It looks like it’s that time of the summer – time for back-to-school shopping! But while you’re revamping your closet with that oh-so-fabulous blazer and that maxi dress you just have to have, leave room in your closet and budget for some cute new workout clothes too! After all, exciting new workout gear can make it that much easier to motivate yourself to leave the comfort of your apartment or dorm room, head to the gym, and keep off that freshman (or senior!) 15.
Pumped Up Kicks
Did you know that you’re supposed to replace your running shoes every year if you’re a fairly regular runner or gym-goer? And if you pride yourself on working out every day, you should replace them more often than that! According to Runner’s World [link: runnersworld.com] you should aim to replace your shoes about every 400-500 miles because the support in the shoe starts to break down at that point. In other words, if you’re running about 3 miles a day, you should replace your shoes after approximately five or six months. So this fall, trade out your old, worn-out pair of Nikes for a new pair of bright kicks. Your feet will thank you!
When you’re shopping for new running shoes, head to a specialty store that sells only running gear (like Marathon Sports) or just one brand (like New Balance), or head to an athletic store with a range of choices (like City Sports) to make sure that you can get professional assistance to ensure you get the right type of shoes for your feet. Everyone runs and walks differently, so when it comes to running shoes, it’s not one size fits all! We love these cute and supportive kicks.
Nike Free Run +3, $100, Nordstrom
ASICS GEL-Blur, $99.95, Nordstrom
Brooks Pure Flow, $89.95, Nordstrom
New Balance Minimus Ionix, $89.99, newbalance.com
Smashing Sports Bras
Bright, neon colors are popular right now, and even sports bras are no exception to that trend. Pair a cute, bright sports bra with a white tank so that the color really pops and you’ll be everyone’s envy at the gym. Or, if you’re daring and can handle a double dose of brightness, pick out a super cute sports bra and wear it with your favorite shorts on a long run through campus – no shirt required! You’ll feel calm, cool and oh-so-collected as you run by your classmates.
While shopping for sports bras, it’s also important to head to a specialty store to get the right fit. Stores like Lululemon, Nordstrom, Victoria’s Secret and Gap all have specialists who can help you find a bra with the levels of support and comfort that you need. It can often take a while to find the right bra for your body and level of activity, so try them on in the store and be patient.
While the Champion Cami bra is made for women with smaller cup sizes, the VS Angel Sports bra has underwire cups, giving it a medium level of support. The Run Engage bra from Lululemon is also made for medium to high support and is built for ultimate comfort with a wide band under the bust and breathable mesh fabric! As you can see, every bra is made differently so it can take a bit of research and trial-and-error to find the best fit for you.
Run Engage Bra, $48, Lululemon Athletica
C9 By Champion Seamless Cami Bra, $16.99, Target
Comfy-Chic Workout Tops
No need to wear your threadbare t-shirt to the gym this season! Instead, pick out a cute athletic top for your workout sesh. With athletic-wear brands like Lululemon becoming more and more popular, it’s even acceptable to wear some of these cute tanks and sweatshirts to class with your favorite pair of yoga pants.
Because there are so many different options for running tops, it’s important that you try on a few before you buy one. First, pay attention to the fabric - mesh tops allow for breathability (and less sweat!) while cotton tops tend to feel more comfortable against your skin. Mesh and nylon tops may be better for longer, more strenuous exercising, whereas cotton tops are better for lower impact, less sweaty activities.
You should also try on a few different styles and cuts of tops. Racerback tanks (like the Lucy Cross Country Cutie tank) give your breasts minimal support, so you’ll need to pair those with a good sports bra. Other tops (like the Lululemon Catch Me tank) have built-in sports bras for added support and easy movability!
Catch Me Tank, $58, Lululemon Athletica
Cross Country Cutie Tank, $44.99, Lucy
Pink Lotus Crop Dolman Sleeve Top, $44.90, Nordstrom
The Best of the Bottoms
You’ve got your tops covered, but no closet is complete without a pair of comfy workout shorts. We guarantee that you’ll love Victoria’s Secret PINK’s Yoga Shorts. A go-to pair of yoga pants is also a key staple for college life, as is a durable pair of leggings (try the Zellas below and you’ll never go back!) that can be worn both to the gym and to class.
Zella Live-in Leggings, $33.90, Nordstrom
The Groove Pant, $98.00, Lululemon
No collegiette’s gym bag is complete without a few accessories to help make her time at the gym extra stylish. Keep these Emi-Jay hair ties in your cute gym bag for the mornings when you forget to slide an extra on your wrist, and don’t forget your Contigo water bottle – it has a storage compartment for your keys, money and credit cards! With these sweet finds, you’ll wow your gym-mates, and with a killer playlist on your iPod to go along with it, your workout could even be (gasp) somewhat fun!
Must Have Bag, $79.99, Under Armour
Contigo AUTOSEAL Kangaroo Water Bottle with Storage Compartment, $12.99, Amazon.com
Emi-Jay Hair Ties, $6.50 3-pack, Nordstrom
Natural Fitness Eco-Smart Yoga Mat, $19.99, Target
Belkin Easefit Sport iPhone Armband , $19.99, Amazon.com
Women’s Timex Sleek 50 Lap Mid Watch, $46.99, Road Runner Sports
Wave those untoned arms goodbye as you get dressed and head off to the gym. There’s no better motivator for working out than getting to show off your cute new gear (and in-shape bod)!