What’s in my gym bag?

A few years back I broke down and started to go to the gym. And what I mean by that is, I bought a gym membership. Yes, the girl who can workout at home. Who know exactly what to do and dislikes weight equipment-bought a gym membership?

I’m a Midwestern girl and Wisconsin winters were really beginning to get to me. I mean, I hit 30 and suddenly this who seasonal affective disorder thing became real. Like MEGA real.

But upon buying this gym membership I noticed something that really didn’t click for me even after fifteen years teaching on the yoga mat. – What you wear does matter.

I mean I am not here to say that $200 yoga pants make for a better workout than $20 yoga pants. But what I realized is showing up in a top and shorts or yoga pants that made me feel good. And heck, looked good in those huge wall size mirrors did help for my motivation to stick around a little longer and work a little harder.

Now my yoga studio of 14 years did not have mirrors (for good reason). And this little discovery made me begin to do a little self-reflection. And sure enough, the days I try to do my hair a bit, wear mascara and yes coordinate my outfit for teaching yoga-made a huge difference.

Now don’t get me wrong, I would never EVER discriminate against anyone who would walk through my doors at my studio and surely never ever at the gym. Wear whatever you want. Coming is the most important. But my own personal observation made me think a bit deeper into the psyche of why we do what we do.

What if a quick trip to Walmart (because heck, they have cute workout clothes) and $30 spent could boost your energy, moral, and motivation to take better care of you? And I’ll save you muttering in your head back at me in this post where you tell me telepathically that you don’t have $30 to spend. Because I bet my four-year-old sons little bear Milky that you could easily find $30 when you look back at what you are buying, spending, wasting money on.

And I say this with love, because a few years back I got into the habit of calling myself out on the blame game routine I was taught from childhood. And wouldn’t you know I found that $30 in a snap!

Ok this post isn’t about where you are spending your money (that for another day) this is all about what to wear to workout. And why that matters more than you think. Here are my favorite workout looks and my absolute essentials for at home, at the gym and travel.

These are my NON-NEGOTIABLES and MUST HAVE workout gear!

What if your journey starts here?

With one new outfit. Feeling good one move at a time? Let’s shop!

For yoga, Pilates & Dance –

Well most of you all know yoga is my love. Yoga saved my life. Yoga is a big part of my style. Yoga is probably my favorite workout next to long walks countryside. Yoga is the biggest reason I am healthy, fit and feel great. I am in love with a good part of yoga capris. You know, the ones that hit just above the ankle and hug to your body. Not because I want to show off my legs. But because I hate interference. I dislike with a passion my belly rolling over my pants. The butt of my pants looking saggy and worn out. And I don’t like to feel restrictive in anything I wear.

These yoga capris are from Zyia. Their prices are not Walmart. But they are quite a bit cheaper than Lululemon. So that means you save and look amazing! Plus, their pants will last forever. I mean, come on, this company was started by two mom’s who were sick of the high prices of workout wear and wanted to make clothing that fits real women. – You can sign me up!   

Zyia Fitness Clothing What is in my gym bag blog post

To date I’ve literally owned about 100 pairs of yoga bottoms and now I wear all of my 5 pairs from Zyia rotating throughout the week and get compliments everywhere! Best part. The pockets! Yes, those amazing sleek side hip pockets!

Add in a great top to go with. And you got yourself a self confidence booster you can wear out the door.

I used to buy all my bras on the clearance rack. Who needs a good bra? Wow was I wrong. Every woman on the planet needs a good bra. Did those words just come out of my mouth? I know I am talking Zyia-again. But seriously their sports bras with the sheer coverage on top have been a game changer for me.

What is in my gym bag bra top blog post

  • Support
  • Sexy coverage (sorry not interested in seeing your goods during yoga and not interested in showing you mine).
  •  Doesn’t look like a “sports” bra
  • Washes easily

Shoes?

Well on the yoga mat, no shoes required (but washing your feet is a nice bonus). But when I go to the gym or for my countryside walk (most would say my walk is faster than most people jogging) shoes are a huge decision for me.

Ask my kids and they will tell you if they don’t bend, twist and flex, I’m not buying them. I struggle to find success in those categories for my wide foot and long check list with brands like Nike and Sketchers (sorry I’m not a fan of walking around with pillows under my feet).

But I do love Under Armor Women’s Street Precision Street Shoes. Comfortable and I am not a big fan of overly padded shoes as they mess with my gait (fancy word for stride). I want my foot to feel the ground as much as possible and at the same time taking into consideration the concrete jungle many of us live in. 

A little secret to buying shoes for running or the gym. Look on the side of the box and see if it says what they heel support is. Most people don’t catch onto this, but even sports shoes can be a high heeled shoe. This changes your gait, hip and hip muscle activation and response of your body. Not to get off topic, but if you are having running, standing or walking issues, don’t just change your shoes, get pro advice and change how you move. Because the shoes were probably not your first problem.

For outdoor fun –

Did someone say hiking?

Climbing?

Camping?

You may have just described my favorite summer fun! (Yes people I live in the Midwest, we have only 12 weeks of summer to shove all our outdoor fun into before the parkas come out). I am obsessed with a good fanny pack for my cell phone or car keys. And love a great hat. I used to hate wearing ball caps but now that I am a mom of three in my 30’s, it appears your taste in things does change.

When it comes to outdoors, I love layers. And always something I can tie easily around my waist, or even roll up into a small backpack (one of us always has one). I tend to be plain with prints. But being more conscious about my pieces now, I tend to gravitate towards business on the bottom (solid colors) and party on top (quotes, fun images, or prints). I absolutely love Prana’s Graphic Crew Sweatshirt. Soft and cozy, perfect for camping or hiking, or just drinking coffee in my office. 

Outdoor wear Prana Graphic Crew

So, what do I actually wear to the gym? Well, you’ll most likely see me there during non-peak hours with a loose pullover sweatshirt or zip up (I hate when my headphones get caught on my top as I’m trying to remove it). And always a tank not a tee, because I don’t like overheating. That cute top mesh bra and always a carpi (the ankle is like the bodies cooling vent). Plus my non-spill water bottle and because my capri’s have a pocket on my hip I have a place for my phone when I’m working it out with free weights in front of the wall size mirrors.

And to be honest, when I see myself as put together, it does truly motivate me to stick around a little longer. And in my book, anything that can help create motivation when I may not have it, is a win for me!

 

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