As you shape up for 2012, here's what to wear and what not to wear at the gym.
Katie Trotter: On smart fitness gear
It's all very nice to have goals, but resolutions are tricky. Research will indeed show that whatever the resolution, most of us have given up by the end of January, which is depressing - not to mention pathetic. Health, diet and fitness show up as our biggest failures year in and year out. We buy all the flashy gear, hire the trainer and promise to stick to a regime that would stand its own beside Usain Bolt's, only to fail catastrophically. Despite all this, however, remaining unfit for the duration of 2012 would be embarrassing. Having the wrong outfit is not an excuse; you are not paying (in most cases a hefty fee) to swan around an expensive club, nor are you there to scope people out - you are there for a single purpose, to get fit.
Personally, I've always thought "workout gear" was the sole preserve of American muscle wives - the type-A Tracy Anderson type who talk of squatting their way through childbirth or using canned food as dumbbells while waiting for the pasta to cook. And I still think that a little, but I also agree that we can't use an old pair of saggy-kneed leggings, or a pair of trainers that last saw daylight in a physical education class in the early Nineties.
Start with black. It says "I mean business" yet lacks the pretension of zippy fluorescent racing stripes. It also has the added bonus of making us appear slimmer.
Often, we wrongly assume that cotton is best, but in fact - although a natural lightweight fibre - it soaks up moisture and can cling uncomfortably to the body. Try synthetic fibres such as microfibre and spandex as they allow the body to breathe, and look out for pockets to hold keys and music. Make sure to get a sports bra fitted properly as moulded cups with wide adjustable straps are made to flatter, not flatten, the bust.
Buying trainers, as I recently found, can be daunting. Do you go by brand? Flexible soles? Cushioned air pockets? Experts say it is pointless to buy trainers without getting properly fitted. Go to a store with your old pair of trainers so staff can see how your foot hits the ground and recommend what fit and shape you need for support. Cross trainers are a good compromise as they offer a bit of everything, offering enough flexibility and support for most sporting activities. And be sure to wear running socks; people often forget this but they pull the moisture away from the feet, and that is what causes blisters.
The recommended bottom attire would be track suits or shorts. Stick to three colours per look and avoid white as it can show sweat stains.
Last but not least, before you embark on a whole new wardrobe, wear the stuff you bought the last time you decided to get fit.
This week's highs and lows
AB FAB THE FILM Our favourite British duo are reported to be working on a big-screen version of the hit TV series.
MULES This horrid trend from the 1990s was spotted at Miu Miu and Fendi. Not good news.
DOTTY FOR DOTS Every so often an old favourite emerges - and what's not to love?
RUN FOR COVER Camouflage trousers work only if you're in the army. Even Julianne Moore couldn't pull this off.
AZZA FAHMY As if the jewellery designer needed more kudos, she's now designing a nine-piece collection for the British Museum.