Gear and Gizmos
By Carri Willbanks
Traveling doesn’t mean forgetting about fitness. These travel fitness essentials for women will help you to keep your workouts scheduled and effective without sacrificing comfort or valuable luggage space.
Run faster, play harder, and workout longer regardless of the sport with 2XU Compression. The company makes everything from tights, guards, sleeves, socks and shirts to prove athletic performance. So how does it work? The clothing fits tightly around muscles keeping circulation robust and efficient so that muscles perform their best. This technology is now used widely by professional athletes to improve performance.
Other benefits of compression include:
For summer and fall running, I recommend the Women’s Compression 3/4 Tights ($89.95) and the Women’s Compression Performance Sock ($49.95).
The tights use PWX FLEX fabric to support major muscle groups (hamstrings, quads, abductors and glutes). They also protect against bacteria and are breathable and lightweight.
The socks can be used for both training and recovery as well as to help with rehab from injury or surgery. Another added benefit: these babies minimize shin splits.They’re also breathable so you don’t have to worry about smelly feet!
The Maia Softshell Jacket ($200) from La Sportiva is 100% windproof, lightweight, and breathable, making this a go-to for trail runners and hikers. It’s flattering cut and still extreme functionality makes you look good while shielding you from crazy weather. The sides open for ventilation and reflective seams line the back to make sure are you visible while running at night.
Lightweight and versatile, the Helios shoe can be used on the trail or asphalt. Whether you are running across rocks and mud or pounding the pavement, the cushioning moulded into this shoe keeps feet happy.Nylon mesh ensures your feet stay dry by wicking moisture away from the skin and — lets be honest — the colours are fabulous!
* La Sportiva will be donating $10 from the sale of every pair of Women’s Helios ordered from their website to support the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation.
Never worry about hair falling in your face during a workout again with Razzy Roo Headbands ($12 – $15). Made of soft-velvet, these bands stay securely in place. The full line up of colourful and decorative bands ensure you will stay stylish, dry, and focused during workouts. There are patterns and colours to fit any taste in the extensive line-up.
Buckle yourself into a fuel belt and never be thirsty on the trails again. Adjustable and comfortable, the Revenge R20 Fuel Belt won’t weight you down or bounce around. It fits so snuggly chances are you will even forget you have it on. The belt comes with two 7 ounce bottles (BPA Free) that are easy to grab as well as put back in the case. Options are also available that hold 3 to 4 bottles for those that will be on the trail for longer runs or hikes. Available in several fun and vibrant colors: including Royal Blue and Green, Red and Grey, Yellow and Grey as well as pink and yellow.
Gear up with a night Fuel Belt Night Runner Clip and never worry about cutting a run short after sunset again! The light, cleverly designed by Fuel Belt, can fit on a finger or clip onto a belt or running accessory. Choose between two settings: flashing red and constant red. Either way you are guaranteed to play it safe.
For crystal clear sound while taking the trails, turn to SnuggBuds Headset ($39.95). For running, I recommend either the SB-X (sports model) or the Pump’d. The SB-X is the most lightweight while the Pump’D model can really pound out the bass. All SnuggBuds are have aluminum alloy casings instead of plastic. This way audio stays balanced, crisp, and clean.
Here are a few of my favourite features:
Made with the multi-sport athlete in mind, the Polar RCX3 GPS and heart rate monitor allows you to input what kind of workout you are gearing up for so you get very accurate readings.
Whether running, cycling, or snowshoeing, you can customize the settings using the four sport profiles. (Running, Cycling 1, Cycling 2, and Other Sport). During a workout the device also provides feedback about which zonesto train in and whether you need to push harder or take it down a notch.
This enables users to train more effectively and avoid overtraining. This heart rate monitor also keeps tracks of pace, average pace, time, zone, calories, and distance. After a workout you can track your route, speed, and distance with the GPS sensor. Users can also keep track of and analyze their workouts on Polar’s website.
It’s important to protect your skin during outdoor workouts. Sun Bum sunscreen lotion ($15.99) is free of junk like parabens, oxybenzone, PABA, and retinyl palmitate. Whether you reach for the lotion, spray sunscreen, or face stick, the formulation is made to shield against both UVA and UVB rays. There’s not need worry about break outs. Sun Bum doesn’t contain any pore-clogging oils, which makes it perfect for trail running and other outdoor sports. Plus it’s water resistant and gluten free.