I know I’ve been posting a lot of fitness/workout posts lately and I promise that’s not what this blog is meant to be turning into; I just have a tendency to write about what I’m interested in at the moment and my life is basically revolving around fitness and working out right now. I know that fitness is a difficult subject for some people because it brings up a lot of body issues and psychological issues (I used to be one of those people), which is why I try to keep my fitness posts as body posi as I possibly can (which is really easy when you have the perspective that I do).
With that being said, I’m going to try to make an effort to diversify my blog feed a bit more here in the coming month or two, after my next fitness post.
But without further ado (and in no particular order), let’s get into this.
I get shin splints really easily. Part of me thinks it’s because of my weight, but research tells me it’s more to do with doing “too much, too soon” (which is kind of the tagline for shin splints). One of my resolutions goals for 2017 is to be able to run an entire 5K without needing to walk any part of it, so I try to focus some of my workouts on training for that, but it mostly just hurts too much. I asked around in some of the running groups of which I am a member, and most of them suggested compression socks/sleeves. I know there are other factors I have to consider to help prevent the splints, but I’m game to try the sleeves if they help at all. In the meantime, I’ve been walking some as a warm-up or a cool down exercise, but I’m so terrified of getting a stress fracture that I just haven’t done anything in the way of running/jumping, which has put my 5K training on hold.
I’ve heard horror stories about women keeping their phone in their sports bra while they workout. The stories range from severe burns, to cancer. WTF?! Most of my workout pants have a pocket in them, but do you think that’s big enough for my 5”x2” phone? No! It’s made for maybe a key and a credit card/cash. That’s it. So what’s a girl to do when she wants to listen to her music and look at the notes in a new workout she’s trying? Even if I decided to forgo the music and write the workout on a piece of paper, I can’t shove that in my bra. Do you know how uncomfortable paper is in your boobular area? Very! Not to mention sweat (or any moisture, really) plus ink and paper do not mix. Believe me, I’ve tried. Also, I like to make my steps count when I’m doing laps around the track (or Target…) using Charity Miles, and it’s getting old having to hold my phone in my hand just so my steps get recorded.
Foam rolling sucks. Oh my god it hurts so good. If you don’t know what foam rolling is, you should look it up, but the purpose behind foam rolling is that it stretches out your muscles and keeps the lactic acid from building up so you don’t get as sore (or to help alleviate soreness after the fact). It’s even good for helping with the pain of shin splints! There’s not anywhere on your body that you can’t foam roll, but there are ways not to roll so you don’t hurt yourself. Pinterest and YouTube will be your best friends when learning how to do it properly. Most gyms will probably have a foam roller that you can use, but I try not to use ours for two reasons, 1. Foam rolling can look awkward. I’ve come a long way in what makes me uncomfortable to do in front of my fellow gym-goers, but foam rolling is still iffy for me. 2. If you’re rolling post-workout, you’re sweaty. Sweat gets all over the roller. You’re rolling in yours and who knows who else’s sweat. Sure, maybe you wipe it (and all the gym equipment you use) off after you’re done, but does anyone else?! *sketchily looking at my fellow gym-goers*
Did you know that running/athletic shoes are only supposed to last you about a year?! Obviously that depends on wear and tear, and frequency of use, but apparently a good rule of thumb (rule of wrist? ;)) is 300 to 500 miles or one year, particularly for running shoes. Since, as I mentioned before, I am trying to work on my running, and have had my current shoes since Valentine’s Day of 2016, it’s obviously time for new ones. Also, research says a key factor in preventing shin splints is good shoes. Experts recommend getting fitted at a dedicated running store so you are sure you’re getting the right ones for you. Unfortunately, buying new ones every year can get a bit expensive, but you don’t have to throw them away once they’ve celebrated their first birthday. Using them for walking, or other workouts can sometimes work, unless your fitter tells you otherwise. Always listen to experts, and do your research! Another thing to keep in mind, if you can’t make it to a running store (not everyone is lucky enough to have one near them), would be to do your own research online. For instance, I know that I have incredibly high arches, so I would need arch support. I’ve also been to a podiatrist who’s recommended I wear shoes with an elevated heel, so I try to look for that (though I’ve found that most running shoes with arch support do have a somewhat elevated heel). Find what works for you.
High and Low Impact Sports Bras
Here’s something I’ve discovered recently: not all my workouts require a high-impact sports bra. Running and jumping and flailing about? Sure, wide straps, underwire, and a little compression is necessary to keep the girls from knocking you out or feeling like they’re going to fly off your chest. Lifting weights, taking a walk, or leg day? Maybe not so much. Research shows that constricting bras are actually detrimental to boob health, not to mention they’re super uncomfortable. If you’re busty, you want something that is going to support you and keep the girls separate but equal without digging into your skin while you’re running or jogging. But for those days that I’m doing strength training, an elastic banded bra works just fine. They won’t be flailing about as much, so it’s not necessary to keep them from doing what they naturally do. Just make sure it’s your size (knowing your measurements always helps) and it’s comfortable!
I’m lucky. I work at a fitness facility, so when I get done with my shift, I can change straight into my workout clothes and do my thing; no extra effort or thought required. I don’t even have to get a lock for a gym locker, because I can just leave my stuff behind the counter where patrons and guests aren’t allowed to access. I am currently using an Arkansas Razorbacks (woo pig!) drawstring backpack that I shove all my shit into and go. It’s working well for now, but ideally I’d like to get more serious about my workouts and start carrying recovery aids (protein shakes, etc.), my resistance bands, and all the extras on this list (plus maybe an extra pair of clothes to change into afterwards). My little drawstring bag isn’t going to hold all that. It does what I need it to for now, but that’s changing very rapidly.
This one is on the list for the same reason the foam roller is; I get weird about sharing things like this. I’m not going to pretend that I’m the cleanest person. Do I shower after every workout? No. Is that gross? Probably. Do I care? Not really. Do I smell bad? No. And I know that because Shane would definitely tell me if I did. But there’s something about someone else’s sweat getting on me that grosses me out. I don’t know. I’m weird about what grosses me out and what doesn’t. Either way, the purpose behind this even existing, for those of you that might not know, is to help cushion the bar when you’re doing squats (where the bar rests on your shoulders) or if you’re doing hip thrusts, it helps keep your hipbones from hurting. It’s a nice diverse product and just another reason to own a gym bag.
All the Activewear
Okay, this is obviously a slight over-statement, but I pretty much live in pajamas, my work uniform, and workout clothes. That’s all I do most of the week. Plus, if I look cute, I’m that much more excited to work out. It’s not rocket science, people. It’s actually psychology, probably. Whatever. Either way, I want my activewear drawer to spill over into my shorts drawer and I want endless options because that is my life.
That’s it for this post, you guys, and I’m sorry it was SO LONG, but I feel the need give you all explanations for things in case you need some ideas on how to get the most out of your workouts. I am not an expert (though I am looking into personal trainer cert programs), but I do my research and gather info from a wide range of sources. Please remember to always talk to a healthcare professional before starting any sort of physical fitness regimen.
Leave a comment and tell me what’s on your workout wishlist, and don’t forget that you can find me all over social media. I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.