Having been a committed runner for the last decade and a half, I realised that strong legs and lungs weren’t going to be enough to see me through to a healthy old age.
Plus my running mojo sometimes deserts me, so I need to change to keep me motivated. Exercise is more than physical – it’s needed for mental equilibrium – especially in the mid 40’s when menopause is on the horizon and peri-menopause an increasing reality…great, eh?!
So 6 months ago, I decided to join the local gym. Now I admit, that the actual gym and machines – leave me cold. I MUCH prefer running the trails out in the countryside near my home.
We’re lucky to live near some great scenic routes and for me, there is no better stress reliever than being away from it all, running in the great outdoors.
“If it doesn’t CHALLENGE you – it won’t CHANGE you”
However, I needed to tone and strengthen my upper body and mid section (a life’s work dear reader and one I fear will never be achieved unless I never eat sugar again – my evil nemesis). But near enough is good enough as my Mother always says. And so the quest to be a bit more toned commenced.
To me, the gym means classes. Someone to push you and also look slightly disappointed when you choose too low a weight or can’t complete the reps. Someone to shout “Come On!! We’re nearly there!” and my favourite “If it doesn’t challenge you – it won’t change you!!” Love that.
Basically I need to be kicked up the arse and so I push myself to try and avoid the disapproving looks of the instructor…
After years of running, I know which sportswear brands I like and why. I know I need a small zipped pocket for my key. I need an adjustable waist so my pants don’t keep falling down mid run and I need a bit of reflective for Winter. Vests I don’t wear whilst running, as frankly my bingo wings need coverage as they flap along…. attractive – but in the gym, I’d suffocate in a t-shirt, so a vest it is!
I don’t need a top with a hood – too annoying, a hat will do and I like black, black and more black – with a touch of hi-viz fluorescent green for Winter. Easy!
Gym gear however, is a totally different ball game (pardon the pun).
One major difference I have found between running gear and gym wear, is that in the gym I NEED colour. It honestly does motivate me. Attracted to a nice pair of funky trainers can add vital seconds to a plank, distracting me long enough to not give up – try it.
Also, in classes you are looking at yourself and your classmates through the mirror and my eye is always drawn to brights. Pink is a colour I NEVER wear in RL, but in the gym – I love it.
“Persistence Beats Resistance (every time)“
Below I’ve put together a few pieces that both motivate and make you feel stylish, fit and ready for anything. New kit always gives you added motivation to get our there – so you can enjoy a guilt free splurge.
The most important piece of kit in my fitness wardrobe is a good sports bra. As I am rather well endowed (ahem), so this is de rigeur. Even if you’re not, ligments can be damaged from constant pounding and we’re all trying to keep our assets hoiked upwards for as long as possible, am I right? So a well fitting sports bra is essential.
Of all the sports bras I have tried, NONE come close to the Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra. It comes in a wide range of sizes and best of all – colours. I’ve seen these as cheap as £8 in Sports Direct, so shop around.
All white bras go grey eventually and there’s nothing more off putting, so ditch white and dive into colour – if only for a few more reps of chest press….your boobs will thank you for it.
I’ve noted that I tend to go for solid tops and fancy leggings. That is due to me having slim(ish) legs and hips and bigger boobs, so I like to minimise my top and draw attention away. But if you are the other way round, emphasise your slim top with a jazzy top and maybe stick to black pants.
BLUSH / NUDE
Zhuzsh up black or grey with Blush and Nude tones. Understated and Stylish.
I’d funk it up with a splash of pattern on the bottom, but you could go with mesh panels. Not as daring as you’d first think, but super-flattering and cool (both senses of the word).
Never seen reversible leggings before, but great idea. Though I prefer the printed side…
Mesh Panels would be scary for day, but in the gym, they are both flattering and cooling – cool and cool!
Re-Connect with your Inner Coco – Kids From FAME with this serious 80’s vibe
Think I may have to purchase these – LOVE them!
Teal / Blues
Move on from the perennial Pink into something more sophisticated and Luxe
The NIKE Breathe Vest again, this time in Teal – or Space Blue as Nike call it.
New Balance is a brand I find to be super comfortable – especially their running capri tights.
Lightweight, with all important pocket and sit flat at the waist, as there’s no bulk (only my own…). Good colours and fabrics.
Black of course is the ubiquitous “colour” for the gym, it’s slimming, hides sweat and because of that, makes you feel more confident. But you can still inject some motivational colour pops with trainers.
As a self confessed Sneaker Geek, I see some trainers as little walking works of art, so I’ve had fun with this section. You can go top to toe – well, calf – all black, then rock the whole look with a pair of well chosen kick-ass sneaks. Enjoy.
This NEW BALANCE image typifies a god gym outfit for moi – dark plain top and jazzy bottom.
OR go bright and interesting on top and play it down with some plain navy leggings
In the gym I tend to wear NIKE trainers, but for running my go to brand is BROOKS. When you find a brand/model you like. runner tend to stick with.
For me it’s the Brooks Ghost shoe. They have become hugely expensive of late though and I refuse to spend more than £80 (less if poss), when I know they’re going to get battered in the mud.
Of course, THESE (below) would make me smile all day. They will still nice and clean in the gym and I can wear them for fun too! Bonus.
The NIKE iD are customisable – so you can have lots of fun with them, or just buy the ones below. Just as nice but in the sale! (Bit of a theme here colour wise – but they looking great popping off all black)
John Lewis Clearance is still on and these are a total bargain – no excuse not to look good whilst getting fit!
I know I’m a bit sad but these make my heart sing. …what’s not to love?!
I don’t have all the links but just Google AIR MAX and enjoy