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New Year, New gear

posted on Friday, 31st December 2010 | find under Fashion , Fitness
The motivating power of wearing new sports kit...
Hello to all you lovely Betties, and a very Happy New Year to boot!

So, how are you feeling right now about the year ahead? Excited about all the new fitness and health possibilities that 2011 could throw your way? Or are you already sinking under the pressure of achieving all those New Year’s resolutions you’ve made?

Whether you’ve set yourself the goal of completing your first triathlon, or simply want to drop a dress size and get back into those skinny jeans, it’s very important to bear in mind that New Year is actually a very tough time to be setting yourself a new challenge. Just because the calendar tells us a new period of our lives has begun, doesn’t mean we all suddenly wake up on January 1st, with a brand new mind set and the perfect attitude to our diet, exercise and wellbeing regimes. In fact, it comes as no surprise to me that some research suggests the best time to make a New Year’s resolution is actually in April, when you’ll be feeling much more positive about life (and not battling dark mornings and evenings, rain, snow and freezing temperatures just to get to the gym), and therefore are far more likely to be successful in ‘spring cleaning’ your life and swapping bad habits for good ones.

However, just because an individual study says one thing, doesn’t mean we should cast our good intentions and hopes for better fitness, a healthier lifestyle and slimmer thighs aside. As the old saying goes, why put off to tomorrow (or for another four months) what you can do today? The key, I believe, is to be aware that at this time of the year – despite it being New Year and all that – you need all the help, motivation, inspiration and support you can get to achieve your dreams.

In my next few blogs, I’ll be touching on different techniques you can use to boost your motivation and keep your goals on track (so make sure you come back for those!), but for now I want to suggest that one of the simplest things you can do to give yourself a motivational boost in January is … invest in some new exercise gear.

Now, cynics out there will think I’m pushing this idea because I’m blogging for Sweaty Betty, but actually, I was reminded of how powerful wearing some new kit can be in motivating you to get out there and exercise when watching a recent online interview with Kelly Osbourne (http://www.shape.com/videos?bcpid=72857897001&bclid=10005888001&bctid=659433649001&autoStart=false).
Having lost 50lbs this year through healthy eating and exercise, the honed and toned Miss O graced the cover of US Shape magazine and revealed that she purposefully started buying and wearing ‘cute outfits’ for the gym so that she felt more confident about herself, more positive about the reflection staring back at her in the mirror, and more inclined to go to the gym in the first place.
As pricey as investing in new exercise kit can be, I don’t think anyone (whether a sporty fashionista or hardcore athlete) can deny that feeling of excitement - or the increased urge to hit the pavement - when you pull on a pair of new, fresh, bouncy trainers. And for me, the same feeling applies when purchasing a new top or pair of trousers for exercise.
I’m a firm believer that you should look at your workout wardrobe as though it is a ‘uniform’ for the job you are about to do. The prouder you feel of your appearance – whether that’s because you’re wearing something that flatters your figure or because you know your gear features the latest fabric and design technology to keep you looking and feeling cool – the more likely you are to take your workouts seriously. Because, quite simply, who feels inspired to exercise wearing their boyfriend’s baggy T-shirt and an old pair of tatty jogging bottoms?!

Maybe you disagree, and think that this talk of aesthetics is a waste of time and even slightly shallow, but I truly believe that anything that helps to boost our confidence and inspire us to get moving is a good thing, and that any woman who treats themselves to a new piece of kit is normally itching to get to the gym/park/class that very same day to try it out and show it off.

Need any further incentive? It’s said you can burn around 320 calories during 90-minutes of shopping. Enough said!
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