These are all my own thoughts & opinions. This is not a sponsored post! I genuinely love the products listed below!
Feeling a little blehhh after all of the holiday festivities this weekend? It is the absolute perfect time to get on your feet and get in the daily habit of working out.
Many times, it is hard to get motivated to workout in the heat of the summer. Also, if you are not someone who regularly exercises, this can be a difficult road to maneuver with no direction.
Typically, the hardest part of exercising is simply beginning. What helps is starting off the process feeling good about what you are doing! You don’t just want to jump in blindly when you start to workout. Get prepared. Buy that cute outfit. Splurge for those awesome headphones. Purchase that fitness tracker everyone has been chatting about. Invest in yourself!!! Because…really, what is more important?
I have been a member of a gym since I was in high school. For me? It works. I have stayed in shape ever since. The secret?… I made it a habit. My husband and I look forward to going to the gym every day. We typically make it a goal to workout 6 days a week. Really… it is all about consistency.
I am not an at-home workout kind of a girl. Tried it. Did not work for me. It was too easy to sit on the couch and just turn on The Real Housewives. So, the gym has been my go-to way to stay fit. So, today I am going to give you the tools (& cute accessories) that help me stay successfully in shape year round. Is the gym NOT for you? Stick around for the end of my post!
In this post, I am going to share with you my favorite items that you will need to jump start your fitness this summer. I will be breaking the post down into three categories:
- What you will need before you workout.
- What you will need while you workout.
- What you will need after you workout.
*At the end, I will be featuring some AWESOME ladies to help you get inspired to stay fit & healthy this summer!
This post includes affiliate links.
Before You Workout
I am NOT that girl with their hair perfectly straightened at the gym, part down the side, flicking her hair out of her face every 30 seconds. Keeping my hair and sweat off of my face is a must while I workout.
My go-to hairstyle is to put my hair in a quick bun secured with bobby pins. When my hair is a bit longer, I like to throw it in a high pony-tail braid.
No matter which style I go with, I wear a headband that keeps the flyaways secured and the sweat off of my forehead. This helps me stay a bit cooler in the heat of a workout.
When it comes to tops at the gym, I have to wear a tank. I don’t understand how anyone can breathe in t-shirts or long sleeves. I guess if you’re looking to get a lot of sweat out, that’s the way to go. But, I am alwayssss about comfort, whether at work, at home, or even during a workout.
My two go-to places to shop for my fitness tops are Gap and Old Navy. I don’t see the point of spending $40+ on something I am going to sweat in and wash constantly. So, Lululemon is not a place you’ll find me promoting. Gap and Old Navy’s shirts are low-priced and the quality of most of their shirts is great for a workout. They sell so many different types to fit people of all sizes and comfort levels.
Overall, I like to choose styles like the three I show you below. They are all airy, light, and under $20. I actually purchased all of them for under $10 when both stores were having sales! I primarily shop at the Gap Outlet stores, which has a lot of the same apparel as Gap. Also, I own them all and they last so long…even after many many washes!! My favorite are the shirts with a cute little saying. Because… who doesn’t need a little inspiration during a workout?
Just like my tops, I la la loveeeee purchasing my bottoms from Gap and Old Navy. Their quality and style outranks most brands, in my opinion, while the cost is always super low. Especially when you shop the sales (which… do they ever not have sales!?).
In the colder months, I tend to opt for the cropped capris I feature below for a workout. I love the mid-rise ones. Low rise shows a bit much if I am bending over during a workout. The high-waisted… just is not my style. Not a fan of that at alllll. But, choose what makes you feel good! I love shopping for capris and any pants at Old Navy because they make various lengths, which helps because I am tall.
Now, these shorts here are my favorite purchase so far this summer. Old Navy made some seriously cheap and cute workout shorts for this season this year. Not only do they fit me PERFECTLY, but their patterns are so freakin cute. I bought them in five styles because I am that in love! They also have built-in underwear, which is a must for me with workout shorts.
When it comes to my sneakers for the gym, I am a Nike kind of girl. I have been buying Nikes since middle school and have not turned back. What keeps me coming back for more? Again, the comfort. These are my two workout sneakers right now. I have had them for about a year each and both pairs are in great shape still. The key? I throw them in the wash once a week. Makes them shine and they never smell like gym sneakers!
Overall, I love buying gray, black, and white toned sneakers. They go with everything and are super easy to clean. I have few Nikes that have bright colors on them… they somehow never get any wear.
So, if you are unsure what to buy when it comes to workout sneakers, these are my two picks for you. My #1 pick?… definitely the second pair featured below. They have bottoms that make you feel like you are walking (or running) on a soft cloud. But, you really have to focus on what fits your type of foot best. These do not offer the best support for people with narrow feet or high arches. So, do your research!
I blogged about these on my last post about all the things I loved about June. I am in love! These silicone wedding bands are so cute and come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. They come in handy for the gym when I do not want to wear my actual wedding bands. If you wear your diamonds while you workout, you risk losing a stone because a diamond could easily be knocked out by a weight.
Personally, I am so proud to be married that want people to know that I am wherever I go. Even the gym! It also is a little addition that might match your outfit. Important?… no. But, part of working out (and…well… my goal, always) is to feel GOOD about myself. So, if it adds a little touch and makes me smile… bring it on!
I personally own the first ring set below. I like how they have a little pattern and texture to them. Also, they are stackable! But, I also provided some other options that are totally adorbs.
I have tried my fair share of pre-workouts. I used to use a few products back in college that would make me feel like I had ants crawling under my skin. Creepy, but totally got me pumped for a workout. But, I am a little more conscious about how healthy supplements are that I put in my body now that I am in my late twenties.
I tend to stick with pre-workouts made for women. Also, I usually only use half of a recommended serving. That is all I need to get a little boost of energy when I need it. My absolute favorite to take before a workout is Uplift by NLA. The guava passion flavor is soooooo yummy! It is easy to drink, does not dehydrate me, and I do not get the shakes at all. I just feel a little tingle in my fingers and I know it is working.
To mix it nice and well, I use Blender Bottles. I find that they get the job done fast and there is never any residue at the bottom of the bottle. Pre-workout is not cheap, so you want to get every last bit!
Note: I am NOT a physician or fitness expert of any kind. Before taking a pre-workout, you should contact your doctor to make sure it is not a risk for you.
While You Workout
Now, there are many fitness trackers to choose from today. But, I am only going to talk about Fitbit here on Life as Kait. Why? I have had a Fitbit tracker for about 4-5 years. Aside from some minor kinks, which were always fixed by updates… my Fitbit has never failed me. So, there has been no reason for me to even try another brand.
Since my brother bought me a Fitbit for my birthday all those years ago, I have my husband and mother-in-law both addicted, too! It keeps us so motivated and accountable. I am my own biggest critic. So, there is no fooling myself when I do not hit my 12,000 step goal. It is also fun to have my husband to compete with… well, it really is not much of a competition. He kills me in this department. But, it is still fun to cheer each other on!
I first had the original Fitbit Flex, which my husband still has now. He is not interested in getting a more updated tracker. But, after breaking my original on my honeymoon (oops… didn’t know it was not waterproof!), I wanted the Alta. Personally, it is my favorite! I love that it is digital, gives me accurate numbers for my steps, and vibrates when I have a text or if someone is calling me. Buyer’s choice! I recommend both.
Filtering Water Bottle
To make sure you can make it through all of your workouts, you must have lots of water. You don’t want to be lugging around two or three water bottles to the gym. Also, you want to make sure you are staying hydrated with clean, purified water. My gym has a filtering system built into the water fountain. Cool, but I am still filtering my water. Probably in my head, but it tastes better through my Brita filter!
I have used Brita filtering water bottles for about 10 years. They rock. I use them at home, work, and especially while I workout. I throw them out once a year because I am a freak about them being clean. They not only keep you hydrated, because you can use whatever water from a faucet that is available. But, it has saved me a lot of money since I am no longer purchasing one or two cases of water a week.
There are plenty of options out there. Below, I include the soft bottle and the hard bottle. I personally like the hard bottle better, but I have owned both and they get the job done!
Music & Headphones
Even if the gym has music playing that I enjoy to workout to, I still love using headphones. I guess it is because it keeps me in the zone and focused on what I am doing. When I forget my headphones, I am so annoyed with myself. I end up people watching too much, browsing on my phone, or cutting a workout short.
Also, I stick with the Apple headphones not matter what. I use speak-to-text often and like to take calls, if needed. So having the microphone built in is a must for me while I workout!
When I use my headphones, I tend to listen to podcasts when I want some motivation. Usually when walking on the treadmill (nope.. not a runner!). I also am obsessed with Spotify. It is totally worth the $10/month to go Premium. Open your pockets… you will not be disappointed! I am actually a huge EDM fan when it comes to workout music. My husband got me into it back in college.
Here is one of my favorite playlists I workout to:
After You Workout
It is really important to make sure you are not just taking care of your body when you workout. You also need to properly feed your body afterwards. Having a source of protein helps your muscles recover, especially after a difficult workout. Most protein powders contain a significant amount of nutrition that helps feed your muscles as they develop and build.
I use the same shaker that I use with my pre-workout when I have protein shakes. My husband typically likes to mix it with water, which many people do. I think that is absolutely disgusting. Instead, I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk. You can really use any type of liquid you enjoy that mixes well with the protein flavor of your choice.
There are a lot of flavors and brands to choose from. Currently, I am using the first one listed below, which is a vanilla flavor. When I want something really chocolatey, I opt for the second one. The third one listed is the one my husband has been using for years, which is OK flavor-wise to me. It is more of a muted chocolate taste.
Alternative Protein Recovery Recipes
There are many ways you can get your protein in so you can recover after a good workout. Some people are not big fans of a simple powder and liquid drink. So, here are two other ways that you can get your protein in!
I am a fan of the Ninja blender that comes with the single-serving blender cups. Why? It is easy to throw all of my ingredients in, blend it, drink out of the cup directly, and clean it! No need for a giant blender that takes forever to clean up.
You can choose whatever you enjoy most to put in your drink. I recommend only using fruit/vegetables that are frozen. This is because they thicken your shake and make it really cold. A warm, thin shake it kind of disgusting, to me. With this, you don’t have to use as much ice.
Typically, I throw in:
- 4-5 ice cubes
- Milk/alternative (i.e. almond or soy)
- Frozen Fruit (blueberries, strawberries, banana)
- Butter (peanut, almond, sunflower)
- Protein Powder
This is an example of a shake I recently made:
If you want something a bit fancier than a shake with some texture to it, definitely opt for an acai bowl. Not only are they absolutely beautiful to look at, but they have an incredible amount of health benefits!
If you want some incredible recipes, you MUST follow Meg Flynn at @myacaisoul on Instagram. To read more about the benefits of eating acai bowls, visit her website. She breaks down what makes up an acai bowl, the benefits, and how they have transformed her way of living!
Look at some of these beauties:
Are you ready to jumpstart your fitness this summer?
I hope I have inspired you to get off the couch, put on some CUTE workout gear, and get your butt into fantastic shape!
But, really… not matter what, make sure you feel GOOD about yourself!
Need more inspiration & motivation?
My friend Shannon is a fantastic coach that can help you achieve your fitness goals! I highly recommend using her if going to a gym is not your thing. She can help you feel great about yourself from the comfort of your own home!
Check out her bio below:
My name is Shannon Stewart and I am loving this journey of not only becoming healthy, but helping others do the same. I am 27 years old and live in “upstate” NY with my husband, our 2 cats and puppy, and our future baby girl, Autumn .
I truly believe that you need to First Love Yourself in order to spread that love onto the rest of the world. Helping others find their passion in loving themselves and becoming the best version of themselves has really shown me how living a passion can change your world.
Beachbody is an online fitness community hosting over 600+ programs for less money than a gym. It is available right at your finger tips and has the luxury of being completed in the comfort of your own home with a group of people and me as your coach keeping you motivated, inspired and accountable. We offer an incredible all natural Superfoods Shake that helps you lose weight, maintain regularity, increases energy, improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and so much more.
If you would like to learn more about our online fitness community and see what it can do for YOU- message me and I will be more than happy to speak with you about how this can change YOUR life as it has changed mine.
What recommendations do you have when it comes to jumpstarting your fitness this summer?
Disclaimer: I am NOT a licensed doctor of any kind. The information in this article is for general informational purposes only and is not considered a substitute for a trained professional that would give medical advice. This document is an expression of my own thoughts and opinions and may not apply to your life. I am not liable for any losses or damages related to actions or failures to act related to the content in this article. If you need specific medical advice, please contact a licensed professional.