I always find buying new training shoes and clothes very motivating. It helps get my head set for the course charted ahead. What was better than those new shoes you bought in August just before the new school year began? I look back fondly on those times because the new shoes and new outfits served as promise and hope that the new school year would present new and exciting possibilities. I liken it to buying new composition or loose-leaf notebooks and putting the reinforcements on the pages (I know I'm dating myself) when you were in grade school. It helps get you in the mood. Here are a few things to stock up on before beginning the program.
■ Shoes. Purchase cross trainers that offer a good deal of arch and lateral support. Consult with a salesperson in a sporting goods store if you need guidance.
■ Exercise clothing. Your clothes should be loose fitting and comfortable, but revealing enough that you can see what you are working on. For me, the more I see, the better—for example, I find looking at my legs when I work my legs both instructional and motivating.
■ Motivational music. Although I don't support extraneous things, such as music, because it can disconnect you from your mind-body connection, it's sometimes a necessary evil. Whether moving and soulful or heart-pumping and energizing, music is often that final something that puts it all in place.
■ Medicine ball. You'll learn more about why you need a medicine ball in Chapter 3.
■ Stability ball. The use of a stability ball and how to choose the correct size is also described in Chapter 3.
■ Dumbbells. You'll need lightweight dumbbells ranging from two to five pounds.
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The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.