Monday, February 24, 2014

"Almine's Top 10 Workout Clothing Must-Haves."

"Everyday Is A Fashion Show, & The World Is The Runway."
~ Coco Chanel ~
Let's face it.  Every girl knows it.  When you get a new article of clothing, it puts an extra "pep in your step."  Whether it be a new pair of heels, a new accessory or a new sports bra.  Having clothes that are both fashionable & functional are important to me.  They have to be able to weather lots of trails, hard workouts...essentially blood, sweat and tears.  However, I am still a girl.  And that means I don't care to look like a boy.  I like to play hard, but still enjoy pretty patterns, lines, cuts and colors.
I've been a certified fitness trainer and licensed acupuncturist since 2005.  This means, I've heard the same fitness/health questions over and over.  Mostly from women.  And the same question comes up often.  "Almine, what do you wear when you do (insert the sport/activity)?"
After "test-driving" many workout clothes and gear for various sports, I've listed some Top 10 favorites here for you.  Rest assured, I've tested these pieces in a variety of conditions and weather, so if I recommend them, I promise, I've put them to the test.
1) "SkirtSports" Redemption Capri:  I buy 2 of these at a time, because of how fast I "burn" through these (holes, you name it).  I wear them climbing, for "CrossFit," trail-running, yoga, etc.  They wick sweat away from the body wonderfully, and I love the way they fit.
Climbing In "Redemption Capris"
Putting Them To The Test In "CrossFit"

2) "Tough Chik" Visor:  Let's face it.  I'm a girl who likes to play outside.  With that comes the responsibility of taking care of my skin.  I've gotten more aware of this as I approach 29 (just kidding!)  :-)   But, yes, keeping the sun out of my face is becoming more important to me, so a good visor, that wicks sweat off my forehead is crucial.  One that has a cute slogan on it I like even better.

Out Snow-shoe running up by Mt. Bachelor
3) "HOKA" Running Shoes:   I was first turned onto "HOKAS" by my friend, ultra-runner, Catra Corbett.  Catra is the only woman in the world to have run over 100 one hundred mile+ races.  Yes, do the math:  that's over 100 x 100 miles (& she still keeps going without sore feet!).  That's good enough for a meager trail-runner like myself, who just enjoys getting her pup out for a nice 5-8 mile run a few days a week.  I do own 3 different pairs of "HOKAS" for 3 different types of terrain.  I wear the "Bondi B's" for road-running, the "Mafates" for trail-running, and the "EVO Stinsons" for "hybrid" terrain (maybe some road, some trail, some scramble).  I love them, and won't run any kind of distance in any other shoe at this point. 

Running Through OR. Coast Old-Growth Forest In My "Mafates"
Additional "Mafate" Gear-Review Written By Me For "The GearCaster"
4.) "SKHOOP" Down Skirt:  Yes, I do end up "skirting" everything I can.  Reminder:  I like to wear lipstick, I like perfume, I like skirts...and I like to sweat.  All those things make fashion and fitness fun for me.  I was first introduced to "SKHOOP" down skirts, when I was ice climbing in Ouray, CO., several years ago.  Like any winter sport, you're not cold when you're moving, but just standing there, belaying...yeah, you get really cold.  Especially, if you've just come down from a climb, and you're drenched in sweat.  Having something to keep your core warm, while you're belaying your climbing partner, is wonderful.  Then, when you're ready to climb, you're still nice and warmed up.  It feels like a down blanket wrapped around your middle-section.
Me & my ice climbing gal-pals, hamming it up in Ouray this year in our "SKHOOP" skirts
5.)  "SkirtSports" Cruiser Bike Girl Skirt:  Once again, "SkirtSports" comes through for me.  I really do like, pretty much everything they make.  I love road and mtn. biking in their chamois-padded bike skirts.  Each of the built-in bike shorts (underneath the skirt) have elastic grips, so they don't hike up while you ride.  In addition, pockets on each leg fit gels, spares or iPod.  I've finished a mtn. bike ride with a nice dinner with friends, not worrying about having to change clothes.  The skirt is cute enough to wear on/off the bike.
Getting Dirty...In My "Cruiser Girl" Cycling Skirt
6.)  "Affinity" One-Shoulder Sports Bra:  I really love this sports bra.  I get bored of the same old pattern of sports bras out there.  I like the cut on this one, with the pretty lines, and yes...(drum roll)...it IS functional, ladies.  It has great support.  I've put it to the test in "CrossFit" with box-jumps and "double-unders."  It passed.  :-)
Rocking my 2nd workout of the day in the "Affinity" sports bra.  It gets my 2 thumbs up!
7.)  "Brooks" FLOW Shoes:  These are my "go-to" shoes for "CrossFit."  They're not completely "minimalist," so I still feel safe doing run-sprints on the pavement, box-jumps, etc. in them (read: they have arch support), but they're not too large a sole to get in the way of lifting.  That makes them pretty versatile for the majority of "CrossFit" WODs (workout of the day).  I'm on my 2nd pair now, and plan to get a 3rd pair soon.

Rockin' My "Brooks" FLOW kicks, post "CrossFit"
8.)  "FLUX" Beanie:  I love beanies.  They're versatile, and keep my ears warm, while I'm doing any activity.  I like to support local artists, and our "FLUX" team signature beanies are made in Hood River, OR. by a kick-ass lady!  :-)
"FLUX" logo on the beanie, with a variety of colors to choose from
9.)  "SkirtSports" Gym Girl Ultra Running Skirt:  The best running skirt I've run in, hands down.  Love the light-weight material, which wicks wonderfully.  This skirt is versatile and stylish.  Another athletic skirt I've come right off the trails, and to another engagement wearing, without concern of needing to change in between.  Want to switch from running in shorts to trying a running skirt?  This is the one.

"Gym Girl" Running Skirt Hitting My Favorite Trail
10.) "SkirtSports" Versa Jacket:   I've gone through 3 of these.  Yes, you read that right.  I've put the "Versa Jacket" to the test in torrential downpours, extreme wind conditions, snow, sleet...you name it.  I love this jacket.  Its wind-proof, water-proof, has breathable panels around the armpits (i.e. zero "B.O. Factor"),   Its reflective material is great for night running, has double-layered wrist warmers, and a large back pocket, where you can put snacks, keys, etc.

The "Versa Jacket" comes in both pink & silver  :-)
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Howard Thurman