Everyday Urban Sunday Seven: #4
This last week, Chicago temperatures finally took a dip and as much as we all loved it, we also found ourselves astonishingly ready to go into full-fledged hibernation mode. I mean full on slippers, sweats, hoodies, comfort foods, and a strong innate desire to stay inside under our coziest blankets. Couple this with the fact that our pre and post work daylight hours are on the decline, and our schedules are forever changing, and you’ve got a recipe for sliding right into winter-bod mode before winter is even here. Daniel and I always find this time of year can be surprisingly challenging to stay motivated on your workout routine. Luckily, over the Summer we invested in some workout staples to make it easier for us to workout even if a trip to the gym on a given day wasn’t in the cards. The key to long term success in your fitness journey is consistency, which means doing SOMETHING is always better than doing nothing.
To make it even harder for you to say “no” to working out, we’re gearing this week’s Sunday Seven towards the workout clothes, gear, apps, and gadgets that have made it easier for us to move the dial on our fitness a little (sometimes a VERY little!) at a time. By making investments in just a few key items both Daniel and I worked out far more frequently (10 minutes of abs one day, a 25 minute video another day, a few simple weight lifting moves another day) and we hope this roundup will help you do the same!
1) Our Favorite Online Workout Program
I know there are a lot of app based or video based workout programs you can subscribe to, and I have no doubt that many of them are great. However, both Daniel and I swear by Beachbody on Demand (BOD). Some of you may be familiar with programs you’ve seen advertised on TV at some point, but what’s great about BOD is that this subscription gives you access to ALL of Beachbody’s most popular programs. That’s a LOT of programs! And not only does that mean you have hundreds and hundreds of individual workouts to choose from, but it also means you get access to any of the supplemental materials (worksheets, mealplans, recipes, etc). The workouts are HARD but they can almost all be done at home! To make it even easier to keep up with our Beachbody workouts, we bought just a couple of basic pieces of equipment so that we can squeeze a small workout in on days that a trip to the gym just isn’t in the cards. My favorite program?: 21 Day Fix (and 21 Day Fix Extreme) Daniel’s favorite program? P90X3
2) Ultra-Comfortable Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
These sleek and sporty headphones not only look good- they are well constructed, they feel really comfortable on, and they have a really nice sound quality. Best of all, you don’t have to break the bank on them! I had purchased a different pair of wireless headphones earlier in the Summer so that i could do my Beachbody On Demand workouts on the mats at our gym without annoying everyone around me. Then Daniel bought this pair about a month later, and I immediately regretted the pair I had previously bought because the quality difference is DRAMATIC. I’ll likely be buying my own pair of these shortly since Daniel’s earwax prevents me from stealing his without worrying I didn’t get his earwax off of them through my whole workout! ;)
3) Our Minimalist “Home Gym” Essentials
With these few pieces of equipment we can get in a great workout at home (and we can bring the resistance bands with us even if we’re traveling!):
4) Workout gear worth working out for
Nothing is worse than the feeling of wearing something to the gym only to realize it’s poorly suited to your excercise of the day. Depending on what you like to do, invest in one or two new pieces that will be particularly comfortable or supportive for the type of activity you plan to do the most. As an example I wore baggy running shorts to a morning spinning session and deeply regretted the decision about 5 minutes in. Similarly, wearing a low-impact sports bra for a sprint workout is going to be very unpleasant. A few of my favorite universal workout pieces are linked below (form fitted tights stay out of the way of just about any workout activity, and a high impact sports bra will hold things in place if you’re a yogi or a plyometrics fiend!
5) workout gear for him
The same principle rings true for guys! While you could probably get by with your cut off t-shirts from college, you’ll probably find that working out is way more appealing when you’ve got the right type of gear on. Daniel’s favorites are linked below:
6) Inspiration for Meal Prepping and Healthy Eating
The Everygirl has long been one of my favorite websites for interior design inspiration, career insights, and lifestyle content. It’s no surprise then, that the Everygirl team has done a fab job at rounding up some amazing meal prep resources from around the web. This list is great, but there are several other articles about healthy eating and meal prep that we love using for inspo!
7) Our Favorite Workout Playlists for Fall
Music can be a powerful resource to help you push through a workout just that extra 10% that you might not otherwise want to give. Both Daniel and I turn to music at times to help us get through tough workouts and make them more high energy and also tap into the emotional responses that lead to increased performance. If you sometimes struggle to find music that really hits the nail on the head, both Daniel and I are sharing our favorite workout playlists.
Jennifer’s Playlist: My playlist is particularly geared towards outdoor running in brisk weather. The BPMs are great for a quick-paced, high-energy run. The list is comprised of punk/emo-high-energy-driving-beat-teenage-nostalgia at its finest and it will keep you energized on an up-tempo brisk Fall run!
Daniel’s Playlist: Daniel’s workout playlist is pretty much perfect for any high-intensity, strength-oriented workout. It blends some rap, hip-hop, and some punk that veers toward screamo.