Putting a Spring in Your Step this Season

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So it’s come to that time of year again, where we’re thinking about our holidays, sunbathing by the pool or a beach, and keeping our fingers (and toes) crossed that the British weather will be kind to us this summer. I say it’s come to that time of year again, as it happens in January too – spurs of motivation to get fit, whether it’s for the new year, or to reach your dream beach bod for your holiday. The snapchats, the hashtags and the grimace that forms on your face when you force yourself to order a caesar salad over a burger. Yep, I’m guilty too.

So in light of this, I’m going to show you my favourite athleisure must-haves and essentials that I keep inside my gym bag this season…

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Sportswear

I’m not incredibly fussy when it comes to sportswear, however I am always drawn to brightly coloured and patterned details when it comes to choosing my workout clothes. I tend to go for something that I feel comfortable in, both literally and physically. Both of the black gym bottoms I purchased from New Look, and the green coloured one is 3/4 length, and blue detailed one is full length – always nice to have a bit of variety.

Although I love patterns, I tend to keep it to one patterned item at a time. For example, patterned leggings, and a plain top, or a patterned top, and plain leggings. If you want to check out some patterned sportswear, check out Adore Me‘s collection, and if you’ve not got the time to mix and match patterned outfits, they even have patterned althleisure sets! The only choosing you’ll have to do is deciding which weights you’re going to lift this session!

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Footwear

Footwear is one of the most important things to consider when searching for your gym gear – they need to be flexible, comfortable and supporting, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of cardio or running exercises. I have always been partial to Nike trainers, just because I know I am guaranteed all of these three things. I live in my Nike Flyknit Roshes, as they are not only the most comfortable shoes I own at the gym, they are also my favourite driving shoes! I would suggest investing in a good pair of trainers if you’re thinking of starting the gym or exercise, as it’s not only important to be comfortable, but if you exercise in flimsy (or the opposite – too hard) shoes, you can result in injuries.

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Gym-Bag-Essentials

One thing I cannot go to the gym without is music. Once my headphones go in and I press the play button, I am instantly in the zone. Even on those sluggish days. Keep going till the end of the chorus… you’ve got this far, might as well smash this set until the end of the song. Music is my mini PT (Personal Trainer) cheering me on. Perhaps try this type of motivation if you’ve not challenged yourself before, or find it hard to motivate yourself during a set. You’ll be surprised at how you actually can finish the set if you put your mind to it.

Another gym bag essential I always bring with me is my padlock. The gym I use, padlocks are the only way you can use a locker, so this is an absolute must!

Towels are an essential, whether it’s a sweat towel to carry around with me in between sets, or an actual body towel for my post-workout shower (my favourite bit!).

Water. If you don’t drink during or after a gym session, then shame on you! Losing sweat at the gym, it is vital that you put back the water you have lost from your body to avoid becoming dehydrated and feeling lethargic. Depending on how much cardio I perform, I usually tend to drink 1 litre of water per gym session.

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Photography by Charlotte Jackson and Rachel Jefferies

Olympus Pen E-PL8, 45mm

How to Find Your Perfect Bag

I’m usually a one-bag-girl. Not in the sense that I only have one bag, oh hell no. But when it comes to my everyday bag, I don’t switch up my bags very often. I will most likely wear one bag continuously, until I find the next bag of my liking. Any particular reason? Yes, laziness.

Not going to lie, I’m basically Mary Poppins when it comes to having too much stuff in my bag, meaning that transporting this ‘stuff’ from one bag to another every. single. day. can be a tad impractical. Keys, purse, mirror, lipstick(s), tissues, hand sanitizer, a pen, paracetamol, Kindle… and usually an abundance of receipts that seems impossible to not exist in my bag. About 98% of the time before I have to leave on a morning, I am running around like a headless chicken, so believe it or not – I don’t have the time to transport my ‘stuff’.

What’s important when shopping for your perfect bag…

I bought this bag for the intention to become an everyday bag, meaning that it needed to be big enough to hold my ‘stuff’ previously mentioned. However, seeing as I am quite a busy girl, hopping from coffee shop to the library (and, let’s be realistic, probably to another coffee shop), I also wanted a bag big enough to be able to hold notebooks and my laptop if required.

The colour of your bag is everything

One thing that instantly drew me to this bag was its colour. Anyone who knows me well will know that natural/neutral colours are my absolute go-to, meaning that khaki is most definitely one of my preferred colours when it comes to my style. It matches every other colour in my wardrobe (brown, grey, black, white, beige shades), and its classic style is perfect for all-year round.

The tip when searching for a bag you are planning to wear copiously is make sure the bag is a dark(ish) colour. This means that you are guaranteed to be able to wear this bag with almost every outfit. And as a bonus, any dirt or even dye from your jeans won’t be as noticeable – win win!

My Top Tip

When I search for a bag, I also like to think about the hardware tones. It seems a little extravagant, but this really is one of my most important tips when it comes to nailing your bags. Firstly, I consider what type of bag I am searching for (casual/daytime, a work bag, evening, smart, special occasion). Knowing that this bag was going to be for everyday, I then thought about the jewellery I tend to wear on a day-to-day basis – which is gold. Choosing a bag with gold hardware accents will complement the jewellery I am most likely to wear, meaning the bag will match almost any outfit I choose to wear. This is a smart way to make sure you get the most wear out of your bags.

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SHOP THIS BAG

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Images: Harry Dyer, Rachel Jefferies