With all the sporting events happening over the summer, I’ve been feeling quite motivated to keep fit. I am an avid fan of Pilates, and try to attend a couple of classes a week and lately I’m training to run five kilometres; for no particular reason other than keeping healthy. With the sunshine here to stay for a week or two, there is no time like the present to be outdoors, whether it’s to take a stroll in the park or run a full marathon. Getting the right clothing is important, for comfort more than anything, especially for your feet to protect them from injury. I’ve been doing some research on the sporting attire on offer this season, and do you know what? It’s just a little stylish!
I’ve been prone to ankle injuries ever since I had a bad fall when I was five and fractured my foot. Any time I trip or walk awkwardly (high heels are normally to blame ) my recurring injury comes out to play, so one thing I am really particular about is my footwear for walking and jogging. Finding the right shoe is not as difficult as it sounds with trained staff in all sport stores who can recommend the right fit and type for you. Every big brand is listening to the needs of athletes, and that goes for the fashion conscious ones too, like me. Nike have an amazing range of running shoes in hot summer colours, like neon orange and lime greens. I really like the Nike Free 5.0 Women's Running Shoe, which is a lightweight breathable shoe, which feels like you are barely wearing anything on your feet. What’s even more interesting about this shoe is that I have spotted the odd famous magazine editor wearing these around fashion week too! (Available from Lifestyle Sports, €105 )
Getting kitted out for exercise can be costly, but I see it as a prudent investment considering how long a good training top and jogging pants will last. And you don’t need to worry about trends here as the likes of Puma, Nike and Adidas have you covered. Pink is my favourite colour to wear to the gym (I’m not sure why! ) and Nike have responded with some rich shades of berry and cerise pink in tops and camisoles. Tops with built-in support are a great option for added comfort and it saves you wearing a bra as an extra layer too. The Nike t-shirt range has a wide selection of long, short, and sleeveless tops for every kind of work out. The lightweight fabric is a great innovation and will keep you cool and dry while you train (Nike training tank tops from €24, Lifestyle Sports ).
But if you like the outdoors, then it’s a necessity to keep warm and dry, especially when the nights start to get a little cool towards the autumn. Brands like The North Face and Quicksilver make heavier fleece tops and rainproof jackets, but a great alternative is to get yourself a base layer. Made in “hot” and “cold” versions, they act as a layer to keep you cool or warm, whatever the climate and can be worn underneath your regular training wear. I like to walk in the evenings, and wearing one of these over the winter months was a blessing and allowed to me to keep up my walking no matter how cold the temperature. (Base layers are available at Elverys.ie )
And finally, I can’t write a piece on exercise without mentioning a few great treatments to take care of your body after a hard work out at the gym! My latest find is Footner (€19.99 available from pharmacies nationwide ), a leave-on foot scrub, perfect for after a run, to take care of any hard skin that can build up on your heels. Leave the “socks” on for an hour and rinse afterwards, then over the course of a week you’ll see all the hard skin starting to disappear. Not exactly the most pleasant thing to look at, but trust me, your feet will thank you! Keeping your skin hydrated after working out is just as important as drinking water. I really love the body lotion range from Kiehls at the moment, very luxurious but hey, you are allowed to spoil yourself once in a while!
Lorna Claire Weightman