Ladies, it's about that time of the year, again. You know the time I'm talking about. The time where you've watched your winter become spring, summer, and fall; and you've suddenly come to realize that all of those resolutions you've made have been anything but resolved.
Those books that you planned on reading, are still collecting dust.
That hobby you wanted to pick up, is still waiting on you.
And that exercise plan you wanted…still remains there, mocking you, waiting to be picked up in the new year.
But, fear not. Despite it officially being hot girl fall, you still have some time to fall back into your workout routine. And in order to do that, you have to have the right equipment to kick off your victory lap.
Whether you're looking for the right shoes, or simply need the right attitude, here are the top 10 items you must have to ensure the best and most consistent fitness routine.
The Proper Fitness Shoes
Most workout routines are left behind, due to injuries caused by the workout routine, itself. At times, common injuries are created by using the wrong posture, pushing oneself too hard, or attempting to do too much too soon. Other times, injuries are caused by something simpler than that, like having the wrong shoes.
Wearing shoes that are incompatible with your workout routine can have you falling off your exercise plan quicker than expected. And it can even have you reconsidering working out all together. But no worries, this is an easy fix. Instead of heading to the gym or going on your run with the wrong shoes, find the one that is just right for your routine.
Regardless of your exercise plan, your shoes should have adequate room near the toe and your heels should have no room to slip. With running shoes, you want to have the best feature possible, meaning the shoes are light, comfortable, cushioned, and supportive.
For regular gym shoes, you'll want to have light shoes with great shock absorption, and durability. If you're one of those who hate light shoes, consider checking out the men's section for a heavier feel.
Top Workout Shoes to Consider:
- Brooks Levitate 2 (All Around)
- Saucony Ride ISO (Best for Long Distance)
- Adidas EdgeBounce (Best for Marathons)
- Nike Epic React (Best for Runs)
- Asics Gel-Nimbus 21 (Best for Stability)
- Altra Torin Knit 3.5 (Best for Wide Feet)
- Brooks Bedlam (Best for Gait Correction)
- Saucony Women's Omni 14 (Best for Narrow Feet)
- Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 (Best for Flat Feet)
Sports Bra: Support
The point of a sports bra is to provide worthwhile support, regardless of how rigorous the routine. Finding a sports bra can be overwhelming, especially if you're unaware of how to differentiate between an underwire, molded cup, removable pads, adjustable straps, etc.
Nevertheless, instead of running away from the endless amount of supportive bra options. Follow the guide below to help you lean into your bountiful options.
Underwires are the most supportive bras out there, and if you're a C or D cup, this is the type of sports bra you should consider. It helps reduce breast pain, by stopping your breasts from constantly moving up and down, and eliminates discomfort often caused by working out. Made specifically for high endurance workouts, it can help with the bouncing and rolling that inevitably occurs. Meanwhile, for A and B cups, this bra is a great option to control natural breast movement, but unless you're having an intense workout, it might not be needed.
Wire free sports bras aren't as supportive as underwire, and for medium or low impact workouts, that will do just fine. Wire-free sports bras are often compression style and instead of supporting your breasts, it presses them to your body. For A-C cups, this bra is always an option and welcomed during fitness activities like yoga or a simple gym routine.
Molded cups, removable cups, and adjustable straps aren't huge factors within your sports bra choice. Although it is important to know whether you want those features or not, this can be decided by what you like in a bra, rather than what your breast size is.
Clothing: Breathable, Sweat Resistant, and Odor Resistant
Instead of grabbing clothes from your closet or drawer that you're willing to drench in sweat, consider spending some coins on the proper fitness clothing.
While looking for workout clothes, you want to make sure that your fabric is breathable, sweat-resistant and odor-resistant. Cotton might be nice to wear during the day; it would be terrible to have during a workout. It retains moisture and makes your sweating more noticeable during the workout and can lead to a heavy amount of discomfort. When searching for fitness gear, you'll want to ditch the cotton and make sure that your clothes are quick-dry, with anti-odor fabric, and strategically designed with mesh construction. This will enhance your comfort during your workout, while keeping you dry and odorless.
Most workout injuries stem from muscle tightness, which is caused by many lacking the proper stretching routine in the beginning and end of their workouts. This can cause serious injuries and can take you out of the gym or running trail longer than expected. To stop this, it about time you stretch, but it's also about time you've invested in a foam roller.
Foam roller are a self-myofascial release technique, in other words, it's a gift from God. The foam roller can smooth out hard knots created after a workout routine and can help loosen you muscles more than a stretching routine could. Foam rollers ease muscle pain, increase range of motion, reduces cellulite, relieves back pain, and most importantly, helps your muscles to ensure that you are injury-free.
With just an investment of $15-$30, you can save yourself an injury from yet another attempted workout. Whether you choose a smooth roller, textured roller, foam-cover massage sticks, or foam massage balls, there is a foam roller to help the fitness buff in you.
Pre-Workout and Post-Workout Treats
The purpose of a pre-workout meal is simple: to fuel your workout and give your body what it needs to perform. Often, people skip meals thinking it will help one lose weight more quickly, or they simply don't like eating before working out if they know they will want to eat afterwards. Regardless of the excuse, save yourself the trouble and prepare to have a meal, at most, an hour before your workout and, at least, an hour after your workout.
What you eat is up to you, just make sure that it is filled with carbs and protein for the best workout and the best recovery.
I know, a gym towel? I get it, I hear your thoughts, but hear me out: everyone needs a gym towel. There is nothing worse than going to the gym and sweating profusely without something to ring it out in. And before you suggest your washcloth, or unused bath towel at home, treat your gym towel like you would your gym clothes. You don't want to bring your bath towel to the gym. Not only will you be carrying around a large towel around, but you would be carrying around a large wet, heavy, cotton towel, that absorbs everything and smells like it does, too.
Save yourself the trouble and consider picking out a gym towel that has microfiber or synthetic fabric, dries quickly, and resists odor.
You see it. You want it. So, get it.
Gym bags are not only fashionable, but they are useful; and finding the right one for you is easier than you think. Whether it is a duffel bag, backpack, or tote, your gym bag can make all the difference in the world for your workout routine. It can get you motivated to crush your workout and it can have you taking your fitness game to new heights.
Plus, these bags eliminate your excuse for having to carrying clothes around all day, or a thousand and one objects by hand, into the gym.
It's clear that inactivity can lead to innumerable health and personal issues, this includes weight gain, illnesses, and low productivity throughout your daily life. And becoming consistent with your workout routines (especially in the beginning) can be difficult, particularly if life manages to get in the way. So, instead of stressing about your workout routine, pre-meal, post-meal, clothes and everything else, take the stress of being consistent off your daily plan and invest in a fitness tracker.
Fitness trackers have become popular in the last decade, and this is due to it doing all of the hard work for you when it comes to keeping note of your health and well-being. It tracks your workout routine, your calorie intake, distance traveled, heart rate, and sleep. All you have to do is make sure it's on your wrist.
A Good Playlist
Listening to music when you head to the gym isn't revolutionary. But it could make your workout routine just that. Research consistently finds that listening to music distracts you from being aware of your body. Meaning you think less about how far you have to go, and instead anticipate the next tune coming on. Songs between 120 and 140 beats per minute per minute have been scientifcally proven to increase your workouts, so find your jam and play it until your ready to put down the weights.
The Right Attitude
Finally, the best thing that you can bring to your workout is great attitude. Despite what everyone says, working out does suck. I know this, and you know this.
However, the difference between those who maintain their fitness schedule and those who don't is how they address this realization. Working out is terrible, but you will feel amazing (and look amazing) afterwards. Know that despite not wanting to be at the gym, it's something you have to do and something that you should do to maintain your health. And the more you go, the less it'll suck.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
Featured image by Shutterstock
- The 8 Best At-Home Workouts You Can Do NOW - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- 20 Best Workout Songs To Motivate You Exercise Playlist - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- 26 of the best workout accessories you can get for under $50 ... ›
- What Essential Items Do You Need to Bring to the Gym? | Nerd Fitness ›
- 8 Gym Essentials to Bring to Your Next Workout - LeoFIT Labs ›
- 11 Workout Essentials That You Need In Your Gym Bag ›
- 5 Fitness Essentials Every Traveler Should Have | ›
- Gym Essentials You Should Always Have in Your Locker ›
- 7 Trainers Share Their Home Gym Essentials • Gear Patrol ›
- All of the fitness essentials you need to smash your New Year's ... ›
- 7 Gym Essentials That Should Be In Your Gym Bag! - YouTube ›
Taysha Robinson is a writer and high school English teacher, based in metro-Atlanta. A self described philomath, you can find her reading books and articles of every genre, attending educational conferences, and hiking wherever the terrain will allow.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Many have wondered if one time is ever enough to see Queen Bey. Some argue yes. However, many of us on the opposite end of the spectrum, including myself, would disagree. Beyoncé's "Renaissance World Tour" is a universal yet varying experience for everyone who attends. In the words of Oprah Winfrey, the concert is "transcendent." For millennials, we have over two decades of her catalog that has served as the soundtrack for many of our lives and painted a personal portrait of our most coveted thoughts. Her music provides mental clarity and self-expression by serving as a universal language that has united fans from all walks of life through community, fashion, self-acceptance, and healing.
With a multi-layered approach to her artistry, just as she did on that winter day in December 2013 with the infamous digital drop of her self-titled album, she changed the game again on February 1, 2023, when she announced her world tour in support of Renaissance, her seventh studio album. Her cultural impact set the internet ablaze, with everyone trying to gather their coins, barter for presale codes, and figure out which cities to attend. The group chats were lit, and the Beyhive was stressed trying to get their hands on tickets.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
Unfortunately, I was in that number. As the concert dates passed by and the one in my city drawing near all roads led to disappointment. With time ticking on the day of the Miami show and less than two hours to spare, my wallet bit the bullet, and I purchased three last-minute tickets, costing roughly $700.00 a piece (including fees) for me, my 9-year-old and 16-year-old nieces in Section 121 at the Hard Rock Stadium. With 10 minutes before showtime, we eagerly awaited the Queen to take the stage. A sea of metallic fringes, cowboy hats, disco fans, and western boots were in full effect and filled the entire stadium.
As the lights dimmed, a flood of emotions instantly overtook my body. It continued with each note she belted, along with nearly 50,000 roaring fans. The reverberating sound of the music through the stadium transported me from one era of my life to the next. As a teen girl in her bedroom daydreaming about her first love to blossoming into an unapologetic Black woman who is still on a road of self-discovery while learning to lean into the power anthem of "You won't break my soul." For over two hours, and with each set, I felt joy, love, peace, and a commanderie with fellow concertgoers. It was therapeutic as I danced like no one was watching and sang as if I were alone in my bathroom mirror.
There were no bars held, and I realized at that moment, "Nobody can judge me but me." The "Renaissance World Tour" proved to be so vast, and my Black girl joy was re-invigorated. It was magnetic and liberating, and I had to attend again, but this time, I needed to be up close and personal; I needed to be on the floor. In the days that passed, I watched more social media clips in different cities and asked myself if I would really splurge again to attend another Renaissance show.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
After all, this would be my thirteenth time (maybe more because I lost count) seeing Beyoncé live, whether she was on tour with Destiny's Child, as a solo artist, or doing a live appearance. I contemplated for a while, but it worked itself out on its own. I was gifted two tickets and the next thing I knew, I was off to LA to attend another Renaissance show with floor seats at SoFi Stadium during Beyonce's 42nd birthday weekend! This time, things were different: no kids were allowed. It was adults only this go round.
Although the energy at the Miami and Los Angeles shows was empowering, infectious, and a celebration of life, happiness, and identity, they each provided their own unique experience. However, both concerts were what I needed for my well-being, leaving me with sore feet from dancing the night away, on vocal rest for the next few days from screaming at the top of my lungs, and on an indefinite high on life.
My introduction and love for Beyoncé began in 1996, while my older sister lived in Houston, TX, right before Bey hit the scene in 1998 with "No, No, No" as a budding R&B member. Her evolution twenty-seven years later as an international superstar and into womanhood has been an incredible journey to witness. As Mrs. Carter reminds each of us in the audience every night before the curtain closes, "I want you to remember this moment, where you're standing, who you came with, and take it with you. I hope you feel inspired."
I truly felt inspired, so thank you, Queen Bey. You awakened my inner child, and I will definitely remember these moments and take them with me.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood