’s been by chance that I have ended up with two cross-trainer shoes from them.  I am in no way affiliated with ASICS or sponsored by them, but I’ve enjoyed my purchases from them and would highly suggest checking them out.  Investing in some goods shoes is worth it.  It made running so much easier, once I put my mind to doing it.  If you’re just starting out with your fitness goals, you can find some good deals on quality shoes that will make reaching your goals that much more attainable.

January Fitness Update

January is a popular time of year for people to get back into their fitness goals as well as for people to make New Year’s Resolutions to get involved with fitness or lose weight.  January is also the time when I re-evaluate my fitness goals and start preparing for the spring cutting season.  I know spring seams far away, but by the time it arrives the hope is that I have built up enough muscle to be able to cut and still maintain my strength levels.

A few weeks before Christmas, Jake and I started a new lifting routine which includes a basic three-day split.  I decided to invest in a pair of lifting straps at the advice of a coworker to improve my grip strength and overall improve my dead lifts.  For the past two years, I’ve used gloves for lifting but it’s not my hands that need the help anymore as I’ve built up some pretty good calluses.  Ladies, do not be afraid of getting calluses from weight lifting.  Mine aren’t even noticeable to the eye and most days no one is holding my hands to feel them.  In addition to our three-day split, my goal is run or do some form of cardio twice a week.  I don’t put a lot of emphasis on cardio during fall or winter, but moving into spring I like to keep it consistent.  I’ve never been one for doing ab exercises (I hate them), but this year I’d like to make it one of my goals.  Jake and I will probably add ab exercises onto leg day because generally that is our fastest moving day.  This weekend I’d like to find a basic everyday ab exercise that I can do in the mornings or evenings on a yoga mat, nothing intense likes those ad challenges I see rolling around on Pinterest.  Remember abs are made in the kitchen, not at the gym.

During the fall and winter months, I spoil myself with Pumpkin Spice Lattes, pumpkin cookies, holiday parties, and all weight lifting at the gym.  Right now at the turn of the year, I have decided to start tracking what I eat and count my calorie intake.  I have used the app My Fitness Pal in the past and I really enjoy it.  Not only does it allow my to track my calories, but I can also see the breakdown of the nutrition in the food.  The app can keep track of your exercises and how many calories you burn which are then negated from your daily caloric intake.  The one downside to the app is that it doesn’t know how many calories are burned during strength exercises.  One of my best tips to eating healthy is to meal plan.  I like to prepare my lunch and dinners every week, cooking on Sunday’s and packing everything in containers for busy weekdays.  I just ordered a weekly whiteboard so that I can better organize meals for myself and for when Jake comes over.  I love lists and organizing my thoughts and I have been wanting a whiteboard for over a year now.

I’d like to do these fitness updates every three to four months, during the change of the seasons and fitness routines.  Moving into spring, my diet will become more strict with less carbs and high amounts of vegetables and protein.  The most important part of my fitness routine is making sure I’m keeping hydrated: drink all the water.  Start with a glass right after to step out of bed and add an additional glass or two if you exercise that day.

Caught in the Cold

I’m at home sick today which is a rare occurrence for me.  Generally speaking, I don’t get colds and if I do they don’t turn out to be that bad. Because I was up most of the night not being able to get sleep because of the congestion and sore throat, I decided to take a sick day to rest up, drink fluids, and cat nap.  A couple of people at work were sick last week, so I started to take action to keep the sickness at bay.  Didn’t completely work, but I still feel like my methods are good to know.

It’s been a good two years since I’ve been sick with a full on cold, and I attribute it to my healthy lifestyle including going the gym, eating right, and taking vitamins.  Last week, I started drinking vitamin supplements, more than what I usually take.  On a day-to-day basis I take vitamin C, multi-vitamins, and fish oil.  I know some people are a little skeptical on vitamin supplements, but I’ve seen an improvement in my health because of them.  Vitamin C was for my immune system, after I contracted a terrible cold two years ago, and I believe it’s helped that plus my skin and hair.  Multi-vitamin is simply that, to fill in the gaps of my daily diet.  Fish oil has helped my knees and joints especially ever since I began running about a year and half ago.  When those around me get sick, like at work, or when I start feeling under the weather I start taking Emergen-C, Airborne, or something along those lines.  Last week the CVS brand was on sale for buy one get one free, so I stocked up for home and work.  My Blender Bottle is perfect for mixing it up too.

I’m keeping up my fluids, which includes the vitamin drink, water, and my previously blogged about Lipton Decaffeinated Honey Lemon Green Tea.  Jake came down with a cold too so I brewed him a cup and he loved it.  The only medicine I’m taking for the sinus pressure, is a non-drowsy nasal decongestant, such as Sudafed.  It keeps the congestion and sinus pressure down, as well as helps drains any fluid build up.  A lot of people think that when they have a cold for longer than a few days that they have a sinus infection that requires a doctor visit.  Doctor’s often prescribe an antibiotic because it makes the patient feel at ease, but most of the time it’s prescribed for a viral infection that is completely unaffected by antibiotics.  Antibiotics are only needed if it’s a bacterial infection, which requires a blood draw to confirm.  I’m not a doctor so I can’t tell anyone what the right thing to do is, but it really bothers me that people rely on antibiotics for something as simple as a cold.

As crazy as this sounds, going to the gym is still in my routine when I catch a cold.  As long as you don’t do more than your normal routine and your cold is from the neck up going to gym is perfectly acceptable.  I’m extra careful when I go to gym with a cold, making sure I wash my hands before and after my workout, avoid touching my face, and wiping down all of the equipment I use.  After the workout I sit in the sauna for a few minutes then head back home and get right back into bed.  Monday was when I started feeling under the weather, so I went for a quick run and it made my sinuses feel less congested.  I swear by going the gym, I really do.  Even if it’s just for being active, I wish everyone at least gave it a try for eight weeks.  That’s about how long it takes to see results.  Gym time has changed my life.  I really love it.

It’s getting to be that time of year when colds are inevitable as people start to stay inside more.  I also know it’s difficult for some people to get out of school or work, but staying home is really the best medicine for getting well.  If you can take the pay cut for the day or get an excused absence from school, take the personal time and be the healthiest person you can be.