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 A Guide To Buying Sportswear 
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Post A Guide To Buying Sportswear
A Guide To Buying Sportswear
by: Charlotte Bleasdale

Whether you’re determined to start a new year’s fitness regime or you just want to reinvigorate your current workout, getting the right sports clothing is essential. If you feel comfortable and look your best you’ll be in a much better frame of mind for exercising. Plus if you’ve invested in decent kit you’ll want to get your use out of it – and if you’ve got everything you need you’ll have no excuse not to go to the gym or nip out for a quick run. Here’s what you’ll need and how to decide what to buy.

Gym bag basics

There are many clothing options available for exercising, so you can choose what you feel most comfortable in. If you’re not the gym-bunny type don’t feel like you have to dress from head to toe in Lycra!

Sports leggings have become popular with many ladies at the gym. These are made from specially designed breathable fabrics to help keep you cool. Shorts will probably keep you coolest but if you don’t fancy getting your legs out then tracksuit bottoms or joggers are ideal. Fleece and velour styles may be fashionable but if you get very hot when you’re exercising then opt for a more lightweight fabric instead.

On your top half a vest is your best bet, be it a specific sports style or just a basic cotton vest. Cotton is better than synthetic fibres as it will keep you cooler. If you’re worried about looking sweaty then go for a dark coloured vest – don’t wear an additional top as this will only make you hotter. Remember, everybody else will look just as sweaty so it’s really not worth worrying about! If you’re self-conscious about your arms then go for a T-shirt instead – any old spare tee will do!

Don’t feel you have to be seen in big brand names. If wearing clothes from a well-known label will make you feel more confident then go for it! But the important thing is that you’re up and exercising, not how much your tracksuit cost, so don’t let this be a barrier.


This is an area where you may feel it’s worth investing in a good sportswear brand. If you are doing high impact exercise such as running, jogging, dancing or even vigorous walking, your feet will feel the strain. Look for a sports shoe that will really support your foot, preferably one with a cushioned sole. It’s essential that you get the fit right so make sure you try before you buy - the last thing you want is a pair of gym trainers that rubs! There are lots of ‘fashion’ trainers available these days, including slip-on styles and ballerina pump styles, but even if these are made by big sports brands don’t be tempted to follow the trends here. A traditional lace-up sports trainer is what you need to give your feet the right level of comfort and support.

Don’t forget the sports bra

A sports bra is one piece of kit that you really can’t do without, especially if you have a fuller bust. If you do high impact exercise without one you risk causing damage to the ligaments around your breast tissue, which can lead to sagging. An ordinary bra just won’t keep your bust in place, no matter how well it fits, so invest in a good sports bra for great support.

Essential extras

Whether you’re going to the gym or jogging round the park, may people like to listen to an MP3 player whilst they’re exercising. There are many inexpensive ones available if you stay away from the big names so you needn’t spend a fortune. Then make yourself a playlist of high-energy tracks to keep yourself motivated! For the gym you’ll also need a water bottle, hand towel and of course a gym bag to transport it all in.

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Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:36 am
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