For the last few months, I have been trying to exercise more. My overall aim is to lose three stone and be back down to my pre-pregnancy weight – a big ask I know but not totally impossible especially with dedication and hard work. I have lost weight in the past and with a wedding on the horizon, I certainly have something to aim for.
I mainly workout at home with a DVD but I have recently started running a couple of times a week too although I’m unsure how long this will last as I’m really not enjoying it (I think I may invest in a treadmill when I get my house extension in a few years time). I am planning on joining a local gym in the future but I’m waiting until I have lost a little more weight before I sign up. Below are the items I use before, during and after my workout. Some of them I use to help me get a better workout others to help recover and feel better afterwards.
> Comfy Clothing – You don’t need to wear fancy workout clothing if you’re working out at home, you don’t even have to wear them in the gym. But I have found that wearing 3/4 yoga pants and a vest are much comfier to workout in than an over-sized t-shirt and shorts. I found my workout outfit from New Look in their new year sale. After trying my outfit on I ordered them in a size smaller so that I have a smaller target to aim for too.
> A Water Bottle – One of the most important things for me to be doing at the minute is increasing my water intake. I am notoriously bad for not drinking enough so this is something I am trying to change. Whilst exercising and when on the school runs I have been using a BRITA fill&go Active water bottle. The *fill&go bottle uses a filter system which reduces chlorine and other substances that can make water taste differently. The bottle comes with one filter disc. The disc will filter up to 150 litres of water and will roughly last for up to 4 weeks. The bottle is shock resistant, dishwasher safe, BPA-free and has a carry strap.
> A Sports Bra – This is a must-have item for any woman when working out. Whether it’s in the gym, working out at home, playing sport, running or even horse riding, it’s important to have the correct support. The *Active Multi Sports Support bra from Shock Absorber is designed to support you whatever your cup size and whatever the sport you are taking part in. This bra is available from a 32B to a 38HH. Shock Absorber bras feature:
- Crop top designs and integrated support
- A fully opening back for easy on and off
- A racer back for extra support
- Adjustable padded straps for comfort
- Powermesh side panels for breathability
- Moisture-wicking, breathable, high-performance fabrics
> A Fitness Tracker – The TomTom Touch is available with both a small or large strap size and you can buy other straps too. The *TomTom Touch has up to 5 days battery life and is recharged via a USB cable. The Touch is able to track the wearer’s sleep and is water resistant so there’s no need to remove it for things like washing up or taking a quick shower. When using the sports mode you can log your workouts and track your stats. You’ll see how the intensity of different activities compares to others, so you know when you’re getting the best out of your activities. Other features include:
- Use with the TomTom Sports app for more details of workouts/sleep
- Measures body fat and muscle mass percentage
- Monitor your heart rate and helps you to keep on top of your fitness
- Counts steps taken, calories burned and sleep with 24/7 activity tracking
- Use Sports mode to compare the intensity of your exercises
- Never miss a call or text with smartphone notifications
> Wireless Earphones – As already mentioned I enjoy listening to music whilst exercising. The *Relays Sport Wireless earphones are great for this as it means I can run/exercise without a wire getting in the way of my workouts. They’re available from HMV and in a choice of three colours -Black, Lemon/Lime, and Mint/Grey. Each charge lasts for up to 8 hours play time and they are both water and sweat resistant.
> A Portable Charger – Because I listen to music from my phone. I always carry a *power bank in my coat pocket or handbag. It’s perfect for a quick recharge and makes sure my phone is always ready and charged when I need it. The Varta power bank feature two USB ports; 1.0A for charging phones and MP3 players and a 2.4A port which can be used to charge your tablet. Varta has three different models available and the 16000mAh model will give up to six full smartphone charges. Available from Amazon UK.
> A Sleep Tracker – Getting a good night’s sleep is so important to aid weight loss. If you sleep well then you feel refreshed and ready to face the day. I have started getting up at 6.15 am Monday – Friday to workout and find that being in a routine of getting up early and going to bed earlier on a night time has really helped me. I find that it’s easier to get up and get it done first thing than trying to fit it in another time during the day. I have actually stuck to my exercise plan apart from 2 or 3 days where I was ill or injured ( I have a back that likes to spasm occasionally so when this happens a day or two of doing little is required).
If you are struggling with sleeping maybe you should try using a sleep tracker to see if there’s any reason why your sleep is being interrupted. The *S+ by ResMed (available from Amazon) is the world’s first non-contact, fully comprehensive sleep tracking system, which features patent-protected SleepSensor technology. It makes it possible to track, analyse and improve sleep at home without a wristband, electrodes or mattress strips. It comprises a device that sits beside the bed, a cloud-hosted Sleep Mentor system, and a free mobile app (Apple iOS and Android). Its features include:
- Respiratory and bio-motion sensor to measure and analyse sleep stages.
- Recording of the movements caused by breathing and overall body movements made whilst sleeping.
- Delivery of sleep scores and sleep charts to a connected phone or tablet.
- Personalised feedback and suggestions to help users improve their sleep.
The S+ also has a range of features to help improve sleep:
- Relax to Sleep provides soothing sounds that synchronise with breathing patterns to help with the process of falling asleep.
- Mind Clear allows users to record a voice message or type a text note to help clear their mind when trying to settle to sleep.
- Smart Alarm allows users to set a window of time for the S+ to naturally wake them when they are in light sleep, enabling them to wake feeling more refreshed.
> Body Cardio Scales – Although measuring your weight whilst exercising isn’t always a good thing as you can become obsessive about it if you do it all the time. It is good to make sure you check every now and again (I aim for once a month). I also use my scales for measuring much more than my weight too, my scales measure weight, BMI, body composition (fat, muscle, water & bone mass) and my standing heart rate so I can see how exercise is improving my health. The *Body Cardio Scales can be used to measure all the family too including babies – parents can easily keep an accurate diary of their child’s growth by simply stepping on the scale while holding their baby in their arms.
The scales are sleek in design, they’re only 0.7 inches deep with a flat aluminium base and heat-tempered glass and provides accuracy and stability on any surface including wood, tile or carpet. The scales have a built-in rechargeable battery that lasts up to one year between charges so there are no excuses for not weighing yourself.
These scales connect to the Health Mate iOS and Android app and automatically syncs data after every use of the scale. The data helps users visualise trends over time and note how their weight impacts overall health. The in-app coaching can help users to discover new ways to improve their well-being and heart health. They can set goals, earn rewards over time and even celebrate health milestones. Health Mate also offers integration with over 150 partner apps to provide nutrition tracking, GPS run tracking and more to round out the user’s wellness experience. Body Cardio is currently available at Withings.com.
After my workout, I love nothing better than jumping in a lovely hot shower to wash way all the sweat I have worked up. Whilst in the shower I wash my hair with Pantene Shampoo and their new *foam conditioner. For a long time, I stopped using separate shampoos and conditioners as I found they used to make my hair too heavy and greasy no matter what I used or how little of the product I used but whilst using the foam conditioner my hair has been left soft and it feels really light. Whilst in the shower I shave my legs using a *Wilkinson Sword Quattro.
*We were sent the above products for inclusion in this post – all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own*