If there’s one thing I love more than working out, it’s all of the fun gadgets and gear that go along with an active lifestyle. But there are so many different products out there that it can be tough to figure out what’s worth your money. That’s why I’m here…to share with you four of my favorite, can’t-live-without fitness gadgets and gear that will get you motivated and help you take your workouts to the next level!
Garmin Forerunner Running Watches
My number one favorite fitness gadget is my Garmin GPS running watch. When I first started running, I used the Garmin Forerunner 110 and then eventually upgraded to the Garmin 910XT, which is a multi-sport GPS watch (great for triathlon training!). Why do I love Garmins? They are user-friendly and super motivating. All watches track time, distance, and pace. If you purchase a heart-rate monitor with your watch, you’ll also get an accurate read on calories burned! For the casual runner, I recommend either the Garmin Forerunner 10 or the Garmin Forerunner 15. They will help take your running to the next level! (more…)
We’ve seen countless products dreamt up, designed, manufactured, and made into a reality by way of crowdfunding. Instead of seeking traditional bank loans or venture capital money, sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo let entrepreneurs turn to the public for investments in their vision, offering “rewards” for their support. The latest to come across our radar: the HYPERICE VYPER, the second creation of Anthony Katz, founder of HYPERICE.
The company says the VYPER can benefit anyone who takes pride in staying active and improving their well being. On the outside, VYPER looks like any other foam roller. It’s on the inside, however, that you’ll find the magic. VYPER contains a three-speed motor that outputs high-intensity and high-frequency vibrations as you use it. With that in mind, HYPERICE claims the following benefits:
- Loosens and lengthens muscles, increasing range of motion and flexibility
- Increases circulation, ideal for warming up the body before physical activity
- Helps reduce muscle soreness and stiffness for better recovery
- Effective tool for myofascial release (more…)
Flexibility is often overlooked, but it’s one of the most important areas to focus on while increasing your level of physical fitness. After all, it’s been among the benchmarks for measuring fitness on the Presidential Physical Fitness Test for years! Having good flexibility is beneficial to the mind and body alike and can help prevent injuries, improve posture and range of motion in our joints, and increase overall physical fitness, just to name a few.
When you think of flexibility, stretching is probably the first thing that comes to mind. And, unfortunately, stretching seems to be thing that that so many of us focus the least amount of attention on in our workouts. Warming-up and cooling-down properly before and after exercise are very important and aid in better flexibility, but it can also be focused on during a workout.
Foam rolling is one of those activities that every runner hears they should be doing. We know it’s important, but we aren’t exactly sure why, how to do it, or when to do it. When done correctly, it’s a highly effective tool for recovery and will increase performance.
What the Heck is Foam Rolling, Anyway?
Foam rolling is a self-myofascial technique that breaks up adhesions and scar tissue that accumulates within our muscles during exercise and daily activities. Steph Creaturo, co-owner of Mala Yoga in Brooklyn, NY, teaches a yoga class specifically for runners that incorporates rolling with foam rollers, golf balls, and tennis balls. She equates a foam roller to a Zamboni machine for your muscles. Foam rolling helps to smooth out the rough patches, promoting better blood flow to the muscle, which reduces soreness and increases performance.
In a study published by Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers found that foam rolling the legs after a squat workout helped speed recovery. The subjects who foam rolled were less sore overall, muscle soreness peaked earlier, and they performed better in vertical leap, range of motion, and muscle contraction tests. Adding foam rolling into your daily routine will help make you a more nimble runner. (more…)
The first time I heard the term ‘foam rolling,’ I thought it was some kind of tantric act practiced in far-off Eastern cultures. Come to find out, it’s a deep stretching method used by frequent runners. Hmm, guess I was way off.
To channel my inner running addict and discover everything I need to know about this foam rolling practice, I’ve summoned the help of one of the fitness industry’s foremost running experts: ExerciseTV celebrity trainer and New Balance Fitness Ambassador, Holly Perkins. (more…)