What to wear when working out

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What to wear when working out matters so you stay comfortable and motivated

The clothes you wear to exercise in donít seem very important. That is until youíre sweaty and they cling to you in all the wrong places. You may feel like superwoman after the gym, but youíll look like a crazy person begging that baggy shirt for mercy.

What to wear when working out deserves a little attention. Whether youíre getting back into a fitness routine after a longer-than-youíd-like-to-admit hiatus, or just ready to change your gym style, these simple guidelines are for you.

The most important thing you need from exercise clothes is comfort. If you dread putting them on thatís one more obstacle to getting your foot out the door. It may surprise you to find that you have options beyond sweat pants and cotton shirts. Finding fitness clothes that reflect your personal everyday style isnít hard.

What to wear when working out 


The very best tops are those that wick sweat. These keep you infinitely more comfortable than cotton especially if you do cardio like running, cycling and elliptical.

Sweat wicking tops come in both tee shirts and tank tops. In summer, go for the tanks if you exercise outdoors.

Athletic tees are great for the gym, provided they fit comfortably. If theyíre too tight you wonít be comfortable, and too lose youíll overheat. Beneath the tee shirts always wear a sports bra made of sweat wicking material like polyester blends. 

While the styles of tops often look very similar, they can feel totally different. Try multiple options on in different sizes. Youíll notice that black is a dominant color in the workout section, but if you like color choose something vibrant. Exercise clothes should make you feel happy to put on!


You have a lot of options when it comes to bottoms. Shorts will keep you the coolest, but not everyone is comfortable wearing them. Long athletic pants come in a range of materials, depending on your activities.

When comfort is key yoga pats are the answer. They fit your body just right and have plenty of give so your body moves freely. The drawback is that theyíre typically a cotton blend, which absorbs sweat.

Track pants are made to wick sweat. They fit looser around the legs, and securely at the waist. If you get hot easily, look for mesh pants made of a polyester blend.

Capri pants are a dream. They keep you cool without making your feel too exposed. They also look fabulous and give you the versatility you need to go from yoga one day, to spin class or the treadmill the next. Sporty capris are exactly what to wear when working out!

Outdoorsy winter athletes should check out lined athletic pants for extra warmth. In extreme temperatures, brands like under armour made inner layers designed to wick sweat and retain warmth. Wear a thin middle layer on top for warmth, and a warm outer layer like parka for warmth.


Athletic shoes are important to invest in if you're starting an exercise program, but you donít need to go over budget. Some shoes have way more bells and whistles than you need. If youíre just getting started and youíre not quite sure what your main activities will be, keep it simple. Try on multiple pairs and bounce around in them before committing to one.

To choose a shoe thatíll last a while, look for a pair with mesh to keep your feet cool. Try on a pair thatís Ĺ size or so larger than you think youíll need if youíre a runner-in-training or planning to exercise at the end of the day as your feet swell.

Letís look at what not to wear so that weíre all on the same page.


Avoid layering unless youíre outside and itís cold. Also avoid anything with buttons or collars. In fact, donít wear any top youíd wear to an office or out with friends. Everyday Health also recommends avoiding fabrics that don't breathe.


Jeans donít give your legs the freedom you need to fully extend them in squats, lunges and other exercises. They also donít breathe so youíll overheat fast. 


No boots of any kind. No flip flops, dress shoes or anything that doesnít have tread. If you run outdoors, barefoot may work for you, but if you go to a gym the floors are slippery and you need sneakers.

When the endorphins are pumping and you're pushing yourself for more, comfort is the only thing that matters.


 Everyday Health 

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