With gyms and studios packed the first few weeks of January, figuring out where and how to start can be overwhelming.
But if improving your health and getting into better shape is one of your 2024 goals, today’s post might help.
I’ve consistently worked out most of my adult life, but I REALLY lost my way when COVID happened. Battling back while having a baby and entering my 40s has been humbling.
The older I get, the harder it is to find time, the more taxing workouts are on my body, and it takes forever to see results.
But don’t be discouraged and don’t give up because those results, even though they are slow to the surface, are worth it. You’ll feel better mentally and physically, your mood will improve dramatically, and you’ll lower your risk of all sorts of diseases. Just have patience.
The best advice I can give you as a working mom with a million balls in the air who still figures out how to squeeze in workouts is to begin small and build momentum.
Go for a walk, or find a low-impact strength workout on YouTube. Find something you can manage that will give you quick wins and build off that.
And, instead of beating yourself up when you fall off track, act like it never happened and jump back in.
It’s also important to try different workouts or classes. For years, I was committed to spin and strength and took the occasional barre class; I never walked into a yoga or pilates studio until I was in my 40s – now, it’s the cornerstone of my routine. And I’m not flexible, literally and figuratively.
So don’t write anything off; you might be shocked at what works for you; keep an open mind.
With that, you’re going to want some cute workout clothes. It makes a difference. You will have a better workout and increase your motivation if you feel good about yourself and do not roll in looking like a bridge troll. (Trust me, I’ve done the leg work.)
7 Piece Athleisure Capsule
When I get dressed to workout I keep it simple and limit my choices because I don’t want to spend any energy figuring out what to wear. These are the exact pieces I own and wear almost every day. I mix and match neutrals, like black, white and tan so if I get dressed in the dark I know everything matches.
When you find a piece that works buy multiples so you’re not waiting on the next load of wash to be done.
You can spend a small fortune if you want on gym clothes, I don’t. Below you’ll see where I spend and where I save.
Spend a little more on a good bra. I find most sports bras have very little support so I look for one that keeps me up and in.
The Running Time High Support Bra from Lululemon ($68) is a new favorite. Available in a wide range of sizes, it’s ideal for running or high impact workouts – but I wear it for everything.
Run Times Bra High Support
With two athletic teenage girls, I have a house full of Lululemon. So, while I don’t wear it frequently, I know the brand well.
I do have several pairs of Lulu leggings, and they are great, but let me tell you, the CRY YOGA Butterluxe High-Waisted Leggings are nearly identical and under $35.
The fit, the feel, the quality, and how they wash are the same.
The ONLY downside is that they stop at a size XL, but they offer three-length options.
For reference, I am 5’10 and wear a medium in the 28″ length, also available in 25″ and 31″ for any of you with extra long legs.
These get FIVE Stars from me.
Butterluxe High Waisted Lounge Legging
Next, you’ll want a variety of tanks. You can play with prints and patterns if you like, but I’ve leaned into basics and neutrals; it feels more polished.
These, again, are from CRZ YOGA.
Neither of these has a built-in bra – which I prefer; they are super soft, allow you to sweat comfortably, and fit and wash well.
I’m not precious with my laundry; all my workout gear goes right in the washer and dryer, and I’ve had no issue with fading or shrinking.
Butterluxe Double Lined Tank
Half Zip Pullover
I recently discovered this half-zip pullover, and within a week ordered it in four colors: white, black, dark pink, and the featured color “coffee grey.” There are 20 colors to choose from.
It’s a fabulous, super comfortable find, and while it says it’s cropped, it’s not.
I took the size large and had room for layers underneath, if you’re between sizes go down one. I’ve also started to layer a simple quilted vest on top, and it’s not too bulky ( so far, I’ve worn it under this black vest from Amazon Essentials and this one from J.Crew.)
Half Zip Pullover
This tee shirt from The Gym People is very much cropped, but don’t let that scare you. It’s super cute on, and since our high-waisted leggings, you’re not showing your belly.
I purchased these in July before we left for the shore, with very little expectation. I ended up wearing them almost every day.
They are light and breezy but still give you shape – I felt good in them, modern, not frumpy, you know?
Crop Top T-Shirt Short Sleeve
The Gym People$20.00
Set aside some of your budget and invest in a good pair of sneakers.
Hoka is one of my favorite brands; they give you support and traction while making you feel like you are walking on clouds.
Their Bondi 8 Running Shoe is my second pair since my middle daughter stole my first. (The downside of a house full of girls, all with the same shoe size.)
Bondi 8 Running Shoe
Half – Calf Socks
Finally, a girlfriend of mine recently asked me, “What are we doing with our socks and leggings these days?”
And it’s a fair question because we see trends circling back to the 80s with socks worn OVER our leggings.
It looks cute, fresh, and easy to add a layer, so I splurge on a few pairs of Bombas Half Calf socks ($14).
* You want “Half Calf style” rather than “Calf style,” or they will be too long and bulky.
Remember that this look only works best if you keep the elements of your outfits neutral (check!) and your sneakers white/mostly white so your socks don’t clash.
Use a solid white sock to highlight pretty logos in black.