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Time to Stock up for Summer

Bring on Summer!

I’ve decided if I keep writing about summer-related topics, Mother Nature will eventually get the hint and it will start to feel like we’re approaching the midway mark for the month of June. So on this Motivation Monday, I offer a list of the must-have items to for a season filled with outdoor workouts and sunshine-filled fun with family and friends.

1. Don’t Ignore Those Tootsies! As we speed toward the halfway mark of 2018, now’s the time to think about the last time you got a new pair of sneakers. If you’re a serious runner or involved in high-impact exercise and it’s been six months or longer, it’s time to consider getting a new pair. Every fitness routine needs the proper footwear to ensure you’re getting the right amount of stability and support.

2. Protect the Girls!  Ladies, it’s also time to take stock of the last time you invested in a supportive sports bra. Breasts have zero muscle, but without proper support, the skin and ligaments near the breasts which give them their size and shape can break down and eventually cause sagging. (The kicker: once those ligaments stretch out, they don’t bounce back!) Whatever your size, you will experience some level of bounce during exercise. So every woman needs to wear a sports bra whether she’s power walking, full-on running or exercising in any way that gets you moving. (In case you’re wondering what I wear for kickboxing, barre workouts and Tabata training, I’m a huge fan of the Athleta line of sports bras. )

3. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! As a former coconut-scented tanning oil addict who now gets annual scans of the many moles on my body, I implore you to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. There are so many lightweight SPF 30 and higher sunscreen options available today. That means there is no excuse for not wearing sunscreen for a long summer stroll or a super-sweaty session of beach volleyball. If the skin on your face is super sensitive like mine, you may want to give La Roche-Posay Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid a try. It’s been my go-to for years.

4. Smart Snacks: Planning to spend a good part of the day away from your healthy home base? Arming yourself with sensible snacks is a surefire way to avoid making less-than-optimal choices. While scenic, those mood-boosting long walks often don’t have much to offer by way of fuel except for hot dog vendors or vending machines filled with sugary drinks and candy bars. So be sure to pack some healthy, portable options such as almonds, apples or low-sugar protein bars. My go-to: KIND snack bars.

5. Portable Hydration: Last but certainly not least, don’t go anywhere without a reusable water bottle. (You can even fill it with ice cubes and enjoy chilled water as they melt.) Since we lose essential  potassium and sodium when we sweat, my repeat readers know I never I never leave home without a bottle of BFit Rapid Electrolyte Spray. (Zero calories, zero carbs and zero food dyes.)

Remember, a little prep and having the right items in your arsenal can make all the difference when it comes to sticking with your summer plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

 

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A Little Support Goes a Long Way!

My Support Team

My “Support Team”

It happens at this time every year. The temperatures go up and the clothes come off. Everywhere I look, there are people running, biking and boot-camping either on the city streets or throughout Central Park and the other outdoor hot spots all over New York City. I always love seeing people getting their daily dose of endorphins, but there is one sight that pains me: a woman with too big of a bounce in her, uh, step…because she’s not wearing a supportive sports bra!

On this Motivation Monday, I apologize for leaving the guys out of the conversation, but I’ve seen enough to know it’s never a bad idea to remind women about the importance of having the right support above the belt. I often write about replacing your sneakers every six months to ensure you have a solid base for your workouts. Well, breast tissue needs protection, too.

Breasts have zero muscle, but without proper support, the skin and ligaments near the breasts which give them their size and shape can break down and eventually cause sagging. (The kicker: once those ligaments stretch out, they don’t bounce back!) Whatever your size, you will experience some sort of bouncing during exercise. So every woman needs to wear a sports bra whether she’s power walking, full-on running or exercising in any way that involves some bounce.

So, what sports bra works for me? As my repeat readers already know, I’m not a runner. (For all those reading this post who are runners, I’d recommend looking for a combination compression / encapsulation bra for maximum support.) Since I am addicted to things like the elliptical machine, barre classes and Tabata training. For these activities, I’ve recently become a huge fan of the Athleta line of sports bras. The Full Focus (seen in lime green in the photo above) and Double Dare (in fuchsia) bras are made of soft, moisture-wicking material and offer comfortable, yet solid support for everything in my routine from pulsing and squeezing at the Physique57 barre to mountain climbers. The Double Dare bra even has a double vent in the back to keep me feeling cool on the city’s hottest days.

For less intense activities, like a leisurely stroll or serious stretch session, I like tanks with built-in shelf-bras. Then there’s my other new low-impact favorite: the Coobie bra, seen in the above photo with a striped design. I think this may actually be the most comfortable bra I’ve ever worn to date!

Once you find the right sports bra, you can usually expect it to have a six-month lifespan with some good ol’ TLC in the washing and drying department. So, if it’s been six months since you bought your last pair of sneakers, then it might be a good time to make a trip to the workout wear department to find a new sports bra, too. Remember, having the right support for every part of your body is a crucial component on the journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

 

 

 

 

 

Give the Gift of Fitness!

iStock_000014614375SmallI thought I’d kick off the new work week with a double-dose of motivation. The idea is to keep fitness on your mind even when you’re trying to get motivated to cross those names off your holiday shopping list.

With 14 shopping days left until Christmas and possibly a few more Hanukkah get-togethers on your social calendar this week, here are some gift ideas for the fitness fanatics and wanna-be fitness lovers in your life.  Of course, if you’re still working on your own list for Santa, maybe one or two of these items could help you stick with your fitness routine in the New Year.

  • Personal Trackers: There are so many cool gizmos out there that track everything ranging from your heart rate and how many steps you take in that hip-hop group exercise class to how much sleep you really get each night. There are all kinds of brands and price tags, including items from Nike+Fuel to FitBit. This gift could be a boost for someone looking to get serious about fitness or take his or her goals to the next level.
  • Workout Wear. Never underestimate the power of a moisture-wicking pair of running shorts, shirt or yoga pants to help keep your cool during a workout. (My personal favorite is Under Armour.) Not sure of someone’s size? A gift card to a store like Target or Modell’s allows someone to find the style that works best for his or her routine. (For “high-end” workout wear, check out Lululemon and Athleta.)
  • Footwear. Wearing the right footwear when you workout is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself from exercise-related injuries. Since my exercise routine involves a mix of cardio, weight training and group exercise classes, I can’t live without my cross-trainers. I get a new pair every six months and time it so that brings me one of them at Christmas.
  • Fun Gift for Guys: How bout a “Performance Sports Crate” that includes everything from push-up bars to energy drinks? This and other sports-minded guy gifts at ManCrates.com.
  • Fun Gift for Gals: Know a fitness chick who loves to break a sweat at home with the Wii? Check out the Wii 5-in-1 Lady Fitness Workout Kit.
  • Fun for the Whole Family: With so many active games to choose from, maybe this is the year you buy the Nintendo Wii, Playstation 2 or XBox. Zumba Fitness 2 is also out for the Wii just in time for the holidays. For Playstation 2 or Xbox lovers, there’s still plenty of good buzz going around about Dance, Dance Revolution. If you don’t want to go the electronic route, then how bout an “old fashioned” pair of ice skates, a jump rope or a basketball? With fun like this to choose from at home, there’s no excuse not to get up and get moving!
  • Accessories for All:  Yoga mats, ear buds, re-usable water bottles, snag-free hair ties.
  • Musical Motivation: I know I’d be lost without my music to keep me moving, so an iPod or mp3 player could be a great gift to keep someone going. iTunes gift cards also allow mp3 owners to download songs and create their own motivational mixes.

Check out Gifts.com for other ideas for the exercise lovers in your life. Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, adding some of these new “toys” to your daily routine could be just the boost you need to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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