So, I accidentally signed up for a Hot Yoga class.
Accidentally, because I assumed it was a “room temperature” yoga class, and thought so all the way up until opening the studio door and stepping barefoot onto the heated floor. Unrolling my mat, I knew I was in trouble. I debated walking out before the class started. I prepped excuses: work emergency, dinner reservations, wardrobe malfunction, etc. Moving along in the stages of grief, I gave up bargaining, and moved straight to acceptance. I thought, “You know, it’s really not that bad when you’re lying down. Heat rises. This is fine.”
Long story short, I enjoyed the experience, but I did compile a checklist to improve the experience for next time.
Non-skid yoga mat: The sky’s the limit for prices on yoga mats. Go with one that is middle-of-the-road in terms of price and quality. No too soft, not too thick. Feeling the resistance of the floor on your kneecaps or lower back is all part of it. Also, it’s only a matter of time before it smells like feet during your Sun Salutation. That slow motion sniff of the yoga mat going from plank to upward facing dog will tell you exactly how gross the mat is. When it’s time, toss it out and get a new one. ($24, https://www.proozy.com/products/halfmoon-studio-yoga-mat-charcoal).
Yoga towel: Non-negotiable.
Some are even cleverly designed to match the size and shape of the mat. A lot of places will offer a towel to use for the class. Take them up on that offer. It’s absolutely necessary.
Mat bag: It sounds ancillary, but think of it like this: your mat is a sweat and foot-funk sponge. After class, you roll it up and carry it with you, thus covering your hands in your foot-funk. Put it in it’s own bag, containing just your sweaty yoga stuff. Don’t let it socialize with non-sweaty neighbors in your bag. ($40, https://www.proozy.com/products/prana-womens-jazmina-tote-bag?variant=33359466188)
Tank top: Be comfortable. Above all else, if you’re not comfortable it’s all for naught.
That being said, short of falling over during chair pose, there is nothing that gathers more eyes than removing clothing in the middle of class. Whether you are eye candy or not, the break in the routine will pull focus to you. Also, go with something that wicks away sweat. ($24, https://www.proozy.com/products/under-armour-womens-ua-tech-sleeveless-tank-top?variant=32057846412)
Yoga pants, shorts, or capris: Comfort is key. But one way to avoid being self-conscious is to not worry about sloppy gym shorts flopping around during a pose. Don’t wonder if people can see your underwear. Wear something form fitting that isn’t going to move. ($15, https://www.proozy.com/collections/womens-pants/products/prana-womens-roxanne-capri-leggings?variant=20184741958)
Water: Bring a bottle in with you. Or, if you’re a fan of delayed gratification, keep it in the car until you’re done with class. Water will never taste so great. Either way, remember to hydrate. ($20, https://www.proozy.com/collections/fitness-equipment/products/eco-vessel-surf-glass-bottle-with-silicone-sleeve?variant=31907429836)
Change of clothes: Every yoga studio I’ve been to has some form of dressing room. Take a few minutes and at least put on a fresh shirt. It will make the trip home a lot less gross.
Yoga Block: If you’re a germaphobe, you likely already have one. The shared ones at the studio don’t get cleaned between classes, so it’s like High-5’ing 10 sweaty hands at once.
And, if you really must know, I plan to continue the class every week. However, I will be better prepared. Enjoy your week!
8:50 - "Where did all of these strollers come from?"
8:52 - Curse yourself for not choosing a starting point farther forward. Dodge the walkers that appear out of nowhere. Get passed by a guy sprinting.
8:55 - Pass 250 people in first mile. Feel great about yourself.
9:15 - Walking aimlessly, eating half of a banana and no fewer than 3 orange slices.
9:21 - Check your finish time. Finally realize that there is a red pasta sauce stain on the side of your shorts.
and for some people that means winter has begun to wear out its welcome. It seems like the prevailing opinion every cold February 2nd is that six more weeks of winter is unwanted. Personally, a few of us here at Proozy.com quite enjoy the winter sports. After all, there is something about playing a pick-up hockey game on a frozen pond that makes you feel good about life. And some of us actually enjoy ice fishing, believe it or not.
Not being Punxsutawney Phil, I don’t have a firm notion of the outcome. I’m just going to assume we are in for 6 more weeks of winter.
Watch out for that first step, it’s a doozy.
Set yourself up with a pair of waterproof boots that were built to go anywhere.https://www.proozy.com/collections/mens-shoes/products/sorel-mens-paxson-tall-waterproof-boots?variant=30971376012
Dress for the weather, but don’t let it keep you from your goals or rob you of your motivation. Whether you’re in training, competing, or recovery, the compression pants from 2XU keep you focused on your workout and not on the weather. (Sorry, no corresponding movie reference for this one. They’re just a good idea. And that’s something we can all appreciate.)
A funny thing that happens in the winter, people forget to hydrate properly. In the summer, we drink not only to hydrate, but to cool down a little in the heat of the day. But during the winter, it never fails that at some point you’ll forget. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve shoveled snow for a half an hour, then come inside for a cup of coffee instead of water. Or, enjoyed an adult beverage in the ski chalet instead of pounding something with electrolytes. Stay hydrated with the Eco Vessel Surf Glass Bottle with Silicone Sleeve. (Yet again, not a reference to the movie, but it’s still a great idea and doesn’t contain any plastic/BPA).
Of any kind, really.
It’s kind of hard to find ways to get in a lot of cardio in the winter. Especially if you have lungs like mine that aren’t a big fan of breathing in freezing air. So, any sort of indoor/room temperature exercise you can do will help you get through. (Even if it’s cutting a rug.) You might as well be comfortable when you do it, too. Check out these Under Armour BaseLayer pants: https://www.proozy.com/collections/fitness-gear-apparel/products/under-armour-womens-midweight-baselayer-2-0-leggings?variant=30234447052
If you’ve gone this far, and still aren’t having it, remember, winter doesn’t last forever. And the “gorge and hibernate solution” works only until bathing suit season.
So, it’s the new year, and like most people my age, between the hours of 5 PM and 8 PM on a weeknight I find myself on some sort of cardio machine at the gym. A suffer-fest that so many of my peers endure every January, February, and maybe part of March. (Or, until the New Year's Resolution has been abandoned and the will-power has dried up).
The upside of this new routine was felt right away. I could run about three miles on the treadmill before the boredom of watching a TV with the sound down overcame me. I was sleeping better and waking up more resolutely.
Every January and February.
But the downside was that I said goodbye to no fewer than 4 of my favorite t-shirts. Sadly, 45 minutes on a treadmill caused my body and by default, my shirts to smell like low tide in an old port city. This, coupled with the excessive washes to undo the damage, became a row too tough to hoe for some trusted favorites.
Like the average Newbie to the gym lifestyle, for the first 2 years of “Sloth-No-More - January”, I wore whatever t-shirt I happen to be wearing under my button-down that day. Eventually I realized why all the “year-rounder’s” wore what I called “workout shirts”. It’s not to attract eyeballs, but to volunteer as tribute for your street clothes.
Take for instance the Under Armour Tech T-shirt. (Quick Shameless Plug: We have a ton of them at a fantastic price right now. https://www.proozy.com/collections/mens-t-shirt/products/under-armour-mens-ua-tech-t-shirt?variant=32565656780)
It’s designed to not quadruple in weight the way a cotton shirt would when drenched in sweat. Some of them even have what I’ll call “smart fabric” that is super reflective at night to help you be seen. And finally, the most important point… for the price, it will save you money on replacing your favorite shirts. Instead of burning through your favorite 3 Wolf, Moon T-Shirt, you just purposefully buy the right tool for the right job.
Just a little something to calm the nerves after driving up Pike's Peak.
Sidebar: A year or two ago, I drove to the top of Pike’s Peak in a small rental hatchback. Afterward, we stopped at a microbrewery in a little mountain town for lunch and I felt deserving of an adult beverage for my vehicular bravery. On the way out the door I was so enamored with the establishment that I bought a T-Shirt. As much as I love the shirt, guess what won’t see the inside of a gym, so long as I can help it?
I vow to never make this a "gym shirt".
So, I implore you to take a look at the collection of Under Armour shirts. There's a ton of colors and sizes and options. And no more will a shirt suffer an untimely death from exposure to the perils of the gym.
The other day, here at Proozy.com, we got in a fresh batch of brand-name snowboarding jackets. (Shameless plug for the collection here)
One in particular really stood out for me. (This one, to be specific)
I was confounded by the premise. It is a wardrobe item designed to keep you warm in potentially very harsh climates, specifically clinging to the metal rail of a chairlift, 40 feet in the air with blowing snow striking your face. And, by all accounts, the jacket performs very well. It is designed to perform the task asked of it. But the real question is why do the designers choose what I would typically describe as a Hawaiian shirt as the pattern for their winter jacket? Hardly the motif you would expect to see on a cold winter day.
This cultural wardrobe mash-up came as a surprise to me. I guess it's been a few years since I’ve been to the ski hill, so my memory of the standard style choices seen on the slopes is a bit foggy.
Showing off for all the adoring fans back in 2012.
It has long been a tradition in ski culture to wear loud or unexpected clothing choices. This typically manifested itself in the form of bright colors to be seen easily. Whether you were hoping to be found by ski patrol in the event of an avalanche or some other emergency, or just in the hopes of catching the eye of a potential romantic partner. The slopes have since become a bit of a safe haven for brave and bold fashion choices.
For reference, your average 80’s Ski Outfit.
Whatever you plan on wearing this year, make sure:
1. It’s up to the task of keeping you warm
2. It doesn't restrict your movements too greatly
3. And it definitely tells people who you are...even from the chair lift.
If you know someone who served in the military, regardless of whether or not they served in a war, please show them your gratitude for their service. Whether you say it in person, over the phone, via text, a Tweet, or a Facebook post, your thanks matters - so don’t be afraid to get creative!
Simply take a few minutes to silently reflect on the millions of people (past, present, and future) who selflessly dedicate their lives to fight for us and our country. We often take a lot of things in our life for granted, including our freedom and rights as US citizens, which we wouldn’t have if it weren’t for our beloved veterans. Don’t forget to thank the families of these veterans and service members as well, as they sacrifice more than we could ever imagine.
One of the greatest feelings in the world is receiving an unexpected letter, especially one that conveys admiration, support, and gratitude. Many organizations send letters to soldiers, so this is an easy one to do! If you have kids, or are part of a school organization, get crafty and make a few cards for the holidays. Regardless of how you send your message, think of what you would like to hear if you were in their ‘boots’. Tell them a story, a joke, or send some pictures of your own latest adventure. They will love hearing your thanks for their service, but your message will mean so much more with a personal touch.
Many veterans returned from active duty, but not all of them returned in perfect health. A Million Thanks is an organization that helps raise funds to grant wishes to wounded veterans who otherwise can’t afford to make dreams come true for their families. Visit their page to see all the wishes and help them become reality. Know a veteran in need, but you don’t know how, nor have the budget to help with some of those bigger wishes? Try surprising them with a small, yet thoughtful gift like these Under Armour Captain Sunglasses.
Make an impact close-to-home by visiting veterans in a local retirement home. The amount of joy a short visit could bring is immeasurable. Just ask them to share some of their stories or bring them some baked goodness (homemade or store-bought - they never have to know!), and you’ll have made a new friend. Just think of all the people who don’t get many visits from family or friends, and how a simple 30-minute visit could instantly become the highlight of their week.
Who doesn’t enjoy a free lunch? Reconnect with a longtime friend or family member by inviting them for lunch or coffee. This one is so easy - you could do it on other days of the year too. If you happen to see someone eating alone the next time you go out, ask them if they would like some company; don’t be shy! Don’t have time for lunch? Try treating the veterans in your life to ice cream, or grab a drink (depending on their personal preferences, of course)! If you are really strapped for time, why not bring the coffee to them, with the help of this convenient, well-insulated Orca Chaser, and show your appreciation for their service by gifting the cup!
Now here's one we ALL can do. Stay involved and show your appreciation all year round by staying up-to-date on the latest news and activity of an organization close to your heart. Following military support groups, such as the Wounded Warrior Project and Operation Homefront on social media not only helps them stay top-of-mind, but also arms them with additional voices to share their stories and get others involved in supporting their cause.
Sending a care package is an extremely thoughtful gift to those currently serving our country. If you know a family who has a loved one at boot camp or overseas, ask them for an address to submit a care package through organizations like Operation Gratitude. You simply fill out the rank, name, address, email, relation, and expected date of return for the service member you are requesting a package for. If you already send packages to family or friends currently serving, why not send them this Under Armour Wounded Warrior Project hat, or these Compression OTC Run Socks -you can never have enough socks - in your next care package.
For those who cannot afford to donate time or monetary gifts, you can still acknowledge and show thanks to veterans in other ways. Performing a simple good deed is all it takes. And it is something you can do every day, as many times as you want. Hold the door for the person behind you, or rake the leaves for an elderly neighbor. People tend to be overwhelmingly grateful for such thoughtfulness.
Volunteering is the best way to connect with your community and feel good about yourself while doing it. A few hours is all it takes to make a difference. A lot of organizations host volunteer events and projects, many of which are involved in activities such as sending letters and running toy and clothing drives. Others are focused on giving back in a more local way, like The Mission Continues, which helps both veterans and civilians organize and work together on specific issues within their communities.
If time is an issue, take just one minute to visit one of the many military support organization websites and see what you could donate. Many accept monetary donations, but many others, including Operation Gratitude, accept much more, including your leftover Halloween candy! Many soldiers also appreciate gifts that many of us take for granted, such as books, movies, games, snacks, and hot sauce (seriously). Check out some of these other groups to learn more about them and what you can do to pitch in!
Memory Box Project: collects memories of fallen loved ones for their families
Operation: Care and Comfort: support troops, veterans, and their families
Semper Fi Fund: provide immediate financial assistance for post 9/11 wounded, critically ill, and injured members of US Armed Forces and their families
Woman Veterans Interactive: offer programs to assist women transition back to civilian life after serving our country
Find even more veteran and service member charities and projects at Charity Navigator. There is a project and organization out there for everyone, whether you are looking to do a single donation, or organize a group to volunteer.
Today’s the day - Election Day 2016, that is. Many of us are eager and filled with insurmountable emotions about the outcome of this historic day. Regardless of who you plan to vote for, it is important to remember to vote because you have so much power as a registered voter. Many Americans have said they aren’t going to vote this year because of the options we’ve been given. But this mindset is dangerous!
With all the political hype surrounding the presidential candidates and their running mates, many forget that they aren’t the only ones on the ballot - don’t forget the political influence of everyone else on that ballot today, including US Senators and Representatives and various local offices.
The matter is simple: if you want your voice to be heard, you need to vote.
A colleague of mine shared a great memory about his last election experience, and I would like to pass the ‘feels’ on to you.
Four years ago, Kiel and his girlfriend woke up early to go on a morning run before work. After they had returned and finished getting ready for the day, they headed to the polls. Kiel told me how empowered he felt throughout the rest of his day, knowing he accomplished two important things: taking control of his personal well-being, and exercising his right to vote.
That feeling was so important to him, he remembers it vividly to this very day, a whole 4 years later. We often forget just how important it is to take care of ourselves, both physically and mentally. The same goes for how we often underestimate the impact of our voice through the power of a single vote.
If you think about it, staying active and eating healthy is a lot like going to the polls on Election Day – at first, you might not want to do it, but you know if you want to see results, you need to put forth the effort. Additionally, caring about only one aspect of our health can negatively impact other parts of our lives (think getting enough sleep, eating well, stressing less, and kicking bad habits). Likewise, only caring about a single issue or candidate (or not caring at all) can be detrimental to other important political changes and advancements.
So no matter where you stand, don’t forget to exercise your right to vote, just as you exercise your right to stay healthy. Hold candidates accountable for their promises, just as you hold yourself accountable for your personal health and well-being.
If you need help finding great savings on the sports gear and workout apparel to jumpstart your own fitness campaign, Proozy can help you! Check out our flash deals and other sales going on today, as well as every other day of the week!
If you haven’t already, it is not too late to register to vote - you can do it right at the polls as long as you bring a photo ID and proof of residence - you can even print off your registration form to save some time. Find where to vote by checking online or calling your local city or town hall official.