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It’s 2015 and I’ve already wrestled with the whole ‘New Year, new me’ routine. Fitness DVDs and constant tweets about shaping up have left me feeling pressured to get into shape. It’s justified, to be fair – over Christmas I did eat my way through a small superstore (not an ASDA, but maybe a Tesco Metro).
With this in mind, I’m going to need to ensure I prep as much as I can to make this all the more painless. Whether you choose to burn the calories in the comfort of a gym or brave the barrage of strong gales outside, you will also need some carefully chosen products. So where to start, I hear you ask? Well at the very beginning, as Julie Andrews taught us.
Personal hygiene is essential when working out and especially if you do so around others, as this is paramount to a more pleasant experience for all.
The Breath Co
Oral hygiene is most definitely of the upmost importance when training in the gym, the last thing you want is someone huffing and puffing away, when they could frankly do with a tic tac. Take responsibility for your own oral care, by using the following products:
Fresh Breath Toothpaste (£8.99)
Recommended by dentists alike, this product will help to diminish problems such as dry-mouth, and help to fight against cavities and gum disease. A key feature to this formulation is the lack of chemicals which are often found in some toothpastes. These don’t help the teeth in any way, they simply aggravate gums and leave unnecessary residue.
This toothpaste doesn’t contain foaming agents, so you can be sure that if you suffer with mouth ulcers, they won’t be aggravated. The patented ingredients of oxygen and fluoride work by attacking sulphur-producing bacteria – the main cause of bad breath and gum disease. Aloe vera soothes inflamed gums and works to relieve symptoms, while it also contains a natural anti-plaque agent to help naturally whiten teeth.
Oral Rinse (£12.99)
Without a doubt, mouthwash is essential for fighting off any left-over bacteria that brushing alone can’t tackle. This product comes in two flavours: icy mint and mild mint. Both provide a welcome burst of minty freshness. Again, these products don’t contain any chemicals or alcohol, which can often be too harsh on sensitive gums like my own.
Dry Mouth Lozenges – Mandarin Mint (£8.99)
When your mouth or nose is dry – as can happen when exercising, due to perspiration – you can build up various bacteria, and more so in your mouth. This can lead to dry-mouth and bad breath if not treated.
An easy way to ditch the bacteria and keep dry-mouth at bay is these lozenges, which come in a beautiful mandarin mint flavour. One lozenge alone will restore your mouth to a healthy state, with plentiful moisture and freshness
(£24.99 for 12 single shots and £2.50 per single shot)
If you find yourself – like I do – flagging mid-workout, then you’re probably going to need a bit of a boost. This can come in the form of this cleverly produced energy shot. And with zero calories, it won’t be detrimental to your workout goals.
Modern life can be exhausting – especially when we have to fit exercise in on top of it – so why not introduce this now and again to top up your energy levels? Small enough to fit in your pocket or gym bag, this can also be used on the go when you hit a mid-afternoon slump. It’s quick, healthy and the active ingredients get straight to work in the bloodstream for quicker results. The ingredients include acai berry, known as the ‘beauty berry’, and various vitamins for longer lasting energy.
EcoHydra Anti-Bacterial Hand Sanitiser (£2.49)
Working out in a gym is a breeding ground for bacteria, especially if you are unfortunate enough to be around those who don’t properly sanitise their equipment. Germs and bacteria can lie dormant for hours and are overly produced in warm environments and through excessive perspiration.
We all know that in winter stomach bugs and flu are rife, and we must protect our risk of possible cross-contamination. This hand sanitiser will help to combat the chances of you catching any nasty bacteria by killing up to 99.9999% of germs. A typical high street sanitiser will only kill 99.9% of germs which leaves another 10,000 unaccounted for – who really wants that?
Use this product before and after using gym equipment and anytime you feel you need an immunity boost from bacteria.
This nail brush was created as a result of the need for more sanitary ways to clean nails, while still keeping the product itself clear of germs and bacteria. Most nail brushes have fixed bristles and often, due to the dense nature of the bristles, cause spraying when in use around the fingernail beds.
This is the ‘world’s first’ nail brush invention and has a carefully considered design to remove dirt from under the nails. Our nails are a breeding ground for bacteria – especially after exercise – which can lead to illness if not tackled. Emma Myers, the inventor, created this brush that is getting rave review across the board.
Ergonomically designed, it’s comfortable to use and allows a greater cleaning experience with its multi-way silicone bristles. The bristles themselves can be removed, which means all parts of the brush are accessible to sanitise after use. Available in three colours, this product looks set to take the personal hygiene sector by storm
Pure Potions – Rescue Salve
Pure Potions is the invention of one mother who was tired of using creams for her daughter’s eczema which had no lasting effects. In desperation she invented what’s now a renowned formula, geared towards easing skin conditions like this, and earning itself the nickname ‘the super salve’.
Made from a combination of oils and herbs, the organic nature of the ingredients promises to alleviate symptoms without the need for chemicals. So popular is the product it is now being prescribed by doctors to their patients to help treat a variety of skin complaints.
Running outdoors, and even the change in climate from being outdoors to being inside a central heated gym, can lead to dry skin, which this product will help with. This cream can also be used to treat cuts, scratches and bruises.
Rehab London – Back to Matte
Skincare is essential in complementing your newly conditioned physique and men’s skin needs a lot more consideration than women’s. This is largely due to the nature of men’s skin, and the fact it’s often tougher and a lot oilier. Careful thought is therefore needed in the ingredients used for cleansers, toners and moisturisers.
As a sufferer of oily skin, I can sometimes be left with a slight sheen to my face, which is not a look I’m comfortable with. After intense exercising I can be left with warm skin for hours and this leads to breakouts of shiny skin. This product works as a barrier to stop this by mattifying the skin and controlling excess production of oils.
This light, clear gel is best used after a thorough cleansing of the face and dries fast enough that a moisturiser can be lightly layered over the top. Virtually odourless, it’s not overly fussy and gets to work without any unnecessary scents or gimmicks.
Activbod – Feel Great Shower Concentrate (£5)
Shower time after a workout is the perfect chance to cleanse the skin and eradicate any leftover dirt and grime. A good body wash will help to lift this with ease and leave your skin feeling fresh and nourished.
This range of gender-neutral products has been expertly created to help tackle a more active lifestyle, prepare our body for exercise and help us recover more quickly. The range was created after a surge in those motivated by London 2012, keen to up their fitness levels and get into shape.
Use this shower wash after sports and exercise to experience its deep cleansing properties. It also works to break down dirt and perspiration, whilst also deodorising the skin.
The lightweight tube is easily transportable and can be left in any gym bag for an instant burst of freshness after a gruelling workout. The active ingredients in this gel are green tea leaf extract, almond oil, sea salt and glycerine.
Remescar – Scar/stretchmark treatment (£24.95 100ml)
Pushing the body encourages the muscles to tear and regenerate, and this is what leads to the traditional muscular look. As with any weight loss or gain programme, this can cause stretching of the skin and lead to stretch marks as a result. Yo-yo dieters wanting a quick fix are often left with unsightly marks that are hard to get rid of – that is, until you try this product.
After years of yo-yo dieting myself, I had created many small stretchmarks on my upper thigh and sought to decrease these with this product. I wasn’t left disappointed – after just three days the appearance was greatly faded and reduced in size.
Remescar works with a thin transparent silicone layer released to hydrate, protect and restore the upper layer of the skin. This in turn encourages collagen production, essential for keeping skin supple and adaptable to changes in its genetic makeup. Natural moisture is kept under control to balance out scar tissue, and this works to hydrate and flatten the tissue, as well as restoring it back to a more natural look and colour.
With a powerful SPF15, UVA and UVB screen, the cream ensures that scars and marks are not damaged from harmful rays. Beta glucan delivers a calming effect on the skin and is often revered as a wound healer. Additional ingredients all work to achieve the same end results: a balanced outer skin appearance and reduction of skin marks/scars.