When you're at the gym you truly witness it all, from the jacked guys everyone's terrified of to the girl prancing around dressed like Barbie dolls. Needless to say, people at the gym can truly be spectacles, and one of the most entertaining things is the way people choose to dress. Yes, getting a good workout is important, but wearing the right clothing can be just as crucial. So, here are some things to keep in mind when picking out a workout outfit:
While it's always tempting to grab one of the thousand huge cotton t-shirts you have in your closet when you're going to the gym, 100% cotton clothing isn't really the best option for a sweaty workout. Cotton absorbs moisture pretty quickly and easily, so you'll be left with a heavy, sticky shirt that could cause irritation on your skin and will get cold as soon as you finish exercising. Plus, baggy clothes are actually a safety risk at the gym, as they can get caught in a machine very easily.
Fabrics that are flexible, temperature-specific, moisture-wicking, or otherwise engineered will help keep you dry and comfortable while you work out. However, bear in mind that not all performance materials are made equal, so make sure you're getting what you paid for – opt for high quality tights that are made specifically with sports and exercise in mind, and that will keep you comfortable, dry and fashionable during your workout.
Just because a top fits well in the dressing room or a pair of shorts
Whether it's a class ring, a keepsake necklace or a family watch, many people have that one special accessory that they never take off. However, if you wear such jewelry to the gym, you risk damaging it by banging it against a weight or snagging it on a machine, and perspiration can quite often dirty up the metal, leave marks on your skin, or even cause allergic reactions, so it's always best to leave all your jewelry at home.
Choosing shoes that fit you properly and provide you with the adequate support needed for different types of workouts is incredibly important. For example, running shoes are not a good choice for cross-training, as they don't give you enough lateral support. Similarly, ill-fitting socks can also worsen the problem by rubbing your feet and causing irritation or even blisters, so don't be afraid to invest a bit more in an adequate pair.
Whether it's the guy lifting weights in jeans and flip flops or the girl in spin class who obviously left her sports bra at home, nothing says "I don't know what I'm doing here" like wearing your everyday clothes to the gym. Since they're usually not very stretchy, you can rip your everyday outfits if you wear them when you're exercising, and you can even injure yourself if you don't have the right clothing or supportive footwear. Also, don't forget to bring a change of clothes with you to the gym, as getting back into your sweaty workout wear will defeat the whole purpose of taking a refreshing shower after you've finished with your exercise.
This might seem very obvious, but there's usually that one person at the gym that strips down as soon as they get the slightest bit overheated – don't be that person. You may or may not be in the gym to get an amazing body, but that does not make it the right time and place to show off your hard work. Plus, taking your shirt off means you'll get other people's germs all over your skin, instead of your clothes, and you might risk irritation or injury, so always keep your clothes on.
Dressing the right way for the gym is crucial, not only for yourself, but also to be courteous to people around you. So, invest in appropriate and flattering workout clothes – you'll be doing yourself, and other gym attendees, a huge favor.