Walked out of gym and a cool wind whipped around you that made you shiver, too familiar? About time to pick the right fabric for you activewear ladies (and gents)!
Wearing the right clothing can make the difference between an enjoyable workout and an hour of misery. And investing in some stylish yet comfortable workout clothing is the perfect motivation to get you moving, whether you’re hitting the gym, heading for the hills or exercising in the comfort of your own home. I already had enough excuses not to exercise – my workout clothing didn’t need to be one more of them.
One of the most common mistakes people make is wear cotton made clothes when they exercise. Cotton is comfortable, but the more you sweat during exercise, the more perspiration it traps, weighing down your garment and clinging to your skin. In summer, that can prevent your body from cooling properly. In winter, wearing those damp clothes for a workout keeps you cold. Add a cold wind to the equation, and you’ll be chilled to the bone.
Instead, you should have worn a shirt designed to draw sweat away from the body and move it to the outer surface. These “wicking” clothes (also called technical or performance fabrics) are usually made of polyester and/or Lycra blends. They may cost more than your average cotton T-shirt, but they’ll also last longer and keep you comfortable.
Proper workout attire doesn’t stop with your shirt. Cotton socks can also trap moisture and cause blisters, while a polyester-blend sock may help prevent them. Shorts, tights, sports bras, workout pants are also available in performance fabrics.
Here is what you should be looking for when purchasing your new exercise clothing.
Avoid any rough fabrics that could chafe or irritate your skin during repetitive movement. Choose materials that let you move and don’t constrict you. Pay closer attention to fit than size, as some workout clothes tend to be smaller and more form fitting than regular clothes. Look for items that have a small percentage of spandex listed on the label. This allows for a greater range of motion during exercise and can provide a very comfortable fit without being skin-tight.
If you’re going to be perspiring a lot, make sure your base layer will keep you dry and comfortable. Look for a polyester/ Lycra blend or another synthetic material. These materials keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer—even when wet—and dry quickly.
While you might be tempted to hide beneath baggy layers, you will feel more confident and sure of yourself if you wear an outfit that looks good on you and plays up your assets. If you feel good about yourself, you’ll be inclined to exercise more often. Clothing trends change for workout wear too, but the basics never go out of style. Add one or two more trendy pieces to your wardrobe (such as a performance T-shirt in this season’s “hot” colour) but keep your classic black yoga pants that are timeless.
Have a great weekend ahead!
We all know that theoretically we should work out more often than what we are doing already, but in reality, most of us struggle between work and all other commitments in life that makes it look like impossible to squeeze more time into exercising.
Try this next time when you get home, put down your bag and put on your yoga/gym clothing, put aside your phone, get yourself comfortable and sit with your legs crossed like this:
Or like this
Breathe in and breathe out, slowly and deeply, as slow as you can. Repeat for 5 mins, easy peasy. Put on Spotify’s “Peaceful Piano” playlist, it’s the best.
Then curl yourself up like a fetus and do this child’s post like a fetus. Again, slow your breathing, for 5 mins.
Last one, the downward dog pose for 5 mins, with a 30 second break and repeat it once more. This is a tricky one because ideally we all want to pose like this:
However reality is quite far from that LOL:
But don’t beat yourself up just because none of your body part can go where they are supposed to go, just like me! This is an Amazing pose that can force blood flow to your upper body and your head, I am not even exaggerating every time when I finish doing this pose, I feel like my brain is rejuvenated. It gives your head all the energy and oxygen it needs after a long day at work, to me it works the same as in taking a midday nap – insanely refreshing. And if it is too much for you, start with a pose like the right picture here, grab a chair and try to flatten and stretch your upper body as much as you can.
See it is not hard at all to treat yourself with a body re-boost for just 20 mins a day. Just make sure you do it before turning on your TV or browsing your Facebook feed – we can all afford that much time for our own body, all you need to do is to block out those trivial distractions in your everyday life and, Focus, Relax.
Happy ANZ Day everyone!
Two things in Marrakech you absolutely cannot miss: the Medina and Yves Saint Laurent’s garden residence – Jardin Majorelle.
If you’ve been to North Africa before you may have noticed that each city has a “Medina”. Medina means “town” in Arabic, it is where town centre used to be and then was preserved as part of the attraction, in modern days people refer to Medina as the old town in that particular city. Medina in Marrakech nowadays is actually an outdoor market. Walked through the entrance you’ll find yourself in a gigantic square. Stroll amongst numerous booths with a foreign face, you find yourself buried in noises from owners who are trying to drag you to their booth and have food. It is overwhelming to say the least, but we were kind of expecting it coz this is part of the experience, consider it fun!
And not sure if it has something to do with my Asian appetite, I found Moroccan food cooked in a tagine really tasty. Most tagine are a mixture of slow cooked protein (chicken, pork or beef) and eggplants, carrots and egg. The way they are prepared are quite similar to traditional Cantonese dish and that could be why I favoured it.
When the night falls the square turned into a circus. There are people who play cobras where you would need to pay to get in a frame with them, locals playing drums and singing where you can appreciate for free or feel free to donate, it is the Moroccan version of Carnival.
To me Marrakech has another meaning attached to it – Yves Saint Laurent. As someone who is a fashion fanatic it is hard for me to ignore the fact that this city is where YSL spent as his second home to Paris. Those days in the gardens they are glorious and decadent. He created great fashion artwork here, and it is also behind these garden walls he surrendered himself to drugs and self-indulgence and the inevitable depression that follows a lot of artists in the world. There is a very good read about this legendary figure who witnessed the collapse of the prestigious couture world and created the first ready to wear luxurious womenswear collection – The Beautiful Fall by Alicia Drake.
Yves in Marrakech:
Vibrant blue, bright yellow, sharp white.
In some sense Yves is returning to his roots in Algeria. YSL spent his childhood and adolescence in French Algeria, his works are deeply influenced by the vibrance and harmony of those colours when he grew up. He fell in love with this garden at this first visit, the brainchild of French artist Jacques Majorelle, it was love at first sight by him and his partner Pierre Berge. They bought it over before it was sold to a hotel, brought life back to it. We can only be thankful for their decision, or there won’t be Jardin Majorelle today. Each year in June and December he spent 2 weeks in Marrakech as a getaway from Paris. This is the place he recharged and reflected.
In 2017 the Musee of Yves Saint Laurent was built next to the garden, displaying his works and drafts throughout his entire life, with collections designed by him. Such a shame it was built after my visit, well I guess that is another reason I can convince myself to re-visit this amazing city.
A few tips if you are a female solo traveller in Morocco:
Try to avoid Ramadan. It was Ramadan when I went and luckily I was with a tour group, so we didn’t need to worry about meals, food, etc. Otherwise it might be challenging during the day as no restaurant or café is open under broad day light! And no alcohol is served either.
- Cover your body with sleeve tops and long pants. You don’t have to wear long sleeves but short ones are ideal. Stay away from revealing singlets or tank tops, the locals understand you are just a tourist, but you will get lots of unwanted attention when strolling in the city, probably not the best thing you can hope for. Pick light and breathing material that even in hot summer time you will survive ok in Morocco.
- Put a pack of tissue in your everyday bag. There are a lot of public toilets that do not provide any sanitary paper towels or toilet papers, and they are not the cleaniest washrooms in the world. You will thank yourself for being ready in situations like this.
- Do not wear shiny Jewries if you can, again, unwanted attention that might freak you out if people keep staring at your wrist or neck.
- Buy combined tickets to the YSL garden and museum so you can skip the queue when entering the garden.
Next adventure is the Atlas Mountains
Working solo is the norm for a lot of young entrepreneurs, few of us can afford hiring extra headcount before the business really starts to take off. This requires tremendous amount of self-discipline. Imagine when you have to set your own deadlines, with absolutely no supervision but yourself; waking up at whatever odd time; taking a coffee break anytime anywhere. At first this might sound like a great life, but soon you will realize it can easily get out of control. I have gone through days when I don’t get out of bed till 9am, spend 2 hours cooking and eating lunch, and 3 hours at night watching Netflix. It is Not going to work.
Starting your own business means you only work harder than when you had a full-time job, not the other way around. Why? Because you are starting something from nothing – if it is so much easier and financially lucrative, everyone else would have done it by now right? This is the time when you have to apply strict and non-negotiable discipline to yourself, you are the business, if you are being slack it means the whole business is going nowhere.
Set your routine. morning alarm at 6, finish your morning routine/breakfast in an hour, and make sure you are sitting in front of your computer by no later than 8:30 am – the normal start time for an office job;
Lunch break and coffee breaks. Again, stick to your schedule as if you are being employed. I’d suggest take no more than 2 breaks before lunch, try to walk around for 10-15 mins during your break, it helps to improve your well being from avoiding sitting down for too long, it also clears your mind. Take a lunch break at around midday and get back to work precisely after an hour.
Don’t just work from home. While I have to admit working from home has all it’s benefits, you are also exposed to various distractions. TV remote is next door in the lounge, your phone and Facebook is right next to your mouse, the balcony is sunny and you crave for a drink, it is not an ideal venue for people who are easily distracted, like myself. Go to a library, when surrounding yourself with books and computer screens, trust me your motivation to work come back straight away. It also has a huge plus comparing going to a café to work – you are not allowed to talk on the phone. It really cuts out all the disturbing noises.
Break up your daily tasks and set a time limit on how much you are spending on each of them. If you need to finish writing a blog on that day, make sure you only allow yourself no more than one hour with this task. When external deadlines are practically non-existent, it is imperative to issue yourself deadlines to each task and finish them like when you have a proper job. If not an one hour writing task can be dragged on for hours or even days. This not only significantly slows your work pace it also prevents you from doing it again – if you spend 3 days writing up a post, the next time you are going to dread at doing it again. But if you always manage writing a post in an hour, the more you practice the easier you feel at doing it.
Next Monday we are going to talk about how to pick a business idea if you are inspired to do your own thing.
Ballet flats labels would probably never have thought that one day, their biggest competitors are sneakers. Sneakers and skateboarding shoes used to be an item that can be paired with pants or shorts, few people could successfully put them together with feminine items such as dresses or skirts. Now thanks to the latest chic designs happened in the sneakers’ industry, we can finally put them on with our lovely outfits! To begin with though, pick those who has a leaner silhouette with no chunky or thick bottoms, below are a quick guide on how to pick your “dressy” sneakers:
- Fabric shell over leather
- Skinny soles over platform or thick ones
- Skateboarding shoes over trainers
- Runners over basketball or tennis shoes
- Slightly pointier or slimmer toes than round toes
These features will make your sneakers look less “sporty” and more chic, let’s start with low top sneakers. Low top sneakers go best with long pants, maxi dress or any item that you were meant to showcase as the primary focus on your outfits. Like this bright yellow maxi, it needs to go with a low top and low key shoes that do not take away your attention on the dress and make the whole look harmonious:
Or a floral dress with bright orange handbag that is the highlight, a pair of simple white sneakers is spot on:
Another floral dress with black leather bike jacket, great balance between rough and delicate, highlight is the high end slit around her left thigh, again you do not want to take people’s attention away by teaming this look with high profile sneakers, so white low top ones are a good choice as well:
Brunching with friends and fear that your secret crush might also be there? A baby-doll dress with white sneakers, you don’t need worry about overeating showing the cute and shy tummy with this, and it is super elegant and summery. It’s a no brainer!
To be honest white sneakers are the easiest as they literally go with anything in your wardrobe, but if you know these quick and smart ways I am about to show you below, you will find even colourful or high top sneakers are easy to handle as well.
Going to dancing with your besties on Saturday night but dreading the idea of having to standing on heels for hours on? Throw on an LBD (Little Black Dress) with black sneakers that has some highlighting bold colours on, sexy, chic and comfy! Win win
Going to work but sick of wearing heels on the street? Or even a casual Friday feel like a bit dressy, this asymmetrical white dress will look just fine with your black Converse:
Another LBD with bright red Nike high top basketball trainers, super dooper cool:
Loooove this look, grass green low sneakers with mini black skirt, an all-black effortless look:
If you are to wear high top ones, makes sure the entire outfit is above the knee, like Chiara Ferragni in this shot:
Kristen Stewart is probably the best sneaker queen out there;
Last but not least, the classic Red-White combo:
If you have any other better tips feel free to comment below.
Have a fantastic week guys!