Posts filed under ‘Shop Talk’

Haul you need is love

I was raised in a family that celebrated every holiday it could. I suspect that comes, in part, from the fact that Momma Buns is the queen of many things, including finding the perfect paper goods for any occasion — on sale — at Party City. As my sister and I grew up, she put that talent to the test as often as possible. I remember waking up to find that Momma Buns had decorated the kitchen with red foil hearts and made pancakes (a rare treat on a school morning). Other years, I remember her sitting with me while I scrawled my classmates’ names on Snoopy Valentine’s cards, or my whole family passing gifts wrapped in pink tissue paper around the dinner table. (As I grew older, mine was usually a romantic comedy or super-weeper newly out on video. Untamed Heart, anyone?)

So even though I know that many people think Valentine’s Day is manufactured, romantic silliness, for me, it brings to mind really great celebrations of the deep affection my family and I have for each other. So I love it. And I love you guys. In the spirit of that love-fest— even though the actual holiday was yesterday — I’m going to unabashedly share some fitness-related stuff (plus a few randoms) that makes my heart sing. Cool?

“Golden Years” by David Bowie

I first heard it in the movie A Knight’s Tale, which makes me uncool. But my adoration of choreographed dance scenes already makes me uncool, so whatever. Now, the song is on my running playlist—and it’s very useful as a workday afternoon mood-booster, too.

Love Your Muscles with Crunch

Love Your Muscles logoI joined Crunch gym just after I started my job in New York two years ago. Aside from the convenient locations (one near my job, another near my apartment) and really great classes (Marc Santa Maria’s Monday night hip-hop and Dave Norfleet’s iRide Spinning are FANTASTIC), the vibe there is a little bit funkier and more accepting than many other New York gyms I’ve visited. The gym’s motto, after all, is No Judgments. This month, they’re holding workshops and offering training specials to raise money for Augie’s Quest, a Muscular Dystrophy Association initiative to find a cure for the degenerative muscle disease ALS. This month, the gym will give Augie’s Quest $5 for every new membership and $10 for every new personal training package. “Love Your Muscles” refers to the signs they put your name on when you donate: You can choose a muscle you love — I picked the heart — and your name goes up alongside a cute cartoon drawing of that muscle. If you’re interested in more information or want to donate, go here.


Toward the end of every yoga class, the instructor asks everyone to lay on their backs, heels together, toes flopped apart, arms by their sides, palms open. Sometimes our eyes are open; often, they’re closed. We lay in this position, known as savasana (suh-VAH-snah) or “corpse pose”, and relax everything. Sounds like sleeping, you say. It’s seriously close, but so much better. Often, the  poses right before savasana are challenging, and laying down and focusing only on breathing and relaxing seems like a reward. In Bikram yoga, sometimes the only thing that gets me through a rough class is the thought of how sweet the savasana will be at the end. I lay on my mat and think about how the ground is supporting me, holding me up, and how I don’t have to do anything except find little snarls of tension in my body and then let them go. Even if you’re not into yoga, try giving yourself a few minutes of motionless chill-out time after a tough workout sometime. It’s pretty awesome.

Puma’s Dizzy Barrel Bag

When my old gym bag bit it, I tried to make do with tote bags and backpacks and the like. No good. I resisted buying a new one because I didn’t want something huge and clunky, but I needed something big enough to fit a change of clothes, my sneakers, and toys like my interval timer, my iPod, a magazine, my weight gloves, etc. Behold, Puma’s Dizzy Barrel Bag. It’s pretty great, kind of stylish, and (right now) on sale! Gym bag woes, cured.

Puma Dizzy Barrel Bag

So cute, right?

I’d love to hear what gets your heart pumping, too. Gadgets and gear? Workouts? Instructors? Personal accomplishments? Something completely unrelated to fitness but awesome nonetheless? Tell us about it in the comments section. 

February 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm Leave a comment

Sporty Labor Day deals

Need an excuse to buy those new kicks you’ve been eyeing? These Labor Day sales should make it a little easier to fork over the dough. 15 percent off your purchase with the code found here. Up to 66 percent off (including the 10 percent discount store VIPS usually get) and free shipping 20 percent off clearance items with the code found here. BOGO on all women’s fitness bottoms and sport bras

I, for one, am in the middle of trying to turn my tendency to overeat into a tendency to overshop. (What? It’s kind of progress, right?) The other day, for example, I bribed myself into running an extra mile by promising myself a few iTunes downloads when I got home.

The fact that those few downloads turned into a few albums (Jay-Z and Kanye’s Watch the Throne and Matt Nathanson’s Modern Love) shouldn’t surprise anyone.

September 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm Leave a comment


You may remember when my sister, Kelley, gave us her thoughts on the P90X home workout program. (The next installment of that post, by the way, will be put up as soon as I can armwrestle her into submission any day now.) I know a bunch of you have done or are doing the popular and challenging blend of cardio, strength-building and flexibility DVDs, so you might find this Los Angeles Times story interesting — particularly if you got your P90X from eBay.

Seems like some of the copies that have been sold were bootlegs, and the bootleggers got caught. While I’m pretty sure the Feds aren’t going to bust into your house and confiscate your less-than-legal copies, maybe it’s a good time to get back onto the program. You know, all the better to make a quick getaway…

November 18, 2010 at 10:47 pm Leave a comment

Shop Talk

I know it’s January, annual month of cutting back and taking stock… like when I was knee-deep in closet clutter a few weekends ago and called out to The Boyfriend — who was watching TV in the living room — in my despair, “I am NOT allowed to buy any more workout wear. I have enough!” and then the pile of sweaters that I had carefully sorted and folded fell over into a giant heap and I almost cried? And I really meant to stick to that plaintive cubby confession?

Yeah, not so much. All it took was a payday, a lunchtime trip to T.J. Maxx and a clearance rack to make me break that particular resolve.  Ah well, you can’t win them all. And while I can’t find an online picture of the comfy pink Prana workout top I scored for $5, I will share with you this pretty one I am now lusting after, thanks to a visit to the company’s site.

Not like I needed to look that far — not when  Steph, one of the cool chicks who visits this site, was sporting this cute number at this morning’s Spin class. She sweated a lot and still looked hot: the hallmark of good gym wear.

But seriously. I’m done buying stuff for a while. Seriously. I mean it.

January 21, 2010 at 7:48 pm Leave a comment

In Your Off-Hours…

Hmm… When it’s rainy and blech outside — as it is at this very moment in northern New Jersey — how does a Haul Buns girl pass the time? After all, you can’t be running/walking/swimming/biking/dancing/sculpting/group fitnessing every moment of the day…

Shopping can provide something similar to that exercise high, especially when you take advantage of the fabulous online discount Reebok is offering to its friends and family until Sunday. And since you’re all my friends, go ahead and use code REBOKFF at discount to receive 30 percent off your entire order PLUS free shipping! I may or may not have been checking out their hot pink yoga bag, or this classic blue number…

If you’re looking for a little inspiration,  watch Spirit Of The Marathon, which is now available for free online at This awesome documentary is all about the Chicago Marathon and a few runners — some amateur, some elite — who are preparing for it. Really cool, totally inspirational. And best of all, it’s free!


A good diversion at work way to spend your time is to calculate your health footprint at the Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield site. Answer a bunch of questions about your lifestyle and your fitness routine, and the site will tell you how many people you affect through your healthy choices and activities — similar to a carbon footprint, but this one won’t make you feel guilty for opting out of the work carpool. Even The Biggest Loser’s Trainer Bob is doing it!

That should keep you occupied until the sun shows its rays again…

August 13, 2009 at 8:48 pm Leave a comment

Glide Is Good

bodyglideMy thighs, like the best of friends, are very good at keeping in touch. Those among you who are curvy, zaftig, bountiful or otherwise bodacious through the hips know what I’m talking about when I say that chafing in that area can bring a girl to tears. All it takes is a sweaty day and a long walk in a skirt. In college, my friends and I used to call the condition “Jane Blaze,” as in, “Why are you walking so funny?” “Because I have a serious case of Jane Blaze.”

When I started running, Jane was my constant workout companion. I tried wearing traditional running shorts and spent the bulk of my run trying to halt their constant migration north. As the fabric rose, my skin rubbed against itself, and nobody was happy: Not me and definitely not the innocent bystanders who had to watch me tugging on my drawers every few steps.

I switched to bike shorts and things got a bit better, but my running life was revolutionized the day I was introduced to Body Glide. Ladies, in the annals of Things That Make Our Lives Easier, Body Glide ranks right up there with Spanx and paid maternity leave. It’s that good. The anti-chafing balm comes in a package that looks like a stick of deodorant. Before you work out, you take off the cap and rub the stick anywhere that you have usually chafing or blister trouble. Poof! Your hot spots are banished.

Even members of the Thighs Don’t Touch Club can reap the benefits of Body Glide’s goodness. It’s awesome under bra straps, on heels to prevent blisters, beneath the girls to stop them from rubbing against your rib cage. You can find Body Glide at sporting goods stores like The Sports Authority, and you can check it out online here. I get nothing out of promoting this product, but if I can help even one of my sisters in sweat elude that wench Jane Blaze, that’s payment enough for me.

May 6, 2009 at 2:05 am 1 comment

Shop Talk: The Empire Strikes Back

blackbratopI almost don’t want to blog about these terrific workout tops from Champion for fear that you all will snap them up and I won’t be able to get them anymore. Seriously, they’re that good. But in the name of one Haul-er helping another, I’ll give up the goods.

The Champion Powerlight Seamless Empire Tech Tank is perfect for those of us who want a cute, supportive, wicking workout tank top but don’t necessarily want something that’s tight around the belly. I saw a woman wearing this top last year while I was running a race. I thought it looked cute on her skinny little self,  but I didn’t pursue it because I was pretty sure it would make me look pregnant. Then I saw it on another, more curvy woman a few weeks ago and she looked great, so I gave it a try. It rocks! In fact, the top highlights the parts of me that I love (shoulders and arms) and falls nicely to my waist without clinging to my mid-section.

I bought two of these puppies and wore them running, teaching (Spinning and step) and taking yoga. They were super comfortable during every activity. If you want one of your very own, they’re available at the Champion site and through online retailers like Amazon.

But that’s just my take on workout gear. What are some brands/styles you love? Hate? Let’s hear it!


April 24, 2009 at 8:53 pm Leave a comment

Sale Watch: Reebok


Fellow recessionistas, I just received an e-mail from Reebok announcing 30 percent off your online order — PLUS free ground shipping — if you enter the promo code SPRING309 when you check out here. They’ve got tops, pants, shoes, some gear and some accessories. Happy shopping! And if you see a great fitness sale either online or in person, add a comment and let us all know!

March 23, 2009 at 8:41 pm Leave a comment

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