Head to Toe: Accessories for Runners

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Generally, when we think about running gear, shoes are the first thing that pops into out minds. While good running shoes are very important both to increase speed and muscle and to prevent from injury, there are many other pieces of clothing and accessories that could potentially make it as a piece of a runner's uniform, and those are the items that this article focuses on.

When purchasing these items, it is important to consider how you will feel in any garment and how your ensemble will fit together. How is the flexibility in the item? Is it made from comfortable yet durable material? How heavy is the item? Will you be excited to use the items while you run? Asking yourself questions before you buy will ensure you get the exact tools and garments you need without regret.

Headbands and Hair Ties

If you have longer hair, you may want to invest in a good headband and/or hair ties. Using these accessories will keep your hair off your face and the back of your neck, two areas that should become hot and sweaty during your workout.

Look for headbands that are simple and unobtrusive, while its primary quality should be a firm grip to stay on your head while you exercise.

If you have medium length to long hair, purchase some hair ties to pull your hair back into a ponytail or bun. This will help keep your neck and face cool while you run. Make sure to purchase hair ties that will not cause damage to your hair, as there will be friction against the tie as you run.

Sunglasses

Spending extra time running in the bright sun could cause extra strain on your eyes and protecting your eyes is just as important as protecting your muscles while you run.

Make sure that the sunglasses your purchase offer 100% UV protection, glare protection, lightweight, comfortable and will allow you to exercise without them falling off. Some brands of sunglasses will even allow you to interchange the lenses so that you can adapt them to the current light condition on your run. Getting the right sunglasses will relieve strain put on your eyes will running in the sun.

MP3 Player and Headphones

Using an mp3 player can both help you keep a steady pace and rhythm while running and keep you entertained while you work out. Select music that will encourage you to keep moving and push you along your way.

When purchasing a mp3 player, you will want to look for something that will hold a lot of tunes while also being lightweight. Some, like the iPod shuffle, even come with a clip so that you can easily attach it to your clothes.

While you can use the ear buds included with most mp3 players, many of them can easily fall out while you exercise. Select a pair that will wrap around your ears in a comfortable but firm fit so ensure you don't lose them on your run.

Hydration Packs and Water Bottles

If you are only doing a short run, you may not need to carry water with you, but you should have a water bottle ready at the end of your run to keep yourself hydrated.

Longer runs will require more hydration, and if you are unable to stop anywhere to drink water, you will need to carry it with you. While there are belts available that will carry water around your waist, many runners prefer to use Camelbaks which will stay out of their way.

Hydration is very important, especially while exercising. Make sure to keep up your fluids to avoid becoming ill.

Athletic Watch

A good athletic watch will tell you more than the current time. Many have ways to calculate how many calories you have burned, your current heart-rate, the distance you have ran, and even how fast you are running.

Having an athletic watch can help you not only make sure you are getting the workout you need, but you can also monitor how you improve as you continue to run on a regular basis.

Look for a durable watch that has all the above features and you will be on your way toward a more efficient workout.

Knee Brace

Many people experience pain and injury around the knee cap when they run. Ignoring the pain or assuming that it is just because you need to build up endurance may result in additional pain and injury.

Using a knee brace can both help protect your knee from injury and improve your running posture.

When selecting a knee brace, chose one that has breathable material and some flexibility to make wearing it a little more comfortable.

Running is good for you, and having the right equipment can both help you stay comfortable and motivated during your workout and help prevent you from injuring yourself. Choose items that will meet your needs and keep you moving.

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