This Activewear Trend Actually Motivated Me to Work Out More

I’ve fought over the years to stick to any one fitness routine. I believe my imbalanced relationship with exercising started much earlier in life, likely all the way to back to my middle school days when I tried every sport offered to no avail. This lack of consistency has carried over into my adult life too, where I frequently get stuck in these two-week cycles of picking one activity to focus on. Whether it be running, going to spin class, or practicing yoga, I always convince myself that if I simply land on the right way to work out, the routine will fall into place.

Let’s get one thing clear: I’m not fundamentally against workouts. I always want to prioritize a fitness routine because I know how good it feels when I’m actually in the groove of working out regularly. When I can put aside the mental hurdle of I need to work out so I can appear fitter (generally a toxic one for my mental health), I genuinely enjoy the added benefits of more energy and clarity I have throughout the day during weeks when I’m putting in serious sweat time.

So in the interest of finding a solution that would actually work, I tried tricking myself into going through with more workouts. Sounds silly, right? As a fashion girl, there’s nothing that motivates me to go anywhere more than nailing down the perfect outfit, so that was exactly my strategy here. Maybe if I just found workout clothes I could actually get excited about, I’d be much more motivated to put them on and, well, work out. It’s a simple idea, but it paid off for me.

Photo: Anna LaPlaca

Investing in matching leggings and a bra got me instantly excited to lace up my sneakers and put the activewear trend to the test. I’ve never really invested in good workout apparel (likely another reason my workout routine—or lack thereof—has suffered). But it was the simplicity of putting on a coordinating set and achieving a certain level of put-togetherness that did the trick.

It got me thinking, too. I realized that I was always so hesitant about working out or playing sports growing up because I lamented having to appear sweaty and gross in front of a bunch of strangers. Throwing on one of my comfortable (yet ultimately unflattering) oversize T-shirts certainly wasn’t helping with this. It might be different for everyone, but for me, looking somewhat put-together, even while working out, turned out to be important to me. And my routine has thanked me for the added motivation.

I'm such a fan of this blue camo set from JoyLab, the activewear line we co-designed with Target. The print has a cool sporty feel to it and the fabric is beyond comfortable. Below I shopped out the matching set I wore along with four more I’m loving right now in case you want to test out the trend for yourself.

I’m a firm believer in dressing for yourself first. And wearing exactly what makes you feel good (not what you think looks the coolest) is especially pertinent when it comes to working out. On that note, this is why one editor feels empowered by her leggings.