Sporty style is something which I've posted about a few times in the past, and it seems that now it's easier than ever to keep fit whilst staying chic. Topshop's recent collaboration with Adidas has firmly cemented sports luxe as a trend which shows no signs of abating, and it's an aesthetic which is proving ultra-popular on the street too. At the start of the year I resolved to introduce a little bit more variety into my exercise routine, and having been running for the last two years I think 2014 may well just be the year that I put my legwork to the test and sign up for a proper race. Starting any kind of health kick or new fitness regime in January is always pretty tricky, and I've only just been able to get back out to my favourite cross-country running track because of the rain-heavy winter which we had. However, this time of the year is definitely the perfect time to tackle any new challenge, and what better way to get prepared than with some exercise essentials:
Extra High Impact Sports Bra, £22.50, Marks & Spencer/Nike Three Pack Sports Socks, £10, JD Sports/Polar Heart Rate Monitor & Sports Watch, £52, Amazon/Nike Free Run 5.0 Trainers, £85, JD Sports/ Running Tank Top, £28, Nike/Ultimate Fit Three Quarter Leggings, £27, Adidas/Bobble Water Bottle, £7.50, Amazon/Running Shorts, £16.95, Gap.
As I've posted about before, investing in a good sports bra is the best addition you can make to any exercise regime. For high impact sports such as running, kickboxing or any intense cardio, it's super important that everything is properly supported, and this style from Marks and Spencer is a really worthwhile investment. I've had a few similar sports bras from them over the last few years, and have definitely noticed a real difference- if you're into running in particular then I'd definitely recommend picking up a racer back style, as it really does boost the level of support which you get. Next up, sports socks- another sensible purchase if you're planning on pounding the pavement regularly. A couple of good quality pairs will add an extra level of cushioning, and the majority of sports fabric is breathable too- I love this three pack from JD Sports as they add a lovely little burst of colour too. When I go running, I prefer to be completely switched off from technology, so you won't find me frantically checking my iPhone to see how quickly I'm running or how many miles I've put in- for me the whole point of heading outside is to escape the distractions of technology and actually have some much needed time to myself. However, after increasing my distances recently and feeling more determined to get quicker, I've decided that it might me worth investing in something which can help- and the Polar Heart Rate Monitor is something which has been on my shopping list for a while. It's really unobtrusive, measuring heart rate and calories burnt, as well as offering a mapping service- so I'm sure it's something which I'll be picking up sooner rather than later.
Treating yourself to a good, supportive and sturdy pair of trainers is another vital part of exercising. Over the last few years, I've gone through about three pairs, and Nike's Free Runs are by far and away my favourite. Not only are they fantastically comfortable, but they also provide an amazing level of support whilst being really light- perfect if you want to push yourself further and faster. I'm due an upgrade on the footwear front soon, and these black Free Runs are my current favourites- especially as they're versatile enough to be styled for everyday too. Whilst I don't think it's 100% necessary to invest in the latest garment technology to enjoy exercising, sometimes it makes a real difference to be wearing clothes which make you feel good- and this vibrant vest from Nike is a definite winner- complete with motivational slogan too! Teamed with these Adidas running leggings, you've got a workout kit which you know will keep you going for a while. The Bobble Water Bottle is another definite investment, and I use mine all of the time. On a practical note, they are really easy to hold and last for absolutely ages, as well as being perfect to take a swig from on the go too. Finally with summer just around the corner, I've been thinking about investing in a pair or two of running shorts- especially after last year where I found myself running on the hottest day of the year in an old beach pair! I've heard really good things about Gap's sportswear, and this two tone blue pair win serious style points too.
What are your exercise essentials?
(Image credit: Marks & Spencer, JD Sports, Amazon, Nike, Adidas & Gap.)