It seems that with each new fitness craze comes new trendy workout wear, and it can very expensive to buy what’s trendy. The good news is that to workout properly, you don’t need trendy workout clothes. You just need the proper workout clothes. How do you know what is proper?
Some forms of exercise make it easy on you. If you’re going to swim, you need a bathing suit. If dancing is your choice, then a leotard is appropriate. But there are many forms of exercise out there that don’t dictate the clothing that needs to be worn. There are, however, guidelines that can be followed to make sure that you are wearing the proper workout clothes and gear for each form of exercise.
Tops – When choosing a top for working out, a few things should be taken into consideration. The first is, is it the correct material. Cotton is a great material for workout wear, especially if you will be sweating when you workout. A shirt that is a combination of cotton/lycra is appropriate if you will be doing a lot of bending or stretching in a yoga or Pilates class.
The second consideration is fit. If a top is too snug, it will be difficult to move in. If it is too loose it could get in your way. Your workout shirts should always fit well.
The final consideration is warmth. If you will be working out inside, usually a simple t-shirt or tank will suffice for most workouts. However, if you are outside, the temperature may dictate what you wear. If it’s cold out, a few layers are appropriate to keep you warm.
Bottoms – A comfortable pair of cotton bottoms are appropriate for most workouts. Whether its shorts, calf length pants (capris), or long pants, the guideline is to choose well fitting, comfortable, breathable bottoms. Some exercises such as bicycling may benefit from tight fitting, lycra shorts, but most forms of exercise call for breathable comfort.
Shoes –This is one area where the proper choice is very important. For most of your workout gear, inexpensive options are usually as good as expensive options. For athletic shoes, however, it’s important to spend the money on the right shoes or you could damage your feet. If you’ll be running or jogging, buy well made shoes made specifically for that. If you’ll be doing a general fitness program at a gym, a good pair of cross trainers is appropriate. There are even shoes made specifically for walking.
Bras – For women, having a good, supportive sports bra is very important. After shoes, this is where the money should be spent. When choosing a sports bra, try it on and jump around a little. You may look silly in the dressing room, but you want to make sure that it’s supportive and doesn’t bind when you move.
Safety gear – An important part of workout wear is safety gear. Helmets should be worn when bicycling or skateboarding. Elbow, knee and wrist pads should be worn for inline skating. Goggles and mouth guards are required for some exercises. Safety gear helps prevent injury – sometimes serious injuries. It should not be neglected. If you are going to be exercising in the sun, waterproof sunscreen should also be part of your safety gear.
When choosing workout wear and workout clothes, your first consideration should be that they are proper for the exercise. They don’t have to be trendy, expensive or even matching; they just need to help you get the most benefit from your workout.