Even when you are at the gym your style matters. My fitness guru friend and freelance writer, Valerie Howell, weighs in on how to look great while working out.

Written by Valerie Howell
If one of your New Year’s Resolutions this year is to get fit, make sure you have the proper motivation to get your butt in gear.  And no, I’m not talking about Jillian Michaels from The Biggest Loser (although she would definitely inspire me to hit the gym!).  The right workout gear can give you a boost when you feel your resolve wavering.  Read on to find out how you can look cool while sweating it out this year.
Dress for Success: Feeling confident and comfortable in your clothes is important whether you are giving a high-stakes presentation at work or just pounding the pavement on your morning jog.   A comfortable, flattering sports bra and tops that hit just below the waist are key. Baggy tops will just make you look bigger than you are, while too tight tops will leave you feeling self-conscious.  Bootleg or cropped pants with a foldover waistband are universally flattering.  Dark pants are slimming and hide the sweat!

Foldover bootleg pant Forever 21 $9.80

Sole Mate: Nothing will set back your fitness goals faster than an injury, so make sure you have the proper shoes for your activity. If you are a walker consider one of the many toning shoes on the market.  There are many stylish options available (check out Puma and New Balance), and don’t forget to wear them around the house or when you are out shopping to help sneak in some toning.  Wear cross-trainers for gym classes or weight lifting and reserve your high-quality running shoes for hitting the trails. TrySports in Mt. Pleasant (http://www.trysports.com/) and The Extra Mile in downtown Charleston (http://www.theextramileinc.com/) have very knowledgeable staff who can help you pick the right shoe for your foot type.  Bring in an old pair so they can check the wear patterns.  And remember to replace your running shoes every 300-500 miles!

New Balance Toning Shoes $114.99

Fitness Fashion Faves: Marshalls and T.J. Max carry all manner of brand name fitness apparel at great prices.   I’ve also found yoga mats, dumbells and fitness DVDs there as well.  Target is my go to store for trendy, affordable workout clothes. If you feel like splurging, try out Lululemon or Athleta clothing—but be sure to wait until you’ve reached your goal weight!

Champion Top $14.99 at Target

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