Closet Tour: Activewear

I’ve written about my bags, my jewelry and my dresses in the past, but now it’s time to dive in to my approach to activewear.

First, before we begin: there were no pink running spandex when I was in high school, or anything colorful or patterned. So that’s the great tragedy of this post.

Moving on.

minimalist activewear

How I use activewear

I’m going to be candid: I don’t work out every day, but when I do…it’s not that intense. I tend towards cardio and yoga, so my approach might not work for you if you’re constantly doing high-intensity exercise.

That being said, I still think it’s easy to keep things fairly simple.

I re-wear stuff, depending on the level of activity. Especially since I don’t go to a gym where I’m close to a lot of other people. Is that gross? Well, it works for me!

I like to imagine that I’ll just rinse stuff out in the shower when I’m done exercising and hang it in the bathroom for the next day’s use, but I usually don’t get to that step. But I figure that would be a nice solution for someone who exercises frequently and wants to keep laundry to a minimum.

I also have quite a few things that have several purposes, although it doesn’t always serve my best interests: I use my shorts and t-shirts as loungewear and sometimes PJs. Though there’s a big problem with that – when I put on the shorts, I relate that to curling up in bed with some tea instead of hitting the pavement for a run.

Someday I’ll have more of a defined line between my activewear and loungewear, but for now here’s what I have.

A minimalist’s activewear

I keep a lot more shirts on hand than any other things since those are often the sweatiest. I also love leggings because they got me through years of fall and winter runs in Indiana, and still are great for chilly days (hah) here in Los Angeles.

Plus, you look like you know what you’re doing fitness-wise when you wear them.

What I have:

  • 1 pair running shoes
  • 2 tank tops
  • 5 t-shirts
  • 1 long sleeve
  • 5 sports bras
  • 3 leggings
  • 1 pair yoga pants
  • 4 soffe shorts

The shorts have puffy paint on them from high school (the oldest pair is eleven years old). My cross country coach called me “Floyd” because I liked pink so much, although at the time I had never heard a single Pink Floyd song. That’s why they all say Floyd.

The thing about workout clothes

Here’s something I love about this type of clothing – while the trendy stuff is really cute, at the end of the day it’s all about function. Does it provide your body the protection it needs while you are exercising?

I’m going to hazard a guess here and say that the average piece of activewear item that I own is seven years old. Some I got last year, and some (like those shorts and that yellow long sleeve shirt) are over ten years old.

Most are from when I was a cross country runner 8-12 years ago. Ugh, don’t remind me.

They still function like new! So when you are in the market for workout clothes, do some research and find quality items that will collect your sweat through thick and thin for the next decade.

The only thing I am sure to change out regularly are my running shoes – every year or two if I’m not running frequently, and every six months or so if I’m really on top of my running game.

What are your workout must-haves?

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Yoga on the Cheap

Aaaaaaah…

I just got done with a short yoga class without leaving my home – and without dealing with creepy fitness videos (is it just me, or can they get strange really quickly?)

You guessed it – there’s an app for that

Last year, I stumbled across one of those free “Apps of the Week” at Starbucks called Yoga Studio. Now, I’m not one to pay for apps (although I will admit to the occasional, yet deadly, in-app purchase of Jewel Mania. Those days are over, though.) But, I would gladly fork over the whole $2.99 for this beauty of an application.

There is an awesome selection of classes available for free after you download the app

There is an awesome selection of classes available for free after you download the app

Yoga Studio is easy for yoga beginners (like me), and the interface is simple and beautiful. Not only can you download 15, 30 and 60 minute classes, but you can choose between beginner, intermediate and advanced versions of various “classes.” My session today was on relaxation, which I desperately needed.

One of the neatest features is that you can schedule and create your own classes – pick out your favorite poses, and the app will even link them together with other poses in order for a fluid, well-balanced session. How great is that? Tree pose, gate pose and half shoulder stand here I come!

    There's a large, and rather intimidating, pose library that includes instructions, benefits and best practices for each pose. You can create your own yoga class using any combination of these poses!

There’s a large, and rather intimidating, pose library that includes instructions, benefits and best practices for each pose. You can create your own yoga class using any combination of these poses!

But why yoga?

I’m not saying this app is the only option, of course. I’m just saying – if you’re on a budget and you want to try out some yoga, this is an excellent alternative to taking classes. The benefits of yoga are in line with the tenets of minimalism and simple, healthy living and I just can’t wait to delve further into it.

I’ve read over and over again the physical and mental affects of practicing yoga (like improved flexibility, fitness, and stress reduction), and boy, do I believe them. I’m especially bad at managing stress – I kick into overdrive when I’m stressed, and fail to take general care of myself and my surroundings, only focusing all of my time and effort on working and worrying about something that sometimes doesn’t even deserve the time of day. I notice my mood shift when I get around to a nice yoga session, and it’s something I want to incorporate into my daily routine.

Real studios are (probably) nice, too

Admittedly, I have not been to a real yoga class in years, but the perks of going to a studio are not to be ignored. There’s a community around practicing yoga with others, and with a live instructor, you’re able to get feedback on your poses. As one who’s always been a bit overzealous when it comes to stretching muscles, I don’t think it would be a bad idea for me to get some instruction on my form.

Do you practice yoga? Where?

Shop ’til you Drop

Freedigitalphotos.netI heard the most unsettling statistic shared by a radio DJ a while ago, and I thought I’d share what she had to say about it:

We burn, on average, 15,000 calories a year shopping. In fact, the heavier bags we carry, the more we burn! It looks like it’s not that I’m eating too much, it’s that I’m not shopping enough.

She laughed as she shared this. At what point is this not funny anymore? Will you choose to be like the DJ and continue to shop and eat more and more, hoping to see yourself skinnier? How can we be happy if we justify one gluttony with another?

In a country where average credit card debt lies over $15,000 per household, and the average person is 23 pounds overweight, I don’t see anything comical about this statement.

There are a couple questions to ask yourself that stem directly from this:

  • Do I shop only when necessary, or do I purchase to fill time or to amuse myself?
  • Do I justify things that I know are wrong with others that are hardly any better?