We all do it – we start the new year with the best intentions and then run into a hurdle (not literally, unfortunately). Whether it’s a January illness or just the sheer impossibility of leaving the sofa, those exercise resolutions are hard to keep. But one thing that needn’t be stopping you getting on the treadmill is lack of essential gym kit. We’ve rounded up the pieces you need to get started, and all at a bargain price, too. Because however much we want to get fit, we'd still rather spend our cash on a new dress over a sports bra...
Whatever Grease and other high school movies might have you belive, Converse just won't cut it on the track. If you think you pronate (the way the foot rolls when you walk or run) it's worth getting to a running shop to have your gait analysed, otherwise you can't go far wrong with a bare foot runner like Nike Roshe Runs. We're loving this pair from Office (£69.99, to £49), because nothing brighten's up a dark winter morning like a flash of neon.
2) Sports Bra
Your sports bra will differ depending on how much support you need, of course. If you're looking to invest in a sports bra, read this, or if you're looking for a design to get you started, we're loving this Theory+ Zing Stretch Jersey Sports Bra which is down 60% to £28 (Net-a-Porter), perfect for medium-impact workouts. Actually, you can't go wrong with the whole collection from Theory's sportswear brand, which combines the label's modern and sophisticated aesthetic which technical performance features. Little tip - though white and nude tones are tempting, you have to wash them so much they soon lose their shine - especially if you're an avid fake tanner.
T-shirts are a gym bag must-have, for obvious reasons, and though there's a wide host of brands, styles, prints and colours for a whole range of budgets, bear in mind it's one of the things you'll be washing every time you go to the gym so a basic style like this Mango Comfortable Breathable T-Shirt for £8.99 (from £17.99) is ideal. Not only does it come in six colours, so you can mix and match your leggings, but it's designed for exercise so breathability and easy movement are a given. Go as oversized as you feel comfortable in.
This is where the gym bunny world is split - black, slimming and classic, or fun, printed and colourful? The choice is yours. If you're of the former school of thought, H&M has these Running Tights for only £15 in the sales. The 3/4-length design is fast-drying (perfect for your optimistically full workout plan), as well as ventilating mesh sections, a zipping key pocket and reflective details. Created with input from the Swedish Olympic team, the high street brand's sportswear collection focuses on fit, function, performance and comfort with sleek aesthetics at their usual and very reasonable price points.
Colour pop your thang? We're sold on these Nike Legend 2.0 Cropped Stretch-Jersey Leggings for £17.50 (from £35, Net-a-Porter). A satisfying lavender hue that'll brighten up a monochrome gym kit as well as warming up a wintery complexion. Plus, the Dri-FIT technology will keep you cool in the most intense of workouts. Get them in your basket, pronto.
Don't let the rain put you off getting fit. With this stylish windbreaker from Adidas by Stella McCartney (down to £75 from £180), you'll have absolutely no excuse not to get outside, whatever the weather.
6) Gym Bag
Well, you need something to put it all in. Obvs if you were Kim K, it would be a Birkin, but we're on a post-Christmas budget, people, and anything will do (within reason). You can't go wrong with a retro-style sports bag like this red ASOS for £6. As well as easy on the purse, it's waterproof which means it'll see you through trips to the swimming pool too.
Though it seems like an unnecessary expense, it's not. A pair of specialised socks are nearly as important as the trainers, as the wrong will make for an uncomfortable workout. Though there's a lot out there, these Balega Ultra Light No Show socks (£9.90, from £11, Achilles Heel) are a winner thanks to a high needle count, special performance yarns, a seamless toe and structure in the heel and the arch.
In these winter months, a headband will avoid that painful ear chill. This reversible Nike Headband - complete with reflective detailing - is a winner.