Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Are you one of those people who took out a gym membership at the turn of the year, signing up for a period of months, turning up once, and then letting it slip? Well, you wouldn’t be the only one! What is it about gyms that seem so attractive when you start off and then fall off the edge of your attention?

Sometimes, it’s all those shiny-looking machines for running, rowing, doing weights, and whatever else. Perhaps, it’s also to do with being with likeminded people who want to keep fit and healthy. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter if you don’t go to the gym because there are plenty of sporting activities that you can do either by yourself or by joining a sports club; and, of course, the gym membership isn’t exactly cheap!

When you take up any fitness activity, you want to look for sportswear that is comfortable and fit for purpose. Sports clothing has been on the fashion scene for many years now (think of sneakers), and when you’re doing your workouts, you don’t have to look bedraggled and shapeless but can choose attractive yet functional clothes that make you look and feel good.

There are also some great gadgets to help you monitor your fitness, encouraging and motivating you to keep your fitness regime up.

Comfortable feet

The majority of sporting activities require your feet to be hitting the ground in some way, so it’s essential that you choose the right footwear to be as comfortable as possible. Footwear designers have gone way beyond the basic sneakers used for walking and running and are creating products that improve athletic performance as well as augmenting the user’s lifestyle.

You can find ones that are made from a material that changes itself and reflects different wavelengths of light. By using an app, you can change specific areas of the footwear to different colors, enabling you to match them with what you are wearing. No more rooting through cupboards to find sneakers that go with your outfit.

Other options include materials that can help neutralize odors, which is especially useful when you’re sweating a lot after some vigorous exercise, or sneakers that light up when your body temperature reaches a certain level. You might want to seek out footwear that has embedded sensors that are able to track a range of biometric data such as calories burned and distance traveled.

However technical you want to get (and it can add a lot of fun to your exercise), make sure that your shoes fit well, can absorb the pounding that your body will be giving your feet, and, above all, are comfortable. There’s not much worse than developing blisters on your toes and heels – ask professional tennis players!

Support clothes

One of the things that you get to know quite quickly when you embark on a regime of physical improvements is that muscles and joints can get very sore at times. It’s all part of the process of getting and keeping fit, and some things you just have to put up with as the price for improving your health.

However, there is always the risk of getting an injury, and to help prevent that or aid recovery if you do get an injury, there is a range of compression wear that can assist with the prevention or healing process. Compression clothing isn’t just for professional athletes who regularly train and put great demands on their bodies but is also ideal if you go on long training runs, have a brisk stroll in the park, or play a game of softball with family and friends.

These types of garment give support to muscles, joints, and tendons, help increase circulation, and reduce the delayed onset of sore muscles, helping to increase performance and make you feel less tired. Recovery time after exercise is improved, and swellings can be reduced.

One particularly useful garment is compression shorts, ideal for providing compression to the thighs and ensuring that the upper parts of the legs are given full support.

Activity trackers

When you are doing a solitary exercise activity such as an individual workout, going for a run or a jog, you will probably want to monitor how your body is responding to the various stresses put on it. Using an activity tracker, such as a wristband or a watch, you can keep an eye on your heart rate during whatever exercise you do so that you get to know the optimum rate for achieving your goals.

Your heart rate can be tracked during your workout so that you can maintain the right intensity level and decide whether you need to put a little more effort in or maybe slacken off a bit. You can use heart rate zones on your device to monitor this, and at the end, you will get a summary of your workout and reach the stage where you know what you need to do to improve.

Magical music

You’ve probably seen many people out training in the park or on the streets with earphones or headphones firmly clamped on and wondered what they might be listening to. Perhaps it’s a motivational speech to encourage concentration and effort, but the more likely case is that they will be listening to music to inspire them through their workout.

The great thing about using music when you exercise is that what you listen to is entirely under your control, even when you go to the gym. One neat way of doing this is to have a holder for your cell phone that’s attached to your arm, keeping it safe and allowing you to shuffle your choice of music when you wish. Some people like to choose tracks that have rhythms at specific speeds so that they can pick up on those and adjust their exercising to suit.

A wide choice

There are so many choices of quality sportswear that are comfortable but also very stylish, enabling you to look good and give that outer look of a professional athlete on the move. Accessorize with an attractive activity tracker and you’re ready for the off!