I've wanted to share more of my favorite things and things I'm lusting after on the blog for awhile now, but I wanted to make sure the site had enough substance to carry these posts first. This first post is fitness themed in honor of our new How I Stay Healthy and Fit while rocking a physically and emotionally career (aka medicine).
Self myofascial release, specifically foam rolling! If you have never foamed rolled, I highly suggest you get one and change your life. Foam rolling is the magic cure to soreness - both from running and from lifting weights. The self-applied pressure releases muscle knots allowing muscles to remain loose and preserving your flexibility. Foam rollers basically allow you to give yourself a deep tissue massage as often as you want for free. I roll after every workout to prevent stiffness. I sometimes roll before a workout if I'm stiff to make sure I can experience the full range of motion of an exercise. I've heard foam rolling before a run is a great idea. I haven't tried it because I haven't ran in so long, but I know from previous experiences that it's a game changer for the day after a hard run. I've recently gotten Alex into rolling because he's inflexible to the point of being unhealthy (brief UC Davis article on the effects of being inflexible). He's equally obsessed. I have the cheaper amazon basics version at home, but I just ordered Alex the trigger point foam roller and ball. We have both at the gym and the 5 inch ball is becoming my favorite. A tennis ball is also great, but probably too intense for beginners.
Got a roller and don't know what to do with it? Here's a full body foam rolling guide by Ashley Borden.
Seriously guys, roll out your IT band and change your life.
I want a fitness tracker SO BAD, but they're all kind of crappy. The Jawbone UP4 is the cutest, but overpriced and not very useful. The fitbit flex and charge are ugly. The apple watch is okay, but I really just want a fitness tracker. I have a much cuter watch to wear. The Fitbit Alta seemed like the perfect compromise, except it doesn't have a HR monitor! Also, I want a genuine fitness tracker not just a glorified pedometer. The Tory Burch for Fitbit collection is super chic, but for the price I might as well get an apple watch. I'm going to pull the trigger on one of them very soon. Recommendations?
I've left spotify for Tidal because
- I played Kaye West's "Power" almost every morning of medical school.
- Jay-Z is my favorite artist of all time and "young forever" is in my opinion one of the greatest rap songs of all time.
- The last few seconds of Beyonce's "formation" video.
- I wanted to listen to Kanye West's "The Life of Pablo."
I splurged for the "high fidelity" version because I own a trifecta of Bose speakers - workout headphones, study headphones, and the mini bluetooth speaker. Ultimately, these splurges are a waste of money if I'm using a low quality streaming service to access music (although the biggest value of the studying headphones is the noise cancelling feature). I absolutely can not tell the difference between the sound quality of spotify vs. tidal listening on my phone or with my apple headphones.
Even if you're not interested in the high-fidelity aspect of it, I would recommend trying out the one month membership if you're into hip-hop. I like spotify's "music for everyone" campaign, but I'm admittedly a hip-hop snob. Tidal has a team of music journalist who compose amazing playlists and write thoughtful articles and critiques. There are also a ton of exclusives, including the new Kanye album, the Big SeanxJhene Aiko album (+short movie), and live Lauryn hill concert. I have a suspicion it's just as cool for other genres of music, but that's just where my interest lies (for instance, Alex pointed out to me the other day that they have the Beatles catalog which is very expensive, but I don't even know how many people were in The Beatles).
Here's a review of Tidal from a journalist who doesn't appear to be a fan of Jay-Z or hip-hop.
That was fun. I'm so excited to share more of my favorite things with you guys! Leave a comment below if you have tried any of the above products or if you have a vote for fitbit vs. apple watch (or a better suggestion!!)
Elyse Love, md