Getting in Shape for Less with The Loft 2014

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After piles and piles of holiday treats tempted you and won, the new year is the right time to begin fresh with a commitment to eat healthy, and get fit! One major deterrent to this goal can be the cost.  Gym membership fees are not free, and outfitting yourself with shoes, running apparel, and all the gear can get pricey.  We’ve put together your 2014 guide to getting in shape on a budget.  Our list includes shopping consignment, exercises you can easily do at home, free apps that help you track your results, and a few snack ideas that are as easy on the body as they are on your wallet!  Read on to learn how to get slim while keeping your wallet fat.


The Loft is loaded with fantastic deals on activewear.  With a range of sizes and styles we have you covered.  When you shop consignment your dollars go far, and you can buy pants in the size you are now, and the size you plan to be!  Let that serve as a motivator.



The Loft carries name brands as well. With brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma and more, you can be sure we have items that are high quality and will allow you to go far. This Nike lined jacket and matching pants allow you flexibility to workout outside during the colder months, and easily transitions indoors to keep your muscles warm and flexible.

This Puma track jacket is stylish and practical.  This cover up is perfect for running and wicking sweat away from the body.  This type of jacket makes a smooth transition between activewear and casual wear.  If you have somewhere to go immediately after a workout, throw this jacket on with a nice pair of jeans and you will be read to go!IMG_2894

This Nike long sleeve running shirt is very practical when building your work out wardrobe. Running shirts are designed to wick sweat away from your body.  If used as the first layer, your sweat will go out to the additional layers and evaporate, keeping you warm in cold running temps.

The Loft carries running and walking shoes in a number of styles and sizes.  If you begin your running in the cold winter months, look for shoes with a deep tread to help you avoid slipping.  If the shoe you find doesn’t have proper arch support you can pick up additional inserts at a local drug store for optimal fitting.

These Vibram five fingers shoes are unique in style and function.  This design of shoe allows you to land directly below your center of gravity, resulting in maximum balance and reducing impact.  Some runners prefer the feeling they are running barefoot and if that is you, this shoes will fit you like a glove!


In order to get a full body workout at home, you’ll want to give equal attention to your abs, arms, and legs. Always consult a physician before starting a new workout or diet program. The exercises below give you great ideas for using your body rather than equipment to achieve your dream level of fitness!

Abs 1: Starting with crunches is  an efficient way to get the blood flowing without straining or over stretching muscles.

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  1. Start lying on your back with your feet planted hip width apart and arms at your side. Make sure to pull your navel into your lower back engaging your lower abdominals.  Place hands behind your ears and bring elbows outward as to avoid pulling up on your neck during crunches.
  2. Begin with 30 regular crunches on your own timing, making sure you scoop your core in with each crunch.crunch 1 image 2 copy
  3. Bringing your right leg in, connect your left elbow to your right knee, then straighten the leg out 45 degrees off the ground. Alternate by brining in your left leg connecting your left knee to your right elbow. Continue to alternate for one minute straight, maintaining the connection of your lower back to the ground.

Abs 2: Targeting your lower abs  helps shrink the waist and help pants fit better!

  1. Lay on the ground with your arms at your side and your legs above you in a 90 degree angle in relationship to the ground.crunch 2 image 1
  2. Keeping your navel pulled into your lower back, lower your legs straight down to the ground as far as you can before you lower back detaches from the ground. Once you have maxed out, hold there for 10 seconds. Then carefully bring the legs back to 90 degrees.
  3. Repeat 10 times. Increase reps as you build strength.

Triceps: Working the triceps will help your tanks look extra stunning this upcoming spring.


  1. Find a sturdy object to sit on that will no tip over when weight is added to the edge. Place arms on sturdy object and position the rest of your body in a sitting position.
  2. Move your body forward so your arms are bent behind you acting as your support.
  3. Slowly raise and lower your body using your triceps.
  4. Do 3 sets of 15, increasing as you build strength.

Biceps: Bicep strength is as practical as it is aesthetic. Build this stamina to help you in your everyday life!

  1. Find a sturdy column or vertical surface in your home that is strong and can bear the weight of your body.biceps
  2. Loop your hands securely around the pole while bring your body into a sitting chair position.
  3. Keeping your hips level, simply pull your body forward using only your biceps.
  4. Do 3 sets of 15, increasing as you build strength.

Inner thighs: Utilizing cross training allows for resistance efforts commonly used in the art form ballet to give you super slim inner thighs.

  1. Start standing with straight legs and placing your two heels together and pulling the toes outward, also known as first position turn out.plie 1 copy
  2. Without allowing your heals to come off the ground bend your knees so that they go directly out over the toes. Your legs will form a diamond shape when you hit the base of your leg bend.
  3. Hold this position for 8 counts.
  4. plie 2 copySlowly, resisting yourself, bring the back of your knees together while imagining you are squeezing an orange between the backs of your knees, creating the resistance needed to build strong inner thighs.
  5. **Note: Keep your upper body upright with proper posture and your bum tucked in line with your body.

Buns: Make those running pants and jeans look great by incorporating this exercise into your routine!

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  1. Get on the floor on your hands and knees.
  2. Draw your navel up into your back creating a flat line from head to bum.
  3. Extend right leg out straight behind you and lift it as far as it will go without bending.
  4. Once at the height of your extension perform 15 miniature leg pumps isolating the muscles where your bum connects to your leg.
  5. Turning out the same leg gently touch your heel to the ground and kick leg back up to full height. Repeat this 10 times.
  6. Switch legs. Repeat whole series 5 times.

Calves: Once boot season is over it will be time to show off those calves. Use this exercise to build strength and shapely muscles.

  1. Place feet together in a parallel position.
  2. Using a chair for balance, rise up so that your heels pull up into your calves, and only the balls of your feet are connected to the ground. Take 2 counts to rise.
  3. Keeping a stretch through the back of the knees and squeezing your bum, slowly lower down for 4 counts.
  4. Repeat 30 times. As strength builds increase the number of calf raises.

Cardio: Running is a great way to develop cardio strength and can be done outside for free! Make sure you perform a proper warm up and cool down stretches before running. Start with a mile and slowly build up your distance.

Stretch cool down: Always take time to stretch after working out to protect muscles from injury. Below are a few simple stretches to keep you safe!

  • Place hands on wall and stand in a parallel position on your toes. Once far enough away to get a good stretch alternate placing heels down to feel a stretch through the calve.
  • Standing a bit wider than hip width apart, take your left arm above your head and stretch over head bending the waist to the right. Repeat with right arm stretching to the left.
  • To stretch out those triceps raise your left arm over head and bend at the elbow. Use your right hand to pull the elbow to the right. Repeat with the right arm.
  • Sit in a “butterfly”. Sit on your bum with your feet together and knees out to the side. Using your hands, press your knees to open up the hip stretch. Be gentle!


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Map My Run: This free app is a GPS running system that records you as you run. It allows you to keep pace and measures calories burned. This App even gives you ideas for local runners in your area and how well they are performing on the same routes to keep the competitor in you motivated!

my fitness plaMyFitnessPal: Another stunning application is My Fitness Pal. It makes it easy to track your weight loss goals. Using the app you can set a daily calorie goal and record your daily food and exercise to make sure you stay on track. It is easy to use and directly synchronizes with the website.

personal workoutPersonal Workout: This app is designed to help you use your fitness goals as a guide to putting together custom workouts designed to maximize your sessions. There are realtime video workouts which range from 12-45 minutes long.


Snacks should be quick, easy, and affordable. All too often that description fits the profile for a bag of chips or candy bar. Learn to make smart choices and pick foods that still fit the description but offer good nutrition as well!


  • A handful of mixed nuts: The pop of protein will give you lasting energy and repair the muscles you worked so hard to build. They can be high in fats, although they are the good ones, don’t overeat. Try to look for nuts that have not been sugar coated, but rather roasted.


  • Bananas: Perhaps the perfect snack, this item comes ready to eat, easy to travel, and loaded with potassium. This nutritional option will help keep your muscles from cramping up and is completely affordable!


  • Greek yogurt with grape nuts or granola: Yogurt offers your body a healthy dose of good bacteria that helps the digestive system stay on track. This dairy option assists in keeping bones healthy and offers additional protein. The granola provides additional fiber and added enjoyable texture!


  • Peanut butter whole grain toast with fruit: Popping a piece of bread in the toaster is about as easy as it gets. Once you toast is crisp, add a few sliced peaches or strawberries to give this old favorite a new twist. This is a wonderfully quick breakfast that provides protein and good sugars to get your going in the AM.

We hope this guide has inspired you to consider you don’t have to spend a lot of money to build a healthy lifestyle. We can’t wait to see you in The Loft soon to browse our active ware selection!

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2 Responses to Getting in Shape for Less with The Loft 2014

  1. Pingback: Trending at The Loft – January 2014 Newsletter | The Loft – Ames

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