For 2018 I had one pretty clear resolution, to get a bit fitter. So far, I think I’ve been pretty successful; I’m now a semi-regular pilates and yoga goer, and have started training for a half marathon in May. This means I’m spending far more time in my gym gear than I’d like to admit to. As someone who had previously derided those who wanted to look good at the gym (my partner included) since embarking on my new fitness journey, I’ve also discovered that good-looking gym garments are actually extremely conducive to better work outs.
There’s a couple of reasons for this; first, I’m now finding I can wear my workout clothes all day and look pretty good. Oversized t-shirts and my one pair of worn out running tights weren’t such a strong look, cute crop top and patterned leggings on the other hand, are. This works well for me as it means I’m not sucked in to the age old trap of going straight home to change and then collapsing on the sofa with a glass of wine. Now I just head straight to the gym. Secondly, as someone who has always felt extremely self-conscious when working out, now I can just convince myself that if people are staring (which, let’s be honest, they generally aren’t) it’s because of my great outfit. So, here are my top tips for finding fitness wear that works for you.
- Support yourself
Good support is key to working out. Having a really decent sports bra has made the world of difference to my work outs, both in terms of their effectiveness and comfort. For high-intensity, active workouts I would recommend something like the Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra; admittedly, it may seem a little steep at £43 but it has completely revolutionised my running. I find this a little restrictive for lower impact workouts, where a light supportive crop top is much better. The Missguided Active Cross Back Sports Bra is a steal at £12, and I’m a massive fan of the detailing to the back.
- Supermarkets are your friend
Some of the best gym gear I’ve picked up over the years has been in our humble supermarkets. I’ve always balked a little at the price of some gym gear, perhaps more so in my ‘but it’s just for working out in’ days. The pictured pair of leggings and crop top were picked up for a mere £16 and £12 respectively in Sainsbury’s, which is particularly great when considering that a plain black Adidas pair will set you back £23. Of course, Primark is also a fantastic option; their current collaboration with fitness guru Alice Liveing is definitely worth checking out, with items costing between £3.50 and £16. I picked up a particularly great pair of leggings for running from the range which dry in a matter of minutes – a necessity with Lancaster’s inclement weather!
- Splurge on shoes
This is perhaps more relevant for the runners amongst us, but one area where I cannot implore you to not scrimp is on your shoes. I run in Nike Air Zoom Structure 21s, which have been as revolutionary to me as a decent sports bra. They’re a real investment at £114.95, but think about the money you can save in gym membership if you pound the pavements instead. I’ve had mine for a couple of years, with the expected lifespan of them being approximately 600 miles. The colourways of them are constantly being added to, meaning you can opt for a go-with-everything black, or a more outlandish offering. At the opposite end of the budget spectrum the Adidas Neo Lite Runner are a comfortable, sleek little shoe and will set you back just £45.