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5 Chic Essentials for Working Out


Girls doing yoga

Ah, summer: a time where your life can be on whatever schedule you please, and you can finally take the time to do something for YOU. One of my personal goals this summer is to get in better shape! I consider myself an athletic person, but there are definitely areas where I could improve. So this summer I’ve signed up for yoga and cardio kickboxing classes, while also incorporating hiking, running track, and weight lifting into my exercise regimen. Whew that’s a variety of stuff, no?

Inspired by my own new exercise routine, I have come up with a list of essentials for anyone who is planning on exercising regularly this summer. Of course, these items are not only useful, but in the spirit of fashion they are also adorable and can really make a statement at the gym!

1. A Cute Duffel or Tote Bag

I bring a tote bag to the gym because I just don’t have the need for a duffel bag: I usually wear my gym clothes and use my tote for my iPod, a water bottle, my keys, my wallet, a hand towel, etc. However, if you are one of those people who prefers to change at the gym and/or swim/shower after your workout, you might want to consider a duffel bag instead. Of course, exploring the locker size at your gym is essential, too, before you buy!

Gym bags

Product Information (clockwise from top): Gym Holdall- ASOS, Roxy Striped Tote- available through Zappos, Orange Workout Bag- Old Navy, Silver Workout Bag- Nike

2. Quick-Dry Clothing

I love breaking a sweat at the gym; however, I could definitely do without the sweaty, sticky, gross feeling that comes with it. Solution? Quick dry fabrics! My favorite is Nike Dri-Fit; however, other brands like Under Armour have quick dry clothing, too! If you are really into natural fibers, beware because most quick-dry clothing is made from synthetic materials. If any of you know of any “green” quick-dry brands, leave a comment with the info!

Nike Dry Fit

Product Information (clockwise from top): Turquoise Sports Bra, Stretch Capris, Shorts, Blue Tank – all Nike Dri-Fit

3. High-Quality Exercise Shoes

This is probably the most important item on this list. Good shoes are essential; you NEED to be well supported during your workout! There are even stores now where you can go in and run on a treadmill and the sales associates will help you determine where you need support the most. With the variety of brands, colors, and styles out there, sneaker shopping is fun and a good pair is totally worth the money! Here are some cute pairs I found online:

Running shoes

Product Information (clockwise from top): Shox Running Shoes- Nike, Gel Sole Exercise Shoes- ASICS, Walking Shoes- New Balance, Trail Shoes- Adidas

4. A Yoga or Exercise Mat

Even if you aren’t a yoga fiend, it’s really nice to have your own mat because gyms tend to “wash” their exercise mats by simply wiping them down with antibacterial wipes. Ew. Save yourself from the ick-factor and invest in a cute mat that you can bring to the gym and do all of you ab exercises, stretching or yoga on! It’s also a good reminder to stretch after your workout, so you don’t find yourself uber sore the next morning.

Yoga Mat

Product Information (clockwise from top): Green Mat- Wal*Mart, Yellow Mat- Nike, Blue Cushion Mat- Manduka, Pink Mat- Home Fitness Equipment

5. A BPA-Fee or Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Having your own water bottle is great! You can always refill it at the gym (assuming they have a water cooler) or you can bring your own protein shake and keep it nice and cool! Plus, using a washable water bottle is much more environmentally friendly than using and tossing the plastic kinds. Go green and get hydrated!

Water Bottle

Product Information (clockwise from top): Blue Water Bottle- Amazon, Peace and Love Water Bottle- Modcloth, Pink Water Bottle- Go Contigo, Clear Bottle- Nalgene

What do you think?

Do you exercise regularly? What’s your summer workout routine? What essentials do you recommend? Let me know with a comment!

Posted on on June 6, 2010 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , ,

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34 Responses to “5 Chic Essentials for Working Out”

  1. 1
    June 6th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    nike has the best workout shoes because if you are into knowing how far you are going, and into running contests with people all over the world, it’s a great shoe.

    the nike sensor is awesome!!

  2. 2
    June 6th, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Love this post! While I do think the Nike tempo shorts are kind of over done at this point, I’d still consider them a necessity for working out. Also, Target has awesome Champion sports bras and shorts!

    I’ve been running lately! I’d recommend people head to a real local running store to get fitted for the correct shoes. They might not be quite as cute as the ones you’ve posted, but your feet (and your entire body) will definitely thank you!

  3. 3
    June 6th, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Thank you, thank you CF. I’m going shopping for my athletic wear for college this month and I had no idea what to get!

  4. 4
    June 6th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Natalie, you are so right on about going to a local running store to get fitted. I did that a few months ago and I no longer have any issues with my knees and ankles getting sore. I wear ASICS exclusively since my fitting and I can say I have never worn more comfortable sneakers.

    I notice you did not include any Under Armor gear. I did attend the University of Maryland, so I am a little biased, but even though it is pricey, it is well worth the investment! The heat gear works so well during the summer.

  5. 5
    June 6th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I did a post on this a few months back… I never knew how different it felt wearing real athletic wear in stead of for instance H&M sports collection.
    Never save one athletic wear! – Buy the quality brands on sale! :)

  6. 6
    June 6th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    This is good! I have a bit of everything on this but i”m looking for a good portable yoga mat for traveling. I’m going away and i need a mat, any suggestions?

  7. 7
    June 6th, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I have the Old Navy duffel bag you featured (except in black and silver). I bought it a couple months ago to motivate myself to go to the gym regularly (and it’s worked). It was very affordable, a decent size, and I especially like the fact that it has a separate compartment at the bottom so you can keep two sets of clothing in it (your workout clothes, your before-workout clothes) and the non-workout clothes don’t get all dirty/sweaty from being with the workout clothes.

  8. 8
    June 6th, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Also forgot to add, I like the Klean Kanteen water bottles (

  9. 9
    June 6th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Where is the love for Lululemon? Their no slip headbands are key for any work out! They also have chic workout apparel in general!

  10. 10
    June 6th, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I wish I could afford Lululemon! I have friends that swear by that stuff! They are also the fortunate ones without student loan payments.

  11. 11
    June 6th, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    There has been research done on the athletic shoes you included, and its actually better to have shoes with no padding. Padding causes knee and back pains and injuries. Nike has recently come out with new shoes with little padding. Just a heads up!

  12. 12
    June 6th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Wonderful post! I always feel better working out when I look cute :) I am absolutely in love with those Sigg bottles.. I think I actually heard about them here a while ago but ah I’m hooked, I have a few.

  13. 13
    June 6th, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    I love this post! You didn’t include Camelbak water bottles, though, which are great too! And if only I could afford something at Lululemon! :(

  14. 14
    June 6th, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Good Picture! U village in Seattle, WA.
    A mall that has at least 8 work out apparel retailers.

  15. 15
    June 7th, 2010 at 12:06 am

    This is a great post! However, one thing that I have trouble finding is where to get good sports bras. Any suggestions? I’m a 32DD so it’s usually pretty difficult to find something that fits right for exercising.

  16. 16
    June 7th, 2010 at 12:19 am

    If anyone has an idea of where to get a cute bag that will hold a yoga mat, I’m all ears! :)

  17. 17
    June 7th, 2010 at 1:24 am

    It can be hard to find cute workout apparel so thanks for the new ideas!

  18. 18
    June 7th, 2010 at 3:32 am

    great post, getting in shape for the summer has definitely been on my mind lately. I’m also a big fan of Lululemon – and as a college student paying tuition fees I definitely can’t afford it either, but when my parents ask me what I want for birthdays and Christmas, its usually on my list. just an idea for a few people who said they couldn’t afford Lulu. :)

  19. 19
    June 7th, 2010 at 7:11 am

    nice!! but i am fitness class addict of Bodypump, attack, RPM and Balance…so most of my workout is spent indoors…..

    Lululemon is great, but i dont shop there often (Im in australia and the prices are exxy..)…

    If you are in Australia, check out Lorna Jane / Running bare for decent gym gear…I swear by Lorna Jane gear and Brasilfit….

  20. 20
    June 7th, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    I def need to start working out more…I was a college athlete and have been out 2 years now, and wow has it faded fast…now I’m getting married in a year and MUST amp up the routine! I don’t wear specific workout gear…I’m your typical soccer shorts and t-shirt girl…but I do use the aluminum water bottles…and they are amazing!!! …My yoga mat is also getting a little worse for wear, so thanks for the suggestions on mats!

  21. 21
    June 7th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I agree with a couple of you – Lululemon is by far the best workout gear on the market, and I was a tad disappointed to see it left off this list. Pricey up front, yes, but lasts easily twice as long as the cheaper stuff and is SO comfortable. a good investment in my opinion, especially if you work out a lot.

  22. 22
    June 7th, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    LOVE this post! (: speaking of, i need to go shopping for some new work-out gear, and this is perfect! :]


  23. 23
    June 10th, 2010 at 12:58 am

    whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo its toooooooooooooooooooooooo sexyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy i loved it :)

  24. 24
    June 10th, 2010 at 2:42 am

    this post was extremely useful. esp the part about the yoga mats and how they’re cleaned at gyms.
    I’m gonna get myself some of these essentials soon :)

  25. 25
    June 10th, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Stephanie, I agree! I’d love to find a great sports bra as I am very busty too. Any one have any suggestions?

  26. 26
    June 11th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Hey Stephanie and Liv- I didn’t write this awesome post, but I’m also pretty busty. The only think that’s worked for me is wearing multiple sports bras at once- and definitely get the racerback ones with thick straps.

  27. 27
    June 18th, 2010 at 2:22 am

    Someone asked about suggestions for yoga mat totes; I have a yoga mat bag from Gaiam that I love.

  28. 28
    September 4th, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I’m a “well-endowed” gal too. I **SWEAR** by either Moving Comfort bras or Nike U-Back Dri-Fit bras. They are specifically made my cup size and thus super comfortable for D-cups (as is yours truly). I’m training for a triathlon ( and I can swim in my Nike U-Back and then run immediately in it – it’s THAT good.

    Good luck!

  29. 29
    December 28th, 2014 at 11:21 am

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    When our body p – H ( becomes more and more acidic it starts to set up defense mechanisms to keep the damaging acid from entering our vital organs.
    The factors included above determine your Daily energy expenditure.

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