Spring is here and the weather is getting warmer. Time to reacquaint ourselves with the outdoors and get movin’! This month’s Favorite Things will help!
Ann has stayed true to the same style of Lululemon leggings for years. Designed for yoga but equally well suited to a trip to the gym or a walk or run around the neighborhood, Lululemons’ Align Pant comes in three different lengths and 21 colors. The tights are described as high rise, although they feel more like average rise.
The buttery-soft fabric is stretchy but stays in place and is truly why she loves these tights. She has two pairs that she rotates over and over with very little pilling or signs of wear. When they finally look well worn after a couple years, she buys the exact same pair. (Don’t you love when a store still carries your favorite after several years??) Lululemon does offer a Super-High-Rise Align Pant and a flared-leg option for those who may be interested.
Pictured below, Alo is another popular brand. When Emily was in New York last week, she stopped by the Alo store in Soho and it was packed. She also noticed lots of people on the streets wearing an Alo hat or some sort of Alo gear.
Why is this brand so popular right now? Originally developed as a yoga brand, Alo also brands itself as “studio-to-the-street wear” and the clothes seem to fit everyone. Emily had to give them a try, and she loved the thick material and overall comfort. Most styles are high-waisted. They are pricy (some styles go for over $100), but for a special pant that will be worn often, it may be worth a look!
☔️ STAY DRY
Don’t let a sprinkle detract from watching your child’s lacrosse game or keep you from walking the dog. And since it’s raining everywhere – even in California! – make sure you’ve got some solid rain gear on hand. We love the Patagonia brand for all seasons, and their rainwear does not disappoint. Once again listed on Wirecutter’s best of lists, Patagonia covers men, women & kids!
The Release and Recover Ball Set has three sizes, designed to target post-workout tension in small, medium, and large muscle groups. The balls are specially textured, which keeps them from slipping when working out knots and tight spots. Ann and her boys have long been a fan of this similarly textured double roller. The balls better target the hard-to-reach spots, and the smallest size is great for sore feet!
The invention of wireless headphones were such a game changer, but for some of us, it’s been a challenge to find a pair that suit our needs. Airpods is the logical choice, but they don’t fit into Emily’s ears properly, and if she starts to sweat during a workout they fall out pretty quickly. An Airpod also fell out of Ann’s ear on the road during a walk one day, and she didn’t even realize it!
At some point, the cute pods just can’t muster the wear and tear and turmoil of everyday life. A few years ago, Emily switched to Sudio headphones – as in earmuff-style, bluetooth headphones. FAK photographer, Donovan, has made a few cracks about her looking like she’s about to direct airline traffic, but they are truly the most comfortable and easy to use. Though this item is currently out of stock (check back!), there are other brands with similar models such as Jabra which always gets kudos from Wirecutter.
They never fall off, the sound quality is great, batteries last a while, and Emily uses them for workouts and work calls alike. She doesn’t get disconnected, no falling out, or getting tangled in hair – they’re truly a great choice for those struggling with the smaller pod situation.
There are lots of water bottles on the market, and everyone has their favorites. Emily prefers smaller options with a straw attachment like the 24-ounce YETI Rambler ($38). Hydroflask has also been popular for years, especially with Ann’s sons and their friends. They love the 40-ounce wide mouth version (pictured below and currently on sale for $29.99) as well as the smaller 32-ounce bottle, both of which keep water cold for hours and are easy to hold with the handy handle. You can choose among twist caps and caps with built-in straws. Replacement lids are also available.
🐩 WALK THE DOG
Since April showers bring May flowers, don’t forget to keep your best friend dry during springtime walks! For $35.99, this adorable doggie raincoat is super cute and keeps them dry, or as dry as possible. If you live in our neighborhood, you may see El Chapo (the local chihuahua, below) sporting it on wet days.
And for a better way to clean up after the inevitable, these quality Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags make it easy to be a responsible dog owner. They are compostable and hypoallergenic for all of your doggies’ wiping needs!
🤸🏽♀️BAG TO KEEP STUFF IN
Yes, shockingly, many of the 90’s styles are back! This includes an updated version of the fanny pack. Though none of us ever thought it would re-emerge, it has – and it’s actually quite useful on walks, hikes, and while traveling.
Even if the sun isn’t at its peak – and even on cloudy days this spring – sunscreen should be included in the daily routine. When looking at the long shelves full of options, check for two main physical (or blocking) sunscreen ingredients — titanium dioxide and zinc oxide — which are dermatologist recommended and safe and effective for use.
Ann has two that she likes, both of which include these ingredients. Skinmedica goes on smoothly and is not greasy. It is $36 per bottle, so she uses it only on her face, and one bottle will last several months. For a subtle hint of color, Neostrata Defend at SPF 50 is equally effective. The price is similar, it contains the same dermatologist-recommended blocking ingredients, and has a satiny, non-greasy feel. For everywhere else, Neutrogena Dry Touch (again, not greasy) is her go-to and can be found anywhere you shop!
Ann’s son’s boyfriend Jack (yes, his name is also Jack!) loves OOFOS Recovery Footwear because the shoes are super comfortable but also enable active recovery – meaning you can continue to be active in them and they won’t fall off.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr even partnered with the growing company because he was such a fan – he loves that he can slip on the sandals after practice and still run around his backyard with his four kids! Ann just purchased a fun pink pair (at The Inside Track, for locals) in the traditional flip-flop style and loves the cushioned feel. With tons of styles and colors for men and women, OOFOS footwear may be a great choice for your spring and summer activities.
Ann uses (and loves!) Kira Stokes, who offers a wide range of class types and lengths. In addition to walking outside with friends or family, she began using the app during quarantine so she could continue the PT program she had been doing at the gym—and never went back. She chooses a variety of short videos aimed at strength training, although there are lots of cardio options as well.
For more information on fitness apps in general, check out Emily’s article The Bull & Bear of Fitness Apps.
📺 WHEN YOU PREFER TO WATCH OTHER PEOPLE MOVE IT
Watch as celebrities try to make it through the grueling exercises and training that our special forces (like Navy SEALS) endure. This new reality show called Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test unveils celebrities’ true character and determination, as they can only leave on their own accord (aka quit!). Ann and her extended family watched the first several episodes together over a recent visit and then compared notes as they watched on from their own homes. It’s fun to envision what your personal limits would be. At first, there were several feats they thought they could do. By the end, they weren’t so sure!
🥪 WHAT TO EAT BEFORE OR AFTER WORKOUTS?
Emily says there’s one general rule – eat a mix of carbohydrates (fuel for working muscles) and protein (builds and repairs muscles) beforehand, and again afterwards. One without the other is not going to be beneficial. And be sure to hydrate! Is that it? Well, the rest depends on the following:
- How intense is the workout – are you a competitive athlete, or is this recreational? Which sport or workout are you participating in?
For some activities, pre- and post-movement meals or timing of replenishment may not be vital to athletic performance. Competitive or ultra training athletes may need a more thoughtful regimen to aid in performance and recovery. Marathon runners, for example, need to refuel during their workout given the intensity of it. But a general rule is to replenish within an hour after the workout.
- Do you tend to digest quickly or slowly?
The answer to this question will help you develop timing of pre-meal workouts, and it’s unique to each person because you don’t want to be too full or too hungry beforehand. However, anywhere from 1 to 4 hours before a workout is optimal.
- Is this a training day or a game day?
If a game day, it’s not the time to experiment with new foods or nutrition regimens! Make sure to have food on hand before and after the competition.
- Does it have to be chocolate milk?
NOPE. Though it’s often touted as the perfect recovery drink, chocolate milk is simply an example of a mix of carbs, protein, (and a bonus of rehydration!) that people tend to enjoy. Other examples include a smoothie, fruit and yogurt, pb&j sandwich, turkey wraps, granola bars, as well as other handy snacks like nuts and dried fruit mixes.
🧘🏼♂️What are your favorite products for getting moving this spring? Comment below, we love to hear from you!