Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Workout Gear- Love it or hate it

I have noticed that when it comes to clothing I exercise in, I either LOVE it or despise (and often end up returning) it. Workout clothing should enhance, not hinder, one's performance. To me this is a simple request. Yet, few products/ brands have actually fulfilled this wish.

I am a rather well-endowed girl. With this said, every female who works out at a high intensity has undoubtedly encountered the trials and tribulations of the dreaded sports bra. Chose the cute thin-strapped bra? Well, unless you are an A cup or doing gentle yoga, this WILL NOT hold the girls in their proper positions. Let's say you know that the thin, cute, colorful bra won't hold everything but instead go for an inexpensive brand. You then find- quickly I might add- that to get any real support, you'd better pile two or three on top of each other. How functional is that, I ask?

And then there are the "special joys" of us larger-chested women. I experienced the fun of strap chafing when training for my last big race. This did not enhance my performance or contribute to my comfort. I happened upon, thanks to an episode of The Oprah Winfrey show. This sports bra is NOT a tiny, cute, sexy item. But let me tell you, it does what it says and stands up to abuse. Perfect! I love when I find workout wear that actually helps me perform better. I literally don't run when I am not wearing my Enell bra. The last thing I want is to hep gravity move the girls South!

In regards to outerwear, I cannot rave enough about how much I enjoy running in CW-X running tights. I had problems with my IT Band that just would not resolve. I ended up trying these tights as a last resort. Some types have extra IT band support; other types in this line have extra knee support, quad, hamstring, etc. Within three weeks, I felt like I had an IT band transplant! They are pricey, but I have had excellent service ordering the tights through They have a great return policy!!!!! Great people and great service. I run in these exclusively now. I went for a run in my yoga/ pilates pants and noticed a definite difference- the CW-X tights help with stabilizing the muscles, allowing them to put more effort into the actual work. Take a peek at The engineering alone put into these pants is amazing. They are like NASA workout gear!

The last component of any workout wardrobe is shoes. Shoes are the most important item a runner or intense fitness enthusiast can own. Wrong shoes= injury. I see many weekend warriors running in shoes that simply are not meant to be a running shoe. They would be better off in my opinion to run barefoot than to run in a walking type shoe without proper support. If you are going to be doing any type of running (short or long distance) or are tackling a new fitness activity, be sure to get a proper shoe fitting. There are many running specific stores that can analyze your stride and recommend shoes that help, not hurt, your performance. I love Road Runner Sports- they are very helpful and also have an excellent return policy. Spend money on shoes. Your body will thank you when you are 76 and still running!

Workout clothes should DO something for you. Sure a cute top is great, but let's be real, functional is the real goal. Of course, a girl would like a clothing item that is both functional and fashionable- these items are just hard to find! And that is why I keep shopping! :)

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