TODAY'S WOMAN: Kickstart your exercise regime

January is the month when treats go out of the window and toning up tops New Year resolution lists.

But if the thought of pounding a treadmill is about as appealing as that maple syrup detox diet the likes of Naomi Campbell and Beyonce swear by, you could try bribing yourself with some new fitness gear to get you off the starting blocks.

A brand new fit kit could be just the catalyst you need to supercharge your motivation. And the latest performance gear incorporates a host of new, hi-tech features which will give you extra comfort as you toil.

"Wearing the right fabrics during your workout is essential to support your muscles and joints during high activity, and enhance your performance," says Debbie Luffman, design director at Finisterre (

"Wearing the right kit ensures you are comfortable during exercise and also ensures that you don't look or feel like a mess - which has a major effect on your positive mental attitude, helping you maintain and beat your workout goals," Luffman adds.

Whether you're a water baby or the outdoor type, there's a piece to boost your performance and ensure you're sweeping the style leader boards.

Exercise your fashion muscles and work out a chic sporty look...

Gym Bunny

You've signed on the dotted line for membership, now it's time to step up your timetable of cardio, weights and classes.

While brave – and slender – gym-goers can slip into bottom-skimming track shorts, the more body-conscious among us should seek out capri leggings specifically designed to sculpt your silhouette. Dark shades are the most flattering option, but inject a zap of colour with flashes of vibrant brights.

"Choose moisture wicking man-made fabrics, such as polyester or polyamide (nylon) as these move moisture from the body, keeping the wearer dry, comfortable and confident," Luffman suggests.

"Compression fabrics, which contain a high content of elastane/Lycra are ideal.

Home Toner

No need for booming music and military workouts to get a body like Elle Macpherson.

Roll out a mat, stick on your favourite fitness DVD or CD and harmonise mind and body with yoga or Pilates.

For ease of movement look for loose, drawstring pants and long, softly supported tops, rather than wired bras and unnecessary details like zips and poppers.

"When it comes to yoga-style activities, go for non-restrictive fabrics and fits," Luffman recommends. "Choose natural materials such as cotton with a small content of elastane/Lycra. Cotton is absorbent, breathable and soft and comfortable next to the skin.

Water Baby

Take to the water with a new cossie. But don't dive in at the deep end with a fluoro-athletic swimsuit.

Get in the swim with a costume which is both flattering and comfortable.

"Go for a well fitting, but not too tight, one-piece swimsuit with internal support bust panelling - this will give greater comfort and durability than underwiring," Luffman says. "Racer back styling can be an option for performance and comfort, so avoid halter necks or tankinis if you're looking to smash your current lap time."

Outdoor Roamer

If you prefer the feel of fresh air on your face, choose sportswear designed to keep you warm and dry.

"The key to getting the most out of the great outdoors is all about layering, in order to maintain a constant body temperature when you're working hard or resting," Luffman explains.

"Merino wool is a good base layer compared to cotton or polyester fabrics, because it's naturally antibacterial, highly breathable and regulates the body temperature - keeping you comfortable in cool or warm conditions."

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