How to Choose the Right Workout Clothes and Shoes
There is something about wearing the right workout clothes and training shoes that can be really motivational when it comes to actually doing your fitness routine. However, when it comes to choosing which clothes and shoes to wear, there are a few important factors to consider so that they are not only trendy and comfortable, but also functional and appropriate for the kind of workout that you will be doing.
It can be tricky when choosing your outfit to wear to class, to find that balance between the comfort of something baggy and the kind of clothes that will actually support your body as you do your workout. These tips will help you in deciding what the best clothing is to wear for your next trip to a Freda Fitness class.
Wear the right fabric
You might be thinking that cotton is the best fabric to wear, however, while cotton clothes are comfortable to wear in your regular day, it is not the best fibre for a workout. Cotton will soak up your sweat, leaving you feeling wet and uncomfortable. The damp fabric sticking to your skin can also cause chafing, irritation and breakouts on your skin. It is much better to choose workout wear made from synthetic that dry quickly and repel sweat as well as being light weight.
Have a supportive sports bra
It is really important that you don’t just wear any old bra when you workout. Choosing a good quality and supportive sports bra will protect the ligaments and tissues in your chest and breastbone region, preventing injury and unwanted stretching of your ligaments. You need to select a sports bra that fits your individual body shape and which is designed for the kind of workout you will be doing. You also want to choose bras that have moisture-wicking fabric without wires that will become uncomfortable when you are moving around a lot. Bras with wide straps and bands (instead of underwire) will provide maximum support and will also help to disperse the weight without digging into your shoulders and back.
Go for form-fitting over baggy
Even though wearing loose-fitting clothes might seem an obvious choice, especially if you are just starting to train and feel self-conscious, it is actually better to choose clothes that are form fitting for your workouts. Not only will fitted clothes prevent you from getting snagged on gear or equipment, but it is easier for you and your trainer or instructor to be able to see your alignment, posture and movement, in order to make corrections to your form if necessary. You will also find that baggy clothes don’t work so well in classes like yoga and pilates where they can end up revealing your tummy and thighs. It is much easier to stretch and move with tighter fitting clothes that stick to your body rather than exposing your bare skin when they ride up while you do a downward dog or headstand.
Wear fitted, but not too tight
To the other extreme is clothes that are too tight and can prevent you from moving freely and with the full range of motion. You want to avoid wearing cuffs that cover the shoulders and armpits in a way that makes lifting and moving your arms difficult. The same goes for bottoms, which you want to make sure are not too tight around the waist or crotch, preventing you from comfortably doing lunges, squats and forward bends.
This is particularly relevant if you are training in cold weather. You will want to have a jacket and a top to wear over a sports tank and bra so that you can layer up before your warm-up and then delayer as your workout intensifies and you start to get sweaty. You can then add-on your layers again after your cool-down to stop you from getting cold after the class is over.
Choose appropriate shoes for your activity
You need to make sure that you choose shoes that are appropriate for the type of physical activity you want to do. If you are weight lifting then you want to have a firm, flat grip on the ground to keep your weight lifting safe and effective.
For a gym class where you are doing cardio or strength training, the key is having shoes that provide support for your ankles, especially if you will be doing lots of jumping. They should have cushioning and grip with a wide toe for easy movement. Cross trainers are usually a good choice if you will mostly do classes.
For running and jogging, whether it be on the footpath or the treadmill, choose shoes specifically for running. The type you choose will depend on your running style so that you can have shoes that support your step correctly.
Generally, when choosing your workout footwear, got for function over fashion. Look for shoes with flat, non-skid soles, good heel support, enough room for your toes, and a cushioned arch that’s not too high or too thick. Also make sure the shoes fit well and provide proper support for your feet. It is advised you get a professional fitting done to make sure the shoes you are wearing are suitable for you to avoid injury and blisters.
Throw away worn out footwear
When you have been wearing your shoes for a while, they will start to have wear and tear. Once the soles deteriorate and the arch supports are no longer strong, you should throw the shoes away because they can cause you to sip, fall or damage your joints. Supportive shoes help with correct alignment and protect your ankles and knees. Once they have worn down, then you are more prone to injury and pain.
Follow these tips and you will not only look the part for your next class, but will also feel great and be able to perform fully as well as comfortably in your workout.
Do you have a particular brand or style that you like to wear for when you workout? Share in the comments!