Who is overwhelmed by all the different types fitness apparel? Even just looking at sneakers, you have running shoes vs. cross-trainers vs. Vibram 5 finger shoes (the thin shoes with toes). Should you buy the really expensive stuff, is it worth the money? Or can you save that money, say for a personal trainer!!Here are my suggestions for the importance of each type of fitness apparel:
#1 is shoes, period. Makes sure you have shoes that properly fit your foot. First of all, that means that your shoes should be the right size. But they should also not rub anywhere such as your ankle, your big toe, your pinky toe, etc. They should also fit your arch, whether you have a high, low or medium arch. This is where you can ask for help from the shoe salesperson. If they don’t know how to answer your questions, go somewhere else. If you’d like to do a complete analysis of what shoe is best for you (called a gait analysis), look for a store like Road Runner Sports in your area. When trying on shoes, at least walk around in them, move side to side, maybe jog in place. Also, you should replace your shoes every 6 months to a year, depending on how frequently you use them. You can look at the bottom of your shoes, if you cannot see the design of the tread in any place on the shoe, replace them immediately!
#2 is exercise pants. Whether you like cropped or full-length, waistband or draw-string, pockets or no pockets, exercise pants are important to look and feel comfortable. Nobody wants to spend half the time of their workout adjusting their pants, and we’ve all done it. Find pants that are comfortable for all your activities, from yoga to running, or rock climbing to zumba. Your pants should be made of breathable fabric that wicks away sweat and does NOT chafe. Some of my favorites brands are Lululemon, Nike and Champion.
#3 is sports bras. Sorry guys, you can skip reading this one. Sports bras should be supportive. They should not be too tight or too loose. They should not chafe your underarm. And they should definitely not be kept long enough to have holes in them! Every brand will fit differently and each brand may have a different size that fits you properly. Always try on sports bras before buying them. Many athletic apparel stores will help you find a size and style that is right for you, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. This tip also applies to fitted tank tops, especially the ones that include sports bras.
Everything else, including shorts, shirts, jackets, socks, etc, are areas where you can save. Less is more for these items. They should still fit properly and I would suggest trying on this apparel whenever possible. However, you don’t need to always go designer for these items. If you’ve bought these items before and know your size, you could also order them online.
Another fun tip for fitness apparel… If you need motivation to workout, buy yourself a new exercise outfit or even just a new shirt. It’s always fun to wear new clothes, including during work outs!
As always, contact me with questions. Happy shopping!