3 Tips for Choosing the Right Workout Gear

It's important!

When you make the decision to get started on a healthy exercise plan, it is important that you pay attention to the clothes and workout shoes you wear. Not only should your workout gear keep you comfortable, but while it should also allow your body to have the right range of motion so that you can perform each exercise fully and safely.

Here are 3 Tips for Choosing the Right Workout Gear:

1. When It Comes to Tops and Bottoms, there is a Difference Between “Form-Fitting” and “Help! I Can’t Breathe!”
You may be tempted to pour yourself into your favorite sweats when first getting started with an exercise routine. These comfy go-to pieces may be great for keeping you cozy on cold nights or helping you warm up at the start of your workout, but when it comes to your main workout, baggy sweat suits can get in the way. Too much fabric can actually restrict your movement, reducing the effectiveness of your workout. It is better to choose form fitting options that will fit closely to your body so that you can move freely without having to navigate around excess cloth. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should be squeezing yourself into clothes that are more size-appropriate for your future self. Clothing that is too tight will make you uncomfortable, making you less motivated to actually work out, and can also restrict your movements by limiting the range of motion allowed by the strained fabric. Choose clothing that will move with your body and keep you comfortable, allowing you to focus on your exercise, and not on your gear.

2. A Good Sports Bra is Every Active Woman’s Best Friend
A good sports bra is key to a good workout. Sports bras are meant to compress and support you breasts to not only make your exercise more comfortable, but also to help prevent tears and strain to your muscles. Even mild workouts can cause damage to the muscle tissue, leading to sagging and pain. Choosing a supportive sports bra will encourage range of motion and protect your delicate muscle tissue. Look for a sports bra that is snug. This bra should feel tighter than your everyday bras, but not be too restrictive so that it is uncomfortable. Sports bras need to be replaced as soon as they get too worn out from use, or the elastic wears out from washing.

3. Not All Feet are Created Equal
A pair of workout shoes can either make or break a workout; and a pair that is right for you, might not be right for your best friend. It’s important to select quality sneakers that support your unique form, and make sure that you are choosing function over flash. There are a lot of “designer” workout shoes available that are supposed to offer a range of benefits from burning extra fat to aligning your joints, but this doesn’t necessarily make a pair of shoes appropriate for you. You are better off just choosing a good quality, basic shoe that will last and offer you the support and shock absorption that you need. Your feet will lengthen when pressure is applied to them during a workout and may swell slightly, so it is important that you find a shoe that offers extra room for this movement. Look for shoes that are form fitting on the sides of your feet, but have an extra inch of room between the end of your big toe and the front of your shoe. The top of the shoes should not feel as though they are pressing down on the tops of your feet, and there should be no pain anywhere on your feet when you walk, run or jump. If you are going to take part in any activity that places a large amount of shock on your body, like running, it is always a good idea to have a professional assess your needs and recommend an appropriate shoe. Check out our Guide to Choosing the Perfect Running Shoe.



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Allison Gentry

Allison attended East Tennessee State University where she graduated with a Bachelors in Exercise Science. She earned her certification as a personal trainer through Aerobics & Fitness Association of America. Allison is currently in her final year of study in the pursuit of a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. In her free time she participates in extreme obstacle course racing, having completed one Tough Mudder and a Trifecta of Spartan Races.

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1 Comment

  1. It is good to know that it would probably be smart to get shirts that aren’t super form-fitting. I didn’t realize that tight fabric can really make working out very difficult. That does seem like a good thing to keep in mind when you are looking for workout clothing.

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