What to Wear When You Work Out


The clothes you wear during your workout do more than make a fashion statement at the gym. Your workout gear, particularly your shoes, provides support during exercise. It also plays a role in your ability to move around and your body temperature, especially when exercising outdoors. Take into consideration the circumstances of your workout to choose the best attire.


The location of your workout affects the best type of clothing to wear. If you exercise in a gym, the conditions are likely consistent from one day to the next. Exercising outdoors brings in the weather factor that can make a difference. On an extremely hot day, you don’t want to wear a sweatshirt and long pants because you could overheat. In cold weather, more protection for the skin is necessary through long sleeves and heavier clothing.


Supportive attire makes exercising more comfortable, particularly for women. A properly-fitted sports bra keeps a woman’s breasts from moving around excessively, especially for higher impact activities like jogging. Some exercise shirts have built-in support in the chest area for women.


Workout clothes that feel comfortable while you wear them make exercising easier. Avoid attire that is restrictive because you’ll have more difficulty completing your workout or will face a limited range of motion. Your comfort level regarding how revealing the clothing is also plays a role in the selection. A fitted tank top is less restrictive, but you might feel more comfortable in a loose T-shirt.

Clothing Types

For the upper part of your body, the options typically include tank tops, T-shirts, long-sleeved shirts and sweatshirts. All of these options come in both fitted and baggy styles, depending on what you prefer. The bottom part of your workout attire might include shorts, sweatpants or tighter leggings or yoga-style pants. For women, a capri cut that hits between the knee and ankle is also available in some workout pants.

In addition to varying styles, you’ll also notice different fabrics for workout clothes. Cotton is a lightweight option, but it can become clingy when it gets wet with sweat. Synthetic, moisture-wicking fabrics are also an option. They help move the sweat away from your body and may help you stay cool during your workout.


The shoes are key to your workout attire. Supportive shoes that fit properly help prevent injury or pains as you exercise. Finding a shoe that works well for you helps absorb the shock as you exercise, particularly for activities like running that are high-impact. If you participate in a particular activity most of the time, consider buying a specialty shoe made just for that activity. For example, you will find running shoes and walking shoes, each of which are slightly different to provide the best support for that particular activity.



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