Wellness Wednesday: Workout Clothes

In my section on Motivation and Inspiration for workouts linked HERE, I explained the benefits of creating a habit loop to reinforce your exercise regimen. This would be akin to a bedtime ritual for a toddler wherein you would do the same set of things in the same order every night culminating in bedtime. The same thing works for adults trying to become consistent in their exercise regimen. One important part of my routine is exercise clothing.

My pre-exercise regimen is as follows: As soon as possible after coming home from work, I change into my workout gear. In my case, this is black yoga pants and a black sports bra top. At that point, there’s really no turning back. I then head for the living room, turn on the Audio Visual system. While it is booting, I get a big glass of ice water and decide on an online workout. When I get back, I hit the start button and before I know it I am done with my workout. 

My workout clothes are a bit of a behavioral trigger for me. And while they are pretty uniform and boring, yours don’t have to be. Here are some tips on choosing inspiring high performance workout clothes. 

Good workout clothes should be comfortable. This means they should fit well in different positions and when moving. They should be close fitting enough to allow you to check your form and lose enough for full range of motion. Speaking of full range of motion and as a gynecologist, thongs should be avoided since, during movement, they can cause irritation and spread bacteria to the vagina and urinary tract. No fun. 

Part of comfort is support. Some of us benefit from support in the chest area. For this, a good sports bra is key, with or without a workout shirt on top. Some people even benefit from lower leg support. Compression socks and sheaths can be useful for this. 

Good workout clothes should manage your temperature and moisture. To do this, avoid cotton, which absorbs sweat and hold it against the skin. Look for high performance fabrics like Cool Max, Capilene, Play Dri or Dri-fit which wick moisture away from the body. Where temperatures are extreme or variable, use layers. Do not pay extra for nanosilver particles since they are largely lost in the wash. 

Your workout clothes should help you minimize self consciousness, and maximize your pride in what you are doing. They should be fun and flattering. In short, they should make you feel good about yourself and good about your workout.