Getting your sweat on this summer? Shedding layers of clothing with the blazing hot weather here is always a motivating factor for getting fitter than ever. And this summer, Aritzia has launched a fitness collection called Parklife. The pieces are made of stretchy technical fabrics and there are loads of cute prints and great colours.
I’ve been working out in a few pieces from the line that I received from Aritzia a few months ago. First at a sweaty barre class at Barreworks, then at the Bower Fitness x Kalola retreat I attended at Blue Mountain Resort (that’s where the shot above is from; I’m with my friends Mel and Sasha who are both dressed in Nike Women) then on a few runs on my own and while hiking in Vancouver.
The fit of the unpadded Crown Bra is comfortable (I wasn’t sure of the plain elastic on the bottom of it, but it didn’t cause any chafing) but I’d say it’s best for low-intensity workouts. The Timeout Shorts are comfortable and don’t ride up on me, but they are definitely one of the shorter shorts in my workout wear collection, so I’d say I only tend to wear them on very warm days and when I’m feeling pretty fit (they don’t offer much coverage!). I also own the Rematch T-shirt in neon yellow and this fits snugly, too snugly for my taste (I usually wear a small and the small I have really hugs the body).
Parklife ranges from $15 for socks up to $65 for tights (although much of the collection is on sale right now).
(Photo from Bower Fitness x Kalola Spa Retreat, Nathalia Allen)
Where did my KEEN hiking boots take me a few months ago? Portland! It was my second time in this city but I didn’t get much time to explore the city much (which was fine as I was exploring the Nike Lab at their HQ in Beaverton and getting to see Kobe Bryant speak at one of the Nike sessions, oh and the New York Knicks were staying at my hotel!).
This time around, I got to go the KEEN headquarters and their factory, where we got up close to see how the boots are made (the machine’s noise is a little hard on the ears, my apologies!):
Plus, we factored in lots of time to walk around the city, eat (Voodoo Doughnuts, of course) and, hike, obvi. Portland’s got some gorgeous hiking not far from the city. For more on what you should do in Portland, check out my story on AmongMen.com.
After two of my races this spring, I went for a massage the day after my race, most recently at the Elmwood Spa after the running the Nike Women’s Toronto 15k. I hadn’t been this spa in years and there’ve been some beautiful updates (like the women’s change room, where I spent some time in the pretty blue tiled jacuzzi as I sipped one of the spa’s delicious smoothies).
While there, I also took the opportunity to chat with an RMT at the Elmwood Spa, Margaret Keats, about how runners should incorporate massage therapy into their race regimen.
Is it OK to get a massage right after a race?
Keats recommends focusing on hydration and ensuring you’re replenishing your antioxidants and electrolytes and waiting until the day after the race to get a massage. “Your body may ‘resist” the treatment by muscle guarding and you may not get the desired result,” she explains.
How about the jacuzzi at the spa, should I use the jets to soothe my tired, sore muscles?
A hot tub right after a race may be too hot, she says. “Heat aggravates inflammation, and the extra sweating can cause dehydration and actually make you feel more sore.” Instead, she suggests an Epsom salt bath at a warm to tepid temperature so that you don’t aggravate inflammation, followed by a quick cool shower. And be sure, of course, to hydrate well after your race.
How much pressure is too much pressure for your massage therapy?
“Cues that the treatment pressure is too much: holding your breath and muscle holding–subconsciously holding or guarding the area–are signs to look for. If you can comfortably breathe through it, and you don’t feel pain, then it’s all good,” says Keats.
Is Swedish massage, commonly offered at spas, beneficial for post-run recovery?
“Swedish massage encompasses a wide range of techniques for different needs,” she explains. “Light to moderate pressure using circulatory strokes encourages circulation and waste removal, while moderate to deep pressure techniques incorporating stretches helps to restore muscle length and flexibility.”
(Photos of Elmwood Spa exterior and change room courtesy of Elmwood Spa/Richard Picton)