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Five Ways To Refocus Your Fitness Routine This Fall

Photo by Emre Karatas on Unsplash

Five Ways To Refocus Your Fitness Routine This Fall

January may technically be the calendar marker for a new year, but there’s something about fall that always feels like a chance for a fresh start. Perhaps it’s all the back-to-school buzz, which for much of our lives symbolized the beginning of a new year and a time to get focused.

While most of us won’t be heading back to class this fall, September is still the perfect time to get back into a fitness routine after the long, lazy days of summer and refocus your goals for the months ahead. Not quite sure where to begin? Just follow these five tips below and you’ll be back in a fitness rhythm in no time!

1) Set A Specific Goal

Having a clear cut long-term goal gives you something to focus on day-to-day. Instead of setting a generic goal like, “I want to get stronger”, make it specific. Maybe you want to shave a minute off your fastest race time, increase your endurance so you can run your first half marathon by the end of the year, or be able to bench x amount of weight in the gym. Whatever it is, write it down so you can actually see it. Every day when you wake up think about this goal and what it is you can do today to make progress towards it.

2) Make A Schedule

Every Sunday, sit down and plan out your fitness schedule for the week ahead. Do you want to go on one long run and a few shorter ones, take a workout class five days this week, practice yoga at least once? Write (or type) out exactly what it is you’re going to do, when, and where. Once these activities are on your calendar, treat them just like important meetings or appointments that you wouldn’t miss. If the time is set aside, you’ll find you have no excuses not to do it.

3) Find A Buddy

Skipping a workout is so much easier when there’s no one to hold you accountable. Instead of going it alone, sign up for a class with your BFF or plan to meet your buddy for an early morning run before work. Next time you feel like backing out, the thought of letting your friend down will discourage you from quitting. Plus, the social time will become something you look forward to and will make the workout go by so much faster!

4) Get The Right Gear

There’s something to be said for the power of proper gear. Treat yourself to a Large Pocket SPIbelt in one of our fun new fall prints (Peacock and Tiger’s Eye) so you have a place to stash your goods during your next workout. Maybe you’ve been eyeing a GPS watch so you can start tracking your miles more accurately, or a pair of wireless headphones so you don’t have to deal with getting tangled up in a cord anymore. Investing in quality gear will not only enhance your workout, but will keep you motivated to actually get out there and achieve your goals.

5) Switch It Up

Doing the same thing over and over can get boring very quickly. Not to mention, no fitness goal is ever achieved by doing just one type of workout. Throw a strength training day into your running mix, add a yoga class to your schedule to stretch out your muscles and increase flexibility, or instead of taking the same type of class four days a week, try something new two of the days. Switching it up will make you more fit all around and will keep things interesting so you never get burnt out.

How are you refocusing your fitness routine this fall? Tell us with #freetobefocused

Step into Fall with SPIbelts newest prints! Check them here

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5 Activities To Unleash Your Inner Adventurer

Photo by David Balanos

5 Activities To Unleash Your Inner Adventurer

 “It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves—in finding themselves.” French author and Nobel Prize winner André Gide perhaps said it best, understanding the innate need for adventure in one’s life.

 Adventure can be so many different things and no two adventures are ever the same. One thing they all have in common though, is that they provide us with the opportunity to move past our comfort zone to experience, learn, and grow. Whatever your adventure may be—starting a new job, navigating the waters of being a first time parent, moving to a new city—get out there and live it! Life is too short to walk the beaten path. Instead, forge your own route so that you might discover something much greater along the way. Say yes to adventure. Be curious. Try new things. Take risks. Stay excited. The unknown can be daunting, but the things that scare us most are the experiences from which we have the most to gain. Looking for your next adventure? Any of these five ideas below are sure to satisfy your craving!

 1) Take a road trip: Hop in the car, pull out a map (yes, an old school paper map, not your smart phone!) and head wherever the road takes you. Stop along the way to explore new towns, check out the local watering holes, venture into museums, and check out the scenery. Make sure you have a playlist stocked with plenty of good tunes and, of course, don’t forget the snacks! If you really want to go big, we suggest taking a trip down historic Route 66 or cruising the Pacific Coast Highway.

 2) White water rafting: Looking for something a bit more extreme? Strap on a helmet, a life vest, and grab a paddle. Navigating through rough waters at extreme speeds will certainly get your adrenaline pumping! Just don’t say we didn’t warn you about the amount of strength and endurance it requires—your arms and core will certainly be burning after!

 3) Hiking: Remember how transformative of an experience Cheryl Strayed had while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in her memoir, Wild? The fresh air, scenic views, and peacefulness of being in nature are quite the trifecta for centering yourself. Whether you go somewhere completely off the beaten path like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, or Banff or even just a local mountain or trail—get out there and get moving.

 4) Surfing: Heading somewhere with waves? Instead of sitting in the sand and watching them crash at your feet, why not try getting up on a board and riding them out! Even if you spend most of your time splashing in the water rather than actually surfing, the experience (and workout) will be well worth it. 

 5) Skydiving: There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as the rush you get when jumping out of a plane thousands of feet above the ground with nothing but a parachute separating you from free fall! Find places in your area to make the jump or go someplace new—after all, you can’t beat the view from that high up! Our tip: try it in the fall to check out the changing leaves beneath you.

Tell us about your greatest adventure with #freetobeadventurous and we might share your story!

While you’re here, make SPIbelt a part of your next adventure!

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Summer Music Festival Must-Haves

photo via

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Summer Music Festival Must-Haves

Coachella and Bonnaroo may have already come and gone, but lucky for those of us who didn’t get a chance to go or haven’t yet gotten our festival fill, there are still plenty of opportunities left this summer to jam out to your favorite tunes while soaking in the sunshine. Whether you’re getting ready for Lollapalooza next week, planning on heading to Made In America in September, ACL in October (our local festival!) or any other upcoming concert you’ve got plugged into your iCal, one thing you don’t want to forget to bring along is your SPIbelt! Stash your tickets, ID, cash, credit cards, phone and whatever else you might need inside the pouch and you’re set to rock out while going hands-free. Not sure how to show off your festival style? We’ve rounded up our eight must-haves that will have your look striking just the right tune. Check them out below!

Clockwise from top right: Free People kimonoAmerican Eagle Outfitters tankQuay Australia sunglassesSun Bum lip balm. myCharge phone chargerJ.Crew shortsLuxe by SPIbeltPuma sneakers.

1) Breezy Tank

Stay cool with a lightweight and breathable tank. We love the fun tie-dye pattern of this one!

2) Sunglasses

You’ll be staring at the stage with the sun in your eyes, so go for standout shades like this gold mirrored pair.

3) Denim Shorts

Is there anything more quintessential to festival style than denim shorts? Nope!

4) Luxe By SPIbelt

Our Luxe belt’s cool metallic hardware makes it the perfect accessory to your festival look. Bonus points for coordinating the metal with you sunglasses like we did here! Not only will the Luxe turn heads, but it securely holds everything you need and keeps it safe from pickpockets.

5) Portable Phone Charger

Don’t let a dying phone kill your vibe. Charge up on the go right inside your SPIbelt so you can continue to Instagram and Snapchat to your heart’s desire!

6) SPF 30 lip balm

Because no one likes sunburnt lips.

7) Sneakers

You’ll be on your feet and dancing around, so choose a comfy pair of kicks that’ll keep your feet happy all show long.

8) Kimono

For those who really like to push it, spice up your look with a funky kimono. The bold print will make you stand out in the crowd and the fringe trim will move with you as you get your groove on!

We want to see how you rock your SPIbelt! Show us on Insta with #spibeltstyle

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A Q+A With SPIbelt Ambassador Tasha Holland

A Q+A With SPIbelt Ambassador Tasha Holland

This month on social media we’re focusing on all of the ways you’re #freetobebold while wearing your SPIbelt. While we think all of our ambassadors are bold runners for their confidence, courage and ability to take risks, Tasha Holland’s journey as a runner is one of the most bold ones we’ve ever seen! The mom of two started running to improve her health and within one year she had run not only a half-marathon and a marathon, but completed her first 50k ultra! We chatted with Tasha about her adventurous running experiences, what pushes her to continue challenging herself, and how SPIbelt has played a role along the way. Check it out below!

How did you first get into running?

I began running a little over three years ago to be healthier. I was overweight and have four endocrine diseases. I was desperate for change and wanted to be proud of my body instead of ashamed. I had little time to drive to a gym and running seemed to be the easiest option because I could walk out my door and just run. So I did!

How has running pushed you and inspired you to be more bold?

Running has pushed me in so many ways. It has definitely made me bolder and braver. When I ran my first 110 miles at Ozone I learned how to run on blistered covered feet and discovered how to dig deep and run through the pain. When I first began Vol State, I was scared to run at night. Everything made me jump! Running in the country at night is stressful and I second guessed every move. But by the end of my 314 miles I was at peace in the night. When you run across a state you discover things about yourself that you never knew. I grew so much during that race! With each new accomplishment, my confidence in myself has grown.

What races have you competed in that have pushed you to be bold?

My first Olympic triathlon pushed me like crazy! It was an open water lake swim and I’m not a strong swimmer. It was the scariest thing I have ever done during a race. I finished it in 42 minutes—double the time of everyone else, but I was thrilled! I had faced a fear and overcome it, smiling and triumphant.

I continued to push when I signed up for the Tarheel Ultra (378 miles along the North Carolina coastline). I ran that race solo, which means I was responsible for carrying everything I needed or finding it and buying it along the way. It was a new adventure and quite scary. It was hot during the days and freezing at night and I lived eating out of gas stations. For someone with Hashimoto’s, Celiacs disease, and that is also lactose intolerant the challenge to eat nutritional foods was huge. I finished that race in 7 days and was the first female finisher (setting the course record for females!) and placed 3rd overall. Less than 24 hours later I ended up in the hospital with cellulitis and a severe concussion. I had fallen and hit my head with 16 miles to go, but refused to stop until I finished. I was banned from any activities for a month so that I could heal. This adventure taught me how resilient I could be.

What does an ultra race like that entail and have you participated in any others?

Vol State and Tarheel are both 500k (plus) races across states that require 31-50 miles of running a day to finish in the required time. I ran Vol State last year crewed, but this year I’ll run it solo just like I did with Tarheel. For these races you carry everything you need and replenish supplies along the way in gas stations, dollar stores, restaurants, or grocery stores. You can sleep in motels or anywhere outside you can find—gas station benches, on the grass in town squares, on the side of the highway in a construction zone, and under trees in parks are a few of the places I have slept! These races test your endurance and resilience and it’s often a mental battle to keep moving. You’re responsible for your safety as well as finding your way, your shelter, and your food. They’re extremely tough, but are guaranteed to change your life!

What made you decide to take the leap from running casually to running in these types of races?

After my first half marathon I claimed I would never run a marathon. How little I knew myself! I love a challenge and wanted to be that small percentage that called themselves marathoners. It was only 13 more miles, which I figured I could do. I chose the Hatfield and McCoy marathon that is ranked as one of the toughest 10 marathons in the United States. I had planned on running it alone until a very nice 50 State Marathon finisher heard me telling someone it was my first and told me he would like to tag along. “No one should ever run their first marathon alone”, he said. It was the toughest thing I had ever done. I hit a wall at mile 20 and never recovered, but he refused to leave and stayed with me until the end when I finished around 6:30. Because of him, I have given up my own race multiple times to run alongside first time marathoners. When I discover it’s their first I ask if I can tag along, hearing my friend’s words of wisdom in the back of my mind.

After my first marathon I took a month off of running and got to thinking that if I could run 26 miles then I could run a 50k, and if I could run a 50k then I could run a 50 mile! I wanted to be amongst the few runners that have run mind staggering distances. I ran my first ultra—a 50k—within a year of when I took my first steps to running!

I love challenging myself and seeing how far I can go, both mentally and physically. I want to push until I feel like I can go no further, then push some more. It’s moments like these that show us what we’re made of. I want to show my diseases that they don’t own me. Running makes me stronger and more confident.

What type of preparation do you take to prepare for races?

I don’t do a lot to prepare. I run marathons to train for longer distance races and run bleachers and hills to train for trail races. I also bike and even swim a little, and do light weights and core work as well.

What goes through your head on race day?

The hours leading up to a race can be the hardest. I’m usually so excited that I can’t sleep—I’m lucky to get four hours! It’s just so hard to stay calm when I know I’m about to start something that I may not finish. I know I’ll hate it at some points and will love it at others. I’ll most likely curse, cry, and laugh during, but no matter the outcome I always learn something new about myself.

What do you do when a race doesn’t go as planned? Can you tell us about specific moments when you’ve really had to push yourself to be bold?

When things don’t go as planned, I stay calm and think of a new way to continue on. I ran into a lost, hurt, aggressive dog during the West Virginia Trilogy 50k last year. He was at the top of the trailhead, miles from civilization. At first I thought I was hallucinating, but when he raised his hackles and started growling I knew he was real. We had a 10-15 minute standoff during which I was certain I was going to be bitten. I talked to him and made my way slowly up the hill, stopping a lot and trying to appear harmless. He came so close to me that I could pet him and I held my breath as he sniffed me. He growled once and then ran away. I was lucky that day that I only lost time on the clock. It could have been much worse.

I have gotten blisters too early in a run, ran out of food and water, gotten lost, been stung by hornets, caught in thunderstorms, lost shoes in calf deep mud, fallen in stream crossings, had heat exhaustion, and fought hypothermia. Some of these things can be worked out, but some can end your race. All you can do is just deal with one mile at a time. I stay calm and do my best to stay positive and keep moving forward. If the mile I’m in sucks, the next mile could be better. You never know until you get there!

How has your SPIbelt played a role in you being such a bold runner? 

SPIbelt accompanies me on every adventure. It has been with me since my first half marathon and I also wore it for both of my 500k’s! I can run knowing my possessions are safely by my side—mace, gels, car keys, phone, other food sources, charging accessories, and more. I love the reflective belts so I can run at night with confidence knowing that cars will see me, and the hydration belts come in handy when it’s too hot for a vest. Honestly, I cannot imagine running without my SPIbelts! When you have gear you trust and believe in, it makes it easy to be bold in your actions when on racing adventures.

 

We want to hear about your bold experiences while wearing SPIbelt. Share them on Instagram with the hashtag #freetobebold and we may repost your story!

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6 Trends That Will Elevate Your Workout Wardrobe Style

6 Trends That Will Elevate Your Workout Wardrobe Style

Anytime you workout you’re already winning in our book for doing something to improve your health. But beyond your performance, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look stylish while you sweat! That’s why we’re so excited about our new Luxe by SPIbelt. With its sleek all-black design and eye-catching metallic hardware, the Luxe is so chic you won’t want to take it off even when your workout’s over. And hey, we won’t blame you since it looks just as good outside the gym as it does in!

Elevating your sweat style is as easy as putting on your Luxe, but if you’re looking to go the extra mile we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite fitness fashion trends that’ll help you take your workout wardrobe style to the next level in no time. Check them out below!

Mesh and Cutouts

Nothing gives your look an edge faster than mesh and cutout accents that show off a peek of skin. Depending on your comfort level you can keep things more subtle (like the outfit below) or go all out with all-over detail.

 

 

Thirty8 LeggingsOnzie tankAdidas sneakers, Luxe by SPIbelt in Gunmetal

Crop Tops and Monochrome

Performance bralettes and crop tops are having a serious moment right now. Not only are they super trendy, but they also keep you cool during the summer heat! We’re also loving monochrome dressing (wearing pieces in the same color), which instantly pulls your look together and is an easy way to make a big impact.

 

 

Baseball capOutdoor Voices crop topZella shortsLuxe by SPIbelt in Gold

Brights and Bold Prints

Don’t be afraid to have some fun! Mix and match bright colors and bold prints for a look that’ll get you so pumped up you might not even need your tunes to get going.

 

Swell water BottleUnder Armour tankAdidas by Stella McCartney tights, Luxe by SPIbelt in Silver

 

What trends are you rocking this summer? We want to know! Tag @spibelt or use #LUXEBYSPI so we can see your best looks!

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Q+A With SPIbelt’s Founder & CEO, Kim Overton

This year is SPIbelt’s 10th year in business! All year long we’re celebrating this milestone by giving back to you, our customers, as a way of saying thank you for your support. If you haven’t already applied for our #SPIFORWARD program, go do it now! We’re giving away free SPIbelts to active living groups across the country all year long. Plus, on the 10th of each month we’re sharing behind-the-scenes peeks of the company so you can get to know more about the SPIbelt brand. 

This month we figured what better way to get to know more about the company than to meet our founder and CEO, Kim Overton. Kim created the first ever SPIbelt in her Austin apartment back in 2006 after she went for a run and had nowhere to put her key except inside her bra top. After months of prototyping and filing the necessary patents and trademarks, Kim officially launched SPIbelt out of her apartment in February of 2007. Ten years later, SPIbelt has expanded to a much larger office and has a full team of dedicated employees working to make the brand even better. We thought it would be fun to do a Q+A with Kim so you could get to know more about her. Check it out below and try not to get too jealous that we have such a cool boss!

What motivates you to live an active lifestyle?

Mental and physical health. Running my business now as a mom of three kids, I find it more important than ever to have my mental health in check. I like to come home and be 100% focused on my family. Keeping active allows me to find relief to the pressures that can come with running my business.

My favorite way to stay active is:

Riding my bike to work, after work, or on weekends. I also like going for a run after work, but if I don’t have much free time I’ll put on my running shoes and take the kids to the park. They’ll ride their bikes while I run behind them, pushing the baby in the jogger stroller.

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning:

When I wake up I take a moment to give thanks for a good night’s sleep and for life in general. I also reflect with gratitude in my heart on all of the positive things in my life and on the wonderful day ahead. I take a few extra deep breaths, then I start my day. 

The last thing I do before I go to bed:

I meditate for 10 minutes each night before bed with the Insight Timer app.

The one wellness trend you’ll never see me try:

Diets. There are too many diet trends to keep up with! I eat what my body burns and what it needs to stay active on a consistent level. I don’t count calories and I don’t own a scale. Food and weight don’t dictate my health. My mind and body guide what I eat based on its needs for the activities I engage in.

How I stay active with three young children:

Staying active with kids is easy! Fitness doesn’t have to happen in a gym, group fitness class, or on the trail. When I take my kids to the park I throw on running shoes and run with them while they ride their bikes. I’ll play catch with them and do what I can to keep up. We also live on a steep hill so when we head home we like to see who can get up the hill first (the kids on their bikes and me on foot). I occasionally win!

My most memorable sweaty moment:

Riding my single gear bike to work for the first time! I rode in prep for Austin’s Bike To Work Day and it felt great! I rode my single gear bike versus my geared bike to see what it would feel like. It was exhilarating and challenging in a good way.

My go-to workout outfit:

You’ll usually see me in knee length leggings with a SPIbelt shirt on or a basic dri-fit material top. I used to wear midriff type tops, but those days are over—ha! If I’m running I’ll wear a pair of crazy color Asics or Sauconys. If I’m not running, but doing calisthenics or weights, I’ll wear my black Pumas. 

My go-to workout jam that pushes me a little harder:

Anything house! 125 beats per minute is what I’ll stream.

My favorite healthy snack:

I love seaweed! I’m so addicted to this lately. My other go-to snack is unsalted, roasted nuts. 

My favorite easy-to-prepare healthy meal:

A white fish (cod, tilapia, etc.) oven broiled in coconut milk, served with salad and/or rice. My family loves this one! 

My favorite indulgence:

Baileys Irish Cream! I try to keep alcohol, sugar and dairy consumption to an absolute minimum, but this insanely rich adult beverage is so good that I’ll indulge from time to time (especially when the weather is cooler). Chocolate flourless cake is, of course, also on my list. 

My favorite fitness/wellness Instagram account to follow:

I love following our brand ambassadors! They’re such a diverse group of amazing individuals that keep me inspired. 

My favorite vacation spot:

Maui! My husband and I eloped to Maui along with our kids who participated in the ceremony. Hawaii has always been a magical place for me and my family.

How I stay active on vacation:

It’s easy! We tend to spend little time in our hotel room and lots of time exploring the island or playing in the water. I never feel I need to “workout” while on vacation, it just happens naturally. My family and I stay active and we eat healthy foodit’s the perfect combo.

The most surprising way I’ve used/worn a SPIbelt:

I’ll sometimes wrap a SPIbelt around the handles of my baby’s jogger stroller with his snacks and a toy inside.

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Summertime Means #FLEXFRIDAYS At SPIbelt HQ

Staying focused at the office on a Friday when you know the weekend is just hours away is never easy. But during the summer when the sun is shining and all you can think about are the fun activities you can’t wait to get outside and enjoy, it’s nearly impossible! At SPIbelt we believe everyone should be #FREETOBE active, so this summer our offices will be closing early every Friday so that our employees can take the afternoon off to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather with their friends and family. We’re calling it #FLEXFRIDAYS. All summer long we’ll be sharing our employees’ Friday afternoon adventures on Instagram and we want to see how you’re kicking off your weekend too (even if it’s before or after a full workday)! Share your photos with the hashtag #FLEXFRIDAYS and let us know what you’re up to and how you’re bringing your SPIbelt along. Need some ideas? Here are a few of our favorite activities:

  • Take a bike ride
  • Go for a trail run
  • Try paddle boarding
  • Go hiking
  • Take a canoe out on the water with a friend or family member
  • Jump in a kayak solo and enjoy the scenery
  • Get your hands dirty in the garden
  • Take a walk to your favorite ice cream shop

Summer is never long enough, so make sure to get outside and enjoy every minute of it!

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5 Essentials For Taking Your Workout Outside This Summer

 

The weather is warm and the sun is shining, which means it’s time to take it outside—your workout that is! Nothing is as much of a motivator for getting in a solid sweat-sesh as a little fresh air and a change of scenery. But before you head out the door you need to be armed with everything you’ll need to get the most out of your alfresco workout without any distractions. So whether you’re crushing a HIIT session at the park, hitting the pavement for a five miler, or cruising on your bike, you won’t want to be without these five outdoor workout essentials!

 1) SPIbelt

The key to staying cool when it’s hot out is wearing as little clothing possible, but that means you’ll most likely be without pockets to stash all of your stuff. Forget about armbands which can leave you with ugly tanlines and instead rock a SPIbelt. Load the compact, bounce-free zipper pouch with your phone, keys, fuel, and whatever else you might need during your workout, then buckle the adjustable band around your waist for a custom fit. The SPIbelt is so lightweight and comfortable you’ll forget you’re even wearing it! Check out our selection here!

2) Water Bottle 

Nothing makes you feel like you’re getting in a killer workout like a good sweat, but staying hydrated is crucial if you want to keep up. Choose a large water bottle that can hold enough liquid so you’ll never be left thirsty and add ice cubes to keep your beverage cold. Even better if you choose one with an easy-access lid so you won’t ever have to stop what you’re doing to take a swig.  Also check out the SPI H20!

3) Sunscreen

 Look at you, exercising to improve your health! You know what’s definitely not healthy? Coming home with a sunburn. Protect yourself from harmful UV rays that cause burns and lead to skin cancer by applying sunscreen to all exposed areas before you head outside. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends choosing a formula with an SPF of at least 30 or higher.

 4) Hat

 Squinting to see when you’re trying to focus on your workout is such a pain. Eliminate the problem by rocking a hat with a visor—preferably one made of a sweat-wicking material—to keep the sun out of your eyes and your face shaded.

 5) Wireless Headphones

 Nothing kills your vibe and puts an immediate stop to all those endorphins that are flowing, faster than getting tangled up in your headphone cord. With a wireless pair you can pump up the jams and rock out while you work out without limiting your range of motion. Win, win!