I set out for my first run on a breezy day last April wearing a pair of old sneakers I dug out of the depths of my closet and armed with an arsenal of Nicky Minaj and Flo Rida to keep me company. For someone who had once been in really great shape, it was crazy how quickly I was out of breath and had to walk! How could this be? I used to run cross-country! And play soccer! And about half a dozen other organized athletic activities! What had happened was I graduated from high school and took a break from sports… one that accidentally lasted a decade… oops! The day after that very humbling run, I mapped out two miles in our neighborhood, and decided that i would do that route every day whether I was walking or running until I could finally run the whole thing.  I was determined to be fit again! Did you make fitness resolutions this year?  While they aren’t a necessity, I’ve found that investing in new work out clothes has been major motivation when I’m going through a fitness slump. Plus, I always end up running errands or making a quick stop at the market after the gym or a long hike. I feel so much better bumping into people in my favorite Nike pants and Lululemon top than I do in my old sweatpants and college tee!

Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re planning an activewear shopping spree…
  1. Look for clothes that are form-fitting.  It’s safer than baggy clothes since you’re less likely trip and it won’t get caught in any equipment.
  2. Look for fabrics like NIKE Dri-FIT or Polartec PowerDry if you are going to be doing a lot of cardio.  They have moisture wicking properties that will keep the sweat from sitting in the fabric and making you feel sticky.  If yoga or pilates is more your style, look for garments with spandex or polyester that have a lot of stretch.  Also, all of these synthetic fabrics will hold their shape and size over time better than cotton.
  3. When purchasing shoes, find out a little bit about your arch and which way your foot tends to roll when you run. Certain shoes are better for different kinds of feet and runners. Also there are specific shoes for different activities — walking, hiking, aerobics, etc. There are a lot of things to factor in and these little things can make a big difference, so be sure you’re speaking with an associate who knows their stuff when shopping!
  4. I’ve noticed that you get what you pay for when it comes to activewear.  The pieces I’ve bought at NIKE or Lululemon last so much longer than the ones I’ve purchased at discount stores.  You’re investing in your health by getting in shape, so don’t be afraid to invest in a few great pieces to help you get there!

I’ve also found that If I do have to run a few errands after a long workout, a little lipstick goes a long way.  I also keep this bright pink vest in my car to throw on — as my body temperature cools down i tend to get a little chilly post-workout.

If you just started getting back into the swing of things this year, don’t be deterred if you don’t see results right away.  It took me a long time to build back my endurance, but last week I finished my first 4 mile run and I’ve never felt better!  If you haven’t started yet, there is no better time than right now. Beautiful spring weather is just around the corner, so lace up those shoes and get started!

Get the look:

Nike shoes / vest similar to this one /Nike pants / Lululemon top similar to this one / watch from Target / 3.1 Philip Lim bag similar to this one

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Jen Pinkston