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Workout Essentials

Workout Essentials
Sneakers – While the clothes you choose for a workout are important, the sneakers you select can make a huge difference in how you perform your fitness activity (like running and cross training, just to name a few). If you choose the wrong athletic sneakers, you can hurt your feet and even cause injury to other parts of your body.
  • Running: If running is your thing, look for running shoes that provide plenty of cushioning, traction, and stability. They should also be lightweight and flexible.
  • Cross Training: For cross training, the best shoe is one that provides all around support and flexibility. If you like to go to the gym to do a little bit of everything, then a cross-trainer is definitely the right sneaker for you.
Dumbbells – Dumbbells are small, portable, versatile, and some of the most effective pieces of weight-lifting equipment available. Whether you’re a seasoned bodybuilder or just starting out in the gym, dumbbells are beneficial for people of all fitness levels. Instead of hopping from machine to machine at the gym, I like to use dumbbells for a full-body workout: upper body, lower body, and core. Dumbbells are also highly affordable and can be purchased at most general retail stores (I got mine at TJ Maxx!) as well as sporting goods and athletic stores. Heart Rate Monitor – Heart rate monitors are used to digitally measure cardio activity and to help those exercising to keep track of their workout. Whether you are looking to burn fat or simply improve your cardiovascular health, there is a specific range in which your heart rate should fit to achieve your goals. Besides tracking your heart rate, some monitors also track how many calories you burned throughout your workout (huge motivational tool!). Team WANU is obsessed with the Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitors. Foam Roller – Foam rollers are the most popular mechanism for self-myofascial release (a fancy word for self-massaging), and are gaining popularity among athletes and everyday gym rats. Some of the basic benefits of foam rolling are increased blood flow throughout the body, relief of muscle soreness and joint stress, and increased range of motion. These benefits can decrease the chance of injury and decrease recovery time after a workout. WANU – You know that water keeps you hydrated during your workout, but you might not know how. Your body perspires to cool itself down during exertion, which means you lose water during exercise. It’s important to replenish that water in order to avoid dehydration, fatigue, or dizziness. Proper hydration also helps keep your joints lubricated and your muscles more elastic, decreasing your chance of getting sprains and injuries. By drinking adequate amounts of water before, during, and after your workout, the heart won’t have to work as hard to pump blood to the body, and oxygen and nutrients can be transported more efficiently to the muscles you’re working out. This means you’re going to have more energy. So…why WANU? Plain ol’ H2O will do the trick, but WANU will give you a boost of nutrients while hydrating you at the same time. Three of the 12 nutrients in WANU are particularly beneficial for muscle recovery:
  • Vitamin C: This powerful antioxidant boosts the production of collagen –a connective tissue that helps repair skin tissue, tendons and blood vessels. Vitamin C also helps flush the muscles of lactic acid (an acid that causes muscle fatigue and post-exercise muscle soreness).
  • Vitamin B: The B complex vitamins help the body perform a variety of functions. They ease the breakdown of proteins and carbs, boost muscle repair, and assist with cell development. A lack of B vitamins can increase muscle cramps and aches.
  • Vitamin E: During strenuous exercise, a protein, creatine phosphokinase—also known as CPK—seeps into the bloodstream. Vitamin E increases blood circulation and helps rid the body of CPK more efficiently. It also protects cells from damage-causing free radicals.
For those of you who don’t like the taste of plain water, WANU is also naturally flavored (my personal favorite is the Watermelon Raspberry...it's soooo good). What are your favorite workout essentials? Let us know in the comments below. Cheers! Teresa & WANU Sources: MuscleandFitness.com, FamilyDoctor.org, Active.com

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