10 Summer Fitness Must-Haves for the Woman On-the-Go

Grab These Goodies for Summer Fitness

Summer Fitness Must-Haves
Laura Williams

The dog days of summer have arrived, and even if your kids are about to head back to school, that doesn't mean long, hot days and trips to the pool are over. In fact, it just means life is about to get more interesting - you'll be running around more, trying to find ways to squeeze fitness into your hectic schedule while still enjoying the warmth that lingers well into the night.

Rather than resign yourself to the hustle-and-bustle of back to school shopping and fall fashion, commit to enjoying summer as long as you can. These 10 items are my personal must-haves for the fit woman on-the-go.

UPF-Protectant Apparel

UPF Clothing
Laura Williams

All that time spent outside means lots of sun exposure. And as a 33-year-old who has already had skin cancer twice, I can tell you - excessive sun exposure doesn't do your body good. I've started swearing by UPF-protectant apparel. I'm not always the best at re-applying sunscreen, especially over my whole body, so if I can buy some extra time between applications by throwing on a pair of UPF leggings or a lightweight long-sleeve UPF top, I'm going to do it. Three of the pieces I fell in love with this summer include:

  • GRACEDBYGRIT's Land & Sea Half-Zip Hoodie ($96) - it's incredibly lightweight, comfortable and flattering, and makes a perfect pool-side coverup or morning run top
  • GRACEDBYGRIT's Everything Legging ($85) - Every fit woman needs a perfect pair of black leggings, and that's exactly what the Everything Legging delivers - with plenty of length even for tall women like me, UPF 50+ protection and a great, bum-hugging fit, you can't go wrong with this pair of lightweight, full-coverage tights
  • SPF Addict's Cruzin' Hoodie ($52) - Think mountain hikes, beach-side bike rides and evening barbeques with friends. SPF Addict's Cruzin' Hoodie is the perfect mid-weight piece that offers SPF 50+ protection that will take you from summer to fall with ease. Also check out the brand's other apparel - Donna's Perfect Dress ($55) and the Girl On The Go pencil skirt ($50) couldn't be cuter, especially given that they both offer sun protection.

Lockable Gym Bag


I fell in love with the KarmaRu by GoRoll ($89) after I received one for review. Not only is it a portable bag that's perfectly sized for a rolled up yoga mat, a cell phone, keys and small wallet, but it's waterproof, lockable, and the detachable strap can be hooked and locked to a tree or table (almost like a bike lock) to prevent it from being stolen.  Oh, and did I mention that it's also a foam roller? Your bag turns into an instant recovery tool wherever you go - how cool is that?

Dishwasher-Safe Water Bottle

Clean Bottle
Clean Bottle

It's so important to stay hydrated during the hot summer days, which means you need to keep a water bottle on you at all times. As someone who has test-driven about a million different water bottles over the years, there are now two things I require of any bottle I use: 1) it must be dishwasher safe (who has time to hand-wash water bottles all the time?), and 2) it must be dog-friendly.

Wait... what?

Yes, my dogs are frequent companions on all my fit adventures, so I need a water bottle they'll drink out of, too. This means I need a squeezable sport-style bottle so I can squeeze water directly into my dogs' mouths and down their bodies.

This summer my go-to bottle for myself and my dogs has been the Clean Bottle ($10). It's top-rack dishwasher safe, so washing is super easy, and my dogs have no problem drinking out of its sport-style nozzle. At just $10 a bottle the Clean Bottle is less expensive than many other versions on the market, and the bottom unscrews for even more effective cleaning. Plus, if you want to stock up, the company has a buy three, get one free deal.

Travel-Friendly Yoga Mat

Travel Yoga Mats
Laura Williams

I'm a firm believer that you should always have a yoga mat ready and available for use (I always keep one in the trunk of my car). You just never know when a quick trip to the park or your kid's Little League practice could turn into an opportunity for an impromptu workout session. The trick is to find a high-quality mat that's lightweight and easy to keep with you. Two mats top my list for portability:

  • Manduka PROlite Mat, 71-inches ($80) - This professional-style mat is one of the best in the biz, offering superior "stickiness" and nice padding (4.5 millimeters) while still being relatively lightweight with a small footprint - perfect for rolling and putting in your KarmaRu lockable bag. It's also a good option for bodyweight workouts and core exercises - with 4.5 millimeters of padding, it'll help protect your bony bits from rocky or rough surfaces.
  • Manduka eKO SuperLite Travel Mat, 68-inches ($40) - Designed specifically for traveling, the eKO SuperLite is foldable and extremely lightweight at just 1.5 millimeters and 2-pounds. While it doesn't hold up as well for bodyweight workouts (it just doesn't have enough extra padding), you can easily throw it on top of a towel for extra support or onto a sandy beach. It also fits nicely in gym bags and carry-ons, making it a good option for frequent flyers.

Quick-Drying Towel

Thirsty Yoga Towel

No one likes carrying around soggy post-swim towels - they're a hotbed for bacteria and mold. That's why I skip the beach towel completely and opt instead for quick-drying hot yoga towels. For instance, Gaiam's Thirsty Yoga Mat Towel ($25) offers slip-resistant security during yoga sessions, but can also be used to dry off after a dip in the pool. Since the towels are designed to absorb sweat and dry quickly, they're the perfect alternative to traditional towels.

Body Wipes

Action Wipes
Action Wipes

Who has time to shower after every outdoor summer activity? When temperatures hit the 90s, no matter what you do, you're going to break a sweat. Instead of taking five showers a day, keep a container of Action Wipes ($24 for a pack of 30) with you in your bag or car. Each wipe is 9x10-inches, so it's much larger than a face wipe, and it's designed to take the place of a full-body washing.

High-Quality SPF

Tommy Bahama

As I already mentioned, summer sun protection is a must, and because of my history with skin cancer, I've tried practically every sunscreen on the market. This summer I can't get enough of Tommy Bahama's sunscreens by COOLA. They go on smooth (no greasy residue!) and offer COOLA's "perfect 10 blend" of skin-soothing natural ingredients like green tea and willow bark. Best of all, though, is they don't smell like sunscreen at all. The California Dream SPF 50 Sport Lotion ($16) smells like coconut almond milk, while the Zephyr SPF 30 Face Lotion ($16) smells like cucumber and sage.

Word to the wise, though: Don't use the sport lotion on your face! If the sunscreen melts or drips into your eyes, it really stings!

Hair Tie or Headband Doubling as a Bracelet

Athletic Headband

You never know when a low-key evening out could turn into a hot and sweaty dance party (trust me, I've been there!). By always having a hair band or hair tie on your wrist that's cute enough to double as a bracelet, you can pull your hair back as soon as you start to sweat. I'm especially fond of Momentum's Athletic Headbands ($12) because of the motivational sayings printed on the tarnish-proof aluminum pendant. You can even request a custom saying for just $5 more.

Interchangeable Jump Ropes

Crossrope Jump Rope

I've praised CrossRope before, and I'll praise the company again. CrossRope is the bomb-diggy when it comes to tough workouts you can do anywhere. The interchangeable jump ropes have been my go-to workout this summer, and I always keep my Double Under Domination Set ($75) with me in the car. But if you're new to jumping rope and you want to start your workouts outside, I'd definitely suggest the Burn Set ($65). The set comes with two all-surface ropes - one that's lightweight for speed work and agility training and a second, heavier rope for strength and power work - and a pair of rugged handles. These ropes are designed to be used on any surface, including concrete and asphalt, without fraying or breaking down. The next time you're watching your kids play basketball at the park, pull out your set and break a sweat of your own.

Recovery Sandals


Okay, I'll admit I almost laughed when I first heard of OOFOS recovery sandals - I couldn't imagine how they could be better than the $20 flip-flops I've worn for years. Until I saw a pair at the store, picked them up and instantly said, "Ooooooo."

Then I understood the name.

OOFOS really do need to be tried to be believed. They're incredibly lightweight and supportive, molding to the shape of your arch and providing awesome cushion  that "hugs" your foot after a tough workout. Unfortunately my dog got a hold of my most-loved pair of OOlalas ($60) and loved them into pieces (millions of pieces!), but I wear my other pair OOriginals ($45) wherever I go. I can't imagine spending money on any other pair of flip-flops again.

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