Healthy Hints: Where Fitness Meets Fashion

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Emily Block | Blogger

Whether you’ve heard the term “athleisure” or not, you’re familiar with the trend. College campuses like BVU are filled with the cute yet comfortable active wear fashion. However, as chill as these outfits may seem, many come at a high price. Classic athletic companies like Nike and Under Armour continue to dominate the market, with a pair of sweatpants costing as much as $150. Breakouts like Lululemon and Oiselle don’t come much cheaper, but they do offer unique styles. Last year, the activewear market rose 8%, but that doesn’t necessarily mean more people are hitting the gym. With more styles targeted toward fashion rather than fitness, there’s a few things you need to know if you want your workout wear to be functional.

Where to save:

1. You don’t have to spend more for quality.

A few years ago, Nike’s “dri-fit” material was unmatched elsewhere in the market. However, in years since, supermarket brands like C9 champion (Target) and Danskin (Walmart) have come out with similar fabrics at a fraction of the cost. In my opinion, a $6 tank top from Wal-Mart works just as well as the $50 option from specialty companies.

2. Fitbit/GPS watch

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While admittedly, these trackers are nice to have, any smartphone can do a similar job. Apps like “map my run” will track your distance and pace while running or biking. Some phones can even estimate your steps, or you can get a $5 pedometer. While you may not have the wrist candy, you’ll have more $$ in your wallet by skipping this one.

3. Yoga Pants

There’s only so much quality can do for you with the same black spandex. While you may want to step up from the supermarket for a little thicker fabric, splurging for $200 leggings won’t do anything for your fitness goals. Settle for a mid-priced line from yoga brands like Mika or Lucy. These brands specialize in yoga, so you’re getting function directed fashion.

Where to splurge:

1. Update the fanny pack.

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One of my favorite products on the market right now is the Flip-Belt. It’s essentially a yoga-pant waistband with slits for you to slide your phone, keys, money, ID, or anything else you might need while working out. I use mine all the time, and it’s way more comfortable than the iPod arm band I used to have, and doesn’t hamper my form. They come in a variety of colors, but I chose charcoal because it pretty much goes with any outfit.

2. A good pair of running shoes

If you’re someone who runs frequently, a good pair of running shoes is a must. If you can, go to a specialty running store and get fitted according to your foot shape, activity level, and gait. A poor fitting shoe can lead to musculoskeletal issues and pain. Your well being is more important than a cute (or cheap) shoe. Trust me, your joints will thank you for it.

3. Cold Weather Wear

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Living in the Midwest, you know how brutal the winters can be. Gear that is lightweight but warm is extremely nice for outdoor workouts when the temperatures drop. Headbands, thermals, gloves, and vests are all essential for cold weather (whether you’re running or not!). Something that’s a little higher quality will give you all the warmth without all the bulk, and that’s worth a little extra money to me.
{Source: Oiselle: Cloud Control Jacket}

Don’t be fooled by athleisure trends: you don’t need matching outfits or sparkling sneakers for fitness’ sake. The new emphasis on this fashion is nice because it provides us with more options than a middle school gym uniform, but you don’t need to spend half of your paycheck on new workout gear. Pick and choose your purchases wisely, and you can have fashion and function all in one.