Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What to Wear to the Gym: Transitioning to Spring

The weather is offering up all sorts of funkiness right now.  It's that transitional time in which winter is still holding strong but spring is fighting to take over.

When it comes to gym fashion, it can be easy to get sucked into the same, boring jacket that I have been wearing for, literally, five years.
Nike Epic Long Crew in Grey Heather
Nike Epic Long Crew
I found some adorable layering tops, called the Epic Long Crew from Nike, that can add warmth with style. These come in a variety of colors and can be paired over a pair of leggings if you're hitting the gym and running errands.

I think these would even work with a cute pair of jeans and heels for a fun weekend lunch.

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We're Fat, Sick & Getting Closer to Death. Why?

We're stuck at our desks for eight hours a day, we're not moving our bodies and our diets are made of mainly processed crap.

Well, that sucks.

This is all according to a recent study.  Even more depressing: obese women average about 11 seconds of exercise a day, resulting in about one hour per year while obese men get about 3.6 hours of exercise per year.

In the era of constant streams of information (including blogs like these) telling us that exercise will change our lives and help us live longer, where is the disconnect?  Why are people not getting the message and taking control of their health?

The study's lead author, Edward Archer a nutrition and obesity researcher at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, intimates we're that kind of lazy.

"We've engineered physical activity out of our daily lives and that's causing the health disparities that we have in this country," Archer tells HealthDay.

Think about it, so much of our every day life is automated and engineered to make us lazier: the remote control, being able to control our lives with our laptops and iPads, drive through everything.  You get the idea.

What does the multitude of wonderful technological innovations encourage us to do?  Spend more time at our desks, getting sicker, fatter and closer to death.  It's a slippery slope.

True words
The thing is, exercise is freaking awesome.  No other way to put it.  It's freaking awesome.  Nothing eliminates stress, makes you feel better about yourself and makes you look better than exercise.

Don't have enough time to workout?  Bullsh&%.  You do.  You just don't make it a priority.  It doesn't have to be 90 minutes every day.  You can get in great shape exercising 30 minutes most days of the week while mixing in a longer pilates class, a game of tennis, a round of golf or whatever floats your fitness boat once or twice.

Exercise is truly nature's antidepressant.  Make the commitment to do it five days a week and notice how much better you feel about yourself.  The improved physical appearance is simply a nice bonus.

Be honest: why do you struggle with making a commitment to exercise?

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What to Wear to the Gym - Stylish Clothes for Working Out & More

For the sake of growth and evolution, NOT vanity, I'm sharing my fitness fashion choices.  Hopefully this can help serve as affordable inspiration.

I learned that I look like a slob at the gym when I was fashion shamed during a yoga class in January.

I have since ramped up my workout wardrobe and found that you don't have to spend a fortune to look decent at the gym and running the subsequent errands that always seem to follow a workout.

Look #1

This ensemble was my weekend yoga attire.  It features the C9 by Champion Skinny Pant pants from Target I love.  They're $29.99 right now.  I had scored a $5 coupon at checkout and bought them in-store for $24.99.  I swear these make your butt look smaller.

I paired these pants with the Inner Light Top from Lucy I bought years ago.  It's fine for yoga.  If you're going to run in this top, you need a bra.

Lucy Inner Light Women's Workout Top
Lucy Inner Light Women's Workout Top
The bright blue top I wore is no longer available online but you can find adorable options from Zappos.  They're $47.99 but they last a while.  My top is four years old.

Look #2

I wore this Lululemon outfit to work out with my therapist trainer, Steve Burgess, followed by numerous errands on Tuesday.  One of those errands included a stop at the Cowboys headquarters at Valley Ranch.  I hate visiting there in workout clothes but it was just one of those things I couldn't avoid.

Despite the tight fit of the pant and the top, I never felt inappropriate.  They both delivered great coverage.  The top was a Christmas gift two years ago from Lululemon's Run Swiftly line.

I scored the pants at the Lululemon outlet in San Marcos.  This place is the bomb!  They stock last season's merchandise at a lower price point.  I paid $49 for these running pants and I love them.  They have two pockets, one zipper and one inside the waist band, as well as reflective panels down the leg.   They don't seem to be available online anymore.

You can email them and get photos of items in stock.

The Takeaway
You can spend a small fortune on gym clothes.  There is no need to do that.  Whether you're headed to the gym or brunch afterwards, work the sales and shop the discount stores.  You'll be looking like a fitness fashionista for less in no time.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Have We Already Given Up On Our 2014 Fitness Goals?

I asked that question this Saturday when I was able to find a parking spot for my 10:30am yoga class at 10:22 at Equinox.  

Stick with me.  This was the first Saturday of 2014 that the parking lot wasn't completely full and I didn't have to arrive at the gym at 10:15 to get a spot for the 10:30 class.  In fact, the class wasn't even nearly full.  I wasn't stuck in the corner near the dirty yoga mats.  I was able to secure a spot smack dab in the middle of the room. 

This got me wondering: Have we already given up on our 2014 resolutions to get in better shape?

Experts say most people give up just after a month.  I know that sticking to a diet and staying committed to an exercise program isn't easy.  It's much easier to cancel a 6am workout in favor of an extra half hour of sleep in or go to happy hour after work versus a hitting the gym on a Monday. 

I am not a doctor, scientist or medical professional but I do have years of "exercise experience" and acquired knowledge.  When you exercise your body releases chemicals called endorphins.  These endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body.  You know that "runner's high"?  Thank those endorphins.  Exercise truly is nature's antidepressant and the fountain of youth.  
Fighting through a barre class!
You do not have to kill yourself exercising, either.  I've said this a million times on this blog but there are a number of ways you can get your heart pumping, burn some calories and do your body some good: 

  • Run, walk or bike outside.  Just move. 
  • Take a class - I fell back in love with yoga and barre classes in 2014.   
  • Work out with a trainer - I started working out once a week with trainer, Steve Burgess, and it has truly changed my exercise game.  I've learned so much. 
  • Download the {free!} Nike Training Club app and do one of its workouts. 
  • Hula hoop - it's a workout.  Promise.

My workout log
Another trick?  Try logging your workouts.  It's a great way to set goals for yourself and monitor your progress.  I have logged my workouts since college.  There's nothing better than looking back over the past few years, seeing what you did on a particular day and how you felt about it.

The Takeaway
Don't give up on those resolutions to get in better shape.  It's one of the best things you can do for yourself to make you feel better in an instant.   The weight you lose or extra muscle you gain are simply a nice bonus.  

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What to Wear to the Gym, Polar Vortex Edition

If you follow this blog with any regularity you know that I am a recovering fashion victim when it comes to the gym.

The thing is, I don't want to spent a fortune on gym clothes!  I'd rather invest in classic, timeless clothes for work or the weekend.  But after having a come to Jesus with myself after being fashion-shamed in yoga last month, I have resolved to look like a gym slob no more.

The cold weather, and my newfound affinity for yoga, has me searching for affordable pants and tops to wear to the gym AND running errands.

Target has some KILLER ones.

C9 by Champion Premium Skinny Pant
C9 by Champion Premium Skinny Pant
I picked up this exact pair of C9 by Champion Premium Skinny Pant this weekend.  They are gathered at the ankle and fit pretty tight.  The thing is, they're so slimming.  I felt like my booty had shrunk wearing these!

C9 by Champion Pullover
C9 by Champion Pullover
These C9 by Champion pullovers are a cute, warm top to pair with the pants.  They come in a variety of colors.
C9 by Champion Cowl Neck Layered Tank
C9 by Champion Cowl Neck Layered Tank
If you are looking for a tank top to work with the pants, these cowl neck layered tanks with a built-in bra are perfect.

C9 by Champion Women's Yoga French Terry Layering Top
C9 by Champion Women's Yoga French Terry Layering Top
I'm also really digging this Yoga French Terry Layering Top.  So great for throwing over a tank top to keep you warm.

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Put Those Fashions in Action
Interested in hitting the gym?  Exhale Spa has a Love Your Body Workshop Series (who doesn't need to love ourselves a bit more?). 

Love Your Butt: This 30 minute butt-burning workshop will help lift and sculpt your backside with a variety of glute-focused exercises.

Love Your Arms: In 30 minutes the focus will be defining and strengthening your arms.

When: Love Your Butt- Saturday, February 8 at 1:15pm | Love Your Arms- Saturday, February 8 at 1:45pm

Pricing: $15 members and $17 non members each session.

Sign up here.

Thanks for Reading! 

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Monday, February 3, 2014

A Brilliant App to Help Plan Your Trip to Paris

The New York Times briefly mentioned this app produced by Le Pavillon des Lettres in Sunday's Travel section.  I was immediately interested.  I know the hotel well and thought it would do a good job with a digital offering.

I had no idea how thorough it would be.  I have paid for Parisian guide apps that aren't nearly as extensive.

The app has the obligatory hotel information and the weather.  Let's be honest, at the end of the day, it's a marketing tool.

It also had timely suggestions for events going on in the city.  This past Sunday it featured Chinese New Year's celebrations.

It offers fun itineraries for Paris with children featuring various shows and parks like Le Jardin d'Acclimation.  Here are my two cents on what to do in Paris with children.

It also suggested a Golden Age itinerary that can have you experiencing Parisian life like Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald did in the 1920's.

This isn't necessarily groundbreaking stuff but it's packaged well, offers a quality offline map and features stunning photography.

If anything, it's a great diversion for times when you're craving a trip across the pond.  Which for me right now, is about once a day.