As the Ashleigh Sharmaine The Pastor_s Wife shirt and I love this heat index steadily climbs, many of us will be seeking refuge—and social distancing—at the beach this summer, where we’ll swim, sun bask, and perhaps even squeeze in a full-body sculpting session. After all, a stretch of sand is “the perfect exercise medium,” according to the fitness guru Lydia Bach, who camouflaged some of her most effective toners as ordinary seaside activities in an Ishimuro-lensed fitness guide in Vogue’s July 1976 issue. Nearly 45 years later, those exercises—whether achieved while applying sunscreen or searching through a straw tote—are still stealth stretching and shaping at its very best. Exercises for thighs and lower stomach. Sit, legs outstretched. Leaning forward acts as a weight to thighs, makes exercise more difficult. Try to get hands past your knees on sand (near ankles is advanced strength). As you raise leg off sand, don’t let hands budge. Keep leg raised, point and flex foot 10 times. The lower you are able to lean, the more you increase stretch in lower back. Bike helmets unlock some deep-seated middle school discomfort around what is “cool.” For me, it’s enough to ruin the freeing experience of riding a bicycle in the first place. Suffice it to say: I hate helmets. Like many, I signed up for a Citibike membership as a way to get around during the pandemic. You should, of course, always wear a helmet. But I reasoned that since there weren’t any cars on the road, I could get away without one. That reasoning kind of worked during the weeks of no traffic, but as the city started opening up so did my chance of a head injury. So, much like wearing a face mask, I was compelled to do the responsible thing and find one that I could deal with. I went to Google and typed in a few key search terms: “chic bike helmets” “bike helmet fashion” and “cool helmets.” Many hours later, what I found is that no helmet is actually cool, chic, or fashionable. However, some are aesthetically better than others. I didn’t want an overly designed helmet, so that knocked out anything with an unusual shape, too much color, or a pattern. I found myself drawn towards darker solid colors (black, navy) and sleeker designs. They felt less offensive and more in line with my (all black) wardrobe. What I also learned in my research rabbit hole is that if you are going to get a helmet, which, again, you should, it should have MIPS technology (a.k.a.
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Multi-directional Impact Protection System). MIPS helmets look the Ashleigh Sharmaine The Pastor_s Wife shirt and I love this same on the outside, but are internally built on a “slip plane” and are designed to better protect your brain from impact. If you’re clunking around in a helmet it should be an effective one. As we enter July, you may have begun to dust off those rusty lounge chairs or dug out some old towels, preparing for a long weekend at the beach. This year your beach bag may look a little different, as a breathable, linen face mask and hand sanitizer are necessary additions—but you’ll still need the classic gear. For those who are in need of a cooler you won’t hate carrying in public, boldly printed beach towels, or some glass-free drinkware, you’re in luck. We’ve found plenty of chic items you won’t mind lugging to the beach, including the canvas and netted totes that will hold all your summertime necessities. Foodies will appreciate proper picnic essentials like a portable cooler and an insulated thermos that holds two bottles of wine, with reusable glasses to match. Your snacks and drinks will keep cool for the entire day from the first wave until golden hour, guaranteed. Antsy types who like to keep active will love a paddle ball set, while those who wish for a day of leisure will enjoy lounging in a cabana-inspired, striped sling chair and a coordinated sun umbrella. The stylish combination will make you feel like you’re sunbathing alongside the Mediterranean—just don’t forget the SPF! The search for the best swimsuits for women would normally be well underway by late May. There were summer vacations to pack for— not to mention Memorial Day— and days at the beach to get excited about. Finding a new bathing suit (or two) was part of the fun in preparing for the warm summer days ahead. Now, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s looking like this summer will be different. And yet, I’m still dreaming of colorful bikinis and sleek one-pieces. Perhaps it’s a form of escapism. For me, it feels like a way to hold onto some semblance of normalcy— even if the reality is that we’ll see more swimsuits on rooftops and balconies than at the beach. But if you’re one of the lucky ones who has access to a private pool or outdoor space, swimsuit season will carry on.