I am pretty particular about my workout gear. I want gear that is comfortable, supportive, and, most importantly, not going to break the bank. I work out at home so I tend to wear running pants/capris and an exercise bra. When I work out in public, I wear a tee shirt on top of the exercise bra. I don't like wearing loose clothes to work out because they just get in the way. I've compiled my list of favorite workout gear for all different activities – walking, jogging, aerobics, swimming, etc.
IMPORTANT NOTE: While I don't believe in spending a lot on workout gear, I do make an exception for shoes. Shoes are the one area where I will spend more because it is important to have the right arch support and protect our feet.
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A good pair of shoes is important no matter what activity you pursue. I recommend going to a sporting goods store to be measured and fit for the right pair of shoes for your feet. It makes such a difference to have the right fit. They will look at your stride, your arches, your gait – everything that can affect how you walk/run/move. I do this every few years as our feet change as we get older. I found after I had a baby that my running shoe size had gone up a whole size! Shoe fittings are usually free at most reputable stores and is worth the time it takes to do it.
As with shoes, a good pair of socks makes all the difference. You want breathable, cotton socks that wick away moisture. Nothing too thick or too thin. When you go for your shoe fitting be sure to take the socks you normally wear to exercise with you as it will help assure a better fit. I have tried many different kinds of socks over the years and have found a few that I truly love. I now have two sock drawers for non-dressy socks. One for exercise socks that I love and one for exercise socks that didn't make the cut for exercise but are still comfy to wear around the house.
A good exercise bra is a very important piece of workout gear. You need something that provides the right amount of support for the activity, as well as the right fabric to wick away sweat while you exercise. There are many excellent options out there for every level of support needed. It's important to try them on to make sure they fit correctly. If they are too tight, it may affect your breathing. If they are too loose and you won't get the right level of support. Once I find brands I like, I tend to stick with them.
I typically don't wear a tee shirt unless I'm running or working out outside or in public. When I do wear tee shirts to work out, I try to pick ones that are close fitting that wick away moisture. They are usually labelled as “moisture wicking” or “technical tees”. They are also a lot softer/silkier feeling than regular cotton tee shirts. As you sweat the material “wicks” away the sweat so that the fabric isn't damp against your skin. There's nothing worse than exercising, sweating up a storm, and wearing a soggy tee shirt. It's worth investing in a few of these tees as you will be much more comfortable!
I prefer to wear fitted pants when I exercise. Even when I was heavier I chose fitted pants because they don't get in the way. Also they hold everything in well regardless of size 😉 I tend to wear capri length pants. I'm not a big fan of short shorts and long pants get too hot. Capri length is just right for me.
Who doesn't love yoga pants? They are my go-to pants when I'm at home. They are also good for yoga I suppose, but I do tend to wear them more at home as my “comfy clothes”. I prefer full length Yoga pants personally, but you can find them in capri, knee-length, and full-length based on your preference.
I love to swim and have searched high and low for the best swimsuits for lap swimming. Before I lost weight I always had a hard time finding swimsuits that fit well. I found a few brands that had larger sizes. Even now, having lost the weight, I still stick with these brands because I feel like they “get” it in offering such a large range of sizing.
I know, I know, who needs accessories for working out? Well, if you have long hair like I do, me! I need pony tail holders that hold my hair in place and something to keep the wispy hairs out of my face. Nothing bugs me more than hair falling in my face when I'm running! Ugh, it's the worst! I look for pony tail holders that hold back my hair (because I have a lot of it) and headbands that keep the wispies back as well!
If you like to walk or run, listening to music or audio books are a good way to help pass the time. I usually run on my treadmill but use headphones/ear buds with my TV. I use headphones because otherwise I have to turn up the volume very high to hear over the treadmill and the fan I use when I'm running. The rest of the house usually doesn't want to hear whatever I happen to be watching so I go with headphones. I use a pair of Bluetooth wireless headphones that I can connect directly to the TV. That works best for me and I don't have to worry about tripping on cords while running.
My Favorite Headphones/Ear Buds brands: AOKII
Whatever you choose to wear and use while you work out is a personal decision. I suggest trying different brands to see which work best for you. The most important thing is that you are comfortable in whatever you choose to wear to work out!
What about you? What are your favorite workout gear items? Share in the Comments below!