Sweat in Style…For Less!

Hello Sweathearts,

I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for cute workout gear. Lululemon, Nike, Under Armour, you name it! I’m pretty laid back when it comes to the rest of my workout look–hair in a messy ponytail, and no makeup allowed–but I love picking out workout gear that is cute and functional. By functional, I mean that I don’t have to worry about anything hanging out or showing through. Being able to deflect sweat well is an added bonus–I don’t like to half-ass my workouts, so I’m always drenched by the time I’m through.

The problem with some of my favorite brands? They’re expensive. SUPER expensive. Not-realistic-for-a-college-student-who-works-as-a-babysitter-expensive. But I’ve learned a few tips and tricks that have helped me add Lulu, Nike, and UA to my wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Image

I didn’t pay full price for ANY of these items!

  • Sporting goods stores aren’t your only source of workout gear! I’ve picked up some great Nike pieces from Kohl’s and Nordstrom. Neither store offers a full range of product, but their small selection is often eligible for markdown and couponing (Kohl’s) or hits the clearance racks at a great price (Nordstrom).
  • But sporting goods stores DO offer great rewards programs and deals. Dick’s Sporting Goods is my go-to store based on their reward program. I get coupons regularly from them that range from $10 off a purchase to 25% off of an item. My local Dick’s also offers GREAT clearance racks at the end of each season that feature already marked-down items at an additional 50% off. I’ve gotten Nike shorts for under $10, and a Hard Tail Tank for under $20.
  • Outlets are the real deal (pun intended). I live about 40 minutes away from Woodbury Commons, a popular outlet center for locals and tourists alike. While I generally don’t find deals on everyday clothing there, the deals at the Nike, Under Armour, and Lululemon outlets can be incredible! Because it’s a long drive, I try to hit the outlets only once per season. I scored a Lululemon Vinyasa scarf for $29 in outlet that I had seen listed on eBay for close $80!
  • Give flash sales a chance. The Zumba capris pictured above? I found them listed on Zulily, a flash sale website geared more towards moms & children. My mother, a teacher, spotted the sale and alerted me to the deal. Since then, they’ve featured other fitness brands, such as Lucy. ACTIVE GearUp is a flash sale website that exclusively features fitness gear, but even the traditional websites such as HauteLook occasionally upload workout brands.
  • Patience isn’t just a virtue, it’s a bargain hunter’s way of life. If I fall in love with a newly released item from any store, I try to wait it out. It’s really tough for me–my instinct is to buy right away so that I can make it my own. But I’ve found that being patient often results in markdowns and worthwhile extra savings. I wouldn’t recommend doing this for something you absolutely can’t live without, but if you see something, bookmark it and check in every few days. Chances are, you’ll be able to score a deal.

What are some of your favorite ways to workout in style without paying a high price? I’m always looking for more ways to save money while leading an active and fashionable life!

 

Advertisements

O2 MAX Accelerator Program – Day 10!

Well, Sweathearts…

I made it! Today marks day 10 of my O2 MAX Accelerator program. In other words, the last day! I’ve had a lot of fun testing out the program, and sharing it here with you. While 10 days seems like such a short amount of time on paper, in reality, it seemed like a pretty long almost week-and-a-half. One thing I wondered when starting the plan was “Will ten days really have an impact on my body?” The answer is yes…and not just on my body, but on my mind as well!

I didn’t lose any weight following the program, but I didn’t gain any weight either. As I’ve become more interested in fitness, I’ve lost interest in the numbers on a scale. Instead, I focus on how my body feels. Do I feel stronger? Absolutely! I’m able to push through more squats, crunches, and pushups than I could ten days ago. I also can see some added definition in my arms, abs, and legs. Nothing dramatic, of course. But it’s there, and getting me closer to my ideal summer swimsuit body!

The diet plan included in the program was also helpful for me. Admittedly, I didn’t always stick to it. But I’ve made some healthier than normal choices over the past ten days (cutting out a lot of processed foods, eating more fruits and veggies, and drinking lots of water) that will hopefully become normal habits for me as I continue to stick with them.

Most importantly, I’ve gotten into a groove of really looking forward to my daily exercise time. It’s “me” time, that I truly enjoy. It feels so good to dedicate time and effort into becoming the best Sarah that I can be.

Thank you, O2 MAX, for the chance to test out this program! Sweathearts, have you tried any similar programs in the past?

Boston.

Hello Sweathearts,

I have to admit. My heart feels pretty darn heavy tonight. I’m sure that by now, most of you have heard about the terror attack that occurred at the Boston Marathon today. While all of the details aren’t clear yet (a few hours ago, it wasn’t even being referred to as a terror attack, just ‘explosions’) what is clear is the fact that at least three people have lost their lives, while countless others have been injured.

As I followed the news via the radio and twitter as I headed to class this afternoon, I couldn’t help but think about the hours of training that the runners put in to make it to Boston. The cheers of their friends and families as they worked towards accomplishing their goals. The energy of the volunteers ensuring that every detail of the event went off as planned. Until the details began to unravel, starting with one unexpected blast.

As I completed my workouts tonight, Boston remained on my mind. I may not know all of the details yet, but I do know that for now, I will keep the city, the runners, the fans, the family members, the first responders, the volunteers, and everyone else affected by today in my thoughts and prayers.

O2 MAX Accelerator Program – Day 6

Wow, Sweathearts!

Boy, did I let y’all down with my daily updates.

My apologies. It has been a crazy busy few days for me! I’m definitely a wee bit overwhelmed with schoolwork. Add in some fun events with friends this weekend and you get a neglectful blogger. The good news is, I’m back to finish this series strong! The great news is, the O2 MAX Accelerator program is so easy to follow that I was still able to squeeze in some short workouts each day.

With the Accelerator program, a ten day plan is sent to you ahead of time. It’s a PDF file, so you can print and follow along that way, or check out the workouts from your phone. The fact that I could look up my daily workout on my iPhone on-the-go this weekend made it so much easier to stay committed! The workouts are also short and sweet: 6 moves per day.

This weekend was definitely a challenge. I ended up doing my workouts very late at night, in my pajamas, ready to hop into bed as soon as I finished. I didn’t stick to my diet perfectly, as time with my girlfriends inevitably includes cupcakes, cookies, and other treats. But…that’s okay. So often, we beat ourselves up when we deviate from our fitness plans. But it happens! This weekend, I reminded myself that even a minimal workout is better than no workout. The lemon bar I ate? Well, I also walked the streets of NYC and ran through subway stations for cardio. Balance is important, and I’m ready to get back on track with my usual workouts this week…and ready to share them with you here!

How were your weekend workouts?

 

O2 MAX Accelerator Program – Day 2

Hi, Sweathearts!

That lovely spring weather I mentioned yesterday? Well, today it was interrupted by a not-so-lovely torrential downpour this evening. I’m not a huge fan of such heavy rain, but I will admit that the accompanying thunderstorm was pretty amazing to watch. Weather aside, I had a pretty great day fitness wise. I took an incredible yoga class at Hastings Yoga, then headed home to tackle day 2 of my O2 MAX Accelerator Program.

ImageDay 2…yoga style!

One reason I’m loving the Accelerator Program already is the fact that you workout your entire body via six easy moves each day. Today, the moves focused on legs (2 exercises), chest, shoulders, lower back, and abs. I know that a lot of people swear by workouts where they focus on a different body part each day, and I know how effective that method is. But I love to switch it up for two reasons. First, I get bored if I don’t! Second, I like targeting multiple body parts at one time because it makes the pain a bit easier to bear the next day…rather than wanting someone to carry me around all day because I did one too many leg exercises!

As always, that is just my two cents! How do you like to plan your workouts? Would you rather target one area per day, or get a full body workout in?

O2 MAX Accelerator – Day 1

Hello, Sweathearts!

Well, the weather in the greater NYC area is finally beginning to show signs of spring! For me, it’s about time. I’m so tired of lugging my down jacket around with me, never knowing when the air is going to take a turn towards the too-chilly.

With spring comes so much fitness fun: outdoor runs, anyone? Yes, I know you can run outdoors in the winter—but isn’t there something awesome about taking on a trail in the spring, when flowers are beginning to bloom and it isn’t swelteringly hot yet? I’ve also used the beginning of spring as an excuse to refresh my workout routine. I’ve recently tried some fabulous classes at Hastings Yoga and Soul Cycle Scarsdale. They’ve both challenged me in different ways, and I’ll be reviewing both studios soon here on my blog.

Today, I’m refreshing my workout routine in a new way by kicking off a 10-day Accelerator Program with O2MAX Fitness. I recently completed their 3-month Event Ready Program (I talked about it on my previous personal blog, linked here) and I absolutely loved it. Their program is easy to follow at home, and fits well with my busy schedule. Karen Jashinsky, the founder of O2MAX invited me to try out this accelerator program for free, so I couldn’t resist. For the next ten days, I’ll be posting a brief update regarding my daily workout here. This will give me a way to stay accountable and check my progress, and will give you an introduction to O2MAX. I hope you enjoy this mini series!

Image

Here’s my Day 1 picture!

Today’s workout included one of my favorite moves — bicycle crunches! What are some of your favorite fitness moves?