Fitness and Fashion

Yup, that’s me. And Younger Daughter. This is the photo that goes along with my most recent Fashionably Speaking column in the quarterly magazine Shoals Woman. I wrote about workout wear — how women of my generation have bad memories of having to wear ugly and baggy clothes for those required PE classes in school and how those memories keep us in ugly and baggy clothes when we work out today. Women of Younger Daughter’s generation, however, don’t have that baggage. They know that sleek and fitted is the way to go — and when you look good and feel good about the way you look, then you’ll feel good about yourself. Or something like that. Anyway, we had a great time at our local YMCA taking these photos. Younger Daughter is a good sport to play along — but I can still outwalk her, no matter what I’m wearing. Although, it’s true, she can outrun me even if she were wearing heels and hose. Oh, well — we each have our talents! Read to find more tips for incorporating fitness with fashion. For example, you can certainly consider your mad dash around the store to spend your 30-percent-0ff coupon when it’s five minutes before closing time as aerobic exercise. Works for me!


Is working out more one of your 2010 resolutions? Okay, isn’t it everybody’s??? In my experience, after decades of making Jan. 1 working-out resolutions, one of the best ways to ensure keeping this promise is to look fantastic while you’re doing it. I’m serious — there’s a world of difference between working out in baggy and holey sweats and your oversized 1995 R.E.M. Monster Tour T-shirt and working out in a new sleek and chic outfit made out of fabric that’s smarter than you are. If you haven’t checked out what’s new in workout wear, Google it or go to your favorite store and be prepared to be amazed. Still confused? Check out my Fashionably Speaking column in the quarterly magazine Shoals Woman at for a rundown of what to wear where and when, workout-wise.  (And remember: It’s all in good fun because I really don’t know what I’m talking about — I personally choose the sweats and he Monster Tour T-shirt, every time.)

Fitness and Exercise

total-body-toner-dvdI’m not a runner (it hurts!), walking gets boring and I’m too lazy to drive somewhere to exercise. But I enjoy working out — I do, really — so thank goodness for exercise DVDs. I like the flexibility of working out at home on my own schedule. Plus, I can pause the action whenever I need a break instead of getting the evil eye from the instructor, although this probably has more to do with my dislike for being told what to do and when to do it than anything else. And it’s always easier to find an excuse not to get in the car and drive somewhere than it is to pop in a DVD — I’m more likely to take 30 minutes to work out in front of the TV than I am to gather my stuff together, figure out what other errands I need to run, get in the car, drive to the Y, talk to people, work out, talk to people, gather my stuff together, try to remember what other errands I need to run, get in the car, etc.  And I love variety! Classes usually are the same every time. With DVDs, you can dance the salsa one day, do Pilates the next and lift weights the next day — whatever you feel like. Keeps things interesting. Some of my favorite DVDs are from The Firm — they generally combine cardio with weights for an overall invigorating workout. Back in the late 1990s, this approach was revolutionary and The Firm’s first videos were so expensive — about $50, I think —  several friends and I bought one together to share it. The sets were a lush sort of Grecian spa with an orchestra soundtrack. Then The Firm went through some business changes and the next round of videos were spliced-together clips of previous tapes along with a few somewhat scarily Stepford wife-ish new ones that apparently didn’t sell well. Today The Firm has a winning combination with enthusiastic instructors, lively music, modern sets and good solid routines. Some tapes have a few glitches — instructors off beat, music not matching movement — and The Firm has an annoying habit of always coming out with The Next Big Thing You Absolutely Have to Have, but for fun workouts that do the job, these DVDs get it right. Visit The Firm’s Web site at You can also check and for reviews of Firm videos.