All Entries For gear up

Cool Summer Workout Gear


As the temperature climbs, don’t let your workout motivation fall.  With the right clothing and gear (as well as some extra precautions), you can enjoy outdoor exercise at any time of the year.  Here are some of our picks for the best workout clothes and accessories to keep you cool and motivated all summer long.  
Posted 7/21/2014  5:00:00 AM By: Jen Mueller : 8 comments   17,824 views
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Fun & Functional Gardening Gear for Spring


Gardening season is almost here. Whether you want to start your first herb garden or expand on the number of veggies you grow this year, now is the time to take stock of your tools and accessories and see what you need. And there's no reason why you have to settle for typical hardware store gear. It's easy these days to find cute gardening tools, hats, stools and more. Here are just a few of our favorites:
Posted 4/3/2014  6:00:00 AM By: Megan Patrick : 19 comments   19,393 views
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Fresh Workout Gear for Spring


As the days grow longer and the air gets warmer, going outside for a little exercise starts to sounds pleasant rather than daunting. Even if spring hasn't quite arrived in your hometown, there's nothing like a little pre-season shopping to get you in the mood to revamp your fitness routine. Here are some of our favorite pieces for the next few months.
Posted 3/26/2014  6:00:00 AM By: Megan Patrick : 19 comments   15,855 views
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Find Your Sole Mate: The Perfect Shoe for Every Workout


Wearing the right shoes while exercising can mean the difference between a comfortable workout, and one filled with pain, or worse-injury. With thousands of workout shoes on the market, how do you know which one is right for you? By answering a few simple questions, you can narrow down your options and use this guide to find the pair that is your "solemate."
Posted 2/14/2014  6:00:00 AM By: Jen Mueller : 31 comments   77,309 views
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Essential Weight-Loss Tools


While it's true that all you really need to lose weight are good information and determination, there are plenty of helpful tools that will make the path to health and fitness a little easier and a lot more fun. I've gathered a list of the kinds of things that have helped me in my own weight-loss journey. You'll need different tools at different stages, but these are great when you're just getting started.
Posted 1/9/2014  6:00:00 AM By: Megan Patrick : 17 comments   19,404 views
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6 Reasons Why You'll Love the Spark Activity Tracker


I'm not much of a "gadgets" person, but I am a results person. While I don't go for every trend or spend a lot of money on the latest technology, I will invest in things that have a big benefit to me. If that means a premium iPhone app, an amazingly accurate GPS watch (love my Garmin Forerunner), or a simple activity tracker, I'm generally skeptical at first, but very loyal once I find something that works.
 
Many of you know that I've been a Fitbit fan for many years. I still love the Fitbit and think it's a great device. It happened to be the tracker that really resonated with me, but that's not necessarily because the Fitbit is better or more accurate than anything else. From my perspective, any activity tracker that has the basic features you need and is easy to use can work wonders even if it's not the best or the most impressive. Regardless of the brand or type of device, the biggest benefit you'll get from any activity tracker is that wearing it each day as motivation to set and reach new goals. For me, that's why I love certain gadgets and data.

I'm proud to have been involved in the testing and developing of the Spark Activity Tracker's online features. After years of using an activity tracker, I had more than a few ideas on how to make our tracker great. For people who don't already have an activity tracking device—or for those who simply want a more streamlined experience—the Spark is an affordable gadget worth checking out. I love it for all the reasons I fell in love with my Fitbit years ago—but as loyal as I've been to the Fitbit, I have to admit that The Spark has several more perks that you won't find in other activity trackers.
 
Here are six reasons why I think you'll love the Spark as much as I do.  
Posted 11/6/2013  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 33 comments   13,889 views
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Plus-Size Workout Wear for Fall


Since I started working at SparkPeople this April, I've gotten into the habit of wearing workout clothes to work on most days of the week. It helps me fit in fitness breaks throughout the day without having to spend time changing clothes. But because I'm wearing fitness gear so much, my old ratty yoga pants and oversized T-shirts just aren't cutting it anymore. If this is what I'm going to wear every day, I want to look cute, too! Luckily, it's getting easier and easier to find cute workout clothes in extended sizes. (I wear a 14 or 16 depending on the brand.)
 
Fall is a tricky season for exercise clothes. It can be quite cool in the mornings but then warm up throughout the day. There are also sometimes weeks of lingering summer heat or sudden, overnight cold snaps. At least that's what it's like here in Ohio. If you don't like the weather, just wait 24 hours and you'll get something completely different! My strategy is to dress in layers and to always keep some of my summer clothes in the rotation until the first freeze of the season. Here are some of my current favorites and some things I'm putting on my list for fall shopping.
Posted 9/15/2013  8:00:00 AM By: Megan Patrick : 37 comments   27,166 views
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The Heat Is On: Stay Cool with These Summer Workout Accessories


The summer heat is enough to keep even the most dedicated exercisers lying indoors with the lights off and the shades drawn.  But if you want to make fitness a lifelong habit, that often means dealing with the changing seasons and temperature extremes without breaking stride.
 
I used to be much more of a "fair weather" exerciser. If it was raining, I'd skip my daily walk with the dog. If it was cold, I wouldn't leave the comfort of the indoors to walk to my car, let alone go out and run for an hour. But I can tell you that if you want to stick with a lifelong fitness plan—especially one that involves the highly accessible and inexpensive forms of exercise we know as running, walking or biking—changes in the weather are a fact you have to deal with. But I promise—no, really, I PROMISE—exercising in the summer heat (or even the dead of winter) is not as bad as you may think.
 
For me, exercising consistently in summer's hottest heat waves is dependent on four factors, all of which I have control over:
Posted 8/7/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 13 comments   18,596 views
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We Tried It: ElliptiGO, The Elliptical Bicycle


Now that the sun is out and spring is in full swing, you might finally be taking to the roads on your long-lost bike that was so neglected over the cold winter months.

Biking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while getting in some heart-pumping cardio, and also offers a fun opportunity to bond with friends and family. But, let's face it: Those narrow bike seats can get uncomfortable pretty quickly, and sitting for an extended period of time might be an issue if you suffer from back problems. You could always enjoy the outdoors by going for a run, but running can be more jarring on the joints than biking. Wouldn't it be great if there was a happy medium between biking and running that allowed you to get some heart-pumping outdoor cardio while salvaging your joints, back, and backside?

Well, guess what? There is! It's called the ElliptiGO.
Posted 5/4/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Melinda Hershey : 156 comments   33,375 views
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Gear Up: 5 Fitness Apparel Trends for Fall


Summer swimming gives way to fall hiking, and our once too-hot-to-handle weather is whisked away by cool breezes and darker mornings.

As the seasons change, so do our workouts—and our wardrobes.

Here's some of the cutest, coolest and newest trends in fitness apparel that you can find this fall.
Posted 9/30/2011  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 33 comments   13,511 views
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The Fab Fitness Gear I Can't Live Without


As a long-time exerciser and fitness instructor, I've tried my fair share of fitness gear over the years. But only a few items have withstood the sweat test! My workouts consist of a combination of running, walking, Pilates, Spinning, and general fitness training (weights, aerobics, etc.), and today I'm sharing some of my top picks for apparel, gadgets and gear in all of those categories!

Posted 1/21/2011  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 33 comments   18,562 views
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Gear Up: My Must-Have Accessory for Winter Workouts


I never learned to ski or snowboard. I've never been tubing or snowmobiling. And not once have I donned snowshoes, ice skates (as an adult anyway) or cross-country skis. Why? Because I have always hated winter. I'm cold when it's 75 degrees out, so just imagine how I feel when it's in the teens! "I don't want to be outdoors in the winter unless I have to be," I'd think. As a result, I've missed out on a lot of the events above…but at least I could always feel my toes.

When I became serious about running over the last year and a half, I knew that running outdoors in the winter would be a must. And happily, it has become something that I look forward to! I actually enjoy the winter and tolerate the cold so much more now that I am a runner; sloshing through all kinds of elements and pushing through dropping temperatures for mile after mile puts the walk from the car to the office into perspective. Running in the winter has taught me to appreciate the cold, ice and snow, and I'm thankful for that. But the key to enjoying an outdoor workout in the winter isn't an attitude adjustment (although that has been part of it): It's all about the clothes.

When you wear the right apparel and layer properly, there is nothing uncomfortable about heading outdoors to work out. I've ran in snow, single digits, cold rain (not that I recommend it), and never once suffered for it. And I attribute a whole lot of my comfort and ability to withstand the cold to a single piece of apparel…
Posted 1/5/2011  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 51 comments   19,824 views
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10 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Fitness Enthusiast




With the holiday just around the corner many of you may be looking for a few fitness gift ideas for your family, friends or maybe something you would like to put on your own gift wish list. Check out my list and feel free to add a few of your own ideas in the comment area below. The majority of the items are less than $50 which makes them the ideal gift for that someone special in your life.



Posted 12/11/2010  12:21:31 PM By: Nancy Howard : 39 comments   18,279 views
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Sock It to Me: How to Choose the Right Pair for Your Runs


As runners we know the necessity of being fitted for the right shoe for our training needs and pronation. After all, shoes are the only 'real' equipment a runner needs, right? Well, not so fast. While running in the correct shoe for your needs is a top priority, never underestimate the importance of wearing the proper performance socks. Wearing the wrong socks can turn what would have been a great run, into a not so great run when blisters begin to form. Trust me, when your feet hurt, it is almost impossible to continue running.

So you may be asking yourself, why are socks so important? After all shelling out $10 or more for one pair of socks seems absurd. But if you have ever developed a blister anywhere on your foot during a run, you would gladly pay any amount of money to keep it from happening again. The purpose of wearing a sock is to provide protection for your feet. Because blisters are caused by friction and moisture, wearing a sock that wicks moisture away from the skin while lessening the friction created within the shoe, may prevent a blister from ever developing, making your runs more enjoyable.

Posted 11/13/2010  8:00:34 AM By: Nancy Howard : 63 comments   20,736 views
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Gear Up: The $10 Fitness Accessory You Need for Spring and Fall


New workout gadgets and exercise clothes are big motivators for me, not just because they help me feel excited about exercising day after day, but also because having the right gear is important for any exerciser. When you have the right clothing, equipment and accessories for fitness, other things that would normally keep you from working out (like bad weather) aren't viable excuses any longer.

Last year when I started to get serious about running year round (read: snow, rain and extreme temperatures), I had to add to my wardrobe: fleece pants and jackets, running tights, a wind- and rain-proof hat and jacket. While all of these items ran the gamut in cost (who knew a pair of tights alone could cost upwards of $50?!), one new item I bought was dirt cheap in comparison—and interestingly, one of the best investments I've made so far.
Posted 11/5/2010  11:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 74 comments   22,372 views
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