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August 30, 2014
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From the Hip: The Hip Mom Works Up a Sweat

Ah, the fresh slate of a New Year. What better time to start a new habit? While I suspect many of you already belong to a gym, I just recently joined – and I love it. I know, I know, you think I’m going to nag you to go exercise and lose weight.

Well, I’m not. Unless you are clinically obese or severely underweight – in which case I hope you are working with a medical professional to safeguard your health for your babies – I assume that you are, like most of us, a grown woman doing your best to eat well to take care of yourself. We all have our moments of weakness with chocolate truffles, whipped cream and fried mozzarella (or is that just me?).

So, no, I’m not going to tell you to go to the gym to lose weight. If I told you that, you might start going because you feel like you HAVE to go – just another chore on the to-do list. Anything you HAVE to do just adds frown lines, and frown lines are most un-hip. No, I’m going to tell you to go the gym for one reason only: to HAVE FUN! When you’re at the gym, you’re not doing laundry or scrubbing something sticky off your wood floors. You are sweating, dancing, trying to keep up with the super hot instructor, or trying to perfect that wacky pilates stretch.

Now, of course, you might answer that you don’t have to join the gym to do these things. A lot of my girlfriends are runners, and they just roll out of bed at five in the morning to run eight miles in the dark. These women are superheroes. If, however, you are a mortal like me and cannot fathom getting out of bed in the dark freezingness that is January, a gym is a much more welcoming haven to go work up a sweat.  Or, you protest, you can just pop in a Jillian Michaels DVD and work out in your family room without the hassle of loading up the kiddies and driving somewhere. True, true – there are some days when you just can’t face the world, and a DVD is the perfect outlet. But you aren’t going to run into a friend in your family room, nor will you make new ones. And I KNOW that you don’t have free or next-to-free childcare at home. Yes, this perk is what made me join the gym: WHAT? I can drop my kids off for an hour or so while they play and frolic, and then I come back, refreshed and happy to see them? My plan at first was not even to work out, but just go sit in the locker room to read US Weekly. But I was seduced by all the happy people bouncing around and got hooked. Now when we are stuck at home because of too-cold weather, the gym is a wonderful outlet for all of us: I get to bop around with other ladies and mommies, and the kids get to run amok with friends. Win-Win!

OK, so now I’ve convinced you to go to the gym if you don’t already. Here is the fun part: working out is the perfect opportunity to augment your wardrobe with GYM COUTURE. Good gym couture will take you to your workout and then even to Target and to pick up the kids – because who has time to change? And because you’re wearing your workout clothes, everyone will be duly impressed that you’ve worked out that day.

When I first joined the gym, I naively threw on an old black lace tank top and some navy running shorts I’d had since college. Black and navy – blech! And here’s the clincher: I FORGOT to wear tennis shoes – I just threw on my usual flip flops. So, yes, my first class – Body Pump – I took barefoot. I’ve since consulted Hipper Moms who always look fabulous at the gym.

One such mom is Kristi T, mom to three boys, who always looks stunning when she comes to Step Class. I ask her where she gets her gym wardrobe, and she sends me down to the Lululemon showroom at 1325 E 15th Street. Note that it is a showroom, only open Thursday through Saturday (the first time I went I showed up on a Tuesday). Showrooms, per the website, “are all about spreading the Lululemon love in communities that don’t have stores (yet). We open showrooms to share our culture, work with local athletes and provide a retail location that is unique to that area.” The showroom even offers free yoga classes!

Lululemon’s clothing is just gorgeous – sure, you can be a serious athlete and kickbox your way through a hard core workout, but wearing these lovely things, you will still remember you’re a girl. The fabric, dubbed “Luon,” is heavily Lycra, pre-shrunk and is “engineered to channel out moisture.” This “channeling out moisture” quality (read: fabrics that don’t seal in sweat!) is a fabric’s “wicking” ability. The lady at Lululemon shows me the tennis/running/exercise skirt that everyone is wearing right now with the matching tank; they are just adorable – Susan D., another Lululemon devotee, models a skirt and looks great. 

Now you won’t get out of Lululemon cheaply; a pair of yoga pants I fall in lust with are $108. But as Kristi T. notes, these clothes are a good investment since you might be wearing them all day long, several days per week. 

Just a couple of doors down from Lululemon is Movement, another store for fetching women’s exercise gear. Movement offers brands like Lucy, which, like Lululemon, is all about high quality, stylish workout clothing. Lucy was founded for the woman who doesn’t want “to dress for the gym like she’s going to a ninth grade PE class—for boys” per the Lucy website. I just love the sherbet-hued yoga pants and tank top ensemble. And the prices may be just a smidge lower than at Lululemon.

And you know what? You can find some excellent workout gear at good old Sports Authority or Dick’s Sporting Goods. Povi B., a mom of five and a woman so fit that she TEACHES Body Pump and runs marathons in her sleep, swears by the offerings at Dick’s. And why not? She looks great in this hot pink Champion outfit.

So! Go get some cute workout clothes and meet me at the gym. I’ll be the one in the back of the class, tripping over my feet, and having a fantabulous time. Hopefully, I’ll at least have sneakers on.

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