Do you hide behind an oversized baggy t-shirt when you hit the gym? If you answered a resounding ‘yes’ to that question, you’re not alone. Many of us are shy and modest when it comes to choosing workout clothes, with some even thinking that high quality activewear is a luxury reserved for fitness models or ‘Instagram babes’. Well, if you didn’t already know, this really couldn’t be further from the truth.
Whether you’re more of a home workout kind of person or someone who loves heading to the local gym, choosing the right activewear plays a key role in getting the maximum out of your workout. The actual truth is that everyone deserves to look and feel their best (even when you’re hanging onto the treadmill for dear life), and we’re here to share 5 expert tips for shopping and wearing gym gear. If you’re ready to look and feel amazing on your next workout, simply read on to find out more!
- Form & Fit Are Essential
The first step to choosing the right gym gear is to assess how it feels on your body. If something feels too tight or too loose, chances are it doesn’t look good on your body either. Aside from looking like a hot mess, ill-fitting workout clothing will make you feel uncomfortable during your workout, thus reducing the effectiveness of your exercise. The ideal workout gear should be form fitting, breathable and flexible enough to allow you to perform a range of different motions without discomfort. For ladies, a well-fitted sports bra is equally as important as any other item of gym clothing, and we always recommend a sports bra fitting to ensure that your bust is well supported during exercise.
Fun Fact: Did you know that baggy or flowing clothing poses a real safety hazard at the gym? Aside from making it near impossible to check your form, there is a chance of injury from clothing getting snagged in gym equipment. Swap that baggy t-shirt out for a fitted crop tank top or a cotton cropped short sleeve top to get the most out of your workout.
- Dress For Your Workout
It only makes sense that you should determine your requirements before heading out to shop for new activewear. Dressing for your workout is key, and the perfect outfit for a yoga session will differ from that of a walk or run in the cold outdoors. To figure out what will work best for your individual workout needs, consider the following factors:
- The number of hours you exercise per day;
- The location of your workout (indoor gym, yoga studio, outdoor running track etc);
- The weather of your locality; and
- The level of flexibility needed to perform your workout comfortably.
Once you have considered all these factors, you will be better equipped to choose workout gear that works with you rather than against you. For example, if you are someone who enjoys running outdoors, you may need to invest in a windbreaker or additional layers of fabric to keep you warm on a chilly morning. On the flipside, if you’re a yoga fanatic, choosing gym clothing with extra flexibility and stretch is always a great option.
- Pick Your Fabrics Wisely
Choosing the right type of fabric is one of the most important aspects to consider when shopping for activewear. The truth is, quality always wins at the end of the day, so avoid choosing cheap or low quality fabrics even if the price might be attractive. You get what you pay for when it comes to activewear and whenever possible, we suggest opting for moisture-wicking materials such as polyester that will keep you feeling cool and dry even through the most grueling of workouts. Luckily, you’ll find polyester in almost everything you pick up at an athletic wear store, from leggings to sports bras, and logically so. Some other equally awesome gym gear materials include nylon, spandex and bamboo.
Fun Fact: 100% cotton ranks as the worst workout gear fabric as it absorbs moisture easily, resulting in clothing getting soaked in skin irritation causing sweat.
- Avoid Shopping Online
Warning: If you’re a fan of online shopping, you may not be the biggest fan of this piece of advice. The truth is, as much as shopping online for your activewear may be the most convenient and time-friendly option, nothing beats heading to a brick and mortar athleisure store where you will be able to not just try on outfits but also get a general feel of different fabrics and their quality. You’ve probably ordered clothing online only to find out it fits poorly on your body, and the last thing you want is to settle for ill-fitting gym gear that makes you look and feel a lot less confident than you should be.
Unless you’re willing to dedicate time and effort to shipping ill-fitting or low quality pieces back to the supplier, we recommend heading to your local activewear store to find the perfect fitting outfits for all your workout needs.
- The Right Shoes Are A Must
When it comes to activewear, the mind usually gravitates to leggings, sports bras, windbreakers and more. All too often, we forget about how the right shoes are also an essential component to any workout outfit. The last thing you want is to injure yourself during high-intensity workouts such as running or cycling, so ensuring that you have the perfect set of trainers is key to keeping yourself safe and maximising the results of your exercise. Although it may cost you a little more, we suggest investing in 2 quality pairs of trainers – one for cardio and one for weights.
Best Shoes For Cardio: For high intensity cardio sessions, choose a quality pair of running shoes that can provide much-needed cushioning.
Best Shoes For Weightlifting: If you’re a fan of pumping iron, opt for flat grip shoes to ensure proper form and minimise injury.
When it comes to the looks of either type of these running shoes, you don’t have to worry – there are dozens if not hundreds of funky designs, colours, styles and brands to choose from in 2022.
- Pay Attention To How You Feel
Last but not least, how you look and feel in your gym gear is one of the most important aspects to consider when shopping. Feeling confident in your skin can have a huge impact on your self esteem and motivation, so be sure to choose a workout outfit that you are 100% comfortable and poised in. Be sure to pick colours, patterns, prints and designs that you love and that are guaranteed to instantly fire up your motivation.
And there you have it – 6 tips on how to shop and wear gym gear to look and feel your best. Did you find any of these tips helpful in choosing the right activewear for your exercise needs? Let us know in the comments below.