What to Have in a Gym Bag

The Gym Bag

Thank goodness it’s Friday! I figured today would be a good day to post this because I’m sure quite a few of us have messed up on our diets or fitness regiments and will be “starting” again on Monday. To be honest, I haven’t even begun to try and work out or eat healthier again. Like I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m still getting settled in my new city!

The apartment I’ll be moving into has a great gym on site and hopefully next week I’ll mosey on over to the gym a few times. I think the most exciting part of starting a new fitness regime is getting to stock your gym bag and buy a few new workout clothes. Is there anything more motivating than new gym stuff? Maybe just the cute bikini you’ll slip into this summer!

What’s in My Gym Bag

  1. Workout Leggings- The stretchy pants the hit mid-calf are the most flattering in my opinion. I find most of mine at Marshall’s for around $15. Hint: Buy them in prints because it conceals any lumps you might not want everyone to see!
  2. Gym Shoes- Simple, right? It drives me crazy when I see someone wearing Sperry’s to lift weights. My best tip for getting gym shoes like the Under Armor ones above is to wait for Dick’s Sporting Goods to have their semi-annual sale.
  3. Deodorant Spray- Dove has a good spray that I like. Before I workout, I spray it behind my knees and around my feet. Other weight lifters appreciate it!
  4. Water Bottle- Fill it with ice cubes and lemon wedges for a refreshing thirst quencher.
  5. Weight Lifting Gloves- I love these to prevent blisters, but you have to be sure to wash them often to prevent stink and bacteria!
  6. Good Sports Bra- Victoria’s Secret makes a few great ones but I’m not paying $50 for something I’ll sweat in. I found the one above in Target and absolutely loved it! It clasps in the back and provides a lot more support. Best part? It’s only $16!

Not pictured: Great anti-chafe cream! When you hit the tread mill, your thighs tend to rub together and get sore. Monistat makes a good chafe cream you can buy at Wal Mart for a few dollars. Leave a comment with what’s in your gym bag!

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Climbing Enchanted Rock

Climbing in Texas

Hello lovelies! I just got back from Texas and I’m so tired but had a great time. As I said in a previous post, I fell in love with this state. I already miss it. While I was there I got to do some pretty fun things! We went shopping, brunching, exploring, and ate way too much. Probably the craziest thing I did was climb a rock… a really big rock.

enchanted rock texas

When we got to the state park, I looked at the map to find the shortest climb to the top. The ‘Summit Trail’ sparked my interest and I paid no attention to the red-lettered warning saying it was the most challenging trail in the park. I’m still recovering from this climb.

enchanted rock climb

Prior to this climb, I thought I was in pretty good shape. I work out every day and I have a bit of muscle. This darn rock proved me wrong! The first 15 minutes of the climb was lovely. The next 30 minutes I was huffing and puffing. Every 15 steps I sat down to drink water and regulate my breathing. My darling boyfriend was so patient even though he probably thought we’d be there all day.

cactus in texas

I took pictures of cactus as I endured my climb. This Maryland girl had never seen one up close and not on Disney’s Earth series. They were really interesting to look at and touch. Just kidding.

texas hiking trails

This was during one of my many hiking breaks. At this point, we’re getting close to the top but not quite there yet. From the bottom of the rock, you would think that it would be a short climb. However, there are different levels of rock to climb. You think you’re almost at the top and then you realize that it was just an illusion and you have another level to climb.

Beautiful places texas

Once I got to the top though, the view was so worth it. Looking around and being able to see for miles was exhilarating. You realize how small you are when you’re standing there. I’ve never been more convinced that God created this beautiful Earth.

uss nimitz

After our climb, we went into the little town of Fredericksburg. I was interested to learn that it’s the home town of Admiral Chester Nimitz. When my dad was in the Navy, he was on the USS Nimitz. I found it fitting to take a picture with the Admiral’s statue.

Now that I’m home, I’m trying to settle back into my routine and get used to reality. Vacation is over; back to work and more consistent blogging! Speaking of blogging, I created a Facebook page for Witty n Pretty! Be sure to like it if you want my post updates!

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My Favorite (simple) Home-Based Exercises

gym_selfieIt’s Thursday and I’m happy (and so is my body)! I’ve been hitting the gym hard the last few days and every muscle aches. Staying in shape is not easy and it’s taken me a few years to learn how to do exercises properly and a few months to really get into a routine. I joined a local gym back in April to motivate myself to workout more. Believe it or not, it worked! I go 5 days a week for about an hour each day.

Honestly, you don’t have to join a gym to get in a great workout. There are quite a few of us that simply don’t have the extra time or money to get a gym membership and that’s fine! Many of the exercises that I do at my gym can be done pretty much anywhere. If you can’t join a gym right now, here are a few exercises I love to do that you can do at home (and it’s free).

  • Lunges- I do about 40 of them (20 on each leg) back and forth across the floor. For an added challenge I hold weights in each hand to make my abs and arms work a little harder.
  • Standing push-up- I can’t get on the floor and do a legitimate push-up so I like to lean against a counter top or even a wall and do about 20 of them that way. It’s much less stress on my back!
  • Donkey kicks- Get on all fours and push your left leg back as if you’re kicking something behind you. Switch to the opposite leg. I do this about 20 times for each leg and it really helps to tone your butt and the back of the leg.
  • Hyperextensions- Using a weight (can be anything from a dumb bell to a jug of milk) spread your feet shoulder-width apart, keep your shoulders back, and slowly bend forward at the hips until you are at a 90 degree angle. Then, come back up to a standing position. This works your abs and your back!

As always, doing 20 minutes of cardio really helps to take off those calories. I like to walk at an incline if I can to work the back of my legs and get my heart pumping faster. People who like to run might consider doing it on something softer like sand or even grass because pavement can be bad to run on for your knees.

If you have any suggestions for exercises that don’t require being at the gym to do, leave me a comment!

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Top 5 Exercises for Muscle Transformation

workout_inspiration Here’s a little gym/fitness update for those who need inspiring on this lovely Tuesday! Since I’ve started going to the gym regularly, I’ve had a lot more energy and I’ve noticed an increased sense of satisfaction with my life. I go for about 90 minutes 4 days a week and really try to work my arms, legs, and stomach the hardest. I’ve lost about 5lbs. since the first time I weighed in. I increasingly see toning and definition in my body that wasn’t there before. On top of this, I’ve met some really great people in my gym that make it worth going to.

I try to switch up my routine fairly often to give my body a challenge but there are 5 exercises I always do that have really helped me tone my muscles!

  1. Seated Row– My arms are always killing me by the end of this. I do about 3 sets of 25 reps.
  2. Hip Abduction- Some people love this and others think it doesn’t do much for you. Personally, I love it. My thighs are always burning for about a day after the initial exercise. I do 3 sets of 30 reps.
  3. Hamstring Curl– This exercise is so great for the muscle the runs from the back of your knees up to the area right underneath of your butt. I’ve noticed that it’s helping lift my butt (or lack thereof) and making it look firmer. I do about 2 sets of 20 reps.
  4. Bench Press- It’s pretty basic but there’s a reason it works! I don’t bench much trust me, but the little bit I do has really firmed my upper arms and chest area. I do 2 sets of 10 reps.
  5. Incline Walking- I’m not a great runner so I’ve found that jumping on the treadmill and turning up the incline is a great compromise to all the running people do around me. I do a fast-paced walk at an incline for about 20 minutes to get my blood pumping for the rest of my workout.

Enjoy your time in the gym. I know this is easier said than done. I figure the time I spend suffering now will be well worth the great beach body I have later!

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Gym Lust List

Exciting news! I’m back in the gym after a 4 month hiatus! As my graduation gift, my parents bought me a membership to the gym for a few months. I couldn’t be happier about this as I really needed an outlet to release my stress in. What better place than the gym? Not only do you get a great workout, you’re also entertained! Watching a bunch of muscular guys lift weights totally distracts from the pain you feel doing squats. I really don’t know why women hate the gym!

Seriously though, after going a few times and getting the feel for things, I’ve come up with a list of gym gear I want. For my own reassurance, I went into Dick’s Sporting Goods to make sure everything I like comes in a pretty color. It does! That store always makes me want to be the sporty girl that I’m not!

Even when I workout I stay true to myself and my style! I love pink and wouldn’t dream of exercising in boring colors. The gym should be a place where I feel the best about myself because I’m doing something really great for my body. I’m one of those girls who does where make up to the gym (no foundation because it clogs your pores when your skin is trying to sweat). I want to feel pretty and confident!

My gym lust list right now consists of a North Face jacket, hand grips, tank top, supportive bra, and compression pants. I’ve always wanted a North Face fleece jacket and it can be really nice to have when you first get in the gym and haven’t warmed up. I’m finding that the gloves are necessary if you’re going to do any weight lifting. I blistered my hands lifting the other day.

As far as that tank top goes, I just love the saying on the front. “Fear less, sweat more” is half of what you need to do in the gym! The Addidas sports bra on my lust list will allow you to do it without fear of coming out of your bra because it’s a lot more supportive than others I’ve seen.

My final lust list item are those great Under Armor compression pants. I’ve seen so many girls wearing them and I’m about to get on board the bandwagon. Before I jump completely on though, I’d like to firm my thighs a bit. No jiggling allowed!

Let me know what products you love for the gym in a comment below!

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