Well, there are certainly some things you shouldn’t wear to workout in, such as high heels and blue jeans. I know, I know, it sounds like common sense, but like I said – I’ve witnessed people wearing all types of things.
Please don’t wear heels, dress shoes, wedges, etc. These types of shoes pose a great risk to you and others around you. They don’t have the stability of a tennis shoe, nor do they have the traction that a tennis shoe does. Whether you’re using cardio machines, lifting weights, or running, these types of shoes could cause you to slip, misstep, twist / roll your ankle, or worse. This can cause you a great deal of pain, put you down for a while (meaning, no working out or involving yourself in other activities, etc.), and could possibly hurt others around you if you happen to fall on them or drop weights on their foot.
Second, please don’t wear blue jeans to workout in. Blue jeans are not designed to be workout clothes. They don’t stretch like workout clothes should, they can (and usually do) cause chaffing on the legs where your legs rub together (not comfortable at all!), and they just aren’t lightweight enough to get a good workout in. Not to mention how difficult it is to do sit-ups (or anything where you sit on a hard surface to workout) because of where the seams are in the rear of the jeans. It’s just plain uncomfortable and annoying.
So, what do you wear? Here’s a list of a few things you could / should wear to workout in. Please keep in mind that the type of workout you are doing should help determine what you should wear. For example, if you are doing kickboxing, karate, or some other form of active non-machine cardio you would probably be much more comfortable in loose fitting workout clothes. However, if you’re lifting weights or using cardio machines then you may be more comfortable in tighter-fitting workout clothes. But please, please, please for the sake of those working out around you, please wear something that covers you up and please, please, please wear deodorant!! There’s nothing worse than working out next to someone who just plain stinks!
- Tank Top
- Sports Bra– regular bra’s just don’t give the proper support.
- Lightweight Jackets / Hoodies / Windbreaker– if you’re working out where it’s cold, or if you just like to sweat more during your workout.
- Spandex / Stretchy Pants, Shorts, or Crops– crops are usually for women, but I suppose men can wear them too. Men – please make sure your shorts aren’t too short (personal preference here). Mid to lower thigh is sufficient.
- Groove Pants – these are workout pants that are stretchy, but the bottom of the legs are wider than normal workout pants.
- Special Workout Skirts– yes, they sell these; although, I don’t see them worn very often.
- Socks and Underwear– yes, you should definitely wear these!!
- Head and Neck Warmers / Gloves / Arm Warmers – these should only be worn if you’re working out in cold weather
- GOOD Pair of Tennis Shoes– these shoes should have ample support for your arches, heals, and the balls of your feet. They should provide support and comfort. If needed, put a pair of insoles in the tennis shoes as well for additional comfort.
There are tons of items out there to purchase so make sure you know what type of workout you will be doing and what you feel comfortable wearing prior to purchasing a bunch of workout clothes. I have realized over time that there are certain things that I don’t like wearing to workout (i.e. sweatshirts / jackets, groove pants, sweatpants, and t-shirts), but these are personal preferences. Please keep in mind, too, that the more you workout the more workout clothes you’ll need. Workout clothes tend to wear out quicker than other clothes (if worn frequently) because of the sweating, the stretching of the material from the actual workout, and the frequent washing. However, if you are looking to really lose weight I wouldn’t recommend purchasing a ton of workout clothes to start because as you lose weight you’ll need to purchase smaller workout clothes (which is awesome!!).
Your shoes are the #1 thing you should think about and maintain during your workouts! Remember to replace your tennis shoes when needed:
- If you are a ‘lower-mileage’ person (workout / run 3 – 4 times a week), then replacing them a couple times a year should be fine.
- If you are an ‘average-mileage’ person (workout / run more than 4 times a week), then you should probably replace them every 3 – 4 months.
- However, if you workout / run a LOT (i.e. you’re training for a marathon), then you’ll probably need to replace your shoes every 2 – 3 months.
- Be sure to check the tread on your shoes to determine if you need to replace them sooner or later than indicated above. Some people wear shoes out in one spot quicker than others depending on how they step. If you see significant wear in only one spot, then you should probably speak with your doctor because wear in only one area of the shoe (i.e. one side of the shoe or on the heal) can indicate a gait issue that could cause knee and hip issues.
- If you have a pair of tennis shoes that have been sitting around for a long time (a year or more), get rid of them. Shoes wear down even when they aren’t being used.
- It’s recommended to have a couple pairs of shoes to alternate. This allows one pair to completely air out and dry (yes, your feet sweat, too) between workouts.