PROTECTION: No matter if it’s midmorning or midnight, I always carry pepper spray when I go for a run or bike outside. I’ve heard too many horror stories of poor girls getting attacked while they’re outside working on their fitness. Invest in an $8 bottle of pepper spray at the local hardware store and put yourself at ease when you’re outdoors. It also just helps to know your surroundings and avoid listening to music when you’re in a secluded area. Another good thing to have is at least one sturdy knee – a swift knee-to-the-groin will hopefully send even the craziest weirdos running in the opposite direction.
SHOES: After buying “cheaper” shoes that didn’t fit and subsequently injuring my knee, I’ll be benched for who knows how long. Choose shoes that feel comfy and fit you well. Too big is always better than too small as your feet tend to expand during workouts. Since your feet are absorbing the impact for most cardio exercises and a lot of weight-bearing exercises, you’ve gotta have something to support that smokin’ hot bod of yours.
SOCKS: Seriously, socks are important. I don’t know how many times my cheap-self has tried to forgo buying new socks for a couple more weeks only to walk out of the gym with blisters bigger than I ever thought could exist. I’m not saying you need to go out and get super-special socks or anything. Just try to avoid the holy socks that are so worn down they’re basically 5 white threads barely weaved together. If you can’t muster up the $2.99 for an entire new pack, you can always wear 2 pairs of socks. That should do the trick. (Lord knows I’ve donned 2 or even 3 pairs back in my college days.)
SPORTS BRA: Ladies! *shakes head* Even if you’ve got small ones, they’re prone to bouncing a full 180 degrees when you’re huffing and puffing in Step class. Stop the madness! Get yourself a smasher, a compressor, a harness, WHATEVER it takes to lock those bad boys down. No one wants to see that except for the perve in the back of the class – and trust me, you don’t want to give him any more material than he’s already got. Ew. On a more serious note: a good sports bra will save your back and keep the girls in tip-top condition. An extra $20 is worth it to prevent the pancake effect of your elder years.
SUNGLASSES: No need for the $100 Oakley’s that people who are bad with their money usually wear. Most of my sunglasses are in the $10 range from Target. Make sure you get a wrap-around pair as the whole point of the sunglasses is to save the skin around your eyes. (Don’t forget sunscreen!) Did you know that the sun can hurt your eyeballs, too? Call me crazy, but I’d say my eyeballs are worth at least a $10 pair of shades.
What do you splurge on to keep your work outs going strong?