2009 February 25


If you’re on a budget, it can be difficult to work out how to balance your clothing needs. And if you’re keen on a sport, or a dedicated gym bunny, then most of your money will tend to go on performance clothing for that – leaving you with not much to wear in ‘real’ life.

Don’t despair, because keeping fit and in shape not only prolongs your life (those who are active in a sport in their thirties, for example tend to live ten years longer than those who aren’t) it saves you money in the long run!  Many diseases of modern life: heart attack and stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure, anxiety and depression, can be treated, or even avoided, if you exercise regularly – and if you think about the cost of a long term illness, it’s probably greater than a lifetime’s gym membership, without even thinking about the missed opportunities, potential promotions and life-changing experiences that being ill denies you.

But you can balance your budget by investing in crossover clothing. These are garments that you can wear at the gym and (after washing them of course) to the pub or out for a walk in the park, to the cinema or even on a casual date.

As an example, instead of getting a bright red baseball cap to go with your red trainers, invest in a cream or black one – those colours work better with jeans or canvas trousers and look a lot less ‘chavvy’ than red when it comes to sportswear, so you can wear the cap through the summer instead of buying two.

While some clothing has to be performance-related: such as martial arts gear, vest-style T-shirts will usually work for weightlifting and aerobics classes, while classic T-shirts, with jog pants, are fine for yoga and pilates. Shorts can usually be purchased at a fraction of the price that specialist stores charge, and unless you’re a runner or pole-vaulter, when chafing can be a real problem, an ordinary pair of shorts are not only a lot cheaper, it’s easier to wear them to the beach or to a barbecue or even to sunbathe in the park.

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