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My ideas and experiences in exercising, hiking, and healing, and reviews of products to help you stay healthy.
Open Back Workout Top & Colorful Crisscross Sports Bra

Baleaf Yoga top & Charmleaks Sports BraI never thought I'd wear workout clothes outside of the gym, which I no longer go to, since I workout at home now. I see lots of gals at the store and stuff wearing yoga pants and tops. I never understood it. Why would you wear that if you are not working out? And if you were working out, wouldn't you change out of your sweaty gym clothes before you went shopping?

But alas, with my son getting bigger, more active, and into sports and stuff, I found myself having to play ball with him and run around the track and obstacle courses. Phew, makes my heart start winding up just writing about it.

So I had to kick my gladiator sandals to the curb for a while and lace up my hardly used Nike Tanjuns. I even pulled out my old workout clothes from years ago so that I don't split my regular shorts running around.

My hubby decided to get me some new workout clothes. *Thank you* I picked out a black open back tank and a colorful sports bra that matches my Nikes :-)  Makes me feel a little like Jennifer Aniston in her cute running outfits that she wore on the Mother's Day movie.

The Black Tank Top

The yoga top he got me online is called Baleaf Women's Soft Lightweight Cowl Back Workout Yoga Sleeveless Shirts. I am 5ft 105lbs and got a size Small. It seems to fit pretty well.  It is long in the back and covers my whole bottom, and reaches down to my upper hamstrings.

Baleaf Yoga Top & Charmleaks Sports BraIt seems more slimming than other "yoga" tops, so I like it. Baggy workout tops me look big in the middle. The large opening hole in the back helps with cooling. And the drapey cowl in the back gives it extra style.

There are other colors of this cute yoga top, in case you've got enough black tops. These tops are so classy-looking that I think they would look pretty worn as a regular top, not necessarily just for working out. And while I was out at Target today, I saw some regular bras with pretty racerback designs that would look nice under this top.

The Criss-Cross Sports Bra

The colorful sports bra, also from Amazon, is called CharmLeaks Womens WorkOut Wirefree CrossBack Padded Running Yoga Sports Sport Bra. I would say it provides light support. Doing yoga and pilates would be fine. But training for a marathon, not so much.

The color and design is what sold me, though. It is very pretty and unique. It gives you a little shape so you don't flatten out underneath the tank top. Most of all, I love the purplish-raspberry color of the criss-cross strap in the back (my favorite color). A little bit of strap peaks out over the front shoulders as well, adding a little interest to the front.

From reading the reviews of the sports bra, it sounded like the cups were really small. I originally ordered a Medium, and it was waaaayy too big on me. I got a Small, and it fits fine. I am a 34B.

If you are in the market for some new yoga or workout tops, I would recommend this combination. But be warned, you might get some compliments! BTW, this top is great for hiking, too.

Must... Have... Water!

Red Town TrailI went on a little hike last weekend. Living near Cougar Mountain, there are so many trails, just minutes from our house. I decided to scope one out to see if it would be a good one to take my kids to. I brought our trusty little dog with me for company.

I parked at the Red Town Trailhead in Bellevue. There were several trails to take, but the one I was aiming for was the one that led to the waterfall. I kept following the signs until I got there. It was a fairly easy trail, except for one part that was pretty steep. I feel like all the elevation gain was in this steep switchback area. It winded me pretty badly, but it was exhilarating!

The waterfall was mostly dried up, with a small trickle that I let the dog drink out of. I should have taken a picture for you, but I was so disappointed in it, that I didn't think it would be worth it at the time. It would be interesting to see it in the spring after a little rain. But I read that the trail can get muddy, and that would be no fun to hike on.

Most of the trail was forested with nice cool shade from the evergreens above. The route I hiked took about 1-1/2 hours to the waterfall and back. Pretty quick in and out. I would definitely do this hike again, and maybe take some different turns and try out the different trails there. If I find a route without so many steep switchbacks, I might bring the kids.

Camelbak Hydration backpackI was glad to have brought my Camelbak hydration backpack on the hike. My brother gave it to me as a gift after he came back from Afghanistan. Apparently, it is what they used out there in the desert. He remembered how I would hike with multiple bottles of water for myself and the dog. The Camelbak is an enormous improvement. I've never left for a hike without it.

Dog Drinking from CamelbackIt gives you hands free hiking for dog handling, using a walking stick, or just tree hugging. It is pretty slim and low profile, carrying it on your back. It holds plenty of water for me and the dog. She got pretty good at catching the stream as I sprayed it into her mouth.

The Camelbak is also perfect for biking. You don't have to stop, pull out a water bottle, open it up, drink, close it up, and put it back. You just reach for the tube, bite down, suck a few gulps of water out, and drop the tube. Easy as that.

The drinking tube is fed by gravity from the main reservoir inside the backpack. The tube goes over your shoulder and down the strap of the backpack. Makes it easily accessible, as it drapes down toward your hip.

There are also a couple of small pockets on the pack. I put a couple of granola bars, dog treats, tissue, car keys, and my ID in it. That's all I needed on the hike!

Can a 5yo Run Circles Around a 44yo?

Nike Tanjun Running ShoesMy underarms are killing me this morning. I did monkey bars with my 5yo yesterday. Trying to keep up with him at the park made me rethink my workout routines!

We did an obstacle course around the play ground. I climbed up every climbing apparatus, slid down every slide, walked across the shaky bridge, and as you know, dangled across the monkey bars a few times.

I also chased him up and down the field as he kicked the soccer ball, threw a football with him, played frisby. And as the finale, raced him around the track.

Thankfully, the only thing that aches so far today are my underarms. I can thank my electric violet Nike Tanjun running shoes for that. I got them last year, but they still look brand new.

I've been a slacker all the previous times I've taken him to the park. As a bystander sitting on a bench, I haven't gotten much exercise at the park. My poor little Nikes have been benched too, sitting pretty in a little shoe box, waiting for an occasion to go running.

Colors of Nike TanjunSo yesterday, I decided would be the day to take them out for a spin. And they were definitely the right choice. The Nike Tanjuns are light as a feather and very well made. As I ran around the track, chasing after my son, I felt as if I could actually make it all the way around. The soft comfy shoes seemed to give me that extra lift and push as I felt my feet spring back off the ground with each step.

These running shoes are so soft all over the top, it feels like wearing socks. There are no areas of the shoe that push on my feet or toes. The soles are soft and springy. The shoes are weightless and great to run in. They made me realize how much I miss running. It's been over 10 years since I used to run regularly. I thought maybe I should get back into it. I won a free entry for a half marathon in a raffle. Maybe I should start training for it. Only if I can do it with my Tanjuns :-)

The only thing I wish these shoes had is better arch support. But this was easily fixed by adding little stick on arch supports. I love the Fab Feet ones from Target. They are light-weight and fit into every shoe I have, including sandals.

I love the violet color that I got. They especially stand out nicely when I'm wearing an all black workout outfit. But they come in so many colors of the rainbow. If I were to get another pair (or two), I would probably get the all black, the olive green, or the mango.

Foam Rolling

I kept getting talked into foam rollers by my trainer and chiropractor. Now I can't live without it.. I foam roll my back every morning. A big part of it is to stretch out my arms and chest after being in a curled up sleeping position all night. It's a great way to open up the posture.

Another huge reason I foam roll is to massage the kinks out of my back and shoulders. Ever since I turned 30, those kinks love to resurface as gravity pulls my posture into a pain-inducing slouched position. The foam roller helps with this immensely!

I got a foam roller from my chiropractor for about $25. It felt good for a long while. Until I borrowed my brother's foam roller at his house. It was a lot harder and more dense. Boy did that massage those kinks in my back. He told me he got it from Amazon. So my hubby got one for me, and lo and behold, angels singing, it works wonders. I'd be lost without my foam roller. It is a wonderful way to wake up the body in the morning, with a great stretch and back massage!

I use the foam roller every morning. I love to lie down on it on the floor and roll side to side to get a nice back massage. And then stretch my arms out to the side and up to get an amazing stretch.

Spread Your Toes

It was winter time, almost Christmas. Riding boots were all the rage. My friend comes over  for a visit and leaves her boots next to the front door. I hear zzzzzip and zzzip. Then she walks into the living room. Something catches my eye.

Rainbow feet with ten rainbow toes are padding around my living room floor. She is wearing those weird colorful toe socks from the 60s. But hey, if she likes them, then more power to her. I got her a couple extra pairs for Christmas that year.

Fun Toe socksLittle did I know I would be padding around with similar weird socks sometime in the future. But fast forward a few years back to the present. And it's all I wear now. I haven't treated myself to a rainbow pair yet, but black toe socks are my jam.

I used to always get that feeling after wearing socks all day, especially tights, where my toes are uncomfortably squished together. Getting the socks off at the end of the day was always such a relief. I never thought there was any other way.

Until I started wearing yoga toe socks. I notice how great my toes feel in those. No squishing. Just comfortably letting them spread out as needed. I wear those all day and my toes still feel totally free.

I realize that I can get plain black toe socks without any frills or rainbows. They feel like a dream. My shoes all fit me just the same as with regular socks. These socks are so comfortable, I even sleep with them on after putting on foot cream. This type of sock could also be helpful for people with bunions, as it allows the toes to spread out rather than pushing the big toe inward. I wear a women's 6 in shoes, and these Fun Toes socks fit me perfectly.

I do get a few comments or weird glances every now and then when people see me sans ankle boots (which is all the rage now) and these toe socks on. But I do think they will catch on. Beside, people have been wearing toe shoes more and more. Why not toe socks?

Yoga Socks and Gloves

Morning yoga and exercises may be the last frontier where I can experience peace and solitude without the pitter patter chitter chatter of little munchkins. It is a time to enjoy the silence, listen to my thoughts, and do some self-care. I wake up as early as I can tolerate, while the kids are still at least in REM sleep.

But the living room is cold and puts a damper on the peaceful solitude. I turn up the house heat, but my feet are still cold. I put on some socks, get on my yoga mat, and go into downward dog. My feet start slipping. I'm sliding into flat dog. My socks are off, and they're sticking to my mat. Sigh... better crank up the heat even higher.

One day, I go online and find the weirdest-looking things that I would be totally embarrassed to be seen in. Yoga socks with non-slip grips at the bottom. With grippies for each toe! I order them, and they are here in two days. I may not look as tough during the warrior poses with pink grippy toe socks, but I'm warm and my triangle pose stays triangular.

Not long after several warm-toes-yoga routines, a new problem started to arise... I was foam rolling on the living room floor and my hands got so cold. I put on my weight lifting gloves and and felt more comfortable. But when it came time for downward dog, I quickly found the weight-lifting gloves sliding off the mat. So needless to say, I found non-skid yoga gloves that double as dumbell gloves for me. And now, hands and feet are all cozy during cold morning yogalates.

I did add one trick with these yoga socks and gloves for a little self-pampering. Right before donning the socks and gloves, I put on a little lotion to seal in the moisture. Namaste.


Featured Health Blog Articles

Gym Slacker  - 10/7/2011
Yoga Socks and Gloves  - 3/3/2017
Open Back Workout Top & Colorful Crisscross Sports Bra  - 7/29/2017
Zumba Fitness  - 5/15/2011
Losing Post Baby Fat  - 8/2/2017

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