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How do I Choose the Best Exercise Clothes?

By S. Gonzales
Updated May 17, 2024
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Choosing the best exercise clothes can depend on what type of exercise you do and where you do it. The material that your exercise clothes is made out of can also have a significant effect on how comfortable you are while you are exercising. You should know that your exercise clothes can also change as the seasons progress throughout the year.

Material can influence how well exercise clothing can function. Generally speaking, materials used to make clothes can either help keep sweat off your body or absorb the sweat into the fabric. The material you choose for your workout clothing is up to you, but know that both of these types of materials can have their disadvantages.

Many people who are looking for exercise clothes choose clothing that is made out of cotton. Cotton can be comfortable and airy, but it also can absorb sweat. The result can make you feel as if you are constantly wet throughout your exercise routine. The sweat can also add weight to your clothing and make it more difficult to maneuver. This can be amplified if you are wearing sweatpants or other clothing that requires a lot of cotton.

On the other hand, synthetic materials, such as polypropylene, can help sweat evaporate off your body. An advantage of using clothing made out of this material is that your body will be able to be kept cool during exercise. The trick is to find clothes made out of this material without an inordinate amount of rubber or plastic materials. Clothing containing these types of materials will not allow your exercise clothes to breathe.

When many people consider buying workout clothes, they usually think that baggy clothes are best. The truth is that the fit of the clothes you should buy should be determined by the type of exercise you plan on doing. For example, if you run or do yoga, you'll probably want to invest in form-fitting exercise clothes that do not impede your movements. If you do karate, you might want to invest in looser-fitting styles of clothing.

You should understand that your style of dress will likely change as the seasons do. Invest in exercise clothing for each season of the year. In winter months, you will have to dress appropriately if you exercise outside. If you're a runner, you should try to purchase fitness clothing that you can layer. Look for clothing that can also be used to protect yourself from rain and snow, if you exercise outside.

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Discussion Comments

By OeKc05 — On Aug 15, 2012

I take my lunch to the park every day, and I have noticed that I see a lot more guys wearing workout gear than women. Maybe it's because a lot of guys tend to do more intense workouts and sweat more than many women, so they need to wear those moisture-wicking garments to keep cool and dry.

That seems to be the most popular men's exercise clothing among the runners at the park. These guys look like professional runners in their expensive workout clothes.

I would imagine that having the sweat wicked away enables them to exercise longer than they otherwise would. It probably takes longer to get overheated when you are wearing these garments.

By wavy58 — On Aug 15, 2012

@Kristee – Baggy t-shirts make awesome workout clothes. I wear them with yoga pants when I do my dance workout, and they help me stay cool.

If a t-shirt has big open areas around the sleeves, then you will get plenty of air circulation. This works great to keep you cool.

I like wearing yoga pants, because they are so stretchy and comfortable. Even though they do fit tightly, my big t-shirt hides this fact.

By Kristee — On Aug 14, 2012

Most exercise clothing for women is designed to cling to the body. I go to an aerobics class that has twenty other people in it, and I feel self-conscious wearing something that is so tight.

So, I have designated some of my older loose clothing as workout clothing. I have several old t-shirts that I can pair with baggy drawstring pants, and I feel very comfortable in these.

They aren't so loose that I trip over them or anything. They are just loose enough to hide my shape.

By Oceana — On Aug 14, 2012

I do brisk walking for exercise, and in the winter, I always layer up my activewear. I put on some tight leggings and a thin yet insulating tight long-sleeved shirt, and then I put on a big sweatshirt and sweatpants over those.

If I get too warm, I can always remove a layer. The main thing I want to do is stay warm enough, though. Being cold is not good for your muscles, and the layers keep them warm so that they can move more easily.

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