I have found one way to help keep me motivated to go to the gym, is by having workout clothes that fit and look great. Just like we like to keep our everyday clothes up-to-date and looking good, I think our workout wardrobe needs to be treated the same way. Workout clothes have come a long way – and now there are a lot of great options out there that will not only help you feel more confident as you hit the treadmill, but will fit your body properly – making it look better.
Let’s start with the sports bra. Besides good shoes, the sports bra is probably one of the most important items when working out. There are two main styles out there – Compression and Encapsulation. I am sure every one of us owns a Compression sports bra. This is the kind you pull on and off, and is basically one piece in front. This bra works best for smaller cups A-B. Encapsulation is best for larger chested woman so C onward, because there are separate chambers. Before you head to the dressing room, I recommend grabbing three sizes: the size of your regular bra, one size down and then one size up. There is no standardization of bra sizes between manufacturers so the same size may fit differently from brand to brand. So by having the three sizes to try on, you can find the one that works for you. Do some jumping jacks, or run in place to make sure the bra is fitting how you would like it do when doing high impact exercise.
Now that you have found a great bra, or at least have a road map on how to find one, let’s talk about tops. Oh my, there are so many tops out there and to be honest, when I have a great fitting bra – I am less picky about the tops that I wear. One of my favorite options to wear to the gym is actually found in the men’s section. Next time you are shopping at Target, wander over to the men’s under shirt section and pick up a bag of the white Hanes T-Shirts. I LOVE them. They fit great, wash great, and are $10 to $15 for a pack of 5. They come in scoop and v-neck styles and are so soft! When choosing tops to workout in, make sure you are getting breathable fabrics – fabrics containing polypropylene help whisk sweat away, rather than soak into the clothing. I also base the fit of my top on what I am doing. If I am going for a run – I want my tops to fit closer to my body, but not too tight, as I am still trying to work off those extra inches on my stomach from having my little girl. Because I want to hide that spot, my tops are fitted, but not tight, so I don’t draw attention to my stomach. If I am doing yoga, I like my tops to be long and loose. Try a few different styles on to figure out which one you like best and which most flatters your body.
When choosing bottoms to wear to the gym, my first piece of advice is to try them out. I have a memory that haunts me constantly. My first running race was a 10k. I was new to world of running and was excited about my first race. A week before the big day, I went out to buy some spandex shorts to run in and found a pair that seemed to fit well and feel good. The mistake I made was not running in them before hand to make sure they still fit well and that I felt good in them. Because of this, the day of the race, I found that this particular pair of shorts would ride up as I was running, so I found myself constantly pulling them down, the ENTIRE race; which needless to say did not make a very successful finish because I was so distracted and self conscious. This leads me to my next piece of advice – make sure you feel good in the bottoms you choose. Try them on, try them out and then check yourself at in the mirror. Do a couple turns and make sure that you feel good and aren’t showing anything that you don’t want to be shown.
I am a firm believer in the power of clothing and how it can make you feel. If you can’t find comfortable clothes to wear to the gym, or if you feel very uncomfortable in those clothes – you will find yourself going less. By adding just a few updates to your workout wardrobe, you may find that your gym habits improve.