Get motivated and look good with the right gear

Four months into her lifestyle makeover Denize is still working hard to change her eating habits and work out regularly.

Finding the right balance between pushing herself and overdoing it is perhaps the greatest challenge, however. Occasionally, in trying to keep up with the rest of the group, she overdoes it in fitness class, the result of which is stiff or sore muscles. This in turn puts her out of action on the work out front for several days which is, of course, counterproductive.

“Normally when you think of a makeover, you think of a day of being pampered, whereas this is actually hard work and a big commitment,” admits Denize. Ideally, she should be working out five times a week, which is not always easy to fit in with work and family commitments.

The dietary aspect of the makeover is proving a much easier change to slot into her lifestyle and she is not missing the white rice and potatoes she used to eat. She now substitutes brown rice or quinoa and adds lots of green leafy vegetables to her diet without hesitation.

Experts often say that buying good quality, attractive work out gear can be the greatest motivator to get out and exercise, so Chad at Sports Supply helped to kit Denize out with the most important items.
First off was foot wear, the single most important piece of kit when working out. Different shoes are designed and engineered for different activities, so it’s important to find the right shoes for your type of exercise, explained Chad. In Denize’s case, because she runs on the treadmill, does some weight training, group fitness classes and personal training – in short a bit of everything – an all-round shoe is the best option for her.
Denize has relatively large feet – size 10 or 11 depending on the brand – so the choices are slightly more limited in terms of colour and style.

“The most important thing, when exercising, is the comfort and fit of your shoes,” explained Chad. The technology for making sports shoes is constantly evolving, he says, and this year the top brands are making shoes with a new kind of sole, which twists in the same way one’s feet do, lending more support than ever. The newest shoes have done away with the gel pads that were previously used, as these tend to break down, and instead use moulded foam and are incredibly lightweight.

The fabric on the top of the shoes should stretch across the broadest part of the foot, for greater comfort, but ideally should not push the toes forward and stretch the front part of the shoes.

The top three brands of running shoes to consider are Asics, New Balance and Saucony, according to Chad.

A good, supportive sports bra is another essential piece of kit. Without sufficient support in the chest area, any kind of impact sport can become extremely uncomfortable for women and breast ligaments can even be damaged. Sports bras are sturdy, close fitting items that will minimise movement and provide far more support than a regular bra. Once you have the right bra, you can wear pretty much any top that does not restrict movement. For the bottom half, Chad recommends capris that come to just below the knee or mid calf as they are versatile and suitable for just about any kind of workout.

A quality, breathable fabric that will wick moisture away from skin and will not absorb odours is one of the most important factors to look for in sports apparel. Under Armour is a brand Chad particularly recommends.

The fabric on the top of the shoes should stretch across the broadest part of the foot, for greater comfort, but ideally should not push the toes forward and stretch the front part of the shoes.

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