Working out makes me feel ______. What’s the first thing that comes to mind?
The answer differs so significantly from person to person, but my answer would be: balanced.
If there’s one thing I learned about myself in my early-to-mid 20’s (especially in the dregs of winter) it’s that I need to workout to feel like a complete human. For me, if I’m not making it to a workout class or doing something active on my own it means I haven’t been taking the time to take care of myself. This usually only happens if I’m either slammed with work + life or just being plain lazy. Truthfully I’m not the type of person who can “eat whatever they want” and aging is an unfriendly reminder that I really can’t get away with the shenanigans and unhealthy habits I used to in my early 20’s. I’ve consistently gotten myself to workout classes at least 1-2x a week year-round for the last 8 years and counting. That’s some serious commitment! In my single days I was probably more committed to my health and wellness than I was my actual dating life, which is why I think of the word balance when it comes to working out.
The times when I felt the most off and down on myself were the seasons where I was so crazy busy that I barely had time for myself, and most nights wasn’t leaving work until well beyond the last class times offered. It can be a vicious cycle and you have to learn to make time for what’s important to you. Now that I’m in my 30’s I’m motivated by the long term benefits of working out. Self care is so real and even though I didn’t realize that was what I was teaching myself all of these years it was exactly what I learned.
I find balance in the fact that I know it’s not possible for me to workout more than 1-2 times per week. I’m limited to mostly taking classes at night, so it’s dependent on my work schedule and anything we have planned during the week. Other than that we have to be in town and without plans on the weekend for me to make it to a class on Saturday. Over the summer I was really good about waking up and going for a quick run along the water. There’s something so refreshing and inspiring about the cool breeze along the East River and saying hello to Brooklyn in the mornings. Now that the seasons have changed, I definitely need to be bundled up to do that. I’m obsessed with this rock springs jacket and how comfortable it is for running or anything active. The color is beautiful and a welcome change from my usual all black workout clothes! I’m always in the market for leggings that are comfortable, the right length on me, and a little more interesting. These 7/8 tights are hands down my favorite pair right now. The length is perfect for me and I love that they’re a little more breathable than a full tight. There are a few little pockets for my keys and some cash (in case I decide to grab a coffee on my way in from my run) and the fit is incredible.
One of my favorite winter workouts is actually playing paddle tennis – if you haven’t heard of it, I hadn’t either before I moved up here! MG played tennis in college so he’s pretty incredible with anything involving a racket or paddle and he’s been teaching me over the past few years. It’s a winter sport and actually is better the colder it is. I always struggle to find things to wear to play, especially if you want to shed some layers as you warm up. This entire outfit is perfect for paddle and will be coming to Connecticut with me this weekend when we try and work off some of that extra stuffing I’ll be eating!
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Photos by Bekka Palmer
This post was sponsored by Athleta. As always all opinions are my own!