This post is brought to you BY MY DREAMS because these are three of the items I would bring with me in one of those desert island scenarios (in this one, the island has plenty of places to exercise and plenty of people to impress with my chic but not-too-adorable outfits.) While “ruffled activewear” sounds like it belongs on some sort of Toddlers and Tiaras and The Biggest Loser mash-up, these three pieces are streamlined, actually sexy, and look good enough to wear on non-work out days.
1. Pure + Good Striped Ruffle Jacket, $98; anthropologie.com
Cool Feature: In addition to those ruffles there’s ruching for ultra-flattery. Plus, four-way stretch lycra means it’ll keep its shape after you wash it for the millionth time.
2. Studio Striped Tee by Stella McCartney, $72; adidas.com
Cool Feature: Aside from it being a legitimate piece of designer clothing that you wear to sweat? A comfy, casual oversized fit. Perfect for post-work out pizza.
3. Ruffled Up Pullover, $128; lululemon.com anthropologie.com
Cool Feature: Ribbed side panels so you’re not all sweatshirt-bulky and side vents to keep you extra cool.
Somewhere in the midst of trying to DVR my favorite terrible Christmas movies (what up, Holiday in Handcuffs) and debating the relative merits of white chocolate vs. milk chocolate bark, I completely missed the Twittersphere buzz about The Lean Green Bean’s excellent Elf for Health program, a holiday initiative that challenges you not only to stay fit, but to be a kinder human (both to yourself and others).
Since I’m a bit late to the #Elf4Health party, I can’t sign up for an official buddy this year, but I love the idea. It’s simple, it’s cheap, it will make you feel better about pretty much everything. So, if you’re feeling elf-y, join Second-Shift Athlete as we spread some cheer. And probably some sweat. Check out the challenges for the next few days, and check out the full calendar.
12.11: Pack a healthy snack and pack and extra for a friend.
12.12: Take some time for yourself.
12.13: Run or walk a mile as fast as you can.
12.14: Clean out your closet and donate to Goodwill (or your favorite charity — I’m partial to Housing Works in NYC)
Now that Anthropologie’s in the workout-wear game, it’s not unreasonable to think that more favorite brands from non-fitness worlds may swoop in with their version of clothes to sweat in. Here, the ones we’d most like to see. (Marketing execs: Call us.)
Anna Dello Russo in Dolce & Gabbana, spring 2013. Running. We salute you, girl. via http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/08/this-is-anna-dello-russos-idea-of-workout-gear.html
1. J. Crew
All J. Crew activewear is mix-and-match so you can pair your sequin-print leggings with a moisture-wicking chambray tank, or striped tee. Sports bras come with statement necklaces (very safely) attached.
Compression tights that sync to your scale so they get tighter and looser depending on your weight. Gloves that register the weather and develop an extra layer of fleece in the cold.
Sneakers with gummy bear-inspired soles, making you extra buoyant and bouncy for Zumba or jump roping. Sold with stink-resistant tees that always smell like gummy cola.
4. World Market
Activewear sourced from all around the world, in bright colors and major patterns, at super reasonable prices. Lots of ikat yoga mats and spangled yoga tanks.
A top, pants, bra, socks, and sneaks, all in one neat package that folds small enough to fit in a clutch. Comes with amazed stares from strangers.
Activewear that seamlessly smoothes out all imperfections using clever, light-reflecting particles. The muffin top-erasing tank and leg-lengthening capris will be especially popular
Super-soft pieces that release small beads of deodorizing soap as you sweat, making you CLEANER by the end of your workout.
A healthy-living mag and one of our favorite runners hit up Twitter this morning to talk breakfast. Pretty sure we’re going to have to side with the pro on this one.
RUN THIS TOWN: Think you hate running? OK, you might. But before you decide for sure, try these 25 ways to learn to love running, like rewarding yourself with treats (I like that). [Shape]
BOSTON BIBS: Runners vying for a spot in the 2014 Boston Marathon by running for a charity are facing steep increases in minimum fundraising requirements. For example, Special Olympics Massachusetts is asking runners to raise $10,000, up $2,500 from last year. [Outside]
DESK SET: If you’re whiling away your days at a desk (we feel you), these five stretches will put you in a happy place. Just maybe don’t try them in a pencil skirt and heels on your office floor. [Competitor]
SLEEP SOME MORE: We all believe different sleep myths, like the idea that you can catch up over the weekend (guilty!). A sleep expert helps clear up the misconceptions so you can get your snooze on. [Q by Equinox]
The key to making hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, peppermint mocha dates, and other frosty-weather activities pleasant instead of wildly uncomfortable? Layering. Start out with a thin, sweat-wicking top (we’re partial to stripes), and then pile on the fleece vests, jackets, and coats as needed. But it’s up to you whether you want to start calling yourself an Ace of Base.
1. SmartWool Midweight Pattern Zip-T Shirt, $110 at REI
2. Women’s Layer First II Stripe Half Zip, $50 at Columbia
3. Women’s Capilene 3 Midweight Zip Neck, $65 at Patagonia
So what if The Rock wants to workout so he can eat a million pancakes? You go, Rock.
I sleep-deprived-purchased a groupon for a month of boot camp classes before work. I need your help. I want to go at least twice a week for the month of December and need you to shame me if I don’t. I know myself. If I don’t tell anyone I’ll just sleep instead
That’s an email from my friend Sara, who has, since sending that, already hit her goal for the first week. Go Sara! And yes, I’ve been quick on the texts that run from encouraging “I’m so proud of you!” to the pressure-filled: “Don’t miss it today!!! I am writing about you on SSA. DON’T LET US ALL DOWN.”
There’s this image of “the healthy girl” that she eats nutritiously (with only minimal indulgences on special occasions!) and sweats regularly simply because she loves it. And while it’s party true—it’s great to exercise simply because you want to, that doesn’t mean other reasons aren’t 100% valid. Most of the men and women who run/bike/yoga/cross-fit because it makes them feel great actually started with one of these so-called “wrong” reasons and with enough practice (or force) realized how awesome it was. Or they kept it up long enough to see the health benefits and decided it was worth continuing.
So maybe you’re only working out because you pre-paid for some classes. Or you made a bet with a friend. Or you just want to be skinny. Maybe you want to go to a specific gym because there’s someone really good-looking there. Maybe you want to go running because it makes you feel morally superior to your neighbor. Or you want to lift weights so you’ll be strong enough to intimidate someone at work. Or you feel guilty that you haven’t moved enough in years. Maybe you just like the idea of being one of those Soul Cycle girls. Maybe you just like the outfits. Maybe you feel shame. Or you are jealous that your friends have been going to yoga after brunch and you want to fit in. Maybe you’re vain. Maybe you’re insecure. Maybe you want to burn a bazillion calories so you can eat half-a-bazillion without feeling guilty.
Here’s the secret: Whatever your reason is, if it gets you to work out, it’s a great one.
There’s something about puffer vests that has always made me feel like I was strapping on a life jacket. Bulky, somewhat constrictive, and just…puffy. But newer streamlined versions heat up your core without making you look and feel like your midsection is covered in jet-puffed marshmallows. Still, balance it out with streamlined pieces, and maybe don’t stuff the kangaroo pocket.
The Item: Women’s Adapt Vest, $110 at brooks.com
Work It: Tone down the sporty-ness of the vest with skinny jeans, ballet flats, a three-quarter length tee, and a statement necklace.
Work Out: Layer over a long-sleeved technical tee and pair with a fleece jacket (for extra frosty days), running tights, and sneakers that pack a punch of neon.
Name: Maya Rose Lawrence
Location: Oakland, CA
Job: Administrative Assistant for a Health Services company
My sport is: Running is my number one, though I love anything that gets my feet on the ground and my body moving. So hiking, biking, long walks, yoga, dancing…
AM or PM athlete: I used to be a PM athlete, but I switched over to the AM about a year ago and it’s working out great. I love the rush of energy I get from waking up and breaking a sweat!
How I got started: I’ve been involved in various athletic activities since high school (I ran cross-country for two years, spent about a month in wrestling, and a year in dance). I didn’t really hit my stride until Summer 2010 though, when I found myself between jobs, in a poor economy, and going stir-crazy from boredom. What is a girl with no entertainment budget and a lot of extra time on her hands to do? Lace up a dusty (probably in need of replacement) pair of running shoes and hit the streets. It’s been a love affair ever since.
IMPORTANT: No dinners were harmed in the making of this post. Now then, as you prepare for your Thursday morning trot, we’re guessing that you’re focusing more on the amping up the ridiculous factor of your outfit than on actually trying to get a good time. Because really, in Thanksgiving races that include dogs, several generations of the same family, small children, and strollers, not many are looking to PR. But you can nail a PSR (Personal Style Record) with these toppers. Pass the stuffing.
1. Plush Chef Turkey Hat by Beistle Company, $14 at amazon.com
2. Plush Turkey Hat by Beistle Company, $3 at amazon.com
3. Pumpkin Pie Hat, $11 at privateislandparty.com