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Are you ready to hit the gym this year and finally get back into shape?
Before I had kids, I was mostly happy with my body. I didn’t exercise much, but I didn’t really need to. Now, after bearing and birthing my babies, I don’t like seeing myself naked.
This mom bod gave the miraculous gift of life to three humans, but it no longer looks or feels like it is mine. It’s mostly my tummy area that I don’t like, but I’m also heavier than I was pre-kids and certain body parts aren’t as firm as they used to be. (Any other mamas try to hold back sneezes because stuff comes out places other than your mouth?)
That’s why lately I’ve been working out more than I used to.
I've been doing it by waking up early to workout.
Exercising is good for our mental health as well, and we all know that mamas go a bit insane when we don’t take time to care for our brains. “Mom brain” has no cure, but being active can definitely help us suffer from it less.
I’m certainly not an expert when it comes to fitness, but I know that I feel happiest working out when I’ve got the right stuff. (Anyone else have a New Kids on the Block flashback just now?) What is the “right stuff?” So glad you asked! Below is a rundown of all the items you need to look and feel your best at the gym.
OK Mama, let's get stylin
so we can be the best dressed mom at the gym
- Start with the newest sweat wicking fabrics to stay comfortable
- The right sports bra is a MUST!
- A Stylin' tank on top will make your outfit pop
- Keep those feet stylin' and comfy with the right pair of kicks
- Finally, you need a new bag for your gear!
Sweat wicking fabrics are all the rage
According to personal trainer Chad Moeller, cotton “absorbs every ounce of sweat, which makes you feel like you’re wearing a wet towel.” This is why synthetic fabrics are a better choice. When clothing becomes moist, there is a greater likelihood for bacteria to grow. If skin is exposed to clothes that have bacteria, it can lead to fungal infections. This is why it’s important to wash your clothes after each wear. Plus, you’ll feel more fresh the next time you wear them to exercise. Sweat-wicking fabrics are more bacteria-resistant and also prevent your clothes from being drenched in sweat in the first place, so look for yoga pants or exercise tops that allow your skin to breathe.
The right sports bra makes all the difference
Look for a sports bra that keeps your breasts from bouncing too much but also gives you room to breathe with moisture-wicking fabrics. Wear alone or under a tank. I prefer to wear a tank over mine so that it helps cover my mom belly bulge.
Women with larger chests can have upper back and shoulder pain if their tatas aren’t tucked in tightly during their workout. Dr. Darria Long Gillespie says that without proper support, this can “cause the breast tissue to stretch, damaging it and increasing your chances of sagging in the future.” However, a sports bra that is too tight can constrict breathing.
Then cover it up with a stylin' tank top
And I don’t know about you, but when I hit the gym, or go anywhere that isn’t my home, I like to be as fashionable as possible. You never know who you’ll run into when you’re out and about. Even if I’m working out at home, there’s something about feeling stylish that keeps me motivated. This is why so many brands are making fashionable fitness apparel. When you look and feel good, you do good. You do your brain and your body good.
Finish it up with the right pair of kicks
Your feet will thank you for choosing the right workout shoes. If you are not a gym regular, then the first few visits will surely end with your feet screaming "what have you done to me"!
Make sure to choose a good pair of athletic shoes with the right combination of support, flexibility, and style.
I like to keep a pair of Rothy's in my gym bag to wear home after the workout.
The Right Accessories MAKE ALl the difference
You need a stylin' bag!
Besides stylish and comfortable workout clothing, having all the popular accessories can make your time at the gym more enjoyable. You need a sports bag to carry your water bottle, towel, headphones, etc. in and having a great gym bag will make you feel like one of the cool kids.
A headband will keep your makeup looking fab!
If you’re a working mom, you can easily carry your workout clothes and gear in your gym bag to and from the office. You might also consider getting a sports headband to wear when you exercise, to keep your face from getting so sweaty. If you plan on heading back to work after your workout, this helps keep sweat from ruining your makeup.
However, you really shouldn’t work out while you’re wearing a full face of makeup. Sweat, dirt and oil can lead to irritation and make you break out. It’s better to hit the gym before you apply your makeup, and only wear a light sunscreen if needed. But even a moisturizer can get greasy and gross on your face, so if you’re comfortable exercising with a bare face, that’s healthiest for your skin.
A little more about makeup at they gym
Just put your makeup on in the locker room or restroom after you’ve showered and/or cooled off. You definitely don’t want to get dressed if you’re still sweaty and wet, so make sure you are dry and clean before putting your non-workout clothes on. I personally schedule my workout time for when I have time to shower afterward because I don’t want to walk around as an even bigger (and smellier) hot mess than I already am. (don't forget your deodorant!)
I also like the idea of putting makeup on a freshly washed face post-workout, since I know applying it -or reapplying it- to a dirty, sweaty face is not going to do me any favors. If I get the chance to wear makeup, I want to wear it the best I can!
You also don’t want to wear perfume while you exercise because the fragrance evaporates when your skin heats up. This means that if you’re not wearing deodorant, your body odor becomes very strong and you are not a pleasant smelling person. I know you have no one but the hot guy lifting weights yourself to impress at the gym, but you don’t want to get a reputation as being the “smelly mom.” You definitely won’t make any gym friends if you are more rancid smelling than the lunch leftovers sitting at the bottom of the trash can. Just slap on some deodorant and apply more as needed once you’re done working out.
Let's wrap this thing up
Going to the gym is not my favorite thing in the world. Maybe you dread working out too. But mama, if you up your style game in the workout apparel department, you might discover that making time to exercise becomes a new priority in your schedule. You might actually look forward to working out!
Get yourself a few fashionable fitness pieces, a stylish gym bag, a snazzy pair of running shoes and a sweatband. You might not have a clue what you’re doing on the machines at the gym, but at least you’ll look cute while breaking a sweat.