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Everyone has their own running essentials, mine have to do with making my runs as comfortable as possible in the hot Florida heat.

Here are 7 of my must haves:

1. Lululemon running clothing. I wear the Run Speed Shorts and Energy Sports Bra almost every time I run. The sports bra you choose will be your personal preference and they have many to choose from based on the level of support you need. I needed the TaTa Tamer right after I had my son but now I’m a huge fan of the Energy Sports Bra. The run speed shorts are super short and I need that running in central Florida. I am one of those people who cannot stand feeling clothing or any kind of gear touch me when I run. I feel like my body runs about 10-15 degrees warmer than the actual temperature outside so even when it’s cooler out I still wear shorts. Lululemon’s shorts are all very flattering and comfortable on both men and women. There are so many different styles to choose from like the Run Speed or even the Turbo Shorts, which are the same as the Run Speed but just a little longer. They also have a wide variety of very cute running skirts as well. Another great thing about all Lululemon athletic wear is the pockets. The Run Speed shorts have 2 pockets in the front that I put my iPod Nano in and the other is for my energy gel (if I’m doing a long run). The back zip pocket is perfect for my iPhone and key. They are always evolving too; so when phone styles change Lululemon adjusts that back pocket so the most popular phones fit snugly. Go to your local store and talk to the associates, they are always extremely knowledgable and helpful about their products and even fitness facilities in the area. I’ve been to Lululemon stores all over the country and the staff is helpful every single time.

2. Lululemon pony tail holders. I have long, thick hair and a regular pony tail holder doesn’t do the trick, not even 2 or 3. Going along with my I don’t like anything touching me when I run theme, I don’t like feeling my hair touching me either and I need it to stay in place when I’m pounding the pavement. The Lululemon pony tail holders are very strong and sturdy so just one holds my pony tail in place then I make a bun and secure it with another pony tail holder. They come 3 to a pack.

3. Lululemon headbands. I’m obviously partial to Lululemon but they have excellent products! Wearing a headband (a wrap style sweat band type headband) catches some of the sweat during my run that would otherwise drip in to my ear and make my headphones fall out of my ears. I bought one just to be cute for the Disney Princess Half Marathon this year and now I can’t go on a run without one!

4. Kiehl’s Cross Terrain SPF 50 Sunblock. I am all about protecting your skin from the sun and I get more sun during my runs than I do from going to the beach so I like to wear a sunblock with SPF 50. Normal sunblock or even normal mainstream sports sunblock does not stay on for me and get in my eyes but the thick texture of the Kiehl’s Cross Terrain stays on great. The texture is somewhat like Vaseline but it works and stays on. It is also meant for use for skiing, the beach or any other outdoor activity where you would sweat a lot.

5. GU Energy Gels. I only use energy gels on runs of 12 or more miles. I’m not sure if it really works or if it’s a mental thing but I take a GU brand Energy Gel at the first feeling of my legs slowing down and I’m always able to get another good 5 miles in before I start slowing down. They have a bit if sugar in them and amino acids to get life back in to those tired legs. I found that GU doesn’t upset my stomach either as long as I take them with water. I do suffer occasionally from “runner’s trots” during long runs but GU seems to be the best for my stomach as well. Always remember never to take an energy gel with a carb drink or electrolyte drink like Gatorade! The double influx of sugar will more than likely upset your stomach. Take your energy gel with water then if you need it, you can drink your Gatorade drink after a few more miles.

6. Poliquin Electrolyte Px 2.0. I generally do not drink Gatorade or Powerade after my long runs. There is way too much sugar and additives that the body doesn’t need. I take Poliquin’s electrolyte replacement. It comes in a powder form and you mix it with water. There is only Sodium, Potassium, Phosphorus and Magnesium in this electrolyte supplement. I usually mix it with a little bit of Crystal Lite powder to get rid of the sodium taste. I will say, since taking in Poliquin Electrolyte Px 2.0 directly after my long runs, my legs do not get as sore. I’m not sure if that’s what it’s supposed to do but it’s a huge plus for me. I forgot to take it after my long run on Monday and my legs still hurt pretty badly. You can purchase this electrolyte replacement as well as other great quality supplements by going to www.charlespoliquin.com

7. iPod Nano. Everyone has their favorite iPod they like to use when running and some even use their phone but as I said, I don’t like anything touching me while I run so I can’t do the iPod or phone on an armband. I love my tiny little pink iPod Nano that holds 1,500 songs and it fits perfectly in the front pocket in my Lululemon shorts.

I’m interested to hear about everyone else’s running essentials too, so leave me a comment if there’s something I’m missing and you think it’s a must try. I’m always up for discovering new products. One item that I haven’t found yet is a good pair of headphones that are good for running. I’ve found some that I like but they quit working a couple months after using them.

XOXO The Glam Runner

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No one wants to turn 30, look in the mirror and wish they would have taken better care of their skin in their 20s.  Unfortunately once the damage is done, its done.  I see so many women years younger than me or people my age who already have deep set lines that are visible in photos.  According to Dr.Oz, if you’re 30 years old and lift your eyebrows and see 3 or more visible folds, your skin is aging faster than it should be.  Please listen to these words…take care of your skin when you are younger so you’re not faced with looking older than you are when you’re in your 30s or 40s.

Of course genetics play a large role on how you will age but simply not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, wearing SPF 30 or higher every day, avoiding the tanning bed (who does that anymore anyways?), drinking plenty of water, eating fruits and veggies and sweating through cardiovascular exercise are your best bets on protecting your skin and keeping that youthful glow!

When Joanna Krupa (supermodel and star of the Real Housewives of Miami) was asked how she says so young looking her answer was “moisturize, moisturize moisturize”.  Aside from the obvious, exfoliating and keeping your skin well hydrated will lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  I am partial to all Kiehl’s products but there are many quality moderately priced drug store brands that are great too!  I moisturize with Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream in the morning after applying my SPF 30 and the Midnight Recovery Oil at night.  Oil of Olay is always a great drug store brand to try.

Exfoliation is very important as well; when you exfoliate, you are removing all the old dead skin cells that dull your skin.  It would be ideal to get a Microdermabrasion Treatment every month or so but not everyone can afford that at $90-$110 per session.  I use Kiehl’s Pineapple Papaya Facial scrub and their Dermabrasion Scrub – it’s the strongest exfoliator next to getting a professional treatment.  Swiss St. Ives Apricot Scrub, always wins awards for best drugstore brand exfoliator.

Using an SPF on your face is so important!  It is recommended that everyone wears an SPF of 30 or higher every single day.  The sun’s rays are so harmful to our skin and no one realizes it until they are older.  I’ll admit it, I used to go outside and bake with accelerator oil on in the summer and go to the tanning bed 3-4 times per week when I was in High school.  Now I use an SFP on my face all the time – my face is much whiter than the rest of my body.  I also need to do a better job of using an SPF all over my body.  Kiehl’s has an SPF 50 for everyday use as well as moisturizers with SPF already in them like the Abyssine Cream.  I also use their SPF 50 Cross-Terrain UV Skin Protector when I go outside and run.  The consistency is that of Vaseline but it stays on and doesn’t sweat off when I’m running.  It’s also great for the beach, skiing or any outdoor activity where you’ll be sweating.

Using a vitamin C treatment at night is also a great idea.  Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that slows the rate of free radical damage.  Free radicals cause dryness, fine line and wrinkles to the skin.  With using a vitamin C serum you are slowing down that damage and significantly reducing the appearance of fine lines.  I use Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate at night then use the Midnight Recovery Oil on top of that.  Dermalogica makes a great pure vitamin C serum but it is quite costly.

We should all start using eye creams in our 20s as well.  It’s your personal preference as to what kind you want to use; there are so many out there that target so many specific problems.  Using eye cream is important because the delicate skin under our eyes requires special attention and more concentrated moisture than a regular facial cream.  I am currently using Keihl’s Rosa Artica Eye Cream during the day and the Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate and the Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado at night.  I’ve also used Clinique’s All About Eyes Gel and other Kiehl’s eye creams in the past.

I obviously love Kiehl’s!  I am partial to their brand because when you look at the ingredients, its all vitamins and minerals – no strange fillers that I can’t even pronounce.  I also like Origins and Philosophy products as well.

Don’t smoke, use SPF every day, drink lots of water, live a healthy lifestyle and make a few investments in some great quality products and you won’t have to look for the Botox needle at age 35!

XOXO The Glam Runner

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