I’m a big believer in the ‘be pretty on rest days’ mantra sported by Bangs, but while I wouldn’t advocate wearing make-up to work out – a full face of make-up plus sweat is a breakout waiting to happen – I do believe that what you wear can have an impact on your exercise routine.
In the same way that dressing in a suit can make people feel more confident, business-like and in control, so too can the right outfit make you want to step outside on a cold, rainy day to go for a run, or go to the gym after work when you really want to go home to a bottle of wine and a Great British Bake Off omnibus.
I’m not suggesting that being dressed head to toe in Stella McCartney for adidas will shave seconds off your personal best, but wearing something you look good and feel comfortable in really can make a difference to your mindset. Last year’s London Olympics demonstrated the power of appearance with many female athletes showing their personality, and patriotism, through nail art and hairstyles – my personal favourite was Team GB’s Joanna Roswell, who routinely sports brightly painted nails on and off the cycling track.
Brands like Sweaty Betty, Nike and the aforementioned McCartney/adidas collaboration are focussed on using performance fabrics (sweat-wicking, breathable and temperature regulating) to make garments that look good but are also technically brilliant, too. When I go running I wear a mix of brands but if I’m struggling with motivation, I put on the technical t-shirt I gained after completing the Bristol Half Marathon last year – because even though I might not feel like it some days, it reminds me that I can do this, because I already have.
A recent addition to my kit are these New Balance running shoes, courtesy of sportshoes.com. I’ve never purchased running shoes online before but my current pair of Asics are on their way out and I wanted a colourful pair to inspire me throughout winter. These do the trick and unlike my Asics, they’re light as a feather!
I have rubbish feet and anyone who followed me on Twitter through my half marathon training will know how I’m prone to blisters and the like, but sportshoes.com have a guide to picking the right running shoes which narrows down trainers based on the level of support they provide – handy for an over-pronator like me.
So an admission from me – what I wear does alter the way I feel about exercise. What about you? Do you think there is a place for fashion within fitness?