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‘Must-Have’ Fitness Items You Really Don’t Need

Posted May 04 2012 12:23am

Totally unrelated to anything but it’s TRUE. If they’d added “playing Word Scramble obsessively” this would be the recap of my weekend.

Everywhere you go someone is trying to sell you fancy fitness equipment and the primary tactic they use is that you simply must have it. Something about that word just makes me feel rebellious (or feel like talking in a fake British accent, one or the other). I must have something, must I? I daresay I mustn’t! While there is lots of fitness gear that is fun to have, there are some things that not only aren’t necessary but may actually be doing you more harm than good. Weight belts, for instance. Sure we’ve all seen the ripped guys strutting around the weight floor wearing them so they must help, right? Science says no. (Which may be my all time fave phrase ever. Works for everything! “Do I really need to worry about dingoes eating my baby?” Science says no! “Mom, can I jump off the roof with an umbrella for a parachute?” Science says *$&% no! “How long can I go eating raw cookie dough before being smitten with salmonella poisoning?” Science says…33 years apparently. Not that I’m bragging.) Anyhow, unless you love accessorizing your workout gear with leather and chains — we’re not here to judge — then you can skip the weight belt. While it can help you lift heavier in the moment, new research shows that the long-term effects will make you regret that one-rep max. Read on to see the other items on my “mustn’t” list!

Stuff I wrote…


Do You Really Need That? 7 Fitness “Must-Haves” That You Won’t Miss  One of the (nastiest) rights of passage at a gym is seeing someone spit into the water fountain. It’s enough to make you rethink hydrating at all until you get home. And now there are a slew of water bottles on the market with built-in filters that promise to keep your water pristine. But do the bottles really clean the water? Short answer: not really but they make it more “aesthetically pleasing.” Yay for pretty water?

Party Rockers in the Gym Tonight: 7 Workouts That Are Better Than Happy Hour  One Soul Cycle spin instructor explains: “When we teach the soul party, we might just pop out a few extra effects like a strobe light, or we might spray some champagne on the first row. It’s always just sort of a new bag of tricks.”

No More Excuses: 7 “But” Busting Tips To Get Yours To The Gym  What’s stretchy, comfortable, cute, and works great layered? Your pajamas, yes, but also most workout clothes. While I don’t advise sleeping in a full set of thermal running gear, hitting the hay in your sports bra, comfy tee, and yoga pants can be the difference between sleeping in and making it to that early morning class.


Real Moms Confess: “I accidentally left my kid”  (Hoo boy the comments on this one got HEATED.)

  • “I am an amazing parent, so of course I would never do anything like that. You should, however, ask my mom if she ever left her only daughter at a McDonald’s on the interstate in Indiana.” -Megan
  • “I just knew Megan would not pass up a chance to rub salt in the wound yet again! And it wasn’t just me who forgot her. It was her dad and her four brothers too. Just sayin’!” – Megan’s Mom

Do We Really Need Pink LEGOs ? I’m not sure exactly why this particular girly toy out of all the ones out there bothered me so much. Certainly Bratz dolls and the like are much more offensive. I think it has something to do with the fact that Legos were never a “boy” toy in my mind to begin with. They were an equal-opportunity mess, like Play-Doh and alphabet refrigerator magnets.

Safety Helmets for Toddlers: Smart or Overprotective?  Somewhere, right now, my mother is laughing herself silly as she waves a picture of me as a toddler walking barefoot through a playground with an asphalt surface and rusty metal equipment with so many exposed nails they had a tetanus shot dispenser right next to the hand sanitizer. Of course I’m kidding: There was no hand sanitizer. My mom once accused me of trying to bubble-wrap my kids. Which of course is ridiculous, because then they’d suffocate. Or choke on it. Or get poisoned by the carcinogens. Otherwise, I might have.

Should hospital freebies for moms be banned ? Let’s be honest: The swag is one of the best things about having a baby-after the actual baby, of course.

Kids in PJs in Public ? When I saw the pics of Katie following Suri in her jammies and holding her blankey, I really wanted to give her a mom-to-mom fist bump. Stars – sometimes they really are just like us! (And sometimes they’re not. Suri was flown into New York for the celebration on her own private helicopter.)

The Cure for Bullying . I have friends going to see the documentary Bully this weekend, and even though I’ve been invited, I don’t think I’ll attend. It’s still too painful. Without going into all the awful details – kids used to hawk loogies into my hair and empty their lunch trays in my bag – suffice it to say the shame, pain, and grief from being bullied have stuck with me well into adulthood.

Should the Government Be Allowed to Ban Kids From Doing Chores ? Sometimes when my kids are being recalcitrant about cleaning their rooms, I threaten to send them to a farm so they can learn what real chores are like. But thanks to  my idle threat just got a whole lot more, well, idle.

Schoolyard Bullying Drives 8-year-old to Attempt Suicide  Michelle Koch’s daughter, just eight years old, took an overdose of her sister’s medication after other children at school pushed her down, called her names, and tormented her for months. The girl was in the hospital hovering between life and death for a week as her anxious family tried to figure out what would drive such a normally happy little girl to do something so extreme.

Trend That Needs to Die: Kiddie Couture  ”Children are the new must-have accessory” explains the Times, so it only makes sense then that you should accessorize these accessories in style. With everything from Lanvin tulle smocks to Burberry diaper bags, I have to wonder if any of these people have met an actual child before. (And no I don’t count the children used in their ad campaigns – any kid that can work that long in front of a camera with a bunch of strangers and still manage to smile like a daisy has got to be a robot.)

How Far Would You Go To Help Your Child Get Elected Prom Queen ? One Texas mom’s answer: A pink rotating billboard encouraging people to vote for her daughter to be prom queen. The teen, Brandy Day, reported feeling shocked and a little amused that her mom actually went and did it but her mom remains unapologetic saying, “Families feel like it’s a little too much or over the top for one night, but then again, it only happens one time in your child’s life.”

What fitness “must-have” item do you think is a “mustn’t”? Anyone else have a good “I left my child” or “I got left as a child” story?



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