Monthly Archives: September 2014

8 Essentials for Your Gym Bag

When packing your gym bag, you want to make sure you have what you need for your workout, as well as what you need post-workout.  Having your bag prepped ahead of time with these items will make it easier to head to the gym or a class, and means you won’t forget anything!

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Start with the Bag

Sarah-Jean Ballard from The Fashionable Housewife says her favorite gym bag is Nomi Network’s Printed Double Zip Savorn Bag.  She loves that the company supports the great cause of helping victims of sex trafficking.  This bag also has many different compartments which are important so you can store your sweaty workout clothes separately from the rest of your items.

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Photo by Steven Depolo

Hair Ties

It can be frustrating when you go to put your hair up before a workout, only to realize you don’t have a hair tie.  Prevent this by keeping a pack of hair ties in your gym bag.  If you like to wear a hairband when exercising, make sure you have a stash of these as well.

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Dry Shampoo

A quick spray of dry shampoo helps to refresh your hair, so you can go back to work or head out after your workout.  Sarah-Jean likes Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo, which contains tapioca to naturally absorb excess oil and leaves your hair with a light grapefruit and mint scent.

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Blister Bandages

We all know how annoying blisters can be when you’re trying to focus on your workout.  By keeping blister bandages in your bag, you’ll have a cushioned bandage to protect any blisters.

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Photo by Mary Preiser Potts

Athletic Socks

You’ve probably got your shoes in your bag, but do you have extra pairs of socks?  If you’re coming from work, chances are you aren’t wearing socks that work with your sneakers.  Be sure to pack a few extra pairs so you don’t have to go without.

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Deodorant

This is one thing you don’t want to be caught without, so make sure you buy an extra of your favorite kind to throw in your gym bag.  Sarah-Jean uses EO Organic Deodorant, a spray-on deodorant which deodorizes with essential oils.

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Facial Wipes

Facial wipes are great for freshening up after the gym, and you don’t need to worry about any liquid spilling in your bag.  Sarah-Jean likes  Burt Bee’s Facial Cleansing Cloths, which are gentle enough for sensitive skin.

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CC Cream

A CC Cream contains sunscreen, skin care ingredients, moisturizer, and light color.  Because it’s one product, it’s a great option for the gym if you need a little something but don’t want to apply a full face of make-up.

 

6 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Since we’re usually close to our smartphones at all times, having health and fitness apps installed can help make staying on track towards our health and fitness goals a little bit easier.  In this post, Sarah Parker from Fit Betty shares her favorite apps.

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Photo by Jitendra Agrawal

LoseIt!

Sarah says LoseIt! is her favorite app for tracking calories.  This app helps you to set and track calorie and macronutrient goals, and presents your progress in easy-to-read charts.  This app also lets you input activities and adjusts your calorie goal accordingly.

Nudge

Nudge allows you to connect apps like MapMyFitness, RunKeeper, and Fitbit, and gives you a single score on how healthfully you’re living.  Sarah’s favorite part of this app is tracking servings of fruit, veggies, and water.

MapMyFitness

MapMyFitness is Sarah’s favorite app for GPS tracking.  This app uses the GPS in your phone to keep track of things like distance, speed, elevation, and calories burned. You can also track your route and discover other people’s route if you’re looking for new places to run, walk, or cycle.

UltraTimer

Sarah says UltraTimer is one of her favorite workout timer apps.  With this app, you can set up your workout  with different timers running back to back, making it ideal for interval training.  Users can also upload and share timers to get new workout ideas.

RockMyRun

RockMyRun is a great app if you’re looking for new workout music.  The app has different seamless running mixes put together by DJ’s.  If you get the premium version, RockMyRun will adjust the tempo of the music to match your pace, or to push you to go a little faster.

FitSnap

FitSnap is Sarah’s favorite app for sharing workout photos on social media. Using this app, you can add text information to your photo about your workout such as the activity name and your duration.  You can then share this photo with your social media contacts on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

What to Eat Post-Workout

Lori Lanham from Get Fit Naturally says it’s important to eat within an hour after working out to repair muscle tissue and replenish energy. She suggests a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein following strength workouts, and a 4:1 ratio following endurance workouts.  Lori also points out that is a good idea to avoid fat right after working out, as it slows down the digestion and absorption of protein and carbs.  If you’re not sure what to eat after your next workout, try one of these options.

Chocolate Protein Shake

Lori’s favorite post-workout snack is a chocolate protein shake.   She likes adding frozen blueberries and ½ of banana.  In addition to the protein in the shake, the banana is an excellent choice as your body is able to break it down more quickly, which helps restore glycogen stores depleted during exercise.

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Photo by Meal Makeover Moms

Greek Yogurt with Blueberries

Lisa McClellen from Run Wiki enjoys Greek yogurt with blueberries after working out.  The Greek yogurt is a perfect source of protein and carbohydrates.  Additionally, Lisa says she likes adding anti-inflammatory foods like blueberries into her post-workout snack, as she finds it useful when recovering from a difficult workout.

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Photo by Memphis CVB

Whole Grain Pita and Hummus

Pairing whole grain pita with hummus is another great carbohydrate and protein combination for post-workout. Because the whole grain pita has fiber, it’s an excellent option if you’re especially hungry after exercising as it digests more slowly and keeps you feeling satisfied longer.

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Individual Baked Oatmeal Cups

These Baked Oatmeal Cups from Lisa are great to throw in your gym bag for a snack.  The oatmeal is a great complex carbohydrate, and protein is provided by eggs and cottage cheese.  Lisa even throws in chia seeds and flax meal for an omega 3 boost.

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Photo by London Chow

Turkey Sandwich

If you’re looking for a post-workout meal, a turkey sandwich is a good choice.  Turkey is a lean protein so it helps provide your muscles with the nutrition they need without added fat.  Choose Ezekial or whole wheat bread for a healthy carbohydrate.

Sweet Potato with Cottage Cheese

Lisa also regularly enjoys a sweet potato topped with cottage cheese after exercising.  The sweet potato is a healthy carbohydrate as it is full of nutrients like potassium and magnesium. By pairing this with protein-rich cottage cheese, you have a perfect post-workout snack.