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Fitness fashion: Mood-boosting activewear to help your new year goals

Corina Gaffey: Opting for activewear that you feel good, confident and comfortable in will help motivate you

New year activewear

In the depths of January, it can take a lot of work to drum up the motivation to start or stick to a fitness regime. But we all know the benefits of exercise both physically and mentally, and what better time than cold, dark January to up the mood-boosting endorphins that come from working out?

If you’re still not convinced, what about investing in fresh activewear? Being more intentional in clothing choices could help you reach your fitness goals.

Clothing can empower, aid productivity and influence your confidence; the same can be said for activewear. Wearing ill-fitting gym gear that’s scruffy and downright sad-looking will prevent you from performing your best.

But opting for activewear that you feel good, confident and comfortable in will, no doubt, motivate you, and James Murphy of Beat Box Dublin, a boutique boxing club, agrees.


“I think wearing the right gym gear allows you to move and feel more comfortable and confident, and will help you to perform at your best. If you are confident, you may push yourself more in sessions,” Murphy says.

Dopamine-dressing is a term often banded around in the style world and is summed up as elevating wellbeing by choosing clothing that sparks joy. Can you apply this activewear? Does wearing bright fitness gear impact your performance and help you smash your personal best?

Aoife Hannon, founder of The Pilates Programme, believes mood-enhancing fitness dressing should be more reflective of your style.

“It’s important to pick activewear that you love and represents your personality. I love neutrals, but if your style is bold prints and bright colours, let your activewear reflect that,” Hannon says.

New year activewear
New year activewear
New year activewear
New year activewear

Murphy agrees, saying it is more of a blend of function and fashion, but the crux is comfort. “I think a combination matters; it depends on the individual goals,” Murphy says.

“Some like colours, but I prefer blacks and greys. Colour-wise, whatever you are more comfortable with works best. Once you feel confident, that’s key!”

Before you rush out and buy all the pristine, uplifting gym gear, your routine and type of exercise are also essential to consider.

“Your activewear needs to suit the kind of exercise you’re doing. My Pilates activewear needs to allow me to move freely without restrictions,” Hannon says.

“You need breathable, sweat-wicking materials for someone doing a more intense, sweaty workout. Researching and dressing for your activity or training is important.”

New year activewear
New year activewear
New year activewear

Simply put, activewear is comparable to equipment that aids you in reaching your goals; it is all about having the correct implements for that task.

Murphy says the right gear that is functional and warm is integral, especially during the chillier months, whether you are working out indoors or outside. “I would say layer up; multiple layers retain heat. If you are warm, you won’t mind bracing the walk for the gym.”

Hannon agrees it is about dressing for the weather: “If you prefer being indoors, invest in some nice comfortable jumpers and long-sleeve tops so you’re warm starting your classes. You can take it off once you warm up. If you want to walk or run outside at this time of year, you must invest in the right gear to get out in whatever weather the Irish winter throws at us.”