For those of you who need a bit of inspiration to get up and get out, we teamed up with Ultimate Performance and 1000 Mile to come up with a few suggestions
Let music give you a natural boost
Runners equipped with earphones are a frequent sight on the streets, and many an exercise class relies on a booming soundtrack. Music can play a variety of roles in your workout; it can provide a distraction through a particularly gruelling part of your routine, or act as a trigger to prompt an improved performance via a song you associate as particularly galvanising. Carrying a phone or iPod isnִ’t always easy to achieve while you’re jogging through the park or pounding along on the treadmill, but the Ultimate Performance Glastonbury Plus Armband allows you a mobile space to slot in your device, operate the touchscreen and keep it on your person.
Avoid worrying about keeping hydrated
It’s always ideal to have food and drink handy while you’re in the midst of a workout but a lot of people skip over this, preferring instead to replenish their energy levels at the end of the session. Keeping your hydration levels stable on the go will enable you to go further for longer; it’s important to bear in mind that you’re losing water through sweating and even breathing while you’re exercising. Preparing your supplies in advance based on the length and intensity of your workout will minimise distraction and keep you focused on your exercise goal, rather than wondering how much you should be drinking. The Ultimate Performance Aira Force 4 Nutrition Belt and Bottle Holder can carry up to four bottles, meaning you can measure out how much to drink and when beforehand and have each bottle within easy reach for quick re-hydration.
If you’ve been planning that two-hour countryside walk for ages but never quite got round to embarking on your journey, it’s time to re-evaluate. Whatֳ stopping you, and how could you adapt or incorporate it into your daily routine? For example, if you’ve got a weekend with the kids, take them with you and turn it into a healthy but fun day out. Alternatively, if you’re bogged down with that extra project you’ve taken on at work, try and break up your day with a stroll in the fresh air to stay focused. Whatever your intentions, sometimes it can be motivating in itself to just pack a bag and get out there. This is where the Ultimate Performance Lomond 3 Litre Hydration Bag can be pretty useful. It comes with a three-litre բladder which provides a convenient way of keeping hydrated, as well as plenty of storage space for all your necessities.
Little advantages can make a big difference
In team sports, having that little bit extra over your opponents can make all the difference between a win and a defeat. It can be mental, such as the ability to out-psyche the opposition keeper as you step up to take a penalty, or the sharp focus to place a conversion kick exactly right. But often, a certain piece of equipment or kit can inspire you if you feel it will improve your game; buying new boots, for example, can provide you with a boost on the field even if, technically, they aren’t doing anything differently than your old pair. But while wearing certain items may provide a placebo effect of control and power to the more superstitious types, being correctly equipped definitely has its benefits. If you often tape your ankles before a match, for instance, this will reassure you that you’ve taken steps to provide yourself with more protection before launching into tackles. Similarly, Ultimate Performance Grip Spray repels water and sweat, so spraying your hands with it will add that extra incentive to perform, knowing you’ll have a better chance of making that all-important catch.
And if you’re currently laid up injured or particularly susceptible to smaller problems when you exercise, donִ feel you have to miss out.
Rest up and take it easy
It might not be the advice you want to hear, but it’s definitely the wisest. If you’ve done yourself some serious damage, the best course of action is usually to avoid the risk of straining the area even further and allow your body the opportunity to heal naturally. It’ll be frustrating for keen sportspeople and fitness fanatics whose feet are already twitching with anticipation but if you ride it out and follow your physio’s advice to a tee, you’ll be back quicker than ever. There are a wide range of braces and supports out there to help the healing process. Tennis player with a sprained shoulder ligament? Invest in this Ultimate Performance Advanced Shoulder Support to give yourself maximum protection during your recovery programme. Perhaps you’re a regular runner just recovering from patella tendonitis? Try the Ultimate Performance Runners Knee Strap as you’ve easing back into it to minimise pain and discomfort.
DOMS, or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, can be one of the most off-putting aspects of exercise. After a particularly lengthy or intense workout, or even after trying something new, it’s almost guaranteed your body will ache hours or even days afterwards. If you don’t want that level of discomfort to intrude on your daily life, it’s easier to talk yourself out of it and skip the workout altogether. There are steps you can take to prevent this and there are a variety of products available which target particular areas of your body to reduce the chances of being hit so hard by DOMS afterwards. Step forward the 1000 Mile Ultimate Compression Socks, which actually minimise muscle fatigue and speed up recovery after exercise by applying a gradual compression via its unique material.
Prevention is better than cure
If you have a certain problem area of your body which always seems to pick up bumps and scrapes, it gives you a ready-made excuse to duck out of playing in that match or heading to the gym when you really donִ feel up for it. What you might not realise is that it’s holding you back from doing what you enjoy, and that’s an obstacle you should be trying to overcome, rather than attempting to use it to your advantage. As mentioned previously, supports and braces are available to help, and they don’t always have to be bulky and intrusive. If you’re looking for some extra protection for that problem area, rather than keep an injured limb immobile and rested, try a small supportive sleeve or a brace made of lighter material. The Ultimate Compression Elastic Ankle Support is a good example; if you’re prone to turning your ankle, it’s something you can wear underneath your football sock to let you get out on the pitch without worrying.
Imagine you’re running along, two or three miles from home, firmly in the zone and determined to reach the target youve set yourself. A dip in the ground or a slip on a surface is all it takes to bring your body crashing down. You never think it’ll happen to you but who’s to say it couldn’t? You don’t exactly need to bring along a whole first aid kit, yet it might help to keep a couple of essentials on you if you’re planning on making your next workout a long one. The Ultimate Performance Hot and Cold Double Pack is ideal for this very purpose; the Cold Pack, an effective anti-inflammatory, can be frozen beforehand and kept cold, while the Hot Pack, which improves circulation to quicken healing, can be warmed up in hot water.