Top Running Gear for Your Best Run Ever

Ever wonder what to wear for your outdoor run? Running expert and SureFiz trainer shares her favorite gear to help you run your best no matter the weather!

Ever wonder what to wear for your outdoor run? Running expert and SureFiz trainer shares her favorite gear to help you run your best no matter the weather!

Top Running Gear for Your Best Run Ever

Running is a very basic sport for weight loss that many people can do easily and rather inexpensively, but it does come with some initial cost if you want to feel comfortable and running your very best.  Running outdoors requires a bit more equipment, as the seasons and weather changes will affect choice of gear.  SureFiz trainer and avid runner Jenn Ryan shares her top picks and tips for running in a variety of climates.

  • Hat or visor–A good lightweight running hat can be the best choice, especially for women with long hair.  The hat can hold in stray strands, helping you focus more on your run and less on the messy hair in your face.  On hot, bright sunny days, a visor can be a good alternative to a hat because it will allow for the heat to escape your body while still keeping hair out of your face.  Some people prefer headbands to keep hair in place, and there are a fair amount of headbands on the market that are designed to cover your ears in colder weather.

Top Running Gear for Your Best Run Ever

  • Headphones–A good set of headphones is extremely helpful to keep motivational tunes, your favorite podcast or an audiobook in your ears and keep you moving when the miles get tough.  Bluetooth enabled headphones are well worth the extra money, as they will eliminate the annoyance of having wires swinging around while you run.  There are a number of different types from ear buds to full noise canceling over the ear headphones, and it really depends on personal preference.  Go with what is most comfortable for you, and don’t be afraid to spend some money.  With headphones you truly get what you pay for and it can be really frustrating to mess with bluetooth connections when you’re trying to run.

  • Sunglasses–When it’s a bright and sunny day with the sun beaming down at you or right in your eyes, sunglasses can help protect your peepers.  In this scenario, the cheaper the better.  Jenn recommends finding the cheap pair that was given in a goodie bag at a seminar or some from the Dollar Store.  The cheaper pairs are much more lightweight and you won’t be disappointed if you set them down, drop them or lose them on a run.

  • Running tops– In warmer running climates, lightweight slightly fitted tanks are best.  Wearing lighter, brighter colors is also beneficial for a few reasons-mainly to keep you visible to cars and to attract less heat.  In cold climates, a lightweight long sleeve dri-fit top can keep you warm and wick the sweat from your body once you’re a few miles in. Jenn also recommends a half zip top to further control body temperature-fully zipped at the beginning of your run, and you can unzip after warming up.  In extremely cold winter weather, a nice puffy vest can be worn over any top, keeping your core temperature warm and comfortable in wind, snow or rain.

Top Running Gear for Your Best Run Ever

  • Sports Bra–For women, a good quality sports bra is a must.  Keeping yourself supported and comfortable for the longer mile runs is extremely important.  Many brands offer great products, but checking with your favorite department store is a good place to start.  Some popular sports apparel brands like Lululemon, Nike, Adidas, and Fabletics all have an array of styles and support levels for any body type.

  • Deodorant– The main goal and purpose of deodorant is to help with body odor and underarm sweat, but it can also be a valuable tool for chafing.  Anytime you run extra miles, especially in the warmer summer months, you risk chafing in areas of the body that run together.  Simply rubbing deodorant over those spots can help reduce uncomfortable chafing.  Another option is a product called BodyGlide that produces a similar effect.  

Top Running Gear for Your Best Run Ever

  • Armband–An armband is a great place to store your phone, key, gym card or ID while you’re running.  There are many different options and sizes available depending on how many things you need to store while running.  Many running stores or larger box stores carry a variety of armbands.

  • Pants or Shorts–In warmer summer months you may find it more comfortable to wear shorts or crop leggings.  There are ranges of shorts from compression and form fitted to loosely fitted, and it depends on comfort level.  Some people prefer full compression while running and others are bothered by tightly fitted clothing.  Regardless, you should find a nice dri-fit fabric that wicks away sweat and water to keep you cool.  In colder, winter months a full length legging for men or women will help keep body heat warm when the outdoors is frigid, windy and rainy.  For women, finding a legging that has pockets can come in handy for extra storage.  For men, there are many styles of lightweight leggings that can be worn under running shorts to help keep the legs warm.

  • Socks–A lightweight, comfortable pair of socks is best.  Many athletic companies such as NIke, Puma and Adidas have great options designed to support the foot and stay in place during exercise.  If you struggle with foot pain during any of your workout or fitness programs, you’ll want to invest in compression socks to help support the foot when running.  

Top Running Gear for Your Best Run Ever

  • Shoes–A good pair of running shoes is extremely important in supporting your foot.  Jenn Ryan states, “It’s more expensive to pay for physical therapy for your injuries than to invest in a good pair of shoes”.  No name brand is the “best” brand for running, Jenn says.  The best recommendation she gives is to find a running store near you where you can try a few different pairs, test them and choose the best fit for your foot, gait and arch type.  If you can’t make it to a store, many stores have online tools to help you determine your best shoe type.  

Top Running Gear for Your Best Run Ever

  • Fitness Tracker–This is a must have! Fitness trackers are  not only helpful for running but for many aspects of your weight loss program.  Fitness trackers in smart watches have become incredibly popular and there are many brands on the market, including Apple, Garmin, or Fitbit.  They can also track steps, monitor heart rate and send you alerts and notifications should you choose-which are all helpful along your weight loss journey.  Some of these items also contain GPS for running, so definitely do some research to find the best fit for your needs. 

  • Other accessories–There are some accessories that you might find helpful through your running weight loss journey, especially if you tend to be a bit more injury-prone.  Calf sleeves or compression socks can help with a range of issues, such as ankle injuries, knee pain, shin splints or calf strain.  Another item that can be extremely versatile in helping with soreness or injury is kinesiology tape.  The tape can help anywhere and be used in a multitude of ways to help.  You can check out YouTube for tips on how to use the tape for your specific injury or need. 

These items and accessories are all great for running, but not ALL items are necessary for running and weight loss.  It may take some time of hitting the pavement to test things for yourself and find what works best for you.  No matter what you use, be proud of yourself and this weight loss journey.  You are amazing and can reach your goals!  Be sure to visit our website at regularly for more diet tips, workout plans and helpful resources.    

The Runners Guide to Running More Miles

Have you always wanted to run longer miles, but didn’t know where to start? Here is some simple, helpful advice to run farther, stronger and longer miles in no time.

Have you always wanted to run longer miles, but didn’t know where to start?  Here is some simple, helpful advice to run farther, stronger and longer miles in no time.

The Runner’s Ultimate Guide to Running More Miles

Running has long been a favorite sport around the world, as well as a great way to burn fat and get fit.  It is free, accessible to anyone and easy to do for anyone who doesn’t have pre-existing health conditions preventing them from high impact exercise.  But even if you don’t run or haven’t had much experience with adding miles, you can reach those goals with some simple tips.  SureFiz trainer and health coach Jenn Ryan has run over 40 races in her career, spanning from the 5k to the full marathon, and she offers some advice to any runner who wants to expand their mileage and get stronger at running long distances.  

Benefits of Running

Benefits of Running

Running offers many benefits to the body and your overall feelings of wellness.  Here are a few of the main benefits you can see as you begin to run and increase those miles:

  • Increase health-running can help boost your immune system and can help boost lung function, raises levels of good cholesterol and improve cell function
  • Strengthen your knees-Although many people believe running is bad for your knees, running has actually been shown to improve strength in the knees and the joints.  Along with a strong cross-training program, you can see great improvement in knee strength by adding some running.
  • Improves feelings of confidence-Running is a great way to boost your overall confidence. Especially if you train for a race.  The feelings of crossing that finish line are unmatched-you will feel like you can conquer the world!
  • Fight Depression-If you’ve ever heard the term “runner’s high”, this is where it comes from.  Running increases endorphins and can help fight feelings of sadness and depression.  It is felt more after the first few miles though, so make sure you get past the first mile or two where it feels challenging, and the reward will be very sweet.

How to Start Running

The Runner’s Ultimate Guide to Running More Miles

If you are a beginning runner, don’t be afraid to start.  It can be as simple as lacing up your shoes and getting out the door. Here are a few tips I have for anyone wanting to start running, no matter your current fitness level:

  • Make a playlist: Have some good music that pumps YOU up, no matter what it is.  I have clients who listen to a range of music from heavy metal to Disney soundtracks-no one else hears it but you, so find what you like and make a list!
  • Have good shoes: They might seem expensive but it’s much cheaper to invest in a pair of good running shoes than to pay for physical therapy when you have a running injury.  
  • Start small: Begin with a low mile run/walk.  Plan on jogging or running at a comfortable pace for you, and go for a minute.  Then walk for 30 seconds. Repeat for one to two miles.
  • Relax: Keep your shoulders pulled down and back, make sure you aren’t holding any tension in your neck, relax your body.  This will also help cut down on injury possibilities.  

How to Increase Mileage

The Runner’s Ultimate Guide to Running More Miles

If you are a seasoned runner but haven’t ever tried to push your distance, or a novice runner who wants to increase mileage, these tips are for you.  With a little planning and attention, anyone can run farther, stronger and without risking injury. 

  • Run at least 2-3 times per week-Practice makes perfect in anything, including running.  If you have a regular schedule you will get better and stronger.  
  • Vary the lengths of each run-you don’t need to run the same distance every day.  Varying the lengths of each run will help with speed and endurance. Choose one day a week for a longer run and use the others for shorter distances.
  • Increase by one mile for your long run-The best way to get more efficient at longer distances is to gradually add.  Each week, add one mile to your long run until you reach your distance goal.  If you are adding too quickly, you can add a half mile a week or one mile every two weeks. 
  • Cross Train-Cross training will keep you from overtraining and risking a running injury.  The best way to cross train is to incorporate full body strength/resistance training, and other forms of cardio such as biking, swimming, walking and HIIT interval training.
  • Speed train-To become faster and more efficient in your running, one of your shorter runs during the week should be focused on more speed work.  If you’re using a treadmill this is very easy to do, as you can adjust the speed easily.  If you are running outside, a fitness tracker or running app can help you know your speed so you can adjust it accordingly.  Try to aim for intervals of 30 seconds to a minute where you push your threshold and run faster, then slow down for a jog or walk and repeat.
  • Take time to stretch-Many runners and fitness enthusiasts fail to stretch enough or any at all.  Make sure you carve out 10-15 minutes after each run to stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, calves and hip flexors.  These muscle groups get a lot of work during your run.
  • Choose a rest day-Don’t forget to rest!  The body recovers and repairs on rest days, so allowing 1-2 days a week will ensure that your muscles can adequately heal before you hit the road again.  I usually recommend that runners take their rest day the day after a long run, as the longer miles will tire out your legs more than shorter runs.  

Running offers many benefits, physically and emotionally. Anyone who wants to run more can do so fairly easily. No matter who you are or how much you are running right now, adding mileage can be done safely and consistently if you follow these steps.  And remember to fuel properly, hydrate before and after, and always listen to your body.  If you are adding miles too quickly, you can risk overtraining and injury.  Take care of your body through the miles and you’ll reach your goal no matter what it is.  Happy running!

The Importance of Warming Up and Stretching

Getting in a good workout is not the only important part of a fitness routine. Warming up and stretching are just as important as the workout itself.

Getting in a good workout is not the only important part of a fitness routine. Warming up and stretching are actually just as important as the main body of your workout, and are incredibly important in preparing your muscles for hard work as well as preventing injury.

Warming up and stretching are usually the forgotten part of a workout routine. Some people don’t do them because of lack of time or are just too lazy and don’t understand their overall importance. According to the Mayo Clinic, doing regular warming up and stretching before and after every workout is very important to keep your body functioning well. It’s associated with significant health benefits like the increase of flexibility and range of motion of your joints; which helps keep you mobile, improves circulation and posture, helps to relieve stress by relaxing tense muscles, and prevents injury-especially if your muscles or joints are tight.

The Importance of Warming Up and Stretching

Considering the benefits of it, you should try to fit a warm up and stretch into your workout routine. Even if you don’t workout regularly, it’s suggested that you should do stretching at least three times a week to maintain flexibility. If you have a problem area, such as tightness in the back of your leg, you may want to stretch once or twice every day. The easiest way to do regular stretching is before getting out of bed every morning. If you know some simple yoga poses, that would be preferable. But you can easily do a few gentle head-to-toe stretches by reaching your arms above your head and pointing your toes.

If you plan to include both warming up and stretching into your workout routine, keep these points in mind:

  • Dynamic movements for warm up are much better than static movements. The goal of a warmup is to increase your blood flow and heart rate, prepping your muscles and joints before the main workout. Start with slow and controlled movements to bring both the lower and upper body through a safe range of motion. After a handful of repetitions, move a little faster, and do more upbeat tempo movements like high knees, jumping jacks, or squat jumps. Studies show that doing dynamic movements for warm up can increase power, explosiveness and overall performance as opposed to static warm up movements.

  • When you are stretching after a workout, focus on major muscle groups and muscles and joints you routinely use such as thighs, hips, lower back, calves, neck and shoulders. Hold each stretch for around 30 seconds. You might feel tension while you’re stretching, but if you stretch to the point of pain, you’ve gone too far. Stop and back off to the point where you don’t feel any pain, then hold the stretch. Relax and breathe slowly. Try not to hold your breath while stretching and don’t bounce in and out of the stretches.

3 Recommended Free Youtube Workout Channels

Check out these 3 free Youtube workout channels! You will definitely enjoy the benefits of these channels to your weight loss and fitness journey.

Check out these 3 free Youtube workout channels! You will definitely enjoy the benefits of these channels to your weight loss and fitness journey.

If you are really determined, losing weight and maintaining your fitness is not that difficult or expensive. There are tons of free workout videos on Youtube. You can pick from so many different styles and instructors-all free of cost!  But with all that is online these days, it can also be overwhelming. How would you select one out of so many? You might select one based on the number of views, the number of likes, etc or you might try to see if the video provides a workout list.  Maybe you even take a sneak peek at the content of the video to see if the workouts are doable, fun, or matching your current mood. You might read through the comments first to check out the reviews. But how do you really know what is a good option with so much to choose from?

To help you narrow it down, we found 3 recommended free workout channels on Youtube for you. You can follow their workouts with little to no equipment at all. Check them out!

Fitness Blender

3 Recommended Free Youtube Workout Channels
Image source: Fitness Blender

Fitness Blender has more than 600 free workout videos on Youtube! You can find bodyweight HIIT cardio workouts, kickboxing cardio, strength training workouts, yoga and pilates workouts, lower body focus or upper body focus, low impact or high impact, and many more. One added benefit-they post the average calories being burned per workout video. All of the instructions and easier workout modifications are discussed very clearly and are easy to follow. They do not use any music in their videos so you can listen to your favorite playlist while doing their workouts. If you are looking for an added challenge, try their 1000 calories workout. It’s insanity!


3 Recommended Free Youtube Workout Channels
Image source: Coda

Blogilates has great bodyweight pilates-like workouts that are really easy to follow, but beware-they burn so badly! Casey Ho, the instructor, will chat with you throughout the workout. She talks about the moves, about her day, about you, about anything, and it feels like you are working out with a friend. Sometimes she adds dance cardio which adds some fun if you are into dancing. If you visit her website, every month she posts a new workout calendar to follow by just using the free workout videos and challenges found on her channel.

POPsugar Fitness

3 Recommended Free Youtube Workout Channels
Image source: POPsugar

POPsugar Fitness is exactly like workouts you can find on TV. It’s designed as a group exercise with the instructor in the front chatting and giving instructions. The people behind him/her follow all the movements, sometimes showing the easier variation of the movement for a lower impact option. They also have variations of workouts for different levels, including pregnancy workouts. Our recommended favorite workouts are kickboxing cardio and dance workouts. They are really fun to do!

Give them a try and let us know what you think of them.

After doing these workouts consistently for a week, don’t forget to check your progress with your SureFiz smart scale and see where you are. It will help you plan the next week’s workout schedule as well as your intensity and your diet. Chat with our dietitians, nutritionists, or fitness experts in the forum if you need any extra guidance. Make your weight loss journey enjoyable and fun every step of the way!