End of year top ten 2015.

Hey Aimee, you got an end of year top ten list for us? It’s the end of the year. It’s list time. It’s what people do…

Sure, pretend person who asks me questions to prompt blog posts. Of course I can do that for you. Here you go…

PRETTY-SWEATY’S TOP TEN FAVORITE FITNESS THINGS 2015

10. FAVORITE WORKOUT PANTS: Athleta Chaturanga. Yes still. They’ll probably be knocked down a peg when I start really running again in 2016, because I doubt they’d stay up. But until then, the stretchy, never too tight, available in infinite lengths and colors and patterns, INCLUDING a new high waist version, are still my go-to. Because pants that never make me feel fat will never not be my favorites.

9. FAVORITE FITNESS TRACKER: UP2 by Jawbone. Best looking. User-friendly and nicely designed app.

8. FAVORITE PROTEIN BAR: Quest Bars, mother fucker! They taste like magic and are made of sparkles! Plus: fiber.

7. FAVORITE PROTEIN SHAKE: Sun Warrior. Chocolate flavor. It’s vegan, so it’s like you’re drinking a salad. (I tell myself.) Add spinach, psyllium husks, cocoa, a pinch of salt, and a little bit of stevia, and you’re good. It looks green, but it tastes like a Wendy’s frosty. Chocolate + Spinach works.

6. FAVORITE JOG BRA: Under Armour Armour Bra. I have faith that eventually I’ll find the Moving Comfort (honorable mention) bra for me, but it only took one trip to Sports Authority dressing room to find an Under Armor one. They’re color-coded for cup size, and they don’t have too many options, which is makes finding the right one for you quick and easy… If you know what size you are… Which I don’t because it changes every month. (Pregnancy should be considered a 2-3 year process for your body.) They have different impact ratings, but I don’t understand the point of anything that’s not rated for “Hi-Impact” (or why they don’t spell out “high”). Their H-I-G-H impact sports bra is called the Armour Bra. It’s well-engineered. Easy to get on and off (back clasps). And doesn’t cut into your armpit fat. In fact, it has special soft and stretchy bits around the armpits specifically so it doesn’t do that. VERY WELL DONE, UNDER ARMOUR! VERY WELL DONE.

5. FAVORITE WORKOUT: I still stand by a combo of boot camp and barre. Boot camp is basically the OG of HIIT. And any barre program will do. But I really like Suzanne Bowen’s Barre Amped series of DVDs as a lighter alternative to The Dailey Method. #yesiamstilloutofshape

4. FAVORITE FITNESS MAGAZINE: Experience Life. It’s put out by Lifetime Fitness, and it’s a healthy lifestyle magazine. A lot about nutrition, wellness, life balance, etc. It’s a good for when you get burnt out on Shape, Self, Womens’ Fitness, Oxygen, etc. It’s also great if you feel like you’re always swimming upstream while trying to live a healthy lifestyle. This magazine will make you feel like you’re not crazy, and not alone. (This is me: “Wait. People still eat pizza? Who? Who still eats pizza? …Wait. They still sell fat-free shit? People still buy fat-free shit? Where the fuck am I? Has nobody read anything in the last ten years? What is going on in the world???”) Also: you won’t be bombarded with fitness models and celebrities. It’s a safe space.

3. FAVORITE NEW(ISH) FITNESS LABEL: Olympia Sport. Strong, yet beautiful stuff. Goddess wear.

2. PRETTIEST WORKOUT PIECE: ALO Goddess Leggings. Who doesn’t want to look like an off-duty ballerina? Nobody. That’s who. And that’s why these leggings are just so…I don’t know…lovely.

1. FAVORITE GYM: The shittiest gym in town, whatever town I’m in. I like the cheapest, most down and dirty, simplest, nothing but machines, little shit hole of a gym available. I don’t like big gyms. I don’t like “fitness centers.” The bigger it is, the more of “a thing” it is to go there. If the gym has STAIRS and multiple FLOORS? I’m out. I don’t even like studios that offer more than one kind of class. And if people can watch your class while they’re working out? Forget it. I’m not paying to be someone else’s entertainment. I like to stay anonymous. I don’t want everybody all up in my shit. I just want to get in, do my thing, not talk to a single person, not feel intimidated, and get the fuck out. If the walls need painting, and the ceiling is leaking somewhere, that’s a good sign. That means there aren’t too many people paying too much money for too much stuff. I LOVE a shitty little gym.

 

P.S. Sorry/ Not Sorry for no links or pics in this post. I’m tired, I don’t feel like it, and I’ve got other shit to do. You understand, I’m sure. The beginning of the year kind of blows for everybody, right? Right. TTYL. Love, Aimee.

Pregnancy Workout I loved: Susanne Bowen Prenatal Barre

So you know I love me some Dailey Method. And you also know I had me a baby. Which means I haven’t been able/allowed to do traditional core work for a long time. And core work is literally 1/3 of every single Dailey Method workout. So…sad face. No can do.

But, good news! While I was preggo I ordered prenatal workout DVDs by Suzanne Bowen of Barre Amped, and they are THE SHIIIIT!!!  They’re also great for after baby.

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 9.58.39 AM

Suzanne Bowen’s Slim & Toned Prenatal Barre Workout is like Dailey Method lite. You get some thigh and butt and core and arm stuff, but it’s do-able. It’s perfect. She also makes sure to incorporate the pelvic floor work in your positioning. Which is key. She calls it “zipping up a tight pair of jeans.” Which is a pretty good cue, I think.

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 1.17.24 PM

The Long & Lean Prenatal Workout is a little weird, but it’s really gentle and gets you moving and flowing without feeling like it’s a wussy waste of time. As you get up there in months, it’s a really nice option. Sometimes it’s hard to remember to move in any plane other than forward and backward, and this gets you moving all around and keeps you limber. The movements are repetitive, but almost in a meditative way. Like moving yoga? Strengthening Tai Chi? I don’t know.  I’ve never done anything like it before. Try it. It feels good. Mostly, in my 3rd trimester, it felt good to be able to do ANYTHING other than walk. Especially since I had to pee every four minutes.  Getting some movement in  at home, near the bathroom, became key.

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 1.20.04 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-04 at 1.21.26 PM

After I had the kid, I kept on using the Slim and Toned Prenatal Barre workout as my post-baby workout. I still use it, actually. Mostly because it’s broken into short segments that I can A. handle, because I’m out of shape as hell and B. squeeze in before the kid wakes up / shits/ gets bored / starts crying again.

Yeah, 15 minutes of strength training a day isn’t much. But you know what? It’s not nothing. And it’s a super easy, attainable, no-pressure way start building up some consistency. One segment a day? Awesome. Then you work up to two segments a day. Sweet. Pretty soon you’re doing a whole DVD a day. Progress, man. It happens fast and it’s not that hard. Woo hoo!

I also ordered some more of her Barre Amped DVDs now that I can handle more activity, and I love them. To me, Barre Amped is just a more approachable version of Dailey/Barre/Physique 57/ Ballet Body/ whatever. Still with results. Just a hair less serious. Less intimidating. More down to earth. More Southern or something. I like it. I like it a lot.

unnamed-2

So yeah. Suzanne Bowen. Barre Amped and Prenatal workouts. All on Amazon. Check ’em out.