The Physical Benefits of Proper Workout Attire

Maybe you like to run, stretch, dance, or swim. No matter how you like to move your body, choosing the right workout gear is essential. Clothes that are both light and supportive are ideal for most workouts. In contrast, heavy clothes, like jeans, are restrictive and unbreathable, which will keep you from reaching your full range of motion and scratch uncomfortably against hot, sweaty skin. Sweatpants, shorts, tee shirts, and tank tops are what you want to look for, though whatever you choose should depend on your personal style, the kind of exercise you'll be doing, and the weather if you plan on exercising outdoors.

Rule 1: Dress for Confidence

Proper clothing offers a lot of physical advantages when you're working out, which shouldn't be a surprise, but a lot of those advantages are actually by-products of mental and emotional benefits. As it turns out, the way your clothes make you feel has a huge impact on not only your mood but your endurance and physical stamina. Choosing clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable will help you stay focused on your workouts longer, with little to no distraction.

When you wear clothes that make you self-confident instead of self-conscious, you're able to put your all into your workouts without worrying about the way you look. Think about a woman who wants to do squats but feels insecure about the shape of her glutes. She probably won't feel comfortable in skin-tight shorts or leggings if she tries to do squats while wearing them, she might not achieve proper form while she's at the gym, worrying that going too low will attract the wrong kind of attention. Without accurate and precise form in her workouts, though, she can hurt herself and miss out on all the awesome benefits that squats give when they're done correctly. Workout clothes come in many fun colors, patterns, and cuts to suit everyone's tastes and body types, so there's no reason not to invest in workout gear that makes you feel brave and self-assured.

If you're a woman, it's particularly important to invest in a good sports bra. Running, doing jumping jacks, and performing any other exercise that requires vigorous movement is extremely uncomfortable when you don't have the proper stability and support for your chest. Pick a bra that's comfortable AND keeps your breasts in place, so you don't feel insecure or physically sore after you exercise.

Rule 2: Dress for Comfort

You might think confidence and comfort in workout gear are the same, but you'd only be half right. It's true that clothes that are comfortable help you feel more confident, but comfy clothes also promote physical stamina.

For example, choosing athletic apparel that is sweat-wicking and breathable, as opposed to clothes made from 100% cotton, will keep you cool and clean for the entirety of your workout, ensuring that you can give your all without feeling uncomfortable, damp, or smelly. Being drenched in sweat doesn't necessarily mean your workout is over, but it does mean you might not be wearing proper workout attire.

You might think that proper workout gear is expensive, but in reality, investing in high-quality workout gear will save you money in the long run since high-quality materials don't tear or wear down nearly as easily. The longer your workout clothes last, the less money you'll spend on replacing them, and the more exercise you'll get out of them. We fully believe that splurging on a pair of high-quality leggings is worth the purchase if you're serious about your physical fitness.

Some of the most comfortable workout clothes also give you direct, physical results, like compression clothes. Compression clothing promotes proper blood circulation, which will lessen the pain during your workouts as well as aid in the post-workout recovery process. There's a reason nurses and marathon runners love compression socks!

Rule 3: Dress for Safe Exercise

Speaking of pain, did you know that wearing proper workout clothing can protect you from potential injury? Picture someone who enjoys riding their bike but also enjoys wearing loose-fitting clothing, like wide-legged sweatpants. As that person pedals through the park, the loose material from their pants could very easily get caught in one of the bike's wheels, either "eating" their sweatpant material or causing that person to crash--or both. That's why experts suggest that anyone riding a bicycle should wear tighter or shorter clothing, like leggings or workout shorts. The same principle applies to yoga: not only will a loose-fitting shirt end up falling in your face when you're doing downward dog, but in trickier positions, it may even cause you to lose your balance and fall.

Something you may not think about, unless you're a coach or personal trainer, is the way proper workout clothes allow the people coaching you to make sure you're maintaining proper form during your most grueling workouts. Lack of proper form, even in easier exercises, is the main cause of injury people see in the gym. Whether you have someone watching your back while you do bench presses or whether you would rather watch your own back in the mirror while you do tricep dips, wearing the right workout clothes will allow you or someone else to view your posture and your muscle movements. This will keep you safe from form-related injuries and make your workouts more powerful and efficient.

If you enjoy going on morning and evening walks or jogs, it's imperative that you dress appropriately for the weather. In the summer, wearing too many layers can cause you to overheat, but during winter, layers keep you nice and toasty even when there's ice on the ground. The amount of clothes you wear is just as important as the kind of clothes you wear, especially if you enjoy being outdoors. (Another quick note if you exercise outside: try to avoid wearing dark colors, especially if you live in a high-traffic area. Bright, visible colors will keep you safe from possible automobile accidents!)

Now that you know the emotional, physical, and safety-related benefits of wearing proper workout clothing, go make a smart investment so that you can pursue a life of fitness passionately and responsibly.