The Best Fit: Your Workout Gear

September 16, 2014

Fashion over function or function over fashion, which do you choose? No matter which you pick, what you’re wearing when you hit the gym can have an impact on your workout. Things to keep in mind include if your workout is indoors or outside or if you’re participating in a sport that requires a specific article of clothing.  Before you make the purchase of new gear, consider what fabric it’s made from and if it fits you comfortably, because once you’re wearing it, your focus should be on function, not on fashion.

Think Wicking Fabric. This type of fabric is breathable, which keeps the sweat away from your skin and keeps your body temperature on the cooler side since sweat can evaporate quickly.  Another alternative is cotton, but that’s if you’re not planning on sweating a whole lot. When cotton gets wet, it becomes heavy and can stick to your skin (which is not ideal for an intense workout). It’s better suited for activities like walking.

What Are You Doing? General rule of thumb is that you don’t want to wear anything that will get in the way of your workout. If you’re headed for a run or are taking a spin class, don’t wear anything that is too loose and can get your feet tangled up. If you’re taking a yoga class, a more fitted fabric is preferred so it can move with your body during various poses and postures.

Does It Fit? Your clothing is an expression of your personal style, so pick something that is you! Some prefer clothing that is not skin tight and covers more of the body, while others opt for a fitted outfit that allows you to see your muscles and movement during a workout.  Whichever you pick, make sure it fits and is something you like. You don’t want to cut a workout short because you don’t feel comfortable in what you’re wearing.

Change with the Seasons. In the warm summer months, choose a fabric that allows you to move freely and doesn’t stick to your skin.  Clothes should be cool and don’t forget your shades and sunscreen for protection from the sun.  In colder months, it’s important to dress in layers.  Your body temperature will rise with aerobic activity, so you should be able to easily shed layers.  You should also protect your head and hands, so grab a hat and gloves before heading outdoors.

Sports & Other Activities. If you’re playing a sport, make sure you come prepared with the right gear. Wear gloves, a hat or helmet if it’s required.  Keep your safety in mind when choosing to wear (or not to wear) an article of clothing.  A mouth guard or other protective wear is important dependent upon the activity.

Don’t Forget Your Feet. Different styles and types of shoes are made for different types of activities.  Choose a shoe that supports your ankles and replace them every three to six months. If you have more than one pair, rotate them so you get as much use out of each pair as you can.


Plan Ahead

This goes for both your workouts and your meals. By planning out what you’re going to do during your workout (and when you’re going to), you’re bound to stick to it more. Same goes for your meals. Get your gym clothes out the night before and write down a weeks worth of meals so you’re prepared ahead of time.