Lately I have been regularly hitting the gym. Maybe blame it on House of Cards showing Claire and Frank running and rowing, or maybe it simply is because I love it, but either way I am working hard to get in an hour at our local YMCA (which rocks by the way if you are in Raleigh… I highly suggest joining!) every day. I remember my friend Kathleen Shannon telling me it is about scheduling your workout just like a meeting every day. If you want to make it happen, you have to treat it as if it is just as important.
Over these last few months I started to collect some must haves when working out. This whole go to the gym thing without being on a soccer team is new to me, especially since this is my first membership ever in my life. That being said, I thought I would share my own workout essentials.
1. Loose Pull Over: There are a few companies I have fallen in love with. One of which is Athleta. I tried some other similar companies, but my athletic curves really loved the feeling and fit of Athleta. Their long sleeve pull over is top notch and I love how breathable it is, as well as the thumb holes. It is a must especially for the walk into the gym in these cooler days.
2. A Racer Back Tank: As a soccer player, wearing anything other than a t-shirt is a new thing to me. However after getting into cycling and Pilates, tanks like this are really awesome as they have great built in support. Which ultimately means more cuteness and less layers while you sweat.
3. The Odyssey Legging: I have 2 pairs from Athleta and they breathe enough for running while still being able to keep you warm enough on your way in to the gym. They also stay in their place while doing pilates and yoga. I am pretty obsessed and I would wear them whether I was working out or not… And honestly, I do
4. A Great Sports Bra: It is important for chicks to find the right support for them while working out. I have been wearing the C9 series of Sports bra since my days as a college athlete. I tried really expensive ones, but still came back to these. The fit is great for my size, which as many smaller cup size ladies know can be hard to find. I also just love how well they wash and wear after even a few years. I have about 5 in my drawer at all times.
5. A Comfy Short: I love these Stella Mccartney collection shorts from Adidas. They have a casual feeling, so they can be worn in and out of the gym. Personally, I am not planning on running marathons anytime soon so I am really only looking for a short to serve well during cycling, a mile run, or cross-training classes. After years wearing classic soccer shorts, I don’t think I really knew how great designed gym shorts could be. I love shorts that cut up on the side, they flatter ladies way better than the classic athletic shorts they make us wear for field training. I am so glad to see the updates to women’s athletic wear is finally complimenting the curves of women that they are working hard to tone.
6. LifeFactory Water Bottle: I swear up and down by these. I have had one for nearly 5 years now and I will tell you to never buy anything other than this one. My children will use them as well one day. These bottles are glass and are dishwasher safe. The rubber on the outside protects them and they come in all shapes and sizes to fit your lifestyle. You will not find anything better I promise!
7. Sol Republic Relay Headphones: I have a thing with headphones and working out. As in, I hate almost every pair I have ever tried. I am always adjusting and moving them while trying to pump through 100 squats or warming up on the track. This is why I love these headphones. In this case it is all about function. These headphones not only come with a clip for your shirt, so they do not flap around, but they also are designed to actually truly stay in while working out. I didn’t really believe it, but after an hour workout in the gym I was sold. These headphones never moved and at times I even forgot they were there.
8. The Yoga Mat: I am not a big fan of using the class yoga mats, I’m nnot sure why but I just imagine they have been places I’d rather not go. So I am a big believer in owning your own mat. And with some really cheap options, why not. I love pilates, but when I don’t use my own mat I can only think about about the last person’s sweat. Sorry to be gross, but it is serious. So in order to actually remain relaxed I bring my own mat.
9. Let Your Shoes Shine: Oh the shoes, my pride and joy. I love athletic shoes. This may also explain why I have always been a huge fan of Nike’s athletic shoes. Since I was a little kid, I have always been about the brightest ones on the shelf and I still have the same thought. Even as a soccer player, I only wore white Adidas cleats with bright blues or contrasting colors to my uniform. My feet need to rock it. That being said design isn’t everything though, I also love Nike because they design some of the best sock style (aka no moving tongue to re-adjust all the time). Also, Flex is amazing because of how light they are. I bought them when we were doing Insanity last Summer and I swear they really did make me jump higher and run faster.
One final note, I am sure you notice I don’t wear much color when working out other than my shoes. I am pretty into wearing black and grays and allowing my shoes to be the big pop of color. I’m not sure why, it is just my thing I guess! Is there a color you like to wear when you are working out? Are you into brights or darks?
I would love to hear what other items are your essentials when hitting the gym or working out in general. I know I am probably missing something really awesome, so I am excited to hear!!