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Look and feel Gymtastic - Choosing the right clothes for the gym
Mary-Claire Akinyemi, Health & Beauty writer
Building up the motivation to get yourself going to the gym can be hard enough, without having to worry about what you’re going to wear when you get there. Scouring through your wardrobe for fitness clothing, you are bound to find items which are all wear and tear. It is time to get yourself kitted up. Workouts should make you feel good and boost your confidence. The last thing you want, is to feel self-conscious or uncomfortable. Get yourself in the right gear and you’ll be geared up and ready to kick the butt out of your work-out, whilst toning you butt at the same time!
Many people find it challenging to balance their gym outfits between priority of comfort and wanting to look good. It is important to take comfort, personal style and appropriate dress code all into consideration. We all go the gym to get fitter, stronger and faster and we need to make sure that our work-out outfits assist with all different types of physical activity. It is important to customise what you wear with your specific physical activity. So, consider my top tips for choosing the best gym attire for a variety of different work-outs. You’ll want to dress to impress yourself.
If you are getting your fitness back on track with running, you’ll want to select fitted leggings made from breathable fabrics such as these Casall running tights, a fitted sports bra like a multi sports bar, a pair of trainers which will suit your foot type and a sweat-wicked top like the essential boxback tank. Your top needs to allow for lots of movement and must be able to cope with sweat. Be aware that some materials can cause rashes and chafing and you only want pain you can gain from! When runners set off outside, they can often underestimate how hot they’re going to get. Make sure you dress with this in mind. If it is cold weather, you should wear something long sleeved but don’t overdo it with layers. This is with the exception of socks; you should double layer socks to avoid blisters. Other things to consider when picking exercise clothing to run in, is to go for items with extra features such zipped pockets for your iPod/keys or thumb loops in your top so you’re hands are protected in cold weather. A good sturdy running jacket like the Lole Endurance top would work too.
High intensity work-outs
If you are a high achiever and undergoing high intensity work-outs then you need to be prepared with a sweat-wicking vest or work out top as well as perhaps a compression bra and fitted, stretchy trousers like the MPG active tights. You should also make sure your footwear is flat. Do not choose shoes with spikes which are designed for long distance running. One tip is to opt for man-made sweat-wicking fabrics such as Shapetech; sweat from your body is wicked away to the outside of the material where it then evaporates. Depending on whether you prefer a relaxed or more fitted look, your athletic wear must have give, to allow for mobility. The materials should have stretch capabilities. Garments with compression capabilities can reduce muscle fatigue, meaning you can carry on working out for longer periods of time, great for high intensity work-outs such as aerobics.
With dance classes such as Zumba you can get jazzy and wear ladies gym crop tops like the Serendipity Tank from Moving Comfort and jazz pants such as the Rapid Dry jazz pants. If you’re feeling vibrant and confident you can choose crop tops which reveal your mid-drift or a racer back cami. However if you’d prefer something more modest then you can pick a sleeveless dance top, or cutout shoulder Dance Tee. Men might be particularly struggling to find suitable attire for a dance class; a top tip is to go for a tank top and drawstring dance pants. Again, make sure you choose suitable footwear, opting for something flat and supportive
Hot Yoga goers should select clothes which are extremely comfortable and avoid anything clingy. You need clothes which will allow you to move throughout a variety of different poses. Fitted cropped tights like these lovely Teeki Tights, a sport bra like the Onzie full coverage bra top and a sports vest are a good combination. Think about wearing jeans in the rain, they are very uncomfortable when wet and with hot yoga you are going to sweat without regret. With yoga you should decide on clothes which are made from lightweight materials such as bamboo cotton.
Juno Racerback bra. Put your yoga pants away and get fit with a fitted pair of capris like the endurance capri. You want to avoid any material getting in stuck in the bike. If you wear longer trousers you might trip up or get stuck whilst pedalling. You could also go for a headband to help absorb sweat and keep your hair out of your face whilst spinning.
If today is a circuit training day and you’re escaping the circus of life ready to work-out, then your best bet is to wrap up in women gym performance shorts or sweatpants like these Lole motion pants matched with a pair of comfortable trainers. You’ll want to choose materials which are lightweight. In colder months, you might be venturing outside with your circuits, in this case wear longer-sleeved warmer gym wear tops like this Casall long sleeve hit velocity top and trousers but don’t overdo it as you don’t want to burn up.
Kick-boxing is a whole different kettle of fish. You’ll need protected wear, including a helmet and items with lots of padding. In traditional versions of martial arts they expect you to wear a specific top .If not, you’re okay with an ordinary gym top such as this tank from Body Language. Your clothes should allow for as much movement as possible and this goes for your bottom half too, preferably shorts like these Momentum shorts. Again make sure you are feeling sturdy with a suitable pair of trainers such. A good pair of gym shoes will protect your knees, especially if you are jumping and moving your legs vigorously.
Underwear, especially amongst women’s gym wear is always a cause for concern in terms of comfort. If you are moving around, up and down, round and round then you need to protect yourself. Sport bras are a must, they give you extra support and reduce breast movement and limit pain. They come in breathable and light materials which induce sweat and keep you cool and dry like the Drilayer fabric. For downstairs, both men and women should select athletic underwear, from boxers, to briefs like these work out hipsters and panties such as these work out bikinis they are all made in light stretchy materials. You can also get athletic socks which wick sweat and don’t scratch your skin.
Generally speaking, no matter what work-out you’re working on the best work-out wear to choose should be made from fabrics which are sweat-wicking. This keeps your skin dry and cool, it can also reduce and avoid odour and allow for thermo regulation in aerobic exercise. Elastane and lycra are great examples of fabrics fit for a work-out, as they are extremely stretchy and enable freedom of movement. Some female exercise clothes are off the shelf and specially designed with compression panels. Theses can lessen muscle vibrations. Sythentic fibres are also a good shout , they fit you better and allow for breathing ability. Polyester and spandex also work well for workouts. There are also clothes which contain Coolmax and Supplex fibres which help to reduce your body temperature. If you are going for a low-impact work-out such as walking and don’t expect to sweat too much then cotton is your best bet.
Don’t tire of your gym attire
The most important factor when choosing what to wear for the gym is to be comfortable. We all come in all different shapes and sizes and we want to feel confident and feel great. You don’t want any wobbly bits (soon to be toned) falling out. If you are feeling comfortable you will look stylish while you sweat. That’s right, you can look good whilst sweating! It is just like picking out an outfit for work, you want something simple and elegant. Keep colours to two or three tones and keep to shades of blue, black or white. If you perspire more than the average Joe, avoid grey as you don’t want to be staring/or have others staring at your sweat patches while you’re just trying to concentrate on your goals ahead. Lose the logos as well for a simpler look. Don’t tire of your gym attire and if you find something that works for you stick to it. If sweat doesn’t stick to you, you know you’ve found something reliable. Once you have the practicalities out of the way, make sure you dress like yourself. Go for women or men’s fitness clothing which you find attractive. You can even splash out and go for designer gym wear. You want to feel great, look great and have a great work out.
Once you’ve worked out your fitness wardrobe, the only work that needs to be done is your own work-out!