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An Almanac For The 21st Century

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Want to Work Out More This Year? Motivate Yourself With Some Great Gear

Want to Work Out More This Year? Motivate Yourself With Some Great Gear

I love exercise, but what I really love is the feeling I have post-workout. I love sitting down to work in the afternoon knowing that I got a great sweat that morning. I love the low-grade ache the next day. I love taking a shower and washing away all my gross sweat. Getting up and dressed and going to work out? That, I don’t get so excited about. One thing that I find really helps is having the right clothes. If you have to get up and put on some ratty old pants you feel gross in, of COURSE you’re not going to want to go lift weights in front of a mirror. (Also, the growing popularity of athleisure is one of the best things to happen to Spoonies in the last decade.) Here are my favorite bits I’ve found to make dragging your cute butt to the gym feel like less of a chore and more of a treat.

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First of all, let’s talk about underwear. Got breasts? You’re going to want a sports bra. I am so obsessive about those little pads that you can put in or take out of workout tops and bras. These bras from Jockey have those little cups, but while they are removable, they don’t fold or come out easily when you wash them. I HATE when you take a bra or a top out of the wash and then you have to straighten out your boob cups. These bras save me time and sanity by seeming like they’re all in one piece (but the cups do come out, if your’e into that. Also, you can get some insane deals. I own 4, and three I bought in a sale at Macy’s for under $30 total AND I got a free yoga mat. (And the other one I got at TJ Maxx.) As for underwear, I wear these thongs specifically for exercise and I love them (also they are always on sale). But I’m interested in trying these Champion ones that are specifically for working out.

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I am a super-sweater. There’s no way to avoid it, so I’ve made workout-wear decisions based on the fact that once I’m done exercising, I’m going to be anywhere from incredibly sweaty to drenched. I love muscle tanks because they save me from getting sweaty armpits like I would say, on a t-shirt. Alo’s Heatwave Tanks were in the Nordstrom Anniversary sale about two years ago (for like $18 each, it was nuts), and I bought two that I still wear every week. These tanks are super lightweight, wash well, and still look good years later. I do have other tops to work out in, but if I’m being honest, they’re all just for variety and when my Alo ones are in the wash.

My favorite leggings are from Athleta. I’ve mentioned this many times, and now I’ve realized that you can get 7/8 leggings in tall sizes and (if you’re not actually tall) they are full length. My second favorite place to get workout leggings? Target! I have these and these and I wear them each every week. They’re super comfortable and best of all, cheap. I wish Target had more high-waisted leggings, but maybe financially it’s for the best. Another reason to love both Target and Athleta for workout clothes? They offer plus sizes in if not all the styles, the most popular styles, and in the case of Athleta, they also have petite and tall.

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My other exercise essentials are some shoes to wear to and from the studio, which I wrote about on Saturday. I also throw on this sweatshirt during my travels. Occasionally I’ll wear a jacket, but I get so hot during exercise classes that even when it’s 30 degrees I love to walk back to my car in just this light sweatshirt. The big slits on the side make it easy to put on even if you’re so sweaty your shirt is sticking to you (AKA you are me after any moderate exercise). When I’m working out - and even when I’m not - I keep one of these water bottles nearby. This style is great because it doesn’t have a straw, which just gets gross and is an extra hassle to wash, and every piece can be put in the dishwasher. Buy two so you always have one while the other needs washing!

Another tip for making your nice new workout duds last a long time: Don’t put your workout clothes in the dryer. I wash all my workout wear on cold and hang it to dry (on this drying rack). The heat from the dryer locks in smells, so you can make your stinky workout clothes last years by not tumble drying them at all. No enduring smells, and much less wear on the fabric.

Having clothes that feel great is a big part of making me feel motivated to get up and exercise. And exercise is key to stalling the deterioration of my joints. If only I could get my health insurance to cover Athleta purchases lololol.

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Seriously though, if one of your goals for the new year is incorporating more exercise into your routine, but you’re having trouble getting up and going, maybe you just need a new pair of leggings that make your butt look amazing, or a pair of shoes that you can easily slip on and off. Now get out there and take care of your awesome bod!

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