Did you know?

Cheer

For five years I was a cheerleader, and I was even Captain of the varsity squad my senior year! Many people who find out about this fact today think its very surprising.  I guess I’ve lost my spirit! In all fairness, we were never a very “spirited” team, but we did win the Sharpest Arm Motions and Most Talented Team awards. We also were pretty intense with our stunting — I even broke my foot one season when I fell from the top of a pyramid!

My favorite sport to cheer for was men’s basketball — mostly because it was inside and warm. To satisfy my nostalgia, I’ve curated a little “Varsity Collection” featuring grown-up versions of pom poms, hair bows, baseball tees, letter jackets, and more!

Just a fun little peek into my past!  Sorry about the photo quality.  None of these pictures were taken digitally #vintage!

Gym Etiquette for the New Gym Rat

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Tracy Anderson’s Mat Workout / Trader Joe’s Very Green Juice

Were you one of the millions of people who vowed in their New Years Resolutions to start going to the gym?  If so, good for you!  I, too, think that 2014 is my year to get healthy! But for someone who hasn’t been to the gym for awhile, it may be hard to smoothly integrate yourself with those already-dedicated gym rats.  Here are a few Modern Girl tips for proper gym etiquette:

1. Take it serious
Those who are hardcore working out at 6am have a goal and a plan — get up, get their work out in, shower, and head off to work. It might be arms day, legs day, cardio, ab work, etc., and you should know what your plan is too. Decide what you want to do before you get there so you’re not aimlessly wandering around the equipment getting in someone’s way.

2. Know the gym rules
If you’re going to be going to the gym at a peak time, there are probably some rules about how long you can spend on a cardio machine — make sure to look for a sign, or inquire at the front desk. Gym rules also include re-stacking  your weights, wiping down machines after use, and leaving your cell phone in your gym bag! If you’re using your cell to listen to music, make sure to set it up before you get there and stow it away in a pocket or armband.

3. Be clean!
Nobody wants to be working out next to someone who looks (and smells) like they haven’t showered since 2013. Just because you’re at the gym doesn’t mean you can’t be presentable. Pin/pull your hair back, and be sure to wash your gym clothes after every workout. It’s not only nice for your fellow gym goers, but its good for your skin too! Sweat in clothes harbors bacteria — yuck! It’s also a good idea to stash some face wipes in your bag post-workout to immediately remove pore-clogging sweat, bacteria and dirt from your skin.

4. Take it slow
Don’t be intimidated by others around you who may be marathon training or bench pressing 3x your weight. Go at your own pace and listen to your body! Over training or pushing yourself too hard can lead to injury. If you’re not sure how to do certain exercises or how to use some of the equipment, enlist the help of one of the gym trainers. Sometimes a session or two may be included in a new membership!

Modern Girl Gift Guide: Fitness Fanatic

Fitness Fanatic

These Nike Studio Wraps are the top notch barre footwear.

This Puma Fit watch will help any fitness fanatic keep their splits and heart rate in check.

Let them wear their fitness mantra while at the gym with this cheeky tank.

The Queens of fitness DVDs are Jillian Michaels and Tracy Anderson.

Help keep their downward dog grip with a Stella McCartney x Adidas yoga mat.

Start a little heathy competition with some Nike Fuel Bands.

Help them tote their gear in style with a gym-friendly nylon Marc by Marc Jacobs bag.

Protect their health and the environment with this glass BKR bottle. I love mine!

Here are a few more gift ideas for your fitness fanatic friends and family!

Happy Marathon Monday!

5k before

Today it’s Marathon Monday in Boston!  The runners have such gorgeous weather, not too hot or too cold!  I know a year or two ago the temperatures had hit a record high and people were deferring their entries into the race because it was so hot.   I’ve only ran a 5k once, and after the race both my legs and lungs wanted to collapse, so the fact that today people are running 26.2 miles is so impressive to me.  I had such trouble running the 3-ish miles of the 5k, I don’t think I could ever run 26.2.

So, congratulations to ALL of the runners in today’s Boston Marathon!  You are all winners in my book!   The picture above is from my first (and so far last) 5k race.  Someday I’ll run another one.  Someday.

Headband: Lululemon  /  Shirt: Nike via TJMaxx

Winter workout

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This fall I started to run outside in preparation for a 5k race in October.  I was never very good at running, but I got fit for some proper sneakers and hit the pavement.  I was very proud to announce that I survived my first road race, even though it was one of the most difficult things I had ever done!  Now that the weather is consistently giving us sub zero temperatures, I am definitely in no mood to be lacing up my sneaks to freeze outside.

As a way to stay out of the cold weather and still be able to exercise, I have been turning to some of Jillian Michaels‘ DVDs and working out right in my own living room.  A yoga mat (so you don’t have to do crunches and leg lifts on the floor) and some light hand weights are all you need for most of her videos.  I got both of mine from a local TJ Maxx.  And let me assure you, her workouts are intense!  The first few times I tried her No More Trouble Zones video, I struggled to finish.  And her Yoga Meltdown made me (and my aching shoulders) really appreciate the power of a downward dog pose!

How do you workout when its cold outside?  Do you brave the temps and run outside anyway?  Or do you bring your workout inside for the season?