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My Go-To Cold Weather Running Gear

Well winter has arrived, which means we can pretty much expect single digit temperatures for the next several months. If you’re anything like me, your runs and workouts don’t stop because of a little snow or cold weather, so the only way to feel comfortable and avoid skipping them is to have the right winter gear that can handle the elements. I have certainly worn my fair share of technical winter running clothes over the years in the worst elements imaginable  – rain, hail, sleet and tons of snow so I am pretty particular with the pieces that I wear. They must have breathable fabrics, allow me to move freely, keep me warm of course, plus also be wind and waterproof. That is pretty much a non-negotiable. A combination many brands can’t seem to execute successfully across the board.

Asics Canada + Sasha Exeter

Asics Canada + So Sasha

The  ASICS Lite-Show collection and you can find pieces from it on their website under “Cold Weather Running“. It’s all I’ve been running in over the last two months and so far…so freaking good. I’ve actually found myself wearing less layers than I usually do for this time of the year and have persuaded so many of my my friends to grab pieces from the collection too. I know so many of you also follow my homegirl Ana of BlueBirdKisses.com and she’s been raving about her pieces on her IG stories lately.

Asics Canada + Sasha Exeter

ASICS Canada + Sasha Exeter

ASICS Canada + Sasha Exeter

ASICS Canada + Sasha Exeter

ASICS Canada + Sasha Exeter

So yay, no more double layers of tights and four layers up top that used to make me feel like the abominable snowman moving as slow as a tortoise. Now on the bottom, it’s just the one pair of the Lite-Show winter tights.  They are extremely thick with an ultra warm lining that make them a little more stiff than regular running tights. Right now, I have three in rotation; two pairs of black (one 7/8 length and one full) and the deep blue. All black is usually my favourite for running and workouts, but for some reason I’m really into the blue. For my easy runs, I’ve only needed to wear one of my Thermopolis Plus LS long sleeves and my jacket but for faster runs or doing hills, where the jacket is just simply too warm for right now, I opt for all season long sleeve as a base layer with the Lite-Show Winter 1/2 Zip over top (also comes in Performance Black and Red Alerte in case you’re not into the Mid Grey/Ironclad colourway I’m wearing above). On the days that it’s colder, I sometimes wear the jacket until I’ve done a 2k warmup and then drop it back off at my concierge before back outside. 

ASICS Canada + So Sasha

ASICS Canada + Sasha Exeter
I am literally obsessed with these Dynaflyte 3 running shoes from the Lite-Show collection

But guys, it’s the Lite-Show jacket that’s really going to be the hero of the collection once the deep chill arrives. I literally have no idea how it’s only priced at $100 CDN. I swear, if it was a product from a competitor, you would 100% be sold in stores and online for over $350. And please don’t let the affordable price point fool you. It’s still one of the best winter outerwear pieces I’ve ever worn. It comes in black and the colour I’m wearing here is called Cordvan. It’s lightweight but still SO thermal and moisture wicking – the number one combination you need to be looking for when it comes to winter running gear! If you’re new to running in the cold, then my suggestion is to invest in the jacket, a thermal plus a regular long sleeve for layering. Those should be top priority but if you can, go the extra mile (no pun intended), and grab a pair of the Lite-Show tights too.

Accessories. Can’t forget those because they are obviously super important this time of year. I know a lot of you had questions about the gloves, ear warmers, hats I wear. You can find all the winter appropriate accessories you’ll need this season at the Toronto flagship location at 364 Queen St West but my Lite-Show headband and beanie you can find right now online. For my American friends though, you can shop all the winter accessories online on the US site. My Lite-Show gloves were great for the fall but as the temperature drops I have had to layer an extra pair overtop so I will probably be upgrading to a new thermal pair shortly to make sure my little fingies are warm during rain and wet snow. The socks will also get an upgrade too. I love the look of no-show socks but once December rolls around they won’t be very practical. I usually switch up to a single tab or quarter sock to protect the ankles more.

Y’all seem to love all the new training and running gear you’ve been seeing on IG and my stories so I will be sure to post and link the items here too as new collections drop.

SHOP ALL MY COLD WEATHER RUNNING PIECES

The Power of Protein and How It Can Fuel Your Day

Protein is something we are all aware needs to exist in our diets. Most of us think of meat, poultry, fish, eggs or tofu. If working out is apart of your lifestyle or you’re an athlete, you may have protein powder or bars as part of your daily routine as well. But you guys, how many of you use milk and milk products as a form of protein in your diet? I am going to guess not many think of them immediately as a protein go-to but rather think of them as a complement like milk for cereal for example or cheese on…well let’s just say cheese on any and everything because it makes everything taste better.

But before I talk about why milk and milk products are great sources of protein, let me first start with what protein is exactly and why it’s important. No matter what your dietary preferences are, protein is an essential macronutrient we all need to help maintain our overall health. Protein contributes to developing antibodies to boost out immune system. For those of you working hard in the gym these days – getting a jump on your 2018 fitness goals, we need protein to help build  and repair our muscles. Especially after a hardcore workout or training.

The Power of Protein - Dairy Farmers of Canada

The Power of Protein - Dairy Farmers of Canada

Now here’s the deal with how to best optimize your protein intake. A good rule of thumb is to distribute your protein evenly over your meals, so 30 grams during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, referred to as the 30-30-30 Rule. Utilizing milk products as an extra source of protein is often overlooked but I have made a conscious effort to integrate it into my day because the high quality proteins found in them help satisfy my hunger throughout my busy days.  With an increase in frequency and intensity with my workouts now that my body is a much better place post baby, I find that adding more protein from milk, yogurt bowls and even cheese into my diet gives me the strength and stamina I need to make it through the day with work, workouts and Maxwell.

The Power of Protein - Dairy Farmers of Canada

I am not sure if any of you out there track your intake of protein but to help you get an idea of the amount of protein you can expect to see from consuming milk products in your day-to-day life here’s some numbers to help put things into perspective for you:

  • A glass of milk (250 ml) contains 8 grams of protein
  • 3/4 cup of greek yogurt (175 ml) contains 17 grams of protein
  • 1/2 cup of cottage cheese (125 ml) contains 15 grams of protein
  • 50 grams of cheddar cheese (1 1/2 Oz) contains 12 grams of protein

Yogurt bowls are an easy way to start incorporating more milk products into your diet. I love added fresh fruit, chia and hemp seeds to mine for a bit of sweetness and crunch. It’s shocking how filling this snack really is. And whenever I need a bit of inspiration on new ways to add milk proteins to my existing meals, I check out DairyGoodness.ca for some recipe inspo. Below you will find the recipe details to a Bean and Barley salad that I discovered recently on the website. I made some slight modifications to it just for taste (removed the olives and used TK peppers) so it still packs all the same nutritional goodness.

The Power of Protein - Dairy Farmers of Canada

The Power of Protein - Dairy Farmers of Canada

Ingredients

1/2 of pearl barley and couscous

1 can (540 ml) of black, red, white or lima beans (no salt added)

1 cup (250 ml) of cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and sliced in half

1 cup (250 ml) of bell pepper, your choice, diced

1/2 cup (125 ml) of red onion, diced

1/4 cup (60 ml) of fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup (60 ml) of fresh parsley

1 tbsp of dried oregano

3 1/2 Oz (100 grams) of Canadian Feta Cheese, coarsely crumbled

Freshly ground pepper and sea salt to taste

Preparation

In a saucepan, bring 6 cups (1.5 L) of water to a boil and cook barley for approximately 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, cool under cold water, then drain again.

In a large bowl, mix barley, beans, and vegetables.

In another bowl, whisk reserved oil with lemon juice. Add herbs, Feta and pepper and pour over salad. Mix well and serve.

This post has been sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Canada however all views and opinions are my own

Fuel For Your Busy Day – Genuine Health’s Vegan Greens+ O

It is almost impossible to get your recommended daily intake of greens and through the food we eat alone, so I will always be an advocate of nutrient rich supplements like Genuine Health’s greens+ formula. For over two decades, greens+ has been Canada’s go-to green food supplement and if you’ve used it before, that fact won’t be surprising at all to you. Over the last year, it has become a vital part of my routine, giving me the energy I need to power through my crazy days and avoid that mid-afternoon slump. The laundry list of benefits from this superfood formula is what gets people hooked and after seeing a difference in just after a week in my energy levels, mood, cognitive health, and performance in the gym, there was no turning back for me.

Genuine Health Vegan Greens+ O

Genuine Health Vegan Greens+ OPhotography by Jess Baumung

One of the things I really admire about Genuine Health is that they are never satisfied at just creating great products. You know that old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”? Well – this doesn’t apply to this brand and their products.  As a team, they are always looking for ways to make their products better, more accessible, and with more benefits. Genuine Health’s most lucrative category, greens+, has continued to expand offering new and improved variants more tailored to people’s specific needs. The newest product that has been introduced into the line is Vegan greens+ O, designed to help those who like me, have food allergies and ingredient sensitives which can sometimes make taking supplements challenging.

So how could Genuine Health possibly make it’s award winning greens+ any better? First, they have included only organic ingredients – hence the “O” in the name and is also 100% vegan. They have also somehow managed to remove the allergens from their unique herbal blend and replaced them with more effective and innovative ingredients like organic spirulina, broccoli sprouts, chia seeds and sunflower lecithin, so now everyone can enjoy improved health, energy and vitality.

Genuine Health Vegan greens+ O

Check out GenuineHealth.com to learn more about Vegan greens+ O, which now comes in Acai Mango, Vanilla and Unflavoured, where to buy details, in addition to the rest of their amazing product line.

Tech Talk: What You Need to Know About Apple TV 4G

I did a TV detox for almost a year. Not intentionally, but with Netflix, Shomi, Crave and other online streaming options allowing us to watch our fave programs on our laptops, what was once one of the most used things in my household ended up sitting on a console collecting considerable amount of dust. Well, a lot has changed around here since getting Apple TV. Since it’s launch in 2010, it’s design had really not evolved and it was still using an interface dating back to the iPod days, quite possibly the reason why the device has consistently been eclipsed by it’s prodigy siblings, the iPad and iPhone. If you’re one of those people who prefer to wait for a later generation of a product so a brand has time to get all the kinks out, then now would be the time to try out the best version to date of Apple TV.

The latest version has powerful hardware, a significantly redesigned remote and an operating system worthy of an Apple product in 2016. Plus, there’s a legit app store now, which turns the device into a killer platform for entertainment, workouts and gaming right in the comfort of your own living room.

Apple TV Fitness Apps

The ultra sleek new Siri remote not only looks attractive when placed on your coffee table or TV console, but it’s also super functional. Say goodbye to endless button pushing kids. With the smooth touch surface, selecting and navigating is made so much easier with swipe capabilities. In addition to the menu and play/pause buttons, which the remote had before, there is now a home button and volume controls. Plus, since it’s wireless you don’t even have to point it directly at the Apple TV console. Worried about having to add yet another remote to your collection? We’ve trained the intelligent Siri remote to adapt to work as our television remote control.

Apple TV Fitness AppsHere’s what you will receive with you Apple TV purchase. *Note HDMI cable is sold separately

Once you’ve set up your Apple TV, which can be done simply on the corresponding app on your iPhone, the well laid out home screen makes it easy to search iTunes for movies, shows and music, and search/download from the app store etc. There aren’t any third-party apps installed by default, which is kind of a good thing in my personal opinion. This means, only the apps you love and use frequently are displayed on the home screen. The only downfall so far to be honest, is not having access to some of the new and amazing third-party apps that have been developed for 2016 that are not available in Canada *welp*. I frothed at the mouth thinking of all the potential binge watching I could do on HBO, Showtime and HULU and the workouts on Beach Body On Demand but nope – no dice for us Canadian residents. However, there are still a handful of apps making Apple TV a worthwhile purchase even if you reside south of the border…and let’s start with some that will get/keep you in shape:

Apple TV fitness apps

Fitness Focused Apps

Think you have no time to get to the gym after work? Can’t get out of bed extra early to make it to that yoga class? Or better yet, need some inspiration for some active mobility stretches before you run? I’ve combed the app store and online to find fitness apps that ticked all the boxes; high quality videos of varying lengths and forms of exercise, affordable prices, an app perhaps with an iOS version that sends me push notifications to nudge me when I haven’t worked out. Even a corresponding Apple Watch app component that will tap into the watch’s sensors to track my heart rate and cals burned. This may be too much of an ask, but I remained hopeful. After spending some considerable time trolling and testing, I’ve realized there is a HUGE potential for health and fitness apps on this platform and has even got me thinking of someday creating my own third-party app. With the updated version of Apple TV, tvOS has made it much easier for third-party apps to be created, so I suspect we will see a lot more comprehensive fitness apps popping up in the near future. Although there are some great options out there, I still think the fitness focused apps haven’t reached their full potential yet. Here’s a few of the contenders that were able to meet some of my tough criteria…

Zova:

Apple TV Fitness AppsPhotography by JessBaumung.com

One of the first tvOS fitness apps created, Zova also comes highly recommended by the peeps at Apple. It offers a ton of free video content, which is awesome, and is even equipped with Apple Watch integration so you’re able to see your heart rate on the TV screen while you workout. However, you have to pay $10+ a month to unlock the premium version. Still cheap in comparison to most others though, but I would have liked to see at least one option in the app store that was available free to users. Furthermore, majority of the videos are much shorter than I would have liked to see – 15 mins or less and no instruction. There’s just a model demonstrating each move sans voiceover. On the plus side, Zova is great for those who want to be led through a quick ab workout, short flow sequence to start the day or pre run stretch routine.

Daily Burn:

Apple TV Fitness Apps

Daily Burn has been featured in Vanity Fair, the New York Times, Shape, Good Morning America and the Today Show because of the success of it’s subscribers and now I know why. With over 500 workouts in 20+ amazing programs from strength training, HIIT, weight training, yoga, dance and more – there is something for everyone. Plus, there is a new 30 minute Daily Burn 365 workout every single day at 9am EST that replays on demand for 24 hours, specifically designed for beginners. When you download the app on Apple TV, your eligible for a 30 day free trial – something that most apps should allow you to do so you can ensure you are getting what you’re promised prior to purchasing. Once your free month is up, the premium membership will run you $36.99/mth. Workouts average anywhere between 30-40 minutes making them great on their own but also works well when you add in a run or other cardio workout but the app does not sync with the Apple Watch to monitor calories burned and heart rate.

Grokker:

Apple TV fitness apps

This yoga focused app also provides users with nutritional plans and cooking videos for those who are looking for some food inspo. Grokker’s program ranges from one week to six weeks in length and the series are designed to save you time with over 70 goal oriented series to choose from. My suggestions, “Get Tight in 28“, “x5 Intensity“, “Daily Muscle Relief” and the “21 Day Relax Mindfulness Meditation“. Love that you can schedule workouts in the in-app calendar as a reminder of which series you should be doing next. Users can also easily track progress such as total minutes of exercise and calories burned to stay motivated. If you have an Apple Watch, you will be able to track your heart rate and active energy during both fitness and yoga workouts while also contributing to your Activity Rings. Free to download and use, but just like the rest of the more sophisticated fitness apps out there, you have to pay for the good stuff. A premium subscription enables you to download an unlimited number of premium videos per month and will cost you $14.99 or $119.99 monthly or annually respectively.

Cody:

Apple TV Fitness Apps

Cody is the priciest out of the bunch because you actually pay per plan, not by month – so if you’re looking for an affordable fitness app, this isn’t it! The cost depends mainly on which plan you pick but on average will cost you somewhere between $40-50 and there is no free trial option. Some may argue that it is in fact good value for money because the videos are super high quality plus Cody offers offline downloads so you can do your workouts on your iOS device while traveling. If you’re the type that likes a variety and prefers to switch things up each day, you may not love that the app forces you to stick within a program, however on the plus side, this is the best way to achieve results.

Honourable Mentions

I would be straight up lying if I told you this was my only use of my Apple TV at home. Let’s be honest here, there are a plethora of entertainment, news, music, food and television streaming apps to make you forget all about cable television. On heavy rotation at our place right now – Netflix, TED Talks, Shomi, CityTV, People Entertainment Weekly Network, The Scene, Kitchen Stories, Made to Measure (for all my fave fashion documentaries and movies), and RedBull TV.

Apple TV is available at Apple stores, Best Buy locations and online at Apple.com starting at $199.

Nike Toronto #GetOutHere Winter Series

#GetOutHere

Yes, we are approaching winter. And yes, it is cold here in Toronto. However, this doesn’t mean that we need to settle for indoor gym workouts or worse, no workouts at all. For the second year in a row, Nike Toronto is offering outdoor winter training and run programming to help athletes stay motivated and to take on the seasonal elements. If you have been following my snapchat stories on Tuesday nights you have seen sneak peeks of my four week #GetOutHere training journey with my media group; where we have been getting to trial new NTC and H.I.T and Run workouts lead by Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath and Nike+ Run Coach Inge. Each Tuesday we have pushed our limits and had a little fun along the way, while testing out some of the brand’s latest cold weather apparel and technologies.

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

DSC08006

#GetOutHere

#GETOUTHERE

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

Now it’s your turn to join in on all the fun. To help celebrate the arrival of Nike.com (commerce) here in Canada and the beginning of winter, Nike is currently hosting Nike.com “Live” from November 19-21 . A pop-up where you can expect special NRC runs and workouts, plus you can schedule 1:1 meetings with run coaches, trainers and even customize your own pair of Nike iD’s. We kicked off the Live sessions on Thursday morning at 6AM at 229 Richmond Street West, where the brand has converted a parking lot to an enormous outdoor fitness space which also houses the Nike.com crate, featuring all the new products from the running and training categories. Rumour has it, there’s a few vacant spots still left for some of today’s sessions. Click here to view availability and to sign up!

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

So what is the recipe for surviving outdoor workouts this winter? Make sure its fun, have the right training partner and of course stay warm. During our sessions, the ladies and I have been staying cozy and warm in the Nike Pro Hyperwarm Limitless HoodieHyperwarm Limitless Tights Therma-Sphere Max VestTherma-Sphere Max Jacket and Air Zoom Agility 2 training shoes – all are available for purchase now on Nike.com. Here’s a peek of some of the other new product that can be found in the container:

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHerePhotos courtesy of Streets of Toronto (Alen Palander, Tyler Hayward and Nathalia Allen)

Nike.com “Live” may be coming to an end in Toronto today, but the party is far from over. This Monday night marks the beginning of the #GetOutHere four week winter series with Canada’s only Nike Master Trainer @EvaRedpath on the rooftop of the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Attendees will taken through a 60 minute H.I.T workout and will get the opportunity to test out the latest training apparel and footwear. Spaces are extremely limited so you will have to act quick if you want to take part. Head over to Nike.com/Toronto to view all available programming and to register for #GetOutHere.

Adidas x Stella McCartney Launch Stella Sport

Stella Sport

To celebrate a decade of success collaborating with Adidas on her original designer workout line, Stella McCartney has launched a new line of athleisure apparel and accessories aimed at a younger female audience and I am beyond thrilled to have partnered with the iconic global company as a Brand Ambassador. With my extremely active lifestyle, I gravitate towards pieces that allow me to perform my best while looking good from the fitness studio to the streets. McCartney has earned her sportswear credentials as she was one of the pioneers of designer-sportswear collabos and brilliantly created a 590 piece kit for the 2012 British Olympic team. Her success has no doubt has inspired other collaborations, including the upcoming 2015 launches of Beyonce x Top Shop and Tory Burch’s sportswear collections.

Stella Sport

Stella Sport

Adidas Stella Sport

The debut collection consists of graphic tees and tanks, tights, sports bras in Adidas Climalite fabric, accessories, footwear that feature open meshed uppers for increased ventilation in addition to “trankini” pieces and a signature onesie. With bold colour ways and prints (Rumour has it, McCartney screened one of her father’s album covers on a tank and cropped pull over) Stella Sport offers a blend of sportswear and street wear allowing young ladies to express themselves both during and post workout, “The Adidas Stella Sport girl is young, current and vibrant, looking to make a statement and stand out. We wanted to bring that to life within the collection and fuse performance with style to create performance pop,” explains the designer.

Stella Sport

Stella Sport

Adidas Stella SportPhotos by Vanessa Cesario of The Brunette Salad

I was extremely lucky to get my hands on the above pieces before they dropped and anxiously awaiting for the remainder of the collection to be available next month,  you can preview the full line here.  From yoga, swimming to training, the new Adidas by Stella McCartnery collection continues to push the boundaries of style and performance. The collection is now available for sale in Canada online and select Sport Chek locations. *Not all product shown in the video is available.

What I’m Wearing: Stella Sport Padded Bra //  Stella Sport Tech 3/4 Capri Pant // Stella Sport Pull Over Jacket // Stella Sport Tech 7/8 Tech Pant // Stella Sport Graphic Tank // RayBan Matte Black Wayfarers // Le Chateau Faux-Melton Coat // Adidas Adizero Feather Prime Runner Shoe Lay Down Items: Stella Sport Graphic Tee // Stella Sport Poly All Over Print Tech Tank // BKR “London” Water Bottle 

Are you digging the Adidas x Stella Sport collection as much as I am? Share your fave looks on social media using the hashtag #StellaSport. Get social and make sure to follow @Adidas @AdidasWomen and @SportChek on Instagram and Twitter 

NTC’s Total Body Sculpting Workout ft. Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath

Nike Training Club

Since the beginning of the year I’ve been talking frequently about my obsession with the Nike Training Club (NTC) program and often wonder how I was living without it before. Although I am extremely fortunate to workout with Canada’s first Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath weekly here in Toronto, I turn to the app several times a week when I am training on my own. If you are looking for a way to stay motivated, have variety in your workouts and create training programs to help you achieve your goals, then look no further than the NTC+ app, which you can download for free on iTunes. I promise you, it’s like having a trainer…whenever…wherever.

The Total Body Sculpting Workout is one I love to use a lot. Its a 45 minute intense sesh of cardio and fat burning. The best part…it requires very little space and minimal equipment to execute, so it’s perfect when exercising at home or while traveling.  This workout is based on circuit training and is very similar to what I am currently doing with Eva on Thursday mornings. It consists of performing multiple exercises on multiple body parts in a row with little rest in between exercises. Through this style of workout, I’ve gained muscle through resistance training, while also increasing my cardio endurance, which is achieved during the slightly elevated heart rate that is maintained in between sets and throughout the overall program.

Nike Training Club

Nike Training Club

Nike Training Club

Photography by Robert Okine – RobertOkine.com

How to Begin The Total Body Sculpting Workout

Once you have downloaded the app on your phone or iPad, go through the following steps to locate and begin this workout:

1. Choose “Get Workout” on the home screen

2. Select “Get Lean” on the choose goal screen

3. Choose “Advanced” on the choose level screen

4. Select the “Total Body Sculpting” workout

5. Select the “Review Workout” tab to view each exercise in the series

6. Then hit “Download” and you can start the workout when you are ready

Now although the workout is located in the advanced section of “Get Lean”, please DO NOT get intimated. Many of the exercises within the circuit can be modified to suit your comfort level. You can also chose to not utilize the free weights and medicine ball if you don’t have them at home. Prior to beginning this workout I highly recommend you select the “Review Workout” and understand how to execute each exercise in the series. If you are confused by an exercise, click on it and you will be taken to a step-by-step instruction via images. Need further clarification? There is also an option to watch a short video clip. Your virtual trainer will be sure to motivate you through audio feedback throughout the workout. Best of luck…and remember, the only workout you will regret, is the one you didn’t do!

What I’m Wearing:  Free 5.0 TR Fit 4 Printed Women’s Training Shoe c/o Nike // Legendary Capri Training Tights c/0 Nike  // Rival Pro Bra (available in Canada in store – online and in the U.S. on July 14th) c/o Nike // Fuel Band c/o Nike

If you are interested in participating in a live Nike Training Club workout here in the city, the Academy of Lions cross fit gym hosts free weekly sessions where you can sweat it out with one of four amazing NTC trainers. Click here  to join the club and reserve your spot!

For motivation and tips, follow my girl Eva Redpath on Twitter and Instagram & make sure to also check out Nike Women’s amazing Instagram account!

*Special thanks to Academy of Lions for providing the space!*

The Right Fit & Support with Nike’s New Pro Bra Collection

Nike Pro Rival Bra

A few weeks ago I received a mysterious “Save-the-Date” for an upcoming Nike event that was super hush hush and top secret…details about what was to be shown at the media preview was not revealed until I arrived at the event space last Friday morning. Nike takes their “Research & Development” very serious so when I discovered the event was to discuss new innovations for women’s training, I immediately thought it had to do with footwear but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The event was to introduce the new  Nike Pro Bra Collection, which has been in development for the last two years.

The sports bra is the heart of every women’s workout, or at least it should be. As Canadian Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath reminded us last last week, it is the very first thing we put on when getting ready so how could it not be important? And just like we chose footwear according to an event or activity, we should be wearing the right bra with appropriate support for the type of exercise we do. Each woman has a unique shape and because of the many different types of fitness activities, there has definitely been a need for an innovative range of bras that can accommodate every female athlete.

Nike Pro Bra Collection

Having the wrong size or ill-fitting bra can be catastrophic and deter women from certain types of exercise or working out altogether. I was appalled when I discovered that 1 in 5 Canadian women ages 18-34 have avoided a workout because they didn’t have the right sized bra and more alarming, 46% had no idea that an ill-fitting bra can have a negative impact on their health.

Nike Pro Rival Bra

The new Nike Pro Bra Collection (out next week) will feature 5 bras designed for different levels of support. The focal point of the collection is the Nike Pro Rival Bra, which I am wearing above, priced at $75 CDN. It has the highest level of support within the range and will be available in 25 sizes ranging from 30B to 38E. Different aesthetically to the sports bras I’ve worn most of my life, the Rival was inspired by lingerie construction using sport appropriate materials. It is the only bra in the new collection with separate full-molded and contoured cups to deliver additional support and shaping. Other styles that will be offered are the new Nike Pro Fierce $60, the updated Pro Classic $40; which also comes in a padded version $45 and the Nike Pro Indy $50.

Nike Pro Rival Bra

Photography by Robert Okine – RobertOkine.com
Hydration provided by Vitamin Water

Here’s the skinny…I’ve trained in the Rival over the last week and although it felt odd at first not having the uni-boob situation from the Pro Classic that I adore, once I got over the idea of having both breasts separated, I noticed that I had never experienced that level of comfort before. The best part – it’s versatile enough for running, gym/outdoor training, yoga, pilates, and even with street clothes. The Nike Pro Bra Collection will be available for purchase starting July 9th in Canada at Nike stores, Sporting Life, select Sports Chek locations and sports retailers nationwide and will be available at Nike stores and Nike.com in the U.S. July 14th.

*Starting July 11th, my friends at Nike will be hosting an NTC Pop-Up Studio in Toronto where you ladies can be fitted for one of the styles from the collection using the 360 Nike Fit System, get a chance to trial your bra during one of the daily free NTC workouts and connect with your buddies at the site’s juice bar and patio.

Where:       548 Richmond St. West (near Richmond and Portland) Toronto

When:        July 11th-August 28th 2014

Schedule:  Mon to Fri 11am – 8pm (NTC workout held @ 6:30 pm) and Sat-Sun 8am – 6pm (NTC workout @ 9am & 4:30 pm)

Visit 548Richmond.com to schedule your bra fitting appointment at the NTC Studio now!

Nike Free Flyknit 2014 Running Collection

Nike Free 2014 Collection

Some of you may have noticed by following me on Instagram, Twitter and the Nike+ Running app that I have recently stepped up my fitness regime and have gotten back into really enjoying the benefits of running now that the weather is warmer. Some may call me cray, but I have learned to love this form of exercise as it allows me to relax, think, brainstorm, reflect and tone my body from head to toe. I am running five days a week now…wish I could do more but it is imperative to allow my body to rest and I also need to do other fitness related activities to help stretch and lengthen my body as well. With the release of  Nike’s Free 2014 running collection this Spring, I’ve recently decided to test out the brand’s 3.0 Flyknit running shoe. Prior to this, I was happily jogging in the Nike 5.0, which has been my go-to shoe to work out in, but having never been exposed to the Flyknit technology I was open for a change.

Nike Free Flyknit 3.0

Celebrating it’s 10th anniversary this year, the design of the original Free’s was based around the concept of natural motion. After a decade of R&D, the company has developed some amazing new innovations which has helped birth the Free Flyknit 3.0 and the Free Flyknit 4.0. Through lab research, Nike’s brilliant team studied the foot in motion and it became quite clear that although when you run you move forward linearly, your feet do not necessarily move in a straight line – rather they roll slightly when it strikes the ground. The brand’s answer was to create multi-directional flexibility to create natural motion in a running shoe via three groundbreaking technologies.

Flyknit Technology

The Flykmit upper is said to provide support, stretch and breathability while also complimenting the flexibility of the Nike Free platform, allowing the foot to move more freely in all directions.

Nike Free Flyknit 3.0

Hexagonal Flex Grooves

This is the first line of shoe where Nike has introduced an outsole hexagonal flex groove pattern, developed with the help of insights from professional athletes and it allows runners feet to move more freely in all directions.

Nike Free Flyknit 3.0

Anatomical Shape

The goal of the anatomical shape is to allow the foot and body to move more naturally and the heel is meant roll as your foot hits the ground.

Nike Free Flyknit 3.0

Stay tuned as I plan to run approximately 50 km’s in these bad boys before I report back on my experience with the new and improved Nike Free Flyknit 3.0’s. I have been running distances between 3 to 9 km’s a day with the help of the Nike+ Running app and the transition has been interesting so far. If you are a seasoned runner or just getting started, download the app for free and get more out of your run.

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