Showing posts with label exercise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label exercise. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Super Comfortable and Flattering Yoga Pants for Women

I finally discovered the joy of wearing comfortable yoga pants and workout leggings as an alternative to jeans or pants after beginning a successful ketogenic diet journey that culminated in a nearly 60–pound weight loss. After purchasing several different styles and sizes of yoga pants over the past 21 months, there have been three (so far) that I can recommend highly, each for different reasons. The pair I've chosen to feature in this product review, the IUGA high-waisted workout leggings, are by far the most comfortable yoga pants for women I've tried. 

They not only feel wonderful and are available in a choice of several, they're also flattering, even on those of us who aren't blessed with model-perfect bodies. 

Photo of IUGA yoga pants on model with superimposed text "The Most Comfortable Yoga Pants Super Soft Fabric That Doesn't Bag or Bind for a Flattering Fit
There's no bunching, bagging, or binding with these ultra-soft, ultra-comfy workout leggings! 

Yoga Pants and Workout Leggings Have Become Wardrobe Staples

The fashion experts at Vogue magazine just released this year's Vogue Wardrobe Essentials Guide. and black workout leggings are one of the editors' 34 wardrobe staples for 2021. (Who knew?)

Originally, yoga pants and workout leggings were made specifically for yoga practice and working out, respectively, and had different fabric and design features. But as they have evolved from fitness-only to fashion, those distinctions have gradually eroded, and now the terms "yoga pants" and "leggings" are often used either together or interchangeably in product descriptions.

Yoga Pants Provide Greater Comfort and Freedom of Movement Than Pants or Jeans

My first time buying a pair of yoga pants wasn't until shortly after my 65th birthday, when I began a health-driven weight loss journey and switched to a clean, ketogenic approach to eating. I completely eliminated sugars, grains, and highly processed foods from my diet, and between May 2019 and August 2020, I lost 59 pounds and went from a size 16-18 to a size 6-8. Every two to three months (even less, at the beginning), I was dropping a size, and boxing up my almost-new clothing to donate. Having to buy them again in a smaller size every few months meant limiting my clothing purchases to a few, basic wardrobe staples—underwear, jeans, black pants, shorts, and a couple of tops—until I reached my weight loss goal.

As you may have noticed, neither yoga pants nor leggings were on my initial list of wardrobe staples. I had always associated them with much younger, slimmer women and girls, with taut, toned bodies and cute figures, so they weren't even on my radar at that point! However, my attitude toward this type of clothing changed significantly once I accepted that my commitment to healthier living would require becoming more active, in addition to nourishing my body better.  

One of the most important benefits of losing weight and follow a clean, ketogenic diet was the amelioration, and eventual elimination, of the chronic, acute pain in my knees, hips, back, and feet that I had been living with for decades. Being able to go for a walk or a Segway ride with my husband  without being in agony was not just liberating, but life-changing! As I was searching online for a new, smaller pair of classic, high-waisted, basic black pants (which I wore more often than anything else I owned), I was surprised to see more high-waisted leggings and yoga pants than regular pants in the search results. It occurred to me that it might be a good idea to expand my list of wardrobe staples to include a couple of pieces of activewear, to support and encourage my efforts to make physical activity part of my new, healthy lifestyle. In fact, it might even be time for me to consider a pair of workout leggings a try.

Of course, I could wear them...but should I? Would it be possible for yoga pants to look attractive (or, at least, not unattractive) and age-appropriate, on this out-of-shape senior? I debated with myself for a while, but finally acknowledged that I couldn't see myself objectively, and decided to ask my husband what he thought, knowing he would give me his honest opinion. He encouraged me to order a pair and try them on. 

When I did, I was surprised and delighted at his reaction, which was more positive than I could have imagined! You could have knocked me down with a feather. I also was thrilled to discover how much more comfortable and less restrictive those yoga pants felt, compared to the jeans and tailored pants I had always worn, Before long, I found myself wearing them several days a week, not only for walks and Segway rides, but also for routine, everyday activities, like working, reading, cooking, or watching a movie. They quickly went from being completely off my radar to becoming a staple in my new wardrobe. 

I'm pulling my hamstring and calf muscles together as far as I can, the fabric doesn't bind or cut into them, it simply conforms to the compression I'm creating

Since that first pair, I have purchased other pairs from different brands and with slightly different features, and my IUGA high-waisted workout leggings have been the most comfortable yoga pants I've owned to date. 

What I Love Most About My IUGA High-Waisted Leggings

Ultra-Soft, Opaque Fabric

  • The first thing I noticed about these yoga pants was the extremely soft, silky, luxurious fabric, which gave these a totally different feel than any of my other leggings. The best word I can think of to describe it is "touchable," with a lovely, tactile quality similar to that of microfiber. 
  • The "non see through" fabric is completely opaque. 

Flattering Fit

  • The fiber content blends polyester for shape retention with spandex for excellent stretch and recovery, as well as abrasion-resistance.*
  • The 4-way stretch provides good compression and support. 
  • The high-waisted silhouette, seamed front and back yoke construction, and increased compression around the lower torso are designed to "contour your curves" and "pull in your tum and bum." 
  • They are made in six sizes, ranging from XS to XXL, and there's a size chart to help you determine which one will fit you best. (I followed the size chart when I ordered mine, and they fit me perfectly.)
* Note: The description on the Amazon product page states that the fiber content of these workout leggings is 80% polyester and 20% spandex. However, the fiber content printed inside my light blue IUGA yoga pants is 87% polyester and 13% spandex. Sometimes, a product's fiber content may vary slightly different from one color to another, which is one possible explanation for the discrepancy, but your guess is as good as mine.

Extremely Comfortable

  • The smooth, soft, supple polyester and spandex fabric also wicks moisture away from the body to keep you dry and comfortable while working out.
  • These yoga pants provide less compression around the the legs than around the lower torso, so they don't bind or cut into your legs, but also enough to remain conformed to your legs and prevent the fabric from bunching or sagging as you move, bend, and stretch. 

Waistband Pocket

Photo of built-in pocket in the waistband of the IUGA workout leggings/yoga pants
  • The built-in pocket is completely hidden, and remains undetectable unless or until you decide to place something inside it.
  • Although I haven't had to use it very often, I'd guess it could easily hold a couple of keys, a lip balm, and a few tissues, for example.  
    • According to the product description, "You will be able to stash your phones and keys safely." Keys? Probably. But unless your phone is quite small, I wouldn't consider the waistband pocket a secure place to stash it. 
  • Access is easy and convenient.

Excellent Quality

  • I purchased my IUGA High Waisted Leggings three months ago, and I machine wash and then hang them over a clothes drying rack to dry. After having laundered them quite a few times so far, there appears to have been no fading, pilling, or changes in the fit or performance of these yoga pants. 
  • At the time this post was published, they had more than 5,400 5-star ratings from Amazon customers.

A Choice of Colors and Lengths

  • Currently, these yoga pants come in black, dark coffee (dark brown), dark violet, dark blue, gray, light blue, pale red violet, carnation purple (lilac), maroon, and tranquil green. 
    • Note: The ones I own are the "light blue" shade. In real life, the color is a bit less aqua than it appears in the Amazon product page photos.  
  • Most of the colors (but not all) are offered in both regular and capri lengths. 

Very Affordable

  • These IUGA workout leggings retail for $24.95 and, at the time of publishing, were priced at $19.95 on Amazon with Prime free one-day shipping and free returns for Amazon Prime members.

Super Comfortable and Flattering Yoga Pants for Women review by Margaret Schindel


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Friday, March 13, 2020

ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviewed

Pro-Form 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike Review
Exercise is not my favorite pastime!  However, like everyone else, I need to exercise regardless of the weather.  Few exercise machines work for me because I have a severely curved spine (scoliosis), therefore strain on my spine causes a great deal of pain.  

Over the years, I have tried several exercise regiments and different low impact machines.  Until I discovered the recumbent exercise bike, all exercise ended in pain.  

While I would be the first to say there is no substitute for walking, I am grateful to have found an indoor exercise machine that actually works for me.  By the way, I have tried other types of exercise bikes, but the backless style puts too much pressure on my spine.


The Pro-Form 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike Information & Features


 ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent BikeCheck PriceOriginally, I planned to purchase a exercise bike made by a company that is renowned for quality bicycles.  My husband suggested  I go to a local store that has them set up and allows you to test them.  I am so glad I took his advice!  The one I thought I wanted was uncomfortable, which means I would end up not using it.  

When I sat on the Pro-Form Recumbent Bike, I was shocked at the difference.  The seat is supportive and quite comfortable.  Because the seat will move forward, I was able to set it for my leg length with my back pressed against the seat back for support.   
  
It is recommended that you exercise 5 days a week, for 30 minutes. I am easily able to peddle for 30 minutes without experiencing any pain, during or after.  That is amazing!  

There are 18 difference workout settings which emulate riding on various terrains, or you can simply peddle at your own pace and preferred resistance level. 

For example, I can take it slow and easy, with no resistance, for 30 minutes and burn 150 calories.  A real workout would obviously yield greater results. 


Additional Features

ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike
  • Requires 4 D Batteries for Monitor (a power adapter is sold separately)
  • Monitor shows time, speed, watts, & calories burned
  • EKG Grip Pulse
  • Built-in Audio for Ipod
  • Adjustable Cushioned Seat
  • Water Bottle Holder
  • Quiet (almost silent)
  • Approximately 5' long & 2' wide
  • 275 lb. Weight Limit


Other Considerations Before You Begin

It takes a few hours to assemble the exercise bike and having a second person to help is preferred.  You don't want to rush the assembly time!  

You will also need a carpet piece or mat underneath the bike to avoid damaging floors when exercising.  

Plus, be sure to buy your batteries or the AC adapter in advance.  You will want to be able to test everything immediately after it is assembled. 


Entertainment While Exercising


ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Exercise Bike Reviewed
Most often, I feel like I should be doing something instead of dedicating time to exercise.  After all, real bicycling allows you to enjoy your surroundings, the sounds, the smells, and the beauty of the great outdoors.  It is a totally different experience than just plain exercising.  

Frankly, I need a distraction when I exercise.  The ProForm 235 CSX Recumbent Bike has a slot in front of the monitor for an iPad or Kindle.  Instead of watching the monitor, I watch a movie, read, listen to an audio book or to music.  Before I know it, the 30 minutes have passed.

Of course, you would set your own workout length of time and preferred resistance.  Just be sure to bring your water bottle and entertainment along for the ride. 

   

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. You should consult your physician before starting this or any exercise program to determine what is best for your needs.



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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Review Some of Grammie Olivia's Favorite Things

Grammieknows is what my darling little ones tell everyone, whenever I answer a question for them. 

Sometimes the answers are true and other times they are a story that makes absolutely no sense, but has them laughing in the aisles.  My propensity for telling tales has earned me the moniker of being a know it all.....So I guess the nickname Grammieknows fits pretty good.


Trilliums 2016 from  Grammie Olivia's Garden. 


What Grammie does Know is, that gardening is a balm for the soul and works nicely to make a body tired, so that sleep can, eventually make the body rest.  Working in the garden not only makes the body tired, but it is great exercise.  As we age, we need that exercise to keep us moving one step at a time.  You know (and Grammieknows) if you don't use it, you'll lose it!  It is so true with exercise, if you don't move those muscles, arthritis and weakness will take over.  


Muscle Medicine
 


Gardening also provides a way for you to enjoy the beauty that is all around.  From the ground right up to the sky, flowers and plants make the world a more beautiful place. It doesn't stop at the ground level either.  All those flowers planted in garden beds, encourage bees, butterflies, birds and small animals to gather and enjoy the work of your hands.


Finding great tools to use to make the job easier is also a lot of fun.  I have my special tools that I just can't be without!  Like any other craftsman, looking for new tools is a joy and I love sharing those great finds.  You can see some of the tools I love in another Review This Article, I love my tools.


Being green minded, may be avante garde today, but I have been that way for a long time.  I don't encourage the use of chemicals in any way, shape, or form.  There are natural solutions to every problem and I try to search those out.  When something works particularly well, you will find me sharing that with everyone who will listen. 

 


Recipe for Homemade Weed Killer

Like my favorite weed killer, that is made up of Vinegar, Salt and Dawn (Blue) Dishwashing liquid.  I know you want the recipe now....  So, it's one gallon White Vinegar,  2 cups of Salt, and 1/2 cup of Dawn.  Always shake it up well, before applying.  Put it into your sprayer or divide it up into several different spray bottles (make sure you label them) and use early in the morning(on a dry day) for your weed issues.


Gardening is such an incredible opportunity to stand on God's earth and work to make the world a better place to live, breathe, and be!


You will find me on Review This, or on my website, www.grammieknowshow.com and sometimes on Facebook posting things of interest to gardeners  and those who enjoy flowers and nature at https://www.facebook.com/GrammieKnowsWeekendGardeners.
The other places where Grammie Olivia posts things of interest include  Pinterest for fun and lots of interesting subjects that just tickle her funny bone.  You can check out some of the interesting things Grammie Olivia finds online right there.  


I love to hear from others, so use one or all of the platforms I have shared with you to drop me a line.  I will answer, because after all, GrammieKnows.




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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Improve Your Health With a Simple Rebounder Workout

When you use a mini trampoline for exercise, every cell in your body benefits from each brief, simple rebounder workout, making you healthy and stronger.

Several years ago when I was recovering from cancer treatments, a friend recommended that I start using a rebounder for exercise. That way, every cell in my body could be oxygenated in one brief, simple rebounder workout, helping rebuild my strength quickly. She was right. With just a few minutes a day of gentle bouncing, I began feeling better quickly and, in no time, my strength and endurance were back to normal.  I'm well now, but I still enjoy my mini-trampoline workouts. Not only are they good for body and soul, they're lots and lots of fun!

You don't have to be recovering from an illness to reap the benefits of using a rebounder for exercise. It's a great workout for just about anyone who can stand upright and maintain a fair amount of balance. If you're not sure that's you, check with your doctor first!

Advantages of Rebounder Exercise


The advantages of rebounder exercise are many. First, you can exercise by yourself, in the comfort of your own home. No gym membership necessary which brings us to our second point: it's cheap exercise. The only piece of equipment that you need is the rebounder or mini-trampoline (the names are used interchangeably). I'll give you some recommendations about that below.

Next advantage, rebounding is a great choice whether you're totally out of shape, in perfect shape and want an additional cardio/oxygenizing workout, or anywhere in between. If you fall into the first category, your workouts will start out short, just a few minutes as your body tolerates.  If you fall into the totally-fit category, you'll just bounce for a longer period of time and add plenty of upper body movement to your workout.

One of the most important advantages of exercising using a rebounder is the oxygenation aspect that I mentioned above. What that means is that as you work out, breathing faster and deeper, your respiratory system absorbs more oxygen and your cardiovascular system pumps that oxygen-rich blood through every cell in your body. You know that oxygen is essential if you're a living, breathing human being, but what you might not know is that high levels of oxygen have been shown to fight disease, including cancer. In fact, it has been proven that cancer cells can't exist in the presence of oxygen. While we obtain oxygen from drinking lots of water and eating the right foods, exercise that makes us breathe more deeply also provides our bodies with a live-giving fresh supply of oxygen. That's why, simply put, exercise is so important in maintaining, or rebuilding, a healthy body. Breast cancer patients and others with lymphatic system issues, consult your doctor about using a trampoline to help rid your body of those toxins.

There's one more important advantage of rebounder exercise and that is the effect the workout has on your overall well being. While your body is getting its workout, your mind is having the time of its life! It is so much fun to exercise using a lively workout music playlist. As you bounce, dance, and jump to the music, you can't help but be in a better mood when it's all said and done!

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Workout Music for Rebounding


Choose something moderately fast with a steady beat. Most importantly, pick music that you like.  My current favorite is Motor City Hits, a workout mix from The Biggest Loser.

How to Use a Rebounder


Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes or go barefoot if you prefer. If you're a beginner, place the rebounder within reach of a counter or sturdy chair to grab just in case you start feeling a little unstable (or choose a rebounder with a stability bar). Start by stretching, then bounce "slow and low," keeping your feet on the deck of the trampoline. Personally, I like to just do my own thing, walking, marching, or jumping to the music, adding arm movements as I pick up the pace. If you've never done any rebounding at all, I'd recommend starting with a video such as the excellent one below in order to learn some basic moves. Stick with your comfort level, pushing yourself only when you feel ready, and you'll do fine.

Watch the simple rebounder workout on this video, highly recommended, so you can see just how simple, effective, and fun a rebounder workout can be.



Reviewing Mini-Trampolines: Which Rebounder to Buy


The price range for rebounders is wide, starting at less than $30 and going up to over $300. The choice is yours and I'd recommend starting on this page at Amazon.com for a quick overview of what's available. The more expensive fitness trampolines are generally very highly rated, but then so are many of the cheaper models. 

Besides your budget, keep in mind your state of health. A stability bar is a feature that you'll find helpful if you have an issue with balance. When I was sick, having the bar to hold onto while I bounced was very important. These days I'm comfortable going without the bar and leaving more space around me. 

I've never used resistance bands like the ones included on this inexpensive but well-reviewed Gold's Gym Mini Rebounder, but customers seem to love this model. 

My bottom line advice? Read the reviews and choose the best model you can afford. As many reviewers say, you get what you pay for. As for me, I'm fine with my 36-inch, non-folding model with elastic bands (not springs) and no stamina bar. Your mileage may vary. 

So, should you rebound? 


The answer is a resounding, "Yes!" unless your doctor tells you otherwise. It's simple, cheap to get started, it will improve your health, and it's the most fun exercise to do day or night, rain or shine, in the privacy of your own home.  What's not to like about that!

Like the idea of improving your health by using a rebounder for exercise? I'd love if you'd share your thoughts on the subject in the comment section below.

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