I used to be a morning exerciser. I’d wake up before my alarm rang, head to bootcamp or the gym at our old condo. It would still be dark and quiet when I returned from my workout, and I’d be ready to take on the day.
And then I traded morning workouts to become an evening exerciser. I’d rush home and get changed, and Nick and I would head to CrossFit Southie together. Like my morning workouts, evening workouts became part of our routine.
And then I became a parent, and the only thing routine about our routine… is that everything changes from one day to the next. There have been countless days when I’ve thought, “I’ll get up early and workout before work,” only to find myself up most of the night, nursing Grace and singing made up words to made up songs until she fell back to sleep. There have been just as many days when I’ve thought, “I’ll workout when I get home.” But when six o’clock rolls around, what I really need is a nap.
These days, plans to workout don’t always pan out. In fact, it seems they rarely do. What does work, though, is fitting in a little fitness when I can, where I can. I may not be able to count on an hour at the gym each night, but I can count on a 15 minute walk during lunch, some yoga in Grace’s room while she plays with her Little Tikes piano (not exactly ambient music, but I love it), a little balance work in line at the grocery store, and five minutes of weights while dinner cooks.
I’ve been seeing a physical therapist for a few months for back and hip pain, and she has given me a series of exercises that, as she says, you can do pretty much anywhere and not look like a weirdo. I like not looking like a weirdo. And like a quick yoga flow in the nursery or some squats in the kitchen, they require only a little time and a little space.
I’m no longer a solid morning or evening exerciser. A workout is only going to happen if it’s easy and accessible. (And if I don’t find or make excuses, but hey.) In the interest of ease and accessibility, I’ve started laying out my workout gear again and even put together a little home gym in a bin.
City Sports recently sent me a few items from their CS by City Sports fall line, including the See Me Go 1/2 zip top (on sale for $38), Sporty long sleeve (on sale for $18), and Dual Fashion tight (on sale for $38). I’ve always loved City Sports and used to walk down to the Chestnut Hill store (which got even better when it reopened last March) when I was in college for new running gear. Their CS line is an affordable, well-made and well-designed alternative to, welp… the alternatives.
The See Me Go top is great for layering (and it has thumb holes, yaaaaaasss!), as is the long sleeve tee. I’ve worn the tights for both workouts and for running errands (paired with a black tunic and ballet flats). CS by City Sports comes extended sizes (something I think all fitness companies should get on board with), and their apparel is flattering, functional and unfussy. In other words: exactly what I’m looking for.
Speaking of functional and unfussy, here’s my home gym in a bin. I pulled together the things I use most often, or that could motivate me to fit in a quick workout without much (or any) planning.
In the bin (which, for bonus points, is paisley and adorable):
- 5 lb. and 8 lb. weights from Target
- 20 lb. kettlebell
- Yoga strap (good for stretching and deepening poses)
- Hugger Mugger cork yoga block
- A few workout decks (These are great for travel or for putting together a workout when you’re lacking brain capacity — I have one for stretching, one for yoga that includes meditations, and one from Jillian Michaels… I mostly just stare at the pictures of her and hope to achieve her physique through osmosis)
Other home gym essentials that didn’t fit in the bin, but that hang out nearby:
- Foam roller
- Yoga mat
- Exercise ball (which doubles as the most amazing way to soothe or
rockbounce our baby to sleep — seriously, all parents should have one)
While this little home gym in a bin is cute enough to leave out, it fits perfectly in our front hall closet (safely tucked away from curious babies and Frenchies) and can be pulled out whenever I have a few minutes to fit in a quick workout. Easy and accessible, functional and unfussy.
Obvious disclaimer: I received complimentary apparel from City Sports. As always, thoughts and opinions shared on these items are my own. Oh, and here’s something timely: City Sports’ Black Friday deals include 30% off CS apparel.
Also On Tap for Today:
- 10 fun games to play on Thanksgiving from Apartment Therapy
- Bring on the snow (or… rain?)
- Totally obsessed (aren’t we all) with Serial
What’s your workout style?