Happy Monday friends! I hope you’re all having a great start to your week. I’m finally getting back into the swing of things post cold both in and out of the gym. My motivation has seriously been slacking. But now that I’m getting back in gear, I wanted to talk about my favorite workout essentials and share a few tips for where to spend money vs save it.
I’ll be the first to admit that things have to be just right to workout. I can easily let my mind get in the way. If I’m not comfortable, I struggle to stay in the workout. Hopefully, you can learn from my mistakes and invest right the first time.
Headphones: Now, I get that this one is a personal preference for people. I have friends who don’t listen to anything when they workout. They run with nature and I think that’s awesome. Personally, I can’t do it. I get bored too quickly. My headphones are essential in keeping me entertained.
For the longest time, I used the headphones that came with my iPhone for working out. It worked great for a while but I’m a genuine klutz and I drop things constantly. Last spring, my headphones tugged causing my phone to fly off the elliptical shattering my screen. Earlier this year, I made one wrong move with said headphones and dumped a cup of coffee on my very precious laptop. Anyone seeing a pattern?
I finally caved and went in for wireless headphones. They have become an essential in my workout gear. I purchased the Bose* wireless headphones because I wanted something in ear. If you are a headphone user, there are a few questions I would ask myself before purchasing. Do I want in ear or over? I opted for in ear because friends had told me that over the ear headphones can get really hot. Do you need wireless headphones? I love to do cardio in the gym and tend to wander a bit. Not being tethered to my phone makes it so much easier to run on the treadmill or elliptical. It also makes it easier to bike and watch Netflix. Whatever it takes, right? 🙂
Verdict: If you aren’t in need of wireless, you can probably save a few bucks here.
Tops: When you’re looking to invest in clothing, ask yourself what kind of activities you are going to be doing the most. I love yoga so I try to maintain a wardrobe that’s somewhat slim fitted so that my shirts don’t fly up when I’m in awkward positions. If you’re an outside activities person, you may want to invest in something that is dry-fit. This helps with absorbing your sweat and keeps you cooled down during a run. I don’t particularly enjoy the heaviness of t-shirts when I’m working out so I opt for light-weight materials that don’t feel bulky.
For ladies, I’d ask yourself the same questions for bra shopping. Are you going to be jumping all over the place? What do you really need your clothing to do for you? Get fitted and ask questions. If you are comfortable in your clothes, you’re way more likely to stick to the workout.
Verdict: Save your money. Budget friendly tops are an easy find and wearing ones that suit your workout is more important. You would be better off if you invested in a decent workout bra.
Pants: This is a category that I think I quite a bit of investment into. I put serious wear into whatever pants I workout in so it’s essential that they hold up. It’s also mandatory that they fit. I’ve worn a pair of cheaper capris to soulcycle class and had to walk off half way to fix them because they kept falling and it was driving me crazy. The material was too slick for that particular activity and it was distracting.
Buying pants that you don’t trip on, aren’t going to slide off with everything you do and fit comfortable is necessary if you are investing. Truthfully, you can get away with cheaper tops and spend the money on pants that fit. Hit up the sale racks. Target has great workout gear and with the cartwheel app you can save even more. I’ve found that my clothes from Athleta have all been worth the investment because they wear so well. Whatever your budget, check the material and make sure it’s worth the money.
Verdict: You can save money here just make sure to try things on and bounce around in dressing rooms. Test the product out a little first.
Socks: While it may seem silly, buying socks that fit your feet comfortably can make a world of difference. Do we see a comfortable theme yet? I struggle with getting a blister on the top my heels when I wear tennis shoes. Because of this, I now buy socks with the tab in the back to protect my heel. Buying socks that curve with your foot and cushion more in certain places is essential if you’re running or active on your feet. I’m a bit picky with my socks and they are pretty much all these*. They cushion the heel and ball of my foot, plus they protect my ankle. Perfection.
Verdict: Save your money here. You can find reasonably priced and fitted socks at Target & Wal-Mart.
Shoes: A friend asked me the other day how fast I could run a mile. I told her I didn’t know but would track it when I ran that night at the gym. But I made a mistake that night and wore the wrong shoes to the gym. I ended up skipping the run and opting for walking on incline. If your shoes don’t have enough support or they are too stiff, it can be difficult to really do whatever activity you’re trying to do without getting hurt.
If you get shin splints really easily or need a particular kind of support, it’s worth it to go get properly sized for shoes. A few summers ago, I went to REI to get hiking boots for work. The guy suggested we sized my foot. Mind you, I was 24 at the time so of course I’ve had the same size shoe for forever. But amazingly, I found out my shoe size had shrunk. I was no longer an 8 but now a 7.5. I would have purchased shoes with the wrong arch support if I hadn’t gotten properly sized.
You may have shoes that are great for the gym but they don’t provide the support you need to run on the road. Maybe you’re a cross-fit kid and need something special. Investing in proper shoes can save you the pain in the long run. You only get one pair of feet and one back. Invest in them and yourself to set yourself up for the best workout possible.
Verdict: If you’re going to spend anywhere, I’d spend it here. Protecting your feet means supporting your back, knees and the rest of your body. Essential.
What have you purchased that you’ve loved? Maybe you bought something you totally regret. *I see you slick capris* Leave me a comment below and let me know.