Monday, 10 December 2012

Sunday 10: 10 must haves for your workout wardrobe

Now I know when you're working out you're getting sweaty and gross, but that's no excuse not to look good doing it! Going to the gym feeling good about yourself means you're going to get more out of your session, and if all that stands between you and feeling great before you even get there is an awesome pair of tights, then what are you waiting for?

10) Headband. Whether your hair is long or short, a headband not only keeps it out of your eyes, but will also keep the sweat out of your eyes! It can also keep your ears warm in winter, and keep those headphones from falling out when you run!

Whatever motivates you!
Maybe even make your own?
9) Inspirational Tee or Singlet. Sometimes you're not going to feel great heading into the gym no matter what you're wearing. Try wearing your favourite inspirational shirt - mine is an old Nike one that says "Lazy but Talented" and I don't know why but for some reason I feel like I have to prove the first part wrong! Lorna Jane and Nike always have great slogan tees.

8) Sweatbands and/or cycling gloves. Now if you're like me and you tend to get really sweaty hands, you may have noticed it's a bit difficult when it comes to push ups and other things that require your hands to be on the floor - yoga for instance. Fingerless cycling gloves are perfect for getting around this embarrassing problem. They allow you the dexterity of your fingers by leaving them exposed, but soak up the sweat from your palms, plus allow you to properly grip the floor. You can even get ones with a handy little towel patch to wipe the sweat from your brow. For those who don't have sweaty palm problems, wrist sweat bands are great for keeping the sweat from rolling down your arms and getting to your hands. Plus you can use them to wipe off your face.

My fave Lorna pants. Sad to be
shrinkingout of them!
7) Compression garments. You probably know these as skins, but they have come a long way in the last 5 years! Compression garments aid in muscle recovery, and reduce soreness post workout so you don't have to worry about being too sore for tomorrows workout! My favourite pair are actually from Lorna and have a python print - much nicer than my old bright red and grey skins pair! You can get them in short, 3/4 and long so there is something for everyone. You can even get them for just your calves, and you can get a vest form for the upper body.

6) A great hat or three. If you're working out in the sun, particularly in the summer months, you should never leave the house without a hat! Now while the best kind of hat for sun protection is without a doubt the sombrero, it's not exactly practical! I have different hats for different things. I have a straw wide brimmed hat for walking with the pram which is great because it covers my shoulders a bit too. I look a little like Eliza Doolittle meets Jane Fonda, but it brings a little class to the ensemble I like to think! For more active things, like climbing up Castle Hill, I have trucker style cap with a wide and long brim. This keeps the sun off my face, and the top of my head but still gives a little breathability. For water sports like aqua aerobics, I have my visor with the same kind of brim, but I always remember to put some spray sunscreen on any exposed parts of my scalp.

A must have for your tootsies!
5) The right socks. Now you might not think socks make a huge difference, but for some people they really do. Select the right sock for your activity. Running, circuit work, and high intensity sports mean your feet need to breathe, so look for a coolmax sock with a wicking capability. If hiking is your style, choose the right sock for the season, and your boot style. For summer hiking, you cannot go past Injinji bamboo liners with seperated toes. The natural fibre allows your feet to breathe, and wicks away moisture avoiding nasty conditions like athletes foot, and the toe segregation helps avoid blisters and painful rubbing. When hiking in Borneo these were all I wore with my boots, but they can also be worn as a liner under warmer socks in the cooler months, and they save you having to bother with wool between your toes! They are also great for sports that require you have a lot of 'feel' available in your feet like rock climbing, and can be used under swimfins to avoid rubbing. If you have sweaty feet to go with your sweaty palms, Injinji socks are great for yoga so you don't lose your grip on the earth!

4) The right shoe. Now that you have the right sock, you need to make sure you have the right shoe for the job! Getting fitted for the right shoe is imperative, but you also need to be able to tell your shoe guy what you will be using it for. It took me so long to find the right shoe I think Tim and Troy from Athlete's foot at Willows deserve trophies! I ended up in a men's shoe to get the best fit possible, but they are the most comfortable shoe I have ever worn for sports, and they are MUCH more aesthetically pleasing than the ladies version of the same make! I do still wear different shoes for different things, obviously my hiking boots for hiking, and I have a pair of Nike Free Runs for using my recumbent cycle when I just really need something to grip the pedals more than anything else. Getting fitted properly is a must, and like doctors, if you're having a lot of trouble get more than one opinion. Remember as well that you should be replacing your sneakers after 6 months.

Intimo's Contour sports bra, perfect
for getting sweaty but looking
and feeling groovy!
3) A great sports bra. Speaking of other things that must be fitted properly, ladies you must have those under shoulder boulders in the right sized holder. This goes beyond comfort, because breast tissue can be severely damaged if left to bounce too much. Sports bras come in 2 types: underwire, and wire free. Underwire does not automatically mean more supportive, and for some ladies myself included, wire free bras are more comfortable and supportive than their wired counterparts. When looking for a great sports bra, look for features such as a coolmax style fabric for the band to allow breathability, wide straps with a little padding to help absorb bounce, the option to cross straps at the back for high impact workouts, a minimum of 3 clips at the back, and of course the right cup and band size. At Initimo we have both underwire and wire free sports bras, so why not have a sneaky peak at the catalog! Like your sneakers, your bra will have a life of about 6 months, and you should also be refitted every 6 months to account for changes to your body, especially during weight loss, pregnancy, or weight gain.

2) Flattering tights/pants. The last thing you want is to feel self conscious when you work out. You become to concerned with whether your tummy is jiggling, or your shorts are bunching up, that your workout may suffer! But, a great pair of flattering tights or shorts that make you feel good can solve this problem! I have a pair of Lorna fold down half length tights that always make me feel a million dollars. They hold my tummy in and stop it from jiggling, which means I'm not concerned about the top I'm wearing either and I can just get on with it. I can fold them right up under my bra too if I'm having a real bad "fat" day. It might be the cut, it might be an awesome colour, it might be shorts with tights built in underneath to take away that bunching feeling, but a flattering pair of workout pants is a must to fend off using a fat day as an excuse not to work out!

1) Heart Rate Monitor. Your HRM will be your best friend when you work out - especially if you're like me and need a number to hit before you'll let yourself stop! Polar make these babies in all different colours too, so they need not be an eye sore! Keep track of your calories, how long you've been working out, and of course your heart rate to make sure you're not over doing it. You will feel great when you look down at the end of a session and see evidence of your hard work!

So there you go, a little fashion, a little fitness! Still brainstorming on what to do next week, but maybe it's a nice to have surprises coming up to Christmas!


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