It’s that time of year again that we all feel inspired to lose a few of those extra pounds, or maybe we’ve just decided that we need to up our fitness regime, and what better way to get into the mood to do this than to get yourself a new exercise outfit to give you that extra bit of motivation.
The problem is that it’s really hard to work out what you actually need for different kinds of exercise, and if in fact you do need a different pair of workout pants for pilates, yoga, the gym, running, cycling or whatever it is that you’ve decided to give a go. Everywhere you look they’re trying to sell you something else.
Don’t even get me started on trainers!! As a bit of an exercise novice I am totally blown away by the amount of different kinds of trainers that you are bombarded with when you walk into a sports shop!
So I have decided to demystify the quagmire that can be exercise gear and have gone to an expert to give us some help.
Deb Wyer is a Spine Care Pilates Instructor and Personal Trainer with many years of experience. Working with individuals on a 1 to 1 basis and in groups she is an inspiration to everyone that is lucky enough to have her work with them. As she virtually lives in workout gear she is definitely the right person to guide us to our perfect workout outfit. Here I have asked her some questions that I know I would like answers to, and that some of my clients have asked me to put to her too.
Can I just wear a pair of leggings and a normal T-shirt to workout in?
Deb: Yes of course you can, the important thing is to just get moving. When you can, I would then recommend getting the essentials of workout leggings / jogging bottoms, a supportive bra and a top. When you buy specialist workout gear the material is often more flexible and long lasting, a normal pair of leggings will often go threadbare and may even split on the most used areas. A specific workout top will not only give you enhanced range of movement but will also absorb sweat easier and be more breathable.
Do I need different gear for different activities?
Deb: You don’t need different gear for indoor / outdoor activities, however you will require more layers for outdoor activities depending on the weather. The same garments will work just as well for a pilates class, a gym workout or a run. You may also need a separate pair of trainers for indoor and outdoor exercises, as wouldn’t want to tred mud indoors.
Can you let us know what to look for in a pair of trainers?
Deb: You don’t have pay the earth for your trainers, if you are doing a mixture of activities then a pair of comfortable all round activity trainers will suffice. If you are a runner, I would suggest getting a gait analysis from a specialist running store, as they will help you provide the best trainer option for your feet and how you run. Don’t forget you don’t need any trainers for Pilates and Yoga.
Depending on how active you are and the level of impact of your activity, the recommendation is that you change your trainers at least every 6 – 12 months for the very active and then at least every two years for everyone else.
Do we need to wear a specific sports bra and if so how do we choose from the many thousands on the market?
Deb: Yes, a supportive sports bra is important. They help you avoid discomfort, breast pain and help reduce sagging!! If you have a larger bust size and do regular high impact activity you may wish to visit a specialist sports bra company, such as Shock Absorber, otherwise I tend to use M&S as they have a wide range available. I would recommend wearing a sports bra for Pilates and Yoga rather than a normal bra.
What is your go-to brand for Sports wear as you wear it so much?
Deb: Sweaty Betty every time for me! The reason is they make me feel amazing and pull me in at all the right places. For some reason they also actually make me feel slimmer and taller, even on a fat day (and yes I do have those just like everyone else). Sweaty Betty are generally more expensive than other brands, however they make me feel so good and last so well that I rarely shop anywhere else (and I have tried many other brands to come to this conclusion)… HOWEVER I always save myself a lot of money by waiting for the sales and then buying my workout gear.
As you know Sarah, I have been in a gym environment for over 30 years and seen a few disasters in my time where leggings have not held up as they should do which has made me super conscious of not showing more than I would like. Sweaty Betty have a description on many of their leggings which say if they are, or are not, suitable for doing the downward dog stretch, enough said!!
MY TOP THREE TIPS
From a stylist point of view I think it’s really important to feel fabulous at all times, even when you’re working out, so here are my top tips to enjoy that exercise just a little bit more:
Wear a bright coloured top/outfit. Psychologically a bright top will give you more energy and make you feel happier and more likely to want to get up and get moving.
Regarding leggings, a single colour stripe down the side will give the illusion of slimmer legs, if that is something that concerns you. A logo down the side can get distorted if you have larger legs which will not be as flattering. All over pattern will make your legs look larger.
Much as wearing the same colour tights as shoes has a leg lengthening effect, so does wearing a full length pair of leggings with trainers in the same colour. Three quarter length leggings will have the opposite effect.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this blog and maybe picked up a few tips along the way, but both Deb and I would encourage you to just get out there and do some exercise and have some fun, whatever you decide to wear to do it in.
My sincere thanks go to Deb for sharing her knowledge and experience with me and I think I'm ready to go and hit the gym, see you soon!
If you would like more information about Deb and her business then you can find her at www.debbiewyerpt.com or at facebook @debbiewyerpt&pilates