Joining a gym or making a decision to start working
out is a great first step in taking charge of your health and
happiness - the next question is: what do you wear? It might seem
like a silly question but what you wear can be essential to working
The most important thing you will wear while exercising is
shoes. If you can only splurge on one item, make it a quality pair
of workout shoes. Shoes can make or break your workout.
If you are a runner or a walker, I recommended going to
your local running store to get fitted for shoes - they take all
the guess work out of choosing the correct pair. Running stores
often have a treadmill set up so they can watch you run or walk and
some even record your gait while you're running.They can determine
whether you have a neutral foot, a pronate (foot rolls inward) or a
supinate (foot rolls outward) and recommend the best
It is also important not to grab any old shoes out of the
closet and throw them on. Shoes that are old will not offer the
right amount of support and you may end up getting
It is also important to get a shoe that is specific to
your sport. You can find many shoes that are for cross-training (a
variety of activities) and those can be a great place to start.
There are also shoes for running, walking, basketball,
Ladies, If you're working out, then you will need a good
sports bra. Sports bras offer many different levels of support.
There are yoga bras that offer little support, sports bras with
minimal support for low impact exercise, and sports bras that offer
the maximum amount of support for activities such as
A good sports bra doesn't have to break the bank. I have
found some of my favorite sports bras at Target and Old Navy for a
Here is where personal preference comes in. For example, I
heat up really quickly when I workout, so you can always find me
working out in capris or shorts and a tank top. If I am exercising
indoors, this is what I wear year-round. If I am running outside
and it's a little chiller, I'll add a thin long sleeve
It's really about what you prefer to exercise in - capris,
shorts, pants, tank tops, t-shirts, etc. You should wear what you
are comfortable in - sometimes baggy clothes can hinder movement or
a tight shirt might make you uncomfortable. Wear what makes you
A tip to remember is that a polyester/Lycra blend will
help you keep you cool and comfortable by wicking sweat away.
Dry-fit clothes are a good option. Cotton, on the other hand,
absorbs and holds sweat and can leave you feeling
Those three things: shoes, a sports bra, and clothes are
the basics of what you need to start exercising. Next time, I'll
discuss some of the other gadgets and goodies that you can use
while working out. Happy exercising!
Heather Holtz is a fitness and health enthusiast who lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and two boys. She blogs at Run Eat Play about fitness, food, and family.
See more of Heather's stories here.
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