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The Perfect Gifts For Fitness Fanatics

20th December 2022

20th December 2022

By Shivraj Bassi

From workout clothes to tech, foam rollers to supplements, here’s our pick of the perfect gifts for gym lovers and fitness obsessives this holiday season. 

At Innermost, we’re experts on the latest fitness trends, accessories and must-haves for the perfect workout. As the creators of the best nutrition products on the market, you know you can trust us to guide you to the best workout-related gifts to give your fitness-obsessed loved ones - or to sneak into your stocking and keep for yourself. 

The best all-rounder yoga mat

Sweaty Betty Super Grip Align Yoga Mat

This bestselling yoga mat sold out during lockdown, so make sure you get yours before they inevitably sell out before Christmas too. Not only is this mat soft, lightweight and very, very grippy, thanks to the natural latex it's made of, it’s an ideal workout gift as it can be used from anywhere. It's even got mapped out lines on the surface to help with alignment.

The best protein around

Innermost’s The Fit Protein

Christmas can be a draining time and it’s important to preserve your energy. This protein was specifically developed for people who push themselves further and faster than others, but aren’t willing to compromise to get where they want to go. It’s formulated to rehydrate and restore energy, and support muscle growth and repair, and it tastes delicious. Don’t tackle a festive season without it. 

Comfortable joggers perfect for exercise

LNDR Slow Trackpant

One of the best quality activewear brands around, LNDR's Slow joggers are beautifully designed, exceptionally comfortable (especially as the waistband on your usual trousers is a little tighter than usual at this time of year) and great for cold weather workouts or a post-workout chill. A great activewear gift for all. 

DNA analysis to improve your performance

DNA Fitness Pro 360

Want to take your workouts and diet to the next level? DNA Fit is an award-winning health analysis system that guides users through improving their diet and exercises routines by analysing their genetics and suggesting bespoke advice. 

A sustainable and stylish bike helmet

Dashel Re-Cycle Helmet

The road is your catwalk. This chic, minimalist helmet is made from recycled and sustainable materials, and once its reached the end of its life span Dashel will part-exchange it for a new one and use the recycled parts to make more. 

Resistance bands that you can’t resist

Sweaty Betty Soft Resistance Bands

Irresistibly coloured, these bands are versatile, strong and endlessly adaptable. You can use them for everything from Pilates to cardio to stretching to lifting, and you can be sure that they won’t snap, get sticky or roll at the edges. 

A nootropic to relax and calm

Innermost’s The Relax Capsules

Christmas can be a stressful time, and often one with a little less sleep thanks to non-stop partying. Help your body to relax with these nootropics which contain research-backed ingredients to reduce stress and help you to sleep like an angel. 

Something to roll the pain away

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

Sore? Tight muscles? We got you. This top-notch foam roller will help you iron out the kinks and knots in your body left behind by your impressively tough workout. 

Stylish weights with a strong heritage

York Cast-Iron Dumbbells

A personal set of dumbbells is a great workout gift, and this company has been making weights for 80 years, so you can trust they know what they’re doing. With cast-iron weights and a plastic spinlock to prevent unwanted movement, you’ll be gaining muscle in no time. 

Headphones that will stay put

Powerbeats Pro True Wireless Bluetooth In-Ear Sport Headphones

If you like to listen to music while you sweat, forget all other headphones and stick with these. They fit well even when you’re doing hot yoga, the sound quality is unparalleled and they’re easy to set up. 

Hair ties you won't be able to live without


Small but mighty, those with long hair know the frustration of scrunchies that won’t stay put or fabric hair ties that are no match for your sweat. invisibobbles are an elastic hair ring that will keep your locks where you want them and won’t damage or crease hair. A perfect gift and stocking stuffer. 

A detox booster to give your body what it’s craving

Innermost’s The Detox Booster

Once you’ve overindulged on chocolate, Christmas pudding, roast potatoes and champagne, your body will be crying out for some help. This booster contains ten of the most highly-regarded health-boosting ingredients which help to support your immune system, target free radicals and maintain a healthy pH balance. Don’t tackle your festive hangover without it. 

So there you have our top picks to keep those fitness fanatics in your life feeling happy. Don't worry, we won't tell if you're tempted yourself too...

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From the Bedroom to the Gym: Is Your Sex Life Affecting Your Workout Performance?
The relationship between sex and workout performance is one that’s long been debated by scientists and fitness fanatics alike. It’s complicated and multifaceted, so answering the question of whether your sex life is affecting your training is difficult. That said, today we’re going to take a look at a variety of evidence, both academic and anecdotal, as well as several different scenarios and at least try to reduce some of the mystery around the subject. First, it helps to understand what’s actually happening to the body, both physically and psychologically, during both activities.   The Effects of Sex on the Body Sexual activity causes several changes to occur in the body:   Physical Changes That Occur During Sex During sexual activity and the lead up to it, the human body undergoes a process known as the sexual response cycle. This is the case for both males and females, though the cycle can be highly individual and may not be the same each time for each person. Describing the full sexual response cycle is beyond the scope of this article, however it consists of 4 phases: Desire Arousal Orgasm Resolution Factors such as elevated heart rate, increased blood flow and pressure and heightened muscle tension all come into play. If you’d like to read about the sexual response cycle in more detail, check out this great article from Cleveland Clinic.   Psychological Changes That Occur During Sex Several psychological changes occur both during and after sex. Most notable are the release of endorphins and oxytocin, which are associated with improved mood and a better sense of wellbeing. These are also responsible for reduced stress levels, which brings a multitude of additional benefits that are of particular interest to those of us participating in regular training and exercise. Cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress, is catabolic in high levels, meaning it can cause the breakdown of lean tissue. So, whilst it is unclear whether sex itself affects workout performance, the reduction in stress levels it may bring is definitely beneficial for preserving our results!   The Effects of Exercise and Training on the Body Exercise and training also cause the body to undergo a number of changes. These occur both during and after the physical activity. There are in fact a number of similarities in changes that happen during exercise and sex:   Physical Changes That Occur During Exercise The physical changes that happen in the body vary based on the type of exercise being undertaken, however, there are some that are common to exercise in general: Increased heart rate Increased blood flow, especially to the muscles Faster, deeper breathing due to additional oxygen needs Heightened activity within the circulatory, respiratory, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems A full summary of the changes that occur within these systems can be found here. More aerobically demanding exercise will, of course, place greater emphasis on the circulatory and respiratory systems as well as causing fat to be metabolised as an energy source. Resistance training, which often relies more heavily on the lactate and creatine phosphate energy systems, instead promotes greater muscular and endocrine (hormone) activity. Note the common physical changes between sex and exercise here, as they do crossover!   Psychological Changes That Occur During Exercise The psychological changes that occur during exercise are similar to those experienced during sexual activity and are mostly related to the release of endorphins and other ‘feelgood’ hormones. These help to regulate mood, and it is common knowledge that frequent exercise and leading an active, healthy lifestyle promotes a feeling of wellbeing.   Does Sex Affect Our Workouts? This is where things become complicated. Though extensive studies have been done on the subject, the results of these have varied massively. We must also take into account the experience of individuals, and this anecdotal evidence again has huge variance. Let’s look at both:   Sex and Training: What the Science Says Scientific studies on the relationship between sex and training are contradictory at best. There’s no denying the positive benefits of both activities, particularly from a psychological perspective, but as for the effect of sex on actual performance in the gym the results are inconclusive. A study, published in April 2021, by Kirecci, Albayrak and co. examined the effects of sexual activity of 50 men in the 24 hours prior to training on lower body strength. The study measured effects by having the men perform 3 separate squat sessions, each at the same time of day. Each of these sessions occurred after participating in or abstaining from sexual activity the night before. The men performed 5 sets of 5 repetitions of their maximum squat weight during these sessions and the difference in weight lifted was observed. The study concluded that ‘sexual intercourse within 24 hours before exercise [has a] detrimental effect on lower extremity muscle force, which suggests that restricting sexual activity before a short-term activity may be necessary.’ Aside from this study, most others found either no notable relationship between sex and athletic performance. A meta-analysis of 9 crossover studies, conducted by Zavorsky and Brooks and published on 16 September 2022, confirms this. The analysis concluded that ‘The results demonstrate that sexual activity within 30 min to 24 h before exercise does not appear to affect aerobic fitness, musculoskeletal endurance, or strength/power.’ This is perhaps more notable, because these studies incorporated different types of exercise and were not restricted purely to a strength/power based activity like squats.   Anecdotal Evidence: What About the Experiences of Real Gym Goers? The anecdotal evidence is, as expected, highly individualised. However, there tends to be a bias against the results of most studies, particularly in those participating in sports involving strength and aggression. For example, many fighters claim that they perform better when they abstain from sex in the days leading up to a contest. Similarly, bodybuilding forums are full of debate on this topic and many claim they note a significant decrease in motivation to train at maximum intensity after sexual activity. It has been hypothesised that this may be due to a downregulation in testosterone production after sex; during orgasm the mineral zinc is released in the body and this is also a precursor for natural testosterone production in the body and may, therefore, provide some reasoning as to the experience of many trainees.   Key Takeaways The relationship between sex and workout performance will always be a complicated one. The effects of one on the other in terms of physical fitness and, in particular, mental wellbeing, are clear, but when it comes to actual performance this appears to be highly individual. We’d advise doing what feels best for you but not worrying too much about it. Instead, prioritise your nutrition and make sure you’re fuelling your workouts properly. While you’re here, why not take a look at the Innermost range? We’re proud to be completely transparent about the ingredients in our products and we always ensure they’re of the highest quality. Check us out, and be sure to get in touch if you have any questions! Read more