When I am working with mothers, one piece of advice which I always give them is that taking care of themselves should be a priority. I can hear you snort at the very thought of fitting in ten hours each week to tend to your own needs. However I like to use the analogy of the oxygen mask on a plane. If you do not put yourself first, then how can you be best placed to look after the rest of your family?
For me, many of my ten hours are spent exercising. I rise at 4.30am each weekday and hit the 5am CrossFit session. At the weekend I lie in until 5.30am and then hit the pavement for a run. This is a non-negotiable part of my life, it sets me up for the day and keeps me fit and strong. It also gives me an excuse to have four drawers bulging with exercise clothes and over 30 pair of shoes for training in.
Of course keeping yourself fit need not be an expensive exercise. For most activities a good pair of shoes and a supportive sports bra are all you need to invest in. Pulling on some beach shorts and a t-shirt will suffice. However I have found that I shop, not only to fuel my shoe addiction, but also because I started to find certain brands fitted me well and allowed me to do my sessions without pulling up shorts or yanking down tops.
There are so many brands available to choose from. Old favourites such as Adidas, Nike and Reebok pretty much cover the whole spectrum of sports, from soccer to running to yoga. Most malls will feature their shops and their online presence is also huge.
LuluLemon Athletica would have to be a favourite among mothers. Not only for exercising in either. There are whole movements on the internet labelling some mums as “LuluLemon” mums. When I first heard of LuluLemon they were very much a yoga company, running free yoga sessions and supplying quality yoga clothes, mats and accessories. Now they offer a bigger range of clothing with Crossfit items and a full running range also. This is one of my favourite brands for training in, and each year I receive a gift voucher for Christmas which enables me to top up my collection.
Suitable for a lower budget is the Michelle Bridges ONE Active brand. I know many women who have used this range to clothe them through their weight loss journey, reluctant to spend a lot of money on gear when they plan on dropping dress sizes. Available from Big W, I have several of the jackets and vests from this range in my cupboard.
Another favourite with many of the mums I know is the Fabletics range by Kate Hudson. This is a funky range of exercise clothes which are available at very reasonable prices. The huge online store has some very attractive offers for your first few orders and the garments are of a great quality.
Skins is another popular brand, particularly among the runners. I have been known to sleep in my Skins after a long run as the compression garments help aid muscle recovery. I must say that I am loving the newest range of Skins and have my eye on a pair of the beautifully patterned compression tights. Skins are available online and also in stores such as Rebel Sport.
My exercise clothes range from some budget items through to some expensive items with most somewhere in between. The only areas where I will not compromise, as I indicated before, is in my footwear and sports bra.
With shoes I really recommend a professional fitting. Wearing the wrong shoes for any sport can result in injury and having a proper assessment can help keep injuries at bay. This does not of course mean that can not look good, once you know what type of shoe you need you can select one which you like the look of too.
When it comes to sports bras I am also a great fan of a professional fitting. I always head to my local David Jones as I know that the staff there will spend as long as needed helping me find the right fit. And yes, I am that person jumping up and down doing star jumps in the changing rooms!
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