My plan to return to running has reached a standstill. Too long spent in one position at the computer screen, and not enough time moving around, stretching and generally having a life – and the recurring back injury has returned. It’s time to address the problem. The plan is to go to machine-based Pilates once a week, I only stopped because of the expense, but seriously, my back is worth it; and to make better use of my stand-up sit-down desk and the yoga mat still wrapped in plastic underneath it. Inspired by Davina McCall and the Ryvita Positivity Panel (particularly Jackie’s story of her 12-year-old Jack Russell, Rusty who keeps on running because he doesn’t realize how old he is), this year I’m determined to get back on track. Here are my six favourite pieces of sportswear that, along with a few everyday stretches, will help me on the way:
The best sports bra
Whether you’re running, dancing or doing the Downward Dog, a decent sport bra is essential. I’ve found the best way to reduce unnecessary bounce when I’m jogging around the park is with a Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra, available from A-G cup. For larger bra sizes check out Simply Be where brands including Panache, Royce and Elomi go up to sizes J and K. And have a look at Freya Active’s best-selling ‘Epic Atomic’, a moulded, underwired crop top.
The best leggings
Not the cheapest leggings on the starting block but Nike Epic Lux (£74.95) are made from a ‘power fabric’ that feels super-supportive and the wide waistband is brilliant for keeping everything neatly tucked in. Last year, Nike launched Plus Size apparel designed in sizes 1X to 3X (sizes 22-32). Should you be looking for something a little snazzier than plain black leggings, Born Nouli has a gorgeous line in fancy pants including leopard, palm and marble-effect print. Check out Bodyism’s collaboration with Emilia Wickstead and Bellum Active’s striking snake print. For some lovely (not-clingy) yogawear, try Asquith London.
The best post-workout top
Warming down and then layering up after a sports session is the key to not feeling stiff the next day. And at my age (54) that is important. Fashercise is a good place to go for workout gear and we should all own one of On The Rise’s ‘Wonder Woman’ slogan sweatshirts. Not technically sportswear but Hush has a good selection of cotton hoodies and sweatshirts that are chic enough to do a lap of the coffee shop afterwards.
The best trainers
All sports have their own specialist footwear, for running I’ve tried all the big-name brands and found Asics to be the best. I’m currently sporting a new pair of the Gel Kayano 24 to help with over-pronation, and trying to #getmore Pilates into my life so that my back doesn’t go every time I run over 5K.
The best swimsuit
It’s got to be Speedo. The classic swimsuit literally lasts for years, resists chlorine and given a quick rinse after the pool, doesn’t fall apart. The Essential Endurance + Medallist swimming costume comes in plain black or navy and is a thicker four-way stretch fabric that doesn’t feel too flimsy. And it’s a bargain at 24 quid. I’ve just replaced mine after about five years of lane-swimming and though the seams were looking a bit tired – it still didn’t have those embarrassing see-through patches on the bum and boobs. Speedo’s Sculpture range of swimming cossies are designed to shape and smooth and support the bust and go up to size 24.
The best hi-viz cycling jacket
One good thing about being freelance again is that I’m back on my bike a bit more. Cycling to and from a shared workplace several days a week, after a few narrow misses, I decided it was time to up my game and buy a reflective jacket. The Pro Viz Reflect 360 is the ultimate piece of kit and its glow in the dark properties are impossible to miss. Particularly when I go to the loo in the middle of the night and spot it hanging in the hallway….
Ryvita has teamed up with Alyson Walsh to be part of their Positivity Panel alongside Davina McCall. The panellists were handpicked to help inspire women across the nation to feel confident and happy, whatever their age, through advice, tips and tricks.
Head to https://www.ryvita.co.uk/living-well to find out more.