Whether you're working out in the gym, taking a yoga class or pounding the pavements, these days, there is a responsibility to look good doing it.
Baggy tracksuit bottoms and faded, shapeless tops no longer cut it. Our expectations of sportswear have changed dramatically; we want functional as well as fashionable. Wearing good quality sportswear will motivate you to get out there and do it, which, essentially, is half the battle.
Lifestyle Sports, which is Irish owned and family run, has one of the broadest, funkiest and most contemporary selections of sportswear in Ireland. Their Dundrum Shopping Centre store, one of 65 nationwide, reminds me a lot of the kind of sports superstores you find in America. Excellently merchandised, each sportswear section is clearly defined, making the store easy to navigate and shop.
As someone who used to jog a lot, and is making great attempts to get back into it, their Nike Bra and Bottoms Bar was a revelation. It offers women a range of flattering Lycra leggings and full-length bottoms, and a vast array of sports bras with varying levels of support. No matter how light your exercise, a good sports bra is essential. For the well-endowed, some workout tops have an added layer of support. For those conscious of their flat chest, Nike even offers a padded sports bra.
Nike training gear is made with Dri-Fit fabrics, while Adidas uses Climacool technology, but both succeed in taking sweat away from the body, keeping you dry and comfortable during your workout.
Keeping your bottom half plain lets you experiment with colour elsewhere. Lifestyle Sports' range of Nike and Adidas gear is particularly colourful and fashion-forward. Also, 90 per cent of their stock is exclusive to Lifestyle Sports, which means the likelihood of someone turning up at your yoga class wearing the same ensemble is pretty slim.
When buying your bottoms, make sure the waistband sits snugly above your bum -- any lower and you will risk exposure when you exercise.
The staff in Lifestyle Sports are among the most helpful I've come across. Trained by the main brands, they're knowledgeable enough to advise you about what would best suit your needs. This spring, they will be offering a free foot scan, which will determine which style of trainer suits you, thus reducing the risk of injury. Because the technology and quality has advanced so much, so has the price, but if you invest in good training gear from the outset, you're much more likely to continue with your training.
All clothing and accessories from Lifestyle Sports stores nationwide, see www.lifestylesports.com
Photography by Andreas Pettersson
Styling by Paula Hughes
Assisted by Ines O’Gorman
Make-up by Zoe Clark, see www.zoeclark.com
Hair by Joe McGivern
Model: Natasha Gilbert for FM Model Agency,
Sunday Indo Life Magazine