“Earlier this morning I awoke to my room cast in brightness from the sunshine, a rarity in British Columbia (We have too many clouds, and yes, that rain!!). Most British Columbians share a communal urge to just go outside when the sun begins to shine.

The local parks fill up fast, and people are everywhere. I was no exception, and as I rolled out of bed I put on my Nike running pants, and latest addition in my workout arsenal (a new Under Armour storm hoodie), leaving the makeup at home, and went for a run. I have to admit, before I continue any further that I have an activewear obsession, and my sights are already on a new pair of neon Nike leggings.

Fitness fashion is a real thing, and when you can pair functionality with fashion that is something considered remarkable (and at times it is even rarer than a sunny day in B.C). Activewear or sportswear is considered to be “America’s contribution to the history of fashion”. As sportswear began to infiltrate into the fashion industry it became known as a term to describe ”informal and interchangeable separates”. While today we consider sportswear the type of apparel that allows a free range of movement to the wearer, it is casual and has the function to wick away sweat. But fitness fashion isn’t only seen in the gym, every so often designers come up with their own sportswear lines, and if they are high fashion then activewear elements might make for a seasons new runway muse. Notable examples include Alexander Wang For H&M, and Christian Diorʼs 2014 shoe line that transformed heels into a running shoe hybrid.

But does dressing the part make you workout any harder? In my opinion I believe it can help motivate you, and of course makes you look more the part of being a pro athlete. But don’t interpret this as meaning that cute activewear will magically give you the correct form with weight lifting, or make you into a triathlon winner anytime soon. The gym is a place where hard work can be achieved if you are truly dedicated. I also know that feeling of debating whether to go makeup free for a workout. Some of us can be guilty of taking the quote “Always dress like you are going to see your worst enemy” a little too far.

In my experience, and in memories that I have tried so hard to forget (but cannot erase for the life of me). I remember days spent in middle school gym class, when it seemed that the standard gym attire were loose and baggy, mid length shorts paired with middle school logo T-shirts. The outfits were bulky, and the drab colours did nothing to make gym class feel fun, or exciting. Somehow I truly believe that if I had the fitness clothing that I do now back then, I would have been a much happier student in gym class. My activewear is bright, and feminine, and to put it simply “it looks like me” fitting who I am.

You know I’m envious of the students these days, as they have so many fitness fashion related options. Like Lululemon, and the innovative new designs and colours a part of the Nike free running range, and their workout and running gear. Plus I’m also wishing for a new pair of melon coloured Nike’s (once my current ones pack it in, of course). This will be just one of the many reasons for me to continue running more often. Wear down the old shoes to get the new. So as I do believe that looking good during a workout, to wearing the right fitness gear has positive psychological effects, you shouldn’t be afraid to wake up, throw on a hoodie and just go for a run either. Or else you might be hiding behind the excuse of “not looking good” to prevent yourself, your inner-self from feeling good and becoming healthy. You are allowed to look sweaty, wear it with pride that exudes something fitness fashion can’t.