Since the dawn of time, or at least since the dawn of the gym, New Year’s resolution lists have invariably included a pledge to get fit.
Sticking to that pledge - as most of us know from personal experience and countless surveys attest, year after year - is a different thing altogether.
Clearly, we need all the help we can get. Now you could take psychologists’ advice and document your progress publicly, which apparently makes you less likely to give up in the face of peer pressure.
Or, you could try a more enjoyable incentive, and trick yourself into looking forward to your workouts with some cool new gym kit.
Whether you’re venturing outdoors or have signed up to a new class, we’ve got the sportswear that will help you power through those motivation dips in style...
LOOK GREAT OUTDOORS
Unless you’re fond of a lunchtime workout, while daylight hours are still depressingly condensed, you’ll probably be running or cycling in the dark.
Safety, therefore, is of paramount importance and a high-vis jacket’s essential. A mixture of waterproof materials and mesh inserts offer rain protection as well as breathability, and look for a little concealed pocket to stop your keys jangling around noisily as you jog.
Neon fabric and high-vis panels will help you be seen, but for maximum visibility, choose a top that’s reflective all over.
If you’re heading to the hills to hike yourself into shape, you’ll need something a bit more robust.
Synthetic padded down is best for heavy-duty insulation that won’t weigh you down. Many puffa-style jackets and body-warmers are now so lightweight, they can be squished into a tiny pouch to pull out when the temperature drops.
Exercise classes can bring out the competitive side in everyone - and not just the desire to stay in plank position for the longest. Be the envy of your Pilates pals in kit that’s as stylish as it is supportive.
Compression tights are supposed to help your muscles recover after a wearying workout, which is great, but they also have the added bonus of being as slimming as a pair of Spanx. High-waisted styles are particularly tummy-sucking, so you can pair them with a loose crop without feeling exposed.
Support up top is also a must, but if you want to show off a strappy-backed Lycra cami, then make sure your vest has an in-built bra.
FEET OF ENDURANCE
If you’re giving the trendy but gruelling HIIT (high-intensity interval training) a go, cushioned footwear is of utmost importance, combined with a breathable upper, because you’re going to get seriously hot.
For hikers, a sturdy high-top with plenty of ankle support and grip on the soles is key. These boots can be pretty pricey, so lookout for last season’s styles in the sales.
Meanwhile, the latest innovation in the trainer world is decidedly more about style than substance - but that’s no bad thing.
Adidas will let you customise your running shoes, choosing your own combination of colours for the upper, lining, laces and more, and even adding text on each heel - maybe the words ‘run’ and ‘faster’ will help boost your speed?
KIT AND KABOODLE
With your sportswear and sneakers sorted, all that’s left are the finishing fitness touches.
Setting out solo on your get-fit-quick quest? Then curating a motivational soundtrack will help you on your way.
Whether it’s Taylor Swift’s latest electropop-perfection album or Serial, the true crime podcast that everyone’s addicted to, invest in a pair of in-ear sport headphones that won’t budge.
And because almost no one has a separate MP3 player any more, you’ll need somewhere to stow your smartphone so it doesn’t bump around in your pocket. A waterproof armband is ideal, and a lot more comfortable than it looks.
Ditching your usual journey in favour of a run-commute is a great time-saving way to fit in a daily exercise sesh, but it can be difficult if you’re carting around a tote bag full of junk.
Instead, leave your high heels at work and pack just the essentials into a compact running rucksack that sits snugly on your back, so you can arrive home feeling virtuous and reward yourself with a glass of wine