Work Out Your Style

How to be fashionable fit

Issue: Jul 2010

pix of sports apparel
Working out your style is as important as the work out itself

In a world where image is everything, you don’t just need to dress the part, you have to look it as well. And there is no better way to cut a lean, mean image than by working out. After all, who can argue with a taut, toned body as the ultimate fashion statement?

But even as you work towards honing and toning your body, you should do so in right gear.

Adidas’ ClimaCool® technology conducts heat and sweat away from the body so their outfits leave you cooler

Top Down Approach

Start with picking the right top to wear. Men are particularly guilty of throwing on any old t-shirt when exercising. The argument is: why bother since you will soon be sweating in that shirt? The need to bother goes beyond just fashion. Picking the proper top to wear has everything to do with being practical as well.

Do: Pick something that is made up of light, breathable material like cotton. This allows for better ventilation. Go with something that is fitting but not so tight that it impedes movement. If you are going with a strappy number, make sure it fits right so you won’t have to keep adjusting those straps throughout your workout.

Don’t: Avoid baggy t-shirts. They may get snagged in the equipment. Stay away from white tops. White does not radiate heat as well as darker colours so you’ll feel warmer. White also stains easily. Finally, white tops tend to become see-through when wet.

Get Support System in Place

For women, more important than the right top is the right sports bra. The need for adequate support to keep everything in place for comfort and better performance cannot be overstated.

Do: Try on the bras before you buy them. The cup size you normally wear may not be the right size for you. If you can slip two fingers under the strap, it is a good fit. It’s too big if the material wrinkles or bunches in places. It’s too small if it cuts into your skin. Make sure you run in place when trying on the sports bra to check if it holds up well.

Don’t: Don’t hang on to your sports bra any longer than you should. Your sports bra should be changed when it has lost its elasticity. A good guide would be to buy a new one when you can no longer read the label of your old sports bra.

shorter bottoms work fine
While shorter bottoms work fine during shorter/faster runs, longer shorts are ideal for a long/slow run

Spend Time on Your Bottom Line

Sweatpants or shorts are often the mainstay. But picking the right kind can make the difference between being matronly and magnificent.

Do: For men, length is everything. Too short shorts will reveal too much in certain positions. Those that are too long impair movement. As a general rule, aim for cotton gym shorts that extend no more than 5cm below the knee.

For women, keep to dark colour since they are more slimming.

Don’t: Keep away from spandex. They are unforgiving on most figures and quite obscene on men.

shorter bottoms work fine
Every shoe has a purpose; don't make them multi-task

A Shoe In For Success

If there is one thing that can make or break your workout, it is the type of exercise shoes you have on. Wear only sports shoes when exercising. Anything else will not give you the right arch support you need.

Do: Give your shoe a test run before you buy them. Keep them on for at least 10 minutes. It takes that long to decide if they’re comfortable. Look at the soles of your old shoes and see which areas are most worn-out. This will tell you how your feet hit the ground when you run and help you pick out the shoe with the right support.

Don’t: Don’t make your shoes multi-task. Every sports shoe is designed for a specific function. Make sure you get the right one for your purpose. Then stick with it.

Colour is Key

Colour co-ordination can make the difference between a well-put together outfit and an eye sore.

Do: Go with solid, darker colours that flatter the contours. These look better when you move.

Don’t: Avoid prints, floral or fussy patterns that could create a dizzying effect on the on-looker. They also tend to make you look large.

Little Things That Count

Do: Invest in a pair of weights gloves if you are going to be doing weights training. They will protect your hands from blisters and callouses that will mar your handshake.

Don’t: Leave the “bling” back home. Avoid accessories or jewellery. They distract others and will get in the way of your workout.

It doesn’t take much to be a knockout while you work out. Keep these dos and don’t in mind and you’ll be looking fab while you work at looking fit.

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