14 Days of Pilates and Great Gifts for Athletes

With just two weeks left in December, things are getting hectic.

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that it’s challenging to squeeze in our workouts when things are busy. It’s unfortunate because Pilates sessions, runs, walks, and even stretching are activities that actually relieve our stress! It’s a vicious cycle that I’m committed to breaking this holiday season, and hope you will join me.

I’m making  a pledge to do Pilates for the next 14 days, every day. Even if it’s for 30 minutes of my day, I will get on that mat or the Reformer and take some time out of my day to make sure my body is happy. To be fair, I won’t count the classes I teach 😉

Happy body = less stress.

Take the 14 day pledge with me and commit yourself to taking a walk, run, or make it into the studio or on your mat every day for the rest of the month and notice how much better you will feel.

How will you commit to spending the last 14 days of December?

If you share my love for Pilates, here is a silly animated video about the history of Pilates. Enjoy!

Once you’re done with your workout, make some tea or a smoothie and browse through some of my favorite items for Pilates lovers, runners, and athletes. This year, treat yourself to something that will bring joy to your practice.  

And if you’re not finished with your holiday shopping, this list will give you some ideas for an athlete in your life.

Organic Cotton Chela Capri – Athleta

These are my favorite Pilates capris – the material is soft so they are very comfortable. They are cinched on the sides, giving them a unique look. These are not only perfect for the studio but can easily be worn with boots as leggings or under dresses and skirts. I don’t buy a ton of stuff, so I like things that are versatile and I wear these everywhere.

Garmin Fitness Watch

Progress is my motivator, so I like to keep track of miles, speed, and heart rate. I started using a Garmin FR60 when I started training for my first half marathon, and have used it ever since. My watch syncs directly to my computer the minute I get back from my run and keeps me motivated on those days that I need an extra push.

Vega Performance Protein

You already know I’m a Vega fan, but this is one of my favorite Vega products. Vega Sport Performance Protein is a complete multi-source, alkaline-forming plant-based protein blend. I searched long and hard for a vegan protein that is nutrient dense and tastes good. It comes in 3 flavors – Berry, Vanilla Chai, and Chocolate. I have the chocolate in my smoothie almost every day. 


These first caught my eye because they looked so silly, but despite the fact that Eric still makes fun of me for wearing them, they are extremely comfortable and useful. I normally do Pilates barefoot but these keep my feet warm on cold hardwood floors, and provide just enough grip for working on the equipment. This company designs socks and sandals specifically for separating the toes to help align feet in order to strengthen the foot muscles.

CWX Compression Shorts

These shorts have been a key component of my marathon training. You often find companies marketing their shorts as “compression”, but are not even close. These are the real deal, my friends, so be prepared for a really tight squeeze. Once I started logging in high mileage, my right quad muscles were sore and “crampy”.  I started wearing these compression shorts on my long runs and felt the difference – less muscle pain, more circulation, and faster recovery. Make sure to check the website for the size chart to ensure a proper fit.  

Hands down my favorite fitness book of the year. Brendan Brazier took his experience as a professional Ironman to uncover what makes a good athlete great. He personally lived through every popular diet plan while training, carefully logging in results. After many years of research, personal experience, and tracking, he uncovered  that a nutrient dense, alkaline, superfood, vegan diet makes all the difference. This book is both very informative and easy to read with tons of great recipes for fueling before, during, and after your workouts.

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  1. Jedidiah Soliz
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Nice Blog Maria:) Very encouraging and I love how you endorse Vega and Thrive! I need to try out Pilates and during my down time this winter may just be when I can do it :)

    Happy Holidays,


    • Posted December 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Jed! Yes, you must try Pilates, it will be great for running as cross training!

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    My name is Maria and I live in California. I love teaching high-energy Pilates classes, going on long runs, and making connections with all of you! Hope you find a few useful articles, fitness tips, and recipes while you're here.

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