small-b.jpeg

Hi.

Welcome! My hopes for this blog is for it to serve as an honest guide to your twenties and thirties, whether you're in a small town, big city, or somewhere in between. Survive in style and athletically with me!

Spring Cleaning Your Fitness Routine

Spring Cleaning Your Fitness Routine

Thank you to my friends at Mirum for sponsoring this post! All opinions are, of course, my own

Spring is finally here (though the weather begs to differ) and with it comes spring break, or if you're too old to have a spring break, spring cleaning! Both of these provide an opportunity to revamp and revitalize more than just your space or your brain; they also give you a chance to revamp your fitness routine!

This month, I'm going to take more than a week to check out new fitness classes--I'll be doing new classes off and on all of April, leading up to my first half marathon of the year on May 5! Cross training is important for all athletes, and sometimes we neglect it. We get caught up in our one niche, get comfortable and don't necessarily feel like changing it up.

This month, I challenge you to try a new class or workout, including (the often neglected) weight training! I know that sound intimidating, but there are things you can do to make yourself feel more comfortable! Something that makes it easier for me to take a new class is to bring a friend, another is to put on the workout gear that makes you feel the most confident! I also recommend reading reviews and/or the studio or class's website before going, so that you feel prepared as you go in.

Every spring for the past few years, I've made an effort to branch out my fitness repertoire, apart from indoor cycling and running. Below I'm going to run you through a few of my favorite workouts and a few of my workout essentials to help get me in the mood for taking on a new challenge!

1. New Bootcamp/HIIT Classes

Okay this might be shocking to my fellow Chicagoans, but I still have never been to Shred 451. I KNOW I KNOW. So this spring, I'm branching out and giving a new HIIT class a try at Shred! If you want to go with, let me know!

2. Aerial Yoga

Okay this one is WAY outside of my comfort zone but I badly want to give it a try. I've been waffling on going for two years now and still haven't made it to a single aerial yoga class, despite having friends who are instructors and hearing rave reviews on the impact on your arms and abs. I'm so excited to give it a try and can't wait to not be able to lift my arms! 

3. A Treadmill Studio

I was so excited to hear about Runn and Runner's High opening, and yet I still haven't made it in. Part of my hesitance has been because I don't usually like to run on a treadmill. I feel like it makes my run seem so long and I get bored and fatigued more easily. However, after a great experience at House of Go I'm excited to try out a new studio!

4. Ninja Warrior Training

This is one I'm nervous about. I'm always afraid I'm going to get hurt at places like this, but I think it's so cool. There is a Chicago area Ninja Warrior training facility with all levels of training. I don't know about you, but I'm hyped to try out the warped wall, even though I probably can't pull myself up!

5. Boxing

I tried boxing for the first time earlier this year and I loved it. I'm not sure why I haven't been back, but I'm so excited to start incorporating it into my fitness routine. What I love about it, is the confidence I feel when I leave. Both times I took it (two very different classes) I felt challenged, I was so sore after, and I left feeling so confident. I'd love to make boxing something I do as regularly as I run or cycle.

Those are the five new classes I'm looking forward to giving a try this spring! I'm always looking for fitness friends to go with, so let me know if you're interested in going!

 Photo by Stephen Cheong-Leen https://cheongleen.com/

Photo by Stephen Cheong-Leen https://cheongleen.com/

To get myself prepared for all of the new classes and gym sessions I have coming up, I took a minute to pull out a different gym bag I haven't used in a while and cleaned out/restocked my gym bag. My gym bag tends to fill up with used-up deodorant containers, hair covered hair ties, dirty socks, and those cool sweaty clothing bags studios give you. This spring, to go with my new classes, I'm being more proactive in what I keep in my gym bag. I've listed what I put in my gym bag below! Maybe a "What's in my Gym Bag" post should come soon?

  • First of all: a sturdy, roomy, wide-top gym bag with lots of pockets
  • Headphones
  • My GPS Watch
  • A pack of cheap hair ties and my favorite scrunchie
  • A grippy hair band
  • A collapsible travel hair brush
  • An extra sports bra
  • Extra (clean) socks
  • My current running shoes
  • A shoe bag I use for dirty gym clothes, instead of the plastic ones that create a lot of waste.
  • A toiletry kit
    • Travel sized bottles with my current shampoo and conditioner
    • Small bottle of leave-in conditioner
    • A small bottle of body wash
    • Face Wash
    • My Degree UltraClear Black + White Pure Rain Deodorant
    • Facial Moisturizer
    • A piece of a lotion bar
    • Toothbrush and Toothpaste

I try to refill smaller bottles from hotels/travel with my current products, in terms of my shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, and moisturizer. When I'm on the fly, I try not to overcomplicate my shower routine, so I don't bring razors, shaving cream or anything like that. When I can, I use the toiletries the studio or gym provides! Flexibility is key, especially when you're trying new studios, so be ready to pull a MacGuyver occasionally! 

While I try to be ready to improvise with freshening up at the gym, one thing I never compromise on is my deodorant, especially when going from a workout to the office. Last year I found the Degree MotionSense line, and I fell in love. Degree recently released a new line of Ultraclear products with a benefit anyone going from the gym to work is going to need: this line doesn't leave white marks on dark clothing, or yellow marks on white/light clothing. 

 Photo by Stephen Cheong-Leen https://cheongleen.com/

Photo by Stephen Cheong-Leen https://cheongleen.com/

I had already fallen in love with Degree’s MotionSense technology, because I've found it keeps me dry and smelling great all. Day. Long. The Black + White line gives you all of that without wrecking your clothes, whether it be your favorite work blouse or your go-to workout crop. My favorite scent is the Pure Rain, and I LOVE that it's alcohol free, because it keeps my skin from taking a beating! Also has anyone ever used a spray deodorant before? Because I hadn't until recently but I LOVE IT. I keep my stick of Degree Black + White in Pure Rain at home with my go-to lotion and purfume, and then I put the same scent of Degree Dry Spray in my gym bag for after my post-workout shower!

 Photo by Stephen Cheong-Leen https://cheongleen.com/

Photo by Stephen Cheong-Leen https://cheongleen.com/

If you want to try out the new Degree Women UltraClear Black + White line, I recommend checking CVS. From 4/15/18 to 4/21/18, Degree is Buy 1, Get 1 50% with your CVS Card, and you can get $4 in ExtraBucks® Rewards when you Buy 3 Degree Women’s Deodorant Products. I love coupons and deals (I'm my mother's daughter, what can I say) so I highly recommend going that route to give it a shot! Plus you can try the dry spray if you're like me and are curious!

What new classes are you going to try this spring, and what go-to items/outfits help you get there?

--B

 Photo by Stephen Cheong-Leen https://cheongleen.com/

Photo by Stephen Cheong-Leen https://cheongleen.com/

What to expect when you're expecting...a half marathon!

What to expect when you're expecting...a half marathon!