Fashion: Gear shift

Tee top, �8; leggings, �12. From F+F at Tesco.
Tee top, �8; leggings, �12. From F+F at Tesco.
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Looking the part means that you will be far more likely to enjoy and stick to your exercise regime. Katie Elsworth reports.

Self-improvement and weight loss are the top New Year’s resolutions this year, with 38 per cent of us deciding to make the commitment to exercise more, get healthier and push ourselves into a routine of working out or taking some form of exercise on a regular basis throughout 2016.

Let your wardrobe be a major part of your motivation for this , on the basis that looking the part is an important aspect of encouraging yourself to keep to that commitment and rejuvenate your perspective on exercise and health.

Start with the basic foundations before you do anything else. A supportive and comfortable sports bra will be the best investment you’ll make as you start your new fitness and exercise regime. Even if it’s just a daily walk to the shops or in your lunch break, don’t underestimate the supportive power of a good sports bra and buy the best you can.

The variations of work-out and fitness gear can initially seem daunting. Tracksuit bottoms or stretch leggings? Baggy T-shirt or long bra top? Making the wrong choice can in the long run prove painful.

Running is free, with no gym membership needed and it’s schedule-friendly, but you do need to invest in the proper gear to avoid danger and injury. Check out the wide array of Lycra tops and bottoms available for this – the support they give makes a world of difference compared with the slouchy comforts afforded by baggy tops and bottoms. Don’t be intimidated by their snug nature – the colours, varying lengths from long to cropped, racing stripes and support technology sculpt your body so that you’ll be looking and feeling your best before you’ve even run a step.

Probably the most important purchase you’ll make is choosing what shoes to wear. Comfort is key and finding the shoe that suits the exercise is vital. There’s a wide range of shoes that suit every exercise from running to pilates to yoga. Ask in stores and read reviews to clue yourself up on which type of shoe will benefit you the most in your chosen exercise. How your shoes fit and support your feet affects your whole body massively during work-outs, so take plenty of time choosing them and ask your gym trainers what they wear and recommend.

Dark winter nights and mornings will be with us for some time yet, so if you plan to exercise in the great outdoors, make sure your clothing accommodates this.

There’s a fantastic range of lightweight anoraks and other clothing that will keep you at a safe temperature while feeling the burn. Reflective stripes and patches add to the safety aspect, while advances in materials also mean that some items resist moisture, so not only hiding perspiration marks but keeping the rain from being a burden.

Most garments now accommodate gadgets too, so 21st century tech can aid you with your work-out. Apps can track the miles you run and calories you burn so you can see the difference you’re making.

Need any more encouragement? Exercise has been proven to make you feel less anxious, increase your energy and promote happiness in general, so with just one New Year’s resolution, you reap many benefits to help make a better you.

Here’s a selection of some of the best choices for exercise clothing available to the High Street this season, hitting stores throughout January.