7 New & Affordable Workout Pieces to Treat Yo Self

The first run after a long vacation is never easy. From Christmas through New Years, I somewhat laid low; not entirely, but compared to my typical fitness routine (a solid sweat, once a day) I definitely erred on the side of lazy. Well, lazy with a side of cookies and cinnamon buns.

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By the time I got back to Philly on Friday, I knew it was time to shape the fudge up.

While it would have been nice to spend another two days on the beaches of Puerto Rico, getting back with an entire weekend to spare turned out to be just what I needed. It gave me the time to get back into my routine. To stock my house with fresh ingredients–fruits and veggies, homemade soups from a local vendor, local breads and cheeses. And, unlike the previous week spent swimming in the Caribbean, it gave me the time to run.

My first run back was actually great, despite the fact that outside, it was rainy and cold. It’s not the workouts themselves that I’ve been struggling with; rather, it’s the simple act of getting my butt out the door.

And so, to counter the back-to-reality blues, I went shopping.

Between a lack a motivation and the new year, I didn’t really need any other excuse to drop a few dollars on updating my workout wardrobe. That, and the fact that the last three times I went to my weekly barre class with coworkers, I noticed a hole in the crotch of my seriously old (think high school and college old) tights. No shame.

Anywho, here’s what I picked up from Athleta — I store I’ve literally never considered purchasing anything from until today. What great stuff!

Stripe Chi Top: Originally $59, nabbed for $44.99. I actually tried on the large just for size, as this was the only available top. I loved the loose fit and wound up buying it anyway. I’m thinking it’ll be great with a tank underneath throughout the winter.

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Shanti Jaspe Tank: Originally $54, nabbed for $26.99. Great, relaxed fit. Purchased the medium. Can’t wait to have an alternative to my old t-shirts! Does not come with cat.

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OC Vinyasa TightAWESOME fit on these and perfect for both workouts and lazy weekends. The gathered fabric on the tush makes them super cute.

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La Breezy BomberThis. Thing. Is. Awesome. I got the medium, and it fits like a glove. Admittedly, I probably won’t be able to wear this until March or April — it’s super light, but it’s incredibly breezy, as its name implies. Original price was $98, but you can nab it now for $34.99. Cat does not come with this either.

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Odyssey Chaturanga Yoga Knicker (orignally $59, nabbed for a sweet $19.99) and the Quest Chaturanga Capri (not on sale for $59). Both very comfy and flattering from behind. The knickers I got in a small. The capris in a medium.

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Bonus buy: glittery headbands from Anthropologie. Originally, these were $15 for a pack of four. The pack I got was on sale for $5. Much more my speed, considering I’m bound to sweat these puppies up in no time.

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Your turn! Do you ever buy yourself little workout treats in order to find the motivation to get moving? What’s the last thing you bought for yourself that’s health or fitness related?

8 Reasons to Fall in Love with Winter Running

Flurries. Frost. Frozen fingers and toes. Yep, it’s winter. But that doesn’t mean you should resort to working out indoors — as much as you’d rather just do this.

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(Seabass is not down with winter running.)

I discovered running as a junior at the University of Michigan, so I’m no stranger to going for daily excursions in the blistering cold. But that doesn’t make me impervious to seasonal discomforts. There are mornings, especially before the sun comes up, that are so cold you wonder why you do it. I promise that even on those mornings, there are ways through which you can quell these concerns.

One thing that I’ve found over the last seven years, whether running through campus, around the paths of Central Park, or along the banks of the Schuylkill, is that most trepidations around winter running are mental. And I’m here, to tell you why you ignore them.

1. It’s not as bad as you think it will be outside. In fact, I’ve often found that it feels a lot colder up in my apartment during those first few moments after getting out of bed than it is once you step out the door.

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2. Winter running gear is SO cozy. Warm sweatshirts. Fleece-lined pants. Thumbholes! Who doesn’t love a good thumbhole? I love thumbholes.

Not long ago, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a wonderful company called Janji. I reviewed their fall zip-up, and have loved wearing it ever since. If you don’t quite remember, or if you haven’t heard of them yet, their mission is a simple and respectable one. As it reads on their website, “Through each purchase of Janji’s distinctive running apparel, a portion of proceeds funds organizations that are alleviating the worst problems related to water.”

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I had another opportunity to check out some of Janji’s cold-weather running gear this past month, including the fun, thumbhole-clad long-sleeve shirt pictured above. I wore a medium, which I thought fit me really well.

Also on the menu: a new pair of running tights that I can already sense will be my go-to through winter.

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I wore these on my morning run along the Schuylkill today–a lovely, peaceful and incredibly cold, windy Sunday run–and I have to say, these kept me toasty and warm the entire way thanks to the suede-like heavy jersey fabric. They honestly felt like fleece, only thinner and with more flexibility. The medium also fit me well.

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The best part? Proceeds from these tights give three years of clean water to a person in Tanzania.

If you’re interested in these tights, the long-sleeve shirt, or any of Janji’s other awesome items, scroll to the bottom of this blog to enter to win a $25 gift certificate just by leaving a comment.

3. Once you warm up, the weather is delightful. Especially when the sun comes up.

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4. Get some fresh air! With fall and winter running come some vary beautiful views. And summer humidity is nowhere to be found.

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5. Quieter paths. In general, Philadelphia is a lot quieter than New York City. This is the Art Museum, one of the many stops on my morning runs. It’s typically bustling during the day, with Philadelphians seeking culture and tourists seeking the city’s most-beautiful haunts. Come 7am though, it’s empty. This is by far my favorite time.

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6. Beautiful views, especially when there’s snow. No pictures of this quiet yet, but I imagine that we’ll have a bit of snowfall in the come weeks. I can’t wait. (Though, remember to be careful if you do decide to run in the snow. It’s all fun and games until you slip and rip your mittens.)

7. BECAUSE HOT CHOCOLATE AND MARSHMALLOWS. It’s winter. Go crazy. It’s so fulfilling.

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8. No, really, it’s not as bad as you think. I’ve always found that, within 10 minutes of running–or the equivalent of a mile or so–my fingers and toes start to heat up. From there, the run is delightful.

Are you looking to stock up on some warmer running items for winter? 

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You’re in luck. Janji has been gracious enough to offer one lucky Glitter Runner reader the chance to win a $25 gift certificate. You can put this toward a magical pair of tights, a long-sleeve shirt, or maybe just a nifty running headband (by the way, this last one gives six months of clean water to a person in Tanzania). Ya dig?

Want to know how to enter?

Let’s keep this easy, because we could all use a little simplicity during the holidays. All you have to do is leave a comment below. Tell me why you love winter running. And if you don’t have an answer–because you absolutely hate winter running and think I’m crazy–then tell me why you don’t. All opinions are welcome here.

Entries will be accepted through December 23rd, 2014 at 12pm EST. A winner will be chosen at random. Please leave an email or social handle where I can reach you should you win.

Good luck!