Yesterday I talked a little about my shift from exercising in the gym to exercising outdoors. While the mental and physical health benefits are fantastic, exercising outdoors in the Seattle winter can be a bit daunting. It’s cold! It’s dark! It’s raining! It’s certainly easier to stay inside and bake some cookies, but having the right gear helps banish those excuses. (Let me clarify: I still bake the cookies, because yum. But I also run.)
I know. You are jealous of my posing skills.
Here are some of my current favorites:
Much like with anything in Seattle, rain can’t stop you from going out or you’d never leave your house. For the last few months I was slogging my way through runs in my 5 year-old sweats, but they can get pretty heavy to carry around when they’re soaking wet. In early January I made a trip to Old Navy, who was running a sale on their active wear, and man oh man, I’m in love. Major apparel brands can cost $75 just for a pair of running tights, and I was able to scoop up a pair of fitted compression tights, compression capris, semi-fitted compression pants and a flattering and comfy running jacket for $62, not to mention a few other $3 tanks I’ll use for workout layers. The great part is, all of the pants have a hidden pocket in the waistband, so when it warms up and I don’t have a jacket with pockets, I can still keep my keys and even a credit card handy. Most importantly, all the clothes feel great and keep me streamlined on my runs.
Look! The jacket has thumb holes to keep sleeves down and in place so hands stay toasty.
Let’s not forget about the importance of sunscreen for any outdoor activities! Even when it’s gray outside, applying sunscreen is part of my routine.
Spotify has long been one of my favorite apps for music, featuring artists ranging from Miley to Raffi (for those baby bed-times, of course!), but only recently did I use their workout playlists. They’ve got a mix for everything – yoga, dance workouts, lifting weights, etc. They have 2 running playlists that keep me pepped up, plus they’ve done all the work for me in putting together the songs. I don’t always listen to music when I run, but when I do, Spotify is my go-to.
Carrying a phone to run can be a pain, but phone are great for music, apps to track your progress, and for dialing if you get into trouble. I ordered this armband to keep everything snug and I love these headphones to keep the music flowing.
RunKeeper is a great app for tracking workouts. It records distance, time, calories burned, and lets you compare your overall pace between runs and also within your run. Pretty sweet. For me, one of the things that is fun about running is the push to improve myself. I’m still getting into running, and only recently ran my first straight mile in years, so it’s encouraging to see progress.
Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run by Alexandra Heminsley. This book follows the journey of a non-runner who decides to tackle her first marathon, and it includes both her story as well as her running tips. As someone getting back into running after years away from it, I could relate to a lot of the author’s challenges and triumphs. It’s a fun, quick read that is both motivational and informational.
Fitness Magazine and Self Magazine – I don’t subscribe to too many magazines, and when I do it’s usually using credit card points, but these two magazines are my airport indulgence. On the girly, playful side, the magazines make fitness fun and they’re a great motivator when I’m traveling. I keep issues of these magazines longer than any other kinds, since they’re chock full of workout routines and healthy recipes.