From M&S to Asda, the High St is full of sleek looks to lure you off the sofa


Does this month mark the launch of project body sculpt? Maybe you’ll be dusting off the bike that hasn’t seen much action since spring’s lockdown?

The good news is, whatever form your New Year’s exercise resolution takes, finding an outfit should be easy.

Despite some areas of the fashion industry struggling through 2020, activewear has never looked healthier. Asos saw profits quadruple as demand for casualwear soared in lockdown, while Cos launched their first activewear collection last year. Over at M&S, the store made a big push into sportswear with its Goodmove line, which proved such a hit, it’s expanding into men’s and kidswear this coming spring. All in all, the UK sportswear market is now forecast to be worth as much as £6.7 billion by 2023, outperforming all other major retail sectors.

Anna Pursglove shares her advice for buying an exercise outfit to suit a variety of workouts. Pictured: Sports bra, £17.99, and leggings, £25.99, topshop. com; top, £24.95, gap.co.uk; trainers, £116.25, asics.com

Tshirt, £12.50, marksand spencer.com; leggings, £15, asos.com; trainers, £65, reebok.co.uk

Tshirt, £12.50, marksand spencer.com; leggings, £15, asos.com; trainers, £65, reebok.co.uk

Sports bra, £29.95, and leggings, £39.95, gap.co.uk; trainers, £116.25, asics.com

Sports bra, £29.95, and leggings, £39.95, gap.co.uk; trainers, £116.25, asics.com

So, what are the rules when buying an exercise outfit? The first may sound obvious, but do think about where you’re going to be exercising. It’s no good investing in thermal leggings if you’re planning to take an online yoga class in a centrally heated living room. Similarly, a pair of lightweight yoga tights might make for an effortless warrior pose, but won’t do the job on a winter bike ride.

While we’re on the subject of workout leggings, there is really only one rule: high waist. Always high waist. Only the models with washboard stomachs look fantastic in the low-cut varieties.

Top, £22, and leggings, £24, asos.com; sports bra, £8, George at asda.com; trainers, £83.97, nike.com

Top, £22, and leggings, £24, asos.com; sports bra, £8, George at asda.com; trainers, £83.97, nike.com

Top, £8.99, gap.co.uk; leggings, £22, very.co.uk; sports bra, £20, and trainers, £23, marksand spencer.com

Top, £8.99, gap.co.uk; leggings, £22, very.co.uk; sports bra, £20, and trainers, £23, marksand spencer.com

Sports bra, £59.40, and leggings, £83.40, siloulondon. com; trainers, £65, asics.com

Sports bra, £59.40, and leggings, £83.40, siloulondon. com; trainers, £65, asics.com

Workout bras, meanwhile, can feel off-puttingly tight when you first try them on, but remember they are supposed to be snug. The bra shouldn’t cut into you or restrict your movement, but it should feel tight-fitting, otherwise it won’t do its job.When it comes to buying a workout top, there are some lovely designs out there, but, again, consider what you’re going to be doing before you buy. Loose tops don’t work for yoga, while cut-out styles can be cold when cycling and flap when running.

Finally, the trainers. The best advice is don’t let the techy talk put you off. Nike and Asics aren’t the cheapest, but they’re both good for running, cardio or HIIT.

Now there’s nothing standing in your way. As online personal trainers are fond of saying (adopts LA drawl): ‘You got this!’

Top, £55, sweaty betty.com; bra, £17.99, hm.com; leggings, £10, asda.com; trainers, £23, marks and spencer .com

Top, £55, sweaty betty.com; bra, £17.99, hm.com; leggings, £10, asda.com; trainers, £23, marks and spencer .com

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