It’s such a cliche to talk about working out and workout wear right at the beginning of a new year. It’s all mixed up with New Year resolutions and turning over a new leaf, etc., etc., etc. It’s unoriginal.
In spite of that, I’m committed to incorporating exercise into my regular routine and believe that it’s something I need to continue to prioritize. That requires revisiting how to support that habit all the time. And the start of a new year offers the opportunity to evaluate and recommit.
I have begun this new year with some some goals (not calling them resolutions!), one of which is fitness related. I always like to begin the year with a positive fitness start.
Keeping motivated to stick with a fitness plan has a number of components:
- Choose a type of exercise you actually enjoy (Zumba, yoga, cycling, walking, Pilates).
- Find something that isn’t too difficult to fit into your schedule.
- Don’t do too much and feel overwhelmed, whether you are beginning a new program or restarting following an illness or vacation.
- Wear workout wear that makes you feel great!
The first three guidelines are pretty obvious for a successful fitness program. But don’t discount #4! I believe this is equally important.
Wearing workout clothing that is stylish and makes me feel my best is key to helping me feel motivated and inspired to do the hard stuff. Think about it. If you go to the gym or even out for a walk in your neighborhood wearing an old, out of shape, oversized t-shirt and baggy pants, I can pretty much predict that you aren’t going to feel that extra spark that energizes you to put a little speed into it or stand a little straighter or push a little harder. But, believe me, if you start with workout wear that makes you feel good, you’re already a step ahead.
It’s also important to wear clothing that supports your activity, with the workout wear playing the role of “equipment.” Exercise leggings or yoga-type pants that have integrated compression, and tops designed for working out in a fun color, topped off with a great shell or lightweight jacket lay a small but essential foundation for a successful exercise habit. Clothes that wick away sweat or allow for freedom of movement and appropriate footwear for what you are doing are important for comfort and safety.
A well-known and widely used strategy for staying on track with a fitness commitment is to find a workout buddy. When we have someone to whom we are accountable, we are almost always more apt to follow through with a plan.
I started the year off with some great outdoor exercise with my friend Sarah.
Grab a Fitness Buddy!
Sarah and I have been friends since we were 14, and for some years we’ve really enjoyed including in our “dates” some kind of physical activity, sometimes outdoors and sometimes at the gym. When we walk (or when we ran together in times past), Sarah has been my motivator, the one who pushes me to walk farther or faster, or take two gym classes in a row instead of just one.
(Check out the photo of us below from a fun run in 1981!)
My 2018 fitness “kick off” started a little late, about a week ago, as my post-Christmas bug was finally on its way out. I met Sarah for a morning walk along a bayside path (I love being near the water). The morning was brisk, and we grabbed a coffee for warmth and fuel along the way. The fog pattern was beautiful and kept moving and shifting all during our 5 mile walk.
We had a pretty good lower body and cardio workout, and a great visit at the same time (a wonderful benefit to working out with a friend).
On this walk, I wore my full-length Athleta leggings (purchased on clearance a few years ago), purple (ish) Uniqlo jacket (a gift from Sarah last year!), and my fun, blue Nikes (DSW clearance rack + a discount coupon!). (I was actually disappointed to encounter mud on our walk as these are the shoes I save to wear inside the gym.)
Sarah gifted me that day with a fun, exercise-focused, outfit that included the pretty and comfy Uniqlo white shell jacket in the photos below.
A beautiful morning walk, a little caffeine, a great visit, and some good exercise!
Sarah and me at the 1981 Hillsborough Run for the Olympics. Exercising together for 37 years! (More trivia: It was during this event that I met my husband, who was the creator of the event!)
A hood is an important feature of a jacket that I wear for working out, for those nippy mornings or cool evenings.
Pockets too! And these Athleta leggings have great compression (which “holds me in”).
My favorite feature: Thumbholes! I love to be able to cover my hands to protect from the sun or keep them cozy.
This is a great time of year to add some new pieces to your workout wardrobe as there are sales everywhere! A few of my favorite workout wear retailers’ sales are here. These sale prices provide an opportunity to have excellent quality at reduced and wallet-friendly prices.
Nordstrom Activewear Sale – Check out Nordstrom’s private label “Zella.”
Uniqlo AIRism – AIRism technology is geared for comfort, breathability, odor control. It’s not on sale, but Uniqlo pricing is always very reasonable, for example, the white jacket I’m wearing is regularly priced at $29.90!)
Also, it’s always worth checking out the selection at stores like Nordstrom Rack, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and Ross. There is always a good selection at discount pricing.
A Fitness Habit
Build a new habit if you haven’t already. Incorporate a fitness routine into your life – choose what works for you and grab a friend to stay accountable. And definitely wear what supports you both physically and mentally!
Check out my fitness-topic post from last year: Does Your Workout Wear Support Your Exercise Program