4 Ways to Have a Lean 2013

December 23, 2012

New-year-new-you-what-is-nbc-284x212
It’s the time of year where many people’s attention turns from indulgence to diligence. Does your new year's resolution involve fitness? Here are 4 helpful tips and products to get you launching into a successful pursuit of fitness in 2013.

  1. Calluses Are for Cavemen
  2. Beat the Stink
  3. Get Your App in Gear
  4. Compression the Right Way

Calluses Are for Cavemen

For some odd reason, many people are now proudly displaying calluses they’ve gotten from working out. The same people often claim weight gloves are for wimps. Wrong. Calluses are for cavemen. It’s almost the year 2013 – evolve already. Calluses are so the last epoch of human history. Just like other outdated notions like body hair (we live indoors now!) and body odor, calluses were acceptable in the stone ages when there was no way around them. Modern individuals avoid calluses even while hitting good workout intensities.

Avoid calluses without the hassle of putting on and taking off weight gloves by using new type of grips like the Lynx grips or the Grip Power Pads.

Beat the Stink

No one likes stinky athletic shoes (or clothes, or workout gloves, etc.) Try this great tip I’ve been using for decades that not many people know about: Never wear the same pair of workout shoes two days in a row. Always give them a day to dry out before wearing them again. It’s simple, but it works. The warm, moist environment inside the shoes is a breeding ground for the bacteria that cause odor. Allowing them to dry fully before reusing them beats the stink.

For clothing, you can buy workout clothing blended with silver which has natural antimicrobial properties (bacteria are the main cause of stink from sweat.) One I like is the Silverscent line of workout clothes from Lululemon. Frequently, the synthetic fabrics in workout clothing can emit a very unpleasant odor from sweat which remains even after washing. In that case, use Win Performance Detergent. It will get the existing stink out of exercise clothing.

Get Your App in Gear

Find a fitness app and monitoring device that allows you to measure your calorie expenditure, exercise intensity, number of steps you take, and more (some can even measure sleep quality.) My personal favorite is the armbands from BodyMedia. Some products have Bluetooth capabilities so you can see your data in real time on your smartphone. Most of the body monitoring devices include a free companion smartphone app to see your data in the app.

Another great feature of these products is that many of them have partnered with other companies to offer rewards for accumulating points from how much exercise you do or how many steps you take. You can score discounts or get some free gear.

Compression the Right Way

Compression gear is getting popular – and for good reason. It can work. But only if you do compression the right way. Especially in the lower extremity, compression can aid in the return of blood from the legs to the torso, which aids in waste product removal from the muscles during exercise. It also prevents blood pooling in the legs.

Basic physics of fluid dynamics means that compression socks and full-length compression tights would be good choices. Conversely, compression sleeves covering only the calf or part of the arm are nearly useless. If you only compress one small part of the body – like a forearm, upper arm, or calf -- you’ll squeeze blood out of that area and force it above and below the point of compression. This is not what you want. Wearing a compression sleeve on your calf will cause some blood to go up into the thigh (good) and some to be squeezed down into the foot (not good.)

Compression sleeves are as silly as they look. It is puzzling why anyone would even want to pay separately for compressing each single part of a limb instead of simply buying one item to provide better compression by covering more body parts at once. Stick with compression socks or full length tights for the best results from compression gear. My personal favorite is the SKINS line of gear.

Wrap Up

Fitness is easier if you enjoy it a bit more and smooth out the rough spots in the experience. The tips above will nudge your workout experience a little more to the enjoyable side which will make it easier for you to stick with it.

More on Fitness:

Are You A Toe-Dipper or a Jumper?

3 Tips for  Fit Holiday Season

Does an Apple a Day Keep the Doctor Away?


Jonathan Ross — fitness expert for Discovery Fit & Health and creator of Aion Fitness — was voted Exercise TV's "Top Trainer" and named in Men's Journal magazine's list of Top 100 Trainers in America. His personal experiences with obesity — "800 pounds of parents" — directly inspired his fitness career. His ability to bring fitness to those who need it the most has made him a two-time Personal Trainer of the Year Award-Winner (ACE and IDEA). His book, Abs Revealed, is filled with cutting-edge exercises in a modern, intelligent approach to abdominal training. His leadership and fresh perspectives on fitness earn him praise as a frequent go-to source of credible fitness information.

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