Let’s talk clothes...and shoes and sports bras and ear buds. What completes your workout bag? What are the things you can’t live without? Or more importantly, what are the things you get to the gym, realize you forgot, and would be willing to turn around to go get cause you just can’t get a good workout without them.
Over and over certain brands seem to outperform others in the comfort and sweat wicking arena. Here’s our list of the must have, need to get, essential workout items you can get around Sacramento for maximum comfort and performance at the gym.
Athletic Shoes That Go the Extra Mile
Fleet Feet in Sacramento is pretty much the hub of athletic shoes to fit any activity you enjoy. These guys are pros at fitting you for a comfortable and stable workout, whether you’re running on the treadmill, lifting weights, or dancing in a Zumba class. You need solid footwear designed to handle the rigors of your sport and protect your feet and ankles from injury.
The pros down at Fleet Feet take an approach to shoe fitting that goes way beyond simply asking your shoe size. In a consultation, an associate will cover your fitness goals and how you intend to use the shoe. Next you’ll move on to foot size, width, arch. They even look at your gait and where your foot strikes the ground to recommend the right shoes and orthotic inserts if you need to correct any imbalances.
They carry a ton of popular brands, not only in running shoes, but also in accessory items you’ll also need for a good workout, such as water bottles and ear buds.
Best Sports Bras for Running
You need a good sports bra if you plan on doing any running. Classes like Yoga and Pilates are a little less intense and don’t require a great fit or even much support. But if you plan on hitting the treadmill or the trails, plan on investing in a great sports bra that will keep you comfortable. Every body is different, so make sure you try them on to ensure a great fit, but here are a couple of our favorites that are both comfortable and supportive.
TaTa Tamer II
The TaTa tamer comes in several different color options (which of course is important) and sizes all the way up to a 38DD. The convertible straps let you cross over to a racerback style tank any time you want, and is made of Lulu’s signature 4 way stretch material that wicks away sweat so things don’t get swampy.
You can grab this super wicking sports bra from Lululemon at any of their locations around Sacramento. There’s one at the Galleria mall in Roseville and one at the Arden Fair mall in Sacramento.
Pretty Much Anything by Moving Comfort
You’re going to be hard pressed to find more comfortable bras than the ones made by Moving Comfort. They’re all great and come in a variety of support levels, but our favorite of theirs is the Juno. It’s got adjustable straps that velcro in the front so you can cinch up mid-run if you need to.
You can pick up several different styles of Moving Comfort sports bras from the Athleta website, or at their Roseville location in the Galleria Mall.
Tops at the Top
Nearly every good quality line of athletic apparel carries great tops. Some of the more popular brands like Lululemon, Athleta, and Lucy (there’s one at the Fountains in Roseville) have a wide variety of different types of sporty shirts and tank tops that cater to specific sports and activities.
Running, Cross Training, and Group Exercise Classes
Yoga & Pilates
Everyone has that one pair of yoga pants or running shorts that get worn more than any other pair in the lineup. Here’s our vote for the best of the best in running, yoga, and general fitness.
We love the Run Times Short with 4-way stretch from Lululemon. The extra wide waist band is super comfortable and the 4 inch inseam is modest enough for cross training too.
You can’t get much more comfortable than the Hatha Capri Legging from Lucy. The waist band is the perfect rise for an extended forward fold.
A good go-to pair of bottoms that will get your through anything from weights to Zumba are the La Viva Capri from Athleta. They aren’t too tight and have a drawstring waist for custom adjustments.
Must Have Yoga Mat
There is only one mat that you’ll ever need to buy again. Welcome to the golden age of yoga and the The Mat from Lululemon. What’s special about this mat? It’s made from anti-stink anti-microbial material so you won’t end up with a funky mat after a few down dogs, and it’s also non-slide, so you don’t need a towel over your mat in a hot yoga class. The mat literally absorbs the sweat and kills any bacteria. How cool is that?
A couple words of advice though: Buy a darker colored one or you’ll end up with scuff marks and foot prints all over it, and make sure you unroll it and let it breath outside or in the garage for a few days before you use it to reduce the rubbery new mat smell.
Gym Bag Best of Show
Sometimes any old bag will do, but super busy people rushing from work to the gym, or popping in for a quick sweat on their lunch break need a bag that can do it all. The best bag for a busy gym rat is anything from Fitmark.
These backpacks are sturdy and good looking, and also have a compartment built in to carry your healthy post workout meals on the road. They come with the airtight containers to hold your food in, and the cooler packs to keep it cold.
Pick up your Fitmark gear bag at your local California Family Fitness location.
Accessorize Your Assets
After you get your workout clothes and gear bag situation handled, the only thing standing between you and a heart pumping, calorie scorching workout is music to motivate. Finding great music is key, but even more important than what you play, is the quality and comfort in how you play it.
Ear buds can make or break your workout. Nothing is more irritating than uncomfortable buds, or wires that flop around and tickle your neck while you’re running or lifting. And good quality sound is as important to your workout as any other piece of gear.
You can find earbuds almost anywhere, but the safest bet is to ask your gym what brand they recommend. Most gyms, including Cal Fit carry a range of headphone (both wired and wireless) options that have already been vetted by the staff and current members. Current brands that have made the cut include Sol Republic, Skullcandy, and Yurbuds. If everyone else loves them, you probably will too.