How To: Buy Quality Activewear on the Cheap

So if you’re anything like me and you work out on average 6-8 times a week, your wardrobe is likely at least 70% activewear. Because when I say workout I don’t mean some light yoga stretching, I mean real, get your sweat on kind of workouts. So re-wearing workout clothes isn’t really a option (hello, hygiene..). In order to not be forced to do laundry every 3 days I concequentially own a lot of activewear. This means theres no chance I can afford a complete Lululemon wardrobe (dare to dream) that will outfit me as many days as I need, so I’ve had to get a bit creative with finding good quality activewear at a reasonable price. Here are my top 5 favorite places for a good, wallet friendly find.

  1. T.J Maxx and Marshalls. Fair warning these stores can be hit or miss, sometimes they are the holy grail, and sometimes its like looking for water in a desert. However, more often than not they have a pretty good selection of activewear from brands like Nike, Rebook, 90 Degrees, and Underarmor in the $15-$30 range. Not bad.
  2. Nordstrom Rack. While there will never be a better deal in life then Nordstrom Rack boot prices, seriously do yourself a favor and go check them out, they also have a great range of activewear and sneakers for a fair price. They have a great stock of Nike and Acsic Sneakers for ~$50 and lots of cute workout gear that ranges about $20-$50 in price.
  3. Fabletics. So I do have some reservations here, the first outfit is a amazing deal, it’s usually $25 for a full outfit, but then after that the prices are a lot pricier and you have remember to skip each month if you don’t want to spend $60 each month on their clothes. That being said I was pleased with the quality of their clothes and they are undeniably very cute.
  4. Target. Target has been a longstanding go-to for reasonably priced workout gear, but honestly Target has just about everything you could need in life. They have tons of cute clothes from tried and true brands like Champion and RBX that range in price from $15 – $45.
  5. LuluLemon. I’m actually not kidding. So if you shop them online they have a little “we made too much” section where they have some discounted items. While they still wouldn’t really be considered affordable, there are a few items in the $30-$50 range. The quality really is impressive, so every now and then treat yourself when you reach a landmark. Finally ran that extra mile? Mastered the pull up? Did 100 burpees? Reward yourself occasionally with some while deserved new activewear to to motivate you to keep killing it in the gym.

One of my favorite workout outfits, sweatshirt and pants from Fabletics, sports bra from Aerie

Happy hunting if your on the activewear search, thanks to the athelisure trend, its more available then ever, because sometimes a new workout outfit really does make all the difference in the  workout!

Fact or Fiction?

The truth behind popular health and fitness myths

First up basically anything the Kardashian family has endorsed is not a valid health or fitness plan. Cutting all carbs? Working out in Sauna Suits, the FitTea, and come on those waist trainers they’re all always running around in, or drinking ghee in the morning (hello thats just fat) or wrapping your body up like a sausage in a wrap… Just no. You guys are better than to believe in that. They’re gimmicks. They are not legitimate health or fitness techniques or in any way conducive to creating a sustainable healthy and fit lifestyle. Lets move on.

Next granola. I know I’ve touched on this before but granola just totally irks me. I apparently have a lot of grievances against it. The issue with granola is that it pretends to be healthy. Its all, “Oh you had yogurt and half a cup of granola for breakfast? Gold star for you!” Except with the exception of a few brands, shout out to Simply Elizabeth granola, its not all that good for you. I get it, I really do, granola is delicious, you pound a bowl patting yourself on the back for your healthy breakfast choices and then look at the bag and realize you just consumed the sugar equivalent of a cookie or two. It’s such treachery. So just beware of all those seemingly “health foods” and be sure to check the label…

Third, weight training will make girls bulky. I feel like we have come around on this some in resent years as more and more girls conquer the weight room, but lets break this one down. Lifting weights increases one’s muscle mass, that’s true, however the more lean muscle mass we have, the more our metabolism works and the more calories we burn, even when we are just sitting around, our resting basal metabolism is way higher. So unless you’re shooting up some testosterone as a pre-workout snack, it’s unlikely weight training is going to make girls look like the hulk.

Fourth, carbs are the devil. No they are not. Lets get some perspective here. Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient for our bodies. They supply the energy we need to go out and slay our day. But that being said there are actually two kinds of carbs, simple carbs and complex carbs. Simple carbs are the refined and processed breads and baked goods that we tend to picture when thinking of carbs, but complex carbs are a necessity, fruits are a carb and so are many other essential foods! Furthermore our bodies need carbs after a workout in order to replenish our glycogen stores that we just incinerated during that workout. So well all carbs are not created equal, they should never be totally eliminated.

Next, the scale. They’re has been a huge movement to screw the scale and that’s awesome. Remember you are not a number and that number does not define your worth. While it’s discouraging to work hard, eat right and not see the number drop, or instead go up, remember muscle weighs more than fat! What’s more BMI our body mass index is not the end all be all. BMI classifies you into a weight category (underweight/average/overweight/obese) based on your height and weight, but again, it doesn’t account for muscle! Because I’m only 5’00ft and I’ve always had solid muscles, according to BMI I’m considered overweight. So yeah, take all these so-called “measurements” with a grain of salt.

And finally, this one is a little different, but there’s a belief that people who live the health and fitness lifestyle all have great abs all day and never eat doughnuts and are obsessed with kale. While some people do live this way, and that’s they’re choice, the majority of fitness and health lovers don’t enslaves themselves to this restricted lifestyle. We don’t rock abs all day, we do enjoy an occasional treat, or okay twelve, but the point is it’s really important to create a LIFESTYLE that is sustainable and what’s more enjoyable for yourself rather than limiting your life by your desires to have a flawless toned bod. You’re a human, what good is that killer bod doing if it’s tucked in bed by 9 o’clock Friday night getting plenty of sleep…

HIIT it!

HIIT, the handy acronym for high intensity interval training. Personally I love it, discovering it a few years back was my holy grail, my ultimate motivation to get off the couch and get moving. If you’re like me the idea of spending 45 minutes on a treadmill is synonymous with say, cleaning your ears for that amount of time. Boring, unappealing, and honestly probably not all that effective. (I’ll be the first to admit it, that was a weird metaphore) But HIIT is totally different. It’s gained more notoriety over the  years and has become known as one of the most effective ways to burn the most calories in the least amount of time. 20 minutes of HIIT can actually be more effective than that 45 minute treadmill struggle.

So just in case you haven’t jumped on the HIIT bandwagon yet here’s how it works. It’s short periods of high intensity exercise followed by short periods of rest, say 30 seconds of burpees followed by 10 seconds of rest. You can do just one exercise, 20 seconds on 10 seconds off for a total of 8 rounds in 4 minutes for a true tabata workout or you can do longer intervals of lots of different kinds of exercises. The word is your oyster. I love it because it encourages you to go all out but it’s also a very manageable interval of time so it’s not daunting and with all the different kinds of exercises you almost never get bored. It’s even, dare I say it, fun.

HIIT is supposed to up rev up your metabolism so you can burn burn burn baby burn throughout the workout as well as get that after burn happening, so your burning more calories while your glued to the couch the rest of the day. Not too shabby if you ask me. A little advice though, to get all the benefits of HIIT you gotta go hard, really give it your all and that can be taxing on your body so I would be a little cautious of jumping right into HIIT if you don’t have a somewhat solid base of exercise already. I actually just wrote a paper on this and the potential of HIIT to change the way we approach exercise on a larger scale. I’m sure all you guys want to read that right? What’s that? No takers? I’m shocked.

Go HIIT it and HIIT it hard.