Getting to the gym can be a challenge. After a full day of work, the idea of sitting on the couch with a bowl of pasta is far more appealing than spending the best part of an hour on a treadmill at the gym.
Add the extra challenge of winter – cold foggy mornings and grey damp evenings – getting to the gym is even harder. In a season where things fall by the wayside, beauty and fitness regimes rank high on the list. And while you feel inspired and fitter after a visit to the gym, it’s getting there that’s the biggest hurdle. Dragging the tragic faded old leggings over your freezing legs or covering your winter wobbly bits with daggy and baggy old t-shirts, cheap trackies and worn out sneakers could be half the reason you aren’t feeling inspired. Could shopping be the answer to trying to find the motivation to work-out? There is absolutely no reason you can’t be active and comfortable but look like a fabulous sporting superstar at the same time.
Today, you can walk into any number of sporting stores and find a range of stylish yet practical workout gear, with matching accessories too. And quite often, this clothing is so good, ‘workout wear’ will soon become ‘go to the shops clothes’, ‘fancy feeling comfy at the cinemas gear’ and ‘casual Friday work day wear’. With the revival of the 80s in fashion, workout clothes can be fun, colourful and a little bit cheeky. Try to channel your inner Olivia Newton-John and really get physical people. Get a flouro headband to match your lycra tights and go all out with a pair of legwarmers.
If you mix a bit of colour in your workout wear you might give yourself that little kick-start you need on a cold wintery morning to replace the depressing greys and blacks of the boring workout clothes. The impact colour has on your fitness regime is astounding. And baby steps for those of us who aren’t as flamboyant. Replace your worn out stinky sneakers for a pair that have some high vis strips on them.
These sneakers will also double for a night time pair of jogging shoes. Active wear is all about being comfortable but also finding a style that suits you and your workout routine. If you are someone into yoga and pilates, you will want your workout gear to reflect this. Think layering, shorts over leggings, loose singlets over tight ones, and a big chunky knit for after class to keep warm and perfect for the after class cool down. You want clothes that are natural fibres, think cotton jersey – super comfortable and can absorb a lot of moisture. For birkam yoga, you can get creative but with these classes less is more. You don’t have to stick with sporting clothes, you can mix and match with shorts you own and cotton tank tops.
Fabrics have also come a long way in recent times. You can find fabrics that actually wick away moisture from your body to keep you cool, while others have anti-bacterial properties and some even have sun protection, which can come in handy if you prefer to workout outside. Lycra is super snug and allows for lots of movement, making it perfect for active classes like Body Attack or Zumba. Supplex (a new heavy-duty Spandex) can provide support and has the added bonus of smoothing out lumps and bumps.
Make sure you invest in good essentials. This means forking out a little extra for a great pair of gym shoes and a good quality sports bra. If you do lots of classes like Pump, Attack or Zumba, your best option is a pair of cross trainers to ensure you get proper ankle support. If it’s running that you’re into, get the sales assistant to show you the best styles and buy the best sports bra you can afford.