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No pain, no gain!

But being fit doesn’t start in the gym, first stop is your sportswear shop.

Paragon, the famous sportswear shop on Broadway that is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, is a good example. The store boasts four floors of equipment for any sport or fitness area you may chose to participate in - running, yoga, cycling, boxing etc. And most importantly with staff who not only are knowledgable but also take pride in kitting you out in the most suitable options. (As with all other US sales assistants they are on commission, so they reap the benfits too, but not as much as you will!).

Need a sportsbra? Forget about colours, the sales assistant will spend time with you to establish your needs - are you struggling with your upper back, targeting your core muscles or running on a hard surface. Want a pair of boxing boots? The guy, who tends the section and looks as if he could quite comfortably take a few rounds with Ricky Hatton, will check out your footwork before suggesting styles as well as giving you price alternatives. They takes fitness seriously and don’t just try to sling you Federer’s new cardigan, because you are playing tennis!

Because there are plenty of sport and lifestyle shops that do. The Alexander McQueen shoes at the Black Puma Store are fantastic, the yoga range by Stella McCartney for Adidas beautiful (but are you allowed to sweat?) and the DJs keep the stores pumping, although never the iron in the gym!

Should these stores come with a warning label stating their clothes won’t improve your health though they will make you look the part? I have the utmost respect for the above mentioned designers, but I do feel that some brands and retailers (let’s ship your staff off to the gym and train them so they know the benefits of your stock) need to shape up and take an interest in the health of their customers not the way they look. If healthy customers live longer, they shop longer.

Surely that’s a gain we’d all like!

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