When I was a little girl I had a handbag with wooden handles and an interchangeable outer cover. I loved it. An item that allowed me on a daily basis express how I was feeling simply by changing out it's outer shell filled me with such joy. It's amazing how the times have changed, because today, not only can you continue to change out your bag, but you can personalize almost anything from coffee to M&M's. You can even personalize your fitness.
Whether you're training for your first 5k or are a professional athlete who makes his living based on athletic performance, every body has a different lifestyle, with unique fitness goals in mind. And today, there are enough gadgets, nutrition and attire to accommodate every person's fitness level.
1 // From a Fitbit to a Jawbone, you can find any number of gadgets that will track how many steps you take each day, monitor your sleep cycle and remind you to get up and move if you've been sedentary an extended period of time. Each one comes with an app that syncs the device to your computer or phone, providing you with updates on daily wellness. How to Personalize: The user determines his or her own benchmarks, such as fuel, steps, calories burned, etc.
2 // In the past, athletes would use their heart rate monitors for training and tempo runs. Today, casual workout warriors and athletes alike have the Armour39, a heart rate monitor on steroids. It not only monitors your heart rate, but also tracks your calories, measures intensity and tracks your Willpower. How to Personalize: Take a 10 minute fitness assessment prior to using which calculates your max heart rate and provides accurate feedback on each and every workout during which the monitor is worn. You can track your progress on an app on your phone or through a watch (which is sold separately). One thing I really like about this tracker is that you don't have to have your phone with you during your workout, but the device and the phone are back in the same space, it will sync up your workout.
3 // Compression gear has been shown to decrease muscle fatigue when worn during races but it's also important for post race/high intensity workout recovery. There are a number of different brands available, but 110% offers these genius recovery compression shorts/knickers which have strategically placed icing pockets and reusable ice inserts to help aide in recovery and cut down on inflammation. The company says "applying compression with ice after a tough workout speeds your recovery. (Wearing these helps to) prevent swelling and reduce the inflammation that leaves your muscles sore." These knickers were featured in Men's Journal Gear of the Year 2013. How to Personalize: Just like pants, compression gear is fitted to the individual, providing the appropriate level of compression to best aide in the recovery of the athlete.
4 & 5 // Throughout my travels and workouts I've done in different facilities across the globe, I've seen and used Trigger Point products to target specific muscle soreness and help speed my recovery. I smiled and took a photo of the Grid (#5) and used it after a HIIT workout that my sister and I completed on a recent trip to Cabo. I use the Factor Massage Ball (#4) for that hard to reach spot between my shoulder blade and my back, where I carry most of my stress. The Grid (also available in a mini and a 2.0) differs from a traditional roller, because it creates a massage like experience and is designed for all athletic levels. Not only does the Grid aide in the recovery process, but it's also used to strengthen your core and tone your muscles. How to Personalize: Use the Trigger Point as it best suits you. Lacking core definition? Use the Grid to increase core strength. Sore quads? Grab the cold roller (not pictured) to decrease the inflammation and speed recovery.
6 // Each and every athlete and weekend warrior has their own idea of success when it comes to fitness. And if you're doing it right, it continues to evolve and change, because with each workout you get stronger, faster, better. Whether you're a power walker or an elite runner, a GPS watch is a must. I wear mine when I travel and sight see, so I can better account for the distance I've walked in any given day. When I run, I use it to monitor my distance and my pace, so I can check my progress. How to Personalize: You can determine your speed, distance and calories dependent on your goals. Do you want to run track repeats? You can account for speed with the lap counter. Do you want to make sure you are consistent with your walking pace? The GPS capability allows you maintain your goal with reliability.
Lastly, but not pictured, are fitness and wellness apps that are available on your phone such as MyFitnessPal, Lose It and MapMyFitness. After setting up an account, you can input your daily food choices, weight loss goals or desired Macro (fat, protein, carbs) levels and these programs help to keep you on track.