Have you caught the workout spirit yet? September kicks off the start of the last quarter of the year and for foodies like me, this becomes a sort of last chance to make necessary space to accommodate the holiday boozing, schmoozing and pigging out. I’ve seen an influx of new types of workout— from the very intense calorie exploding ones to the more serene inward journeys coupled with alignment and meditation. I try to go for a balance — cardio, weights and lots of yoga — and in doing this I go through workout gear on a daily basis, so I’m always on the lookout for more comfortable, breathable fabrics. Although I am attracted to the brighter, highly stylish commercial sports brands, I haven’t had the best experiences with a lot of them. I’ve had to contend with painful chafing (that leaves ugly marks that last for months) and my paranoia is amped up a notch when I detect an odor emanating from what I previously thought was a lousy antiperspirant. Au naturel: The use of natural fabrics such as organic cotton and bamboo fibers lessens skin irritation and unpleasant odors. I later learned that synthetic fabrics are really not the most body-friendly in many ways. They can be harsh on the skin, and frankly, they stink after a heavy workout, so who in their right mind wants to be sweaty, and smelly with skin that “stings” to boot? Not me, and thankfully a new “greener” way to work out has been brought to our market through Thriv Natural Performance wear. The first thing you will notice is the softness of the fabric. I tried on their Lillehammer Crop pants and, modesty aside, was quite delighted by the silhouette it produced when I looked in the mirror. It seemed to keep everything “in” and, erm, for lack of a better word, “perky.” This was probably because it uses a technology called flex-fiv support so you can use the pants for a light or heavy workout, and since it is mostly made out of organic cotton and viscose from bamboo, it draped over my curves rather than being stuck and stiff in an unflattering manner. If you’re an outdoorsy sort, it would be good to note that this activewear claims to naturally regulate core temperature so you won’t feel too hot or too cold, and it has UPF 50+ protection, blocking out 99 percent of the sun’s harmful rays. It gets even better. The makers put in an anti-odor technology, which I know is helped by the natural fibers and the wickability of the fabric. I used the Skinny Racer top during a rather intense yoga session and loved the fact that I could move freely, no chafing or discomfort when I twisted and turned, and no funny fabric smells! The reason behind the anti-odor technology is that bacteria has a harder time staying alive on bamboo fabrics, unlike polyester-based fabrics which can sometimes retain unwanted smells even after a wash. The freshmaker: Silhouettes are fitted and flattering, yet with proper ventilation to keep you fresh throughout your workout. The longer length of the top also ensured that it wouldn’t fold or fall over my head during a downward facing dog or an attempt at a headstand. It clung to my body without being constrictive and wasn’t a sticky peel-off mess after the class. Perfect.
Layering is also possible since the materials used are so light; if you’re going to colder climes and plan to work out, these are must-haves to pack in your suitcase. There is also a men’s line available with simple, functional designs. For example, the Pursuit Short is great for running, (either long distance or track); it even has reflective piping for increased safety on night runs and an inner security pocket for car keys, etc. Shirts can be used for running as well or gym workouts and make the use of flat seaming, thereby reducing irritation at friction and pressure points. Flowmesh inserts at the center, back and shoulders of the shirts are there to help create air flow and regulate core temperature. A hardcore workout need not be such a sweat-fest after all. So how much would this seemingly magical active wear cost? Price points range from P1,600 to P3,000 per item, very reasonable when you take in the sun protection, the anti-odor protection and the natural fabrics that come with it. There has never been a better excuse to let that inner Sporty Spice in you come alive and thrive. * * * Sport max: Maximum freedom of movement with outerwear that conforms to the body but is not constricting.
Thriv Natural Performance is available at Aura Athletica in Power Plant Mall, The Manila Polo Club Pro Shop, Plana Forma Studio, and Runnr in High Street, Fort Bonifacio. It is also available online at http://thrivmanila.shopinas.com.