Chrissy’s 4 tips for choosing the best workout clothes
Posted: Oct 17 2014
Chrissy Caroll, owner of Inspired Wellness Solutions, LLC , author of "Eat to Peak: Sports Nutrition for Runners and Triathletes", and blogger at Snacking in Sneakers loves shopping for workout clothes more than anything else. She spends quite a bit of time in her fitness apparel and likes her activewear fun, colourful and comfy!
With so many brands, fabrics and fits, finding the proper sports gear can get a little confusing. Luckily, Chrissy’s an expert on the topic and knows the key features we should all be looking for when shopping training clothes. Here are Chrissy’s top 4 tips for choosing the best gym clothes:
1) “Skip cotton clothes for long workouts”
“Cotton absorbs sweat, making it feel heavy and wet. While cotton tees/pants are probably fine for a brief walk outside, I don’t recommend them for workouts. This is because that sweaty fabric will rub against your skin and can lead to chafing – and the longer you’re out there in sweat-drenched clothes, the greater the risk and severity of this problem.”
“This tends to be even worse in warmer months – many people sweat at a greater rate, leading to more salt on the skin, which turns into salt rubbing between the fabric and your skin – aka a not-so-lovely sandpaper feeling. In the cooler months, chafing may not be as big of an issue, but that wet cold fabric can cling to your skin, making you feel quite chilly during outdoor workouts.”
2) “Look for synthetic, moisture wicking fabrics”
“These fabrics help pull the sweat away from the body and allow it to evaporate quickly. Typically these are polyester-spandex blends, but you may come across other synthetic fabrics too. It’s a bonus if you can find seamless clothing, which means you won’t have any annoying seams, that could cause chafing and discomfort, down your inner leg or along the side of your torso.”
3) “Consider style and fit, depending on your workout”
“It’s important to think about the type of workout you will be doing to decide what styles and fit are appropriate. For example, if you’re planning to take up cycling or spinning, you want to avoid wide legged pants as these can get caught on the pedals or in the chain ring. Instead, look for fitted exercise shorts or tights to wear.”
“Along the same lines, if you’re in a yoga class, you don’t want to be wearing a loose shirt. I learned this at my first yoga class – every time we went into downward dog or a pose leaning over, I realized that shirt was just going to slide over my head and my belly was hanging out there for everyone to see. Instead, choose form fitting yoga tops that will stay put.”
“On a side note, I also think choosing the right styles and sizes can be more flattering. I’ve seen a lot of women wearing oversized t-shirts in an attempt to hide their bodies, when in reality a more form-fitted workout top may accentuate the right spots and help them look slimmer. But of course, ultimately you want to choose what makes you feel most comfortable and confident in your workout!”
4) "For the ladies: Select a good sports bra"
“There is probably no one greater piece of fitness apparel (except maybe sneakers, which would take up an entire post on their own) to invest in. There is a lot that goes into choosing the right sports bra, so consider the following tips:
- If you’re an A or a B cup, a standard compression bra is likely fine. These are the sports bras most of us are used to seeing; they are usually a pullover style with continuous stretchy fabric across the breasts and back.
- If you’re a D cup or larger, consider a bra that has separate cups for each breast – called an encapsulation style sports bra. If you’re a C cup, try out either style – you may find you’re more comfortable in one vs. the other.
- Consider your exercise type – is it high impact, like running, or low impact, like walking or yoga? High impact exercises benefit from a more supportive fit, while low impact exercises don’t require as much support.
- Wider shoulder straps are generally better for larger sizes, as they distribute the weight more evenly, while small straps can work for smaller sizes.
- The band around your rib cage should be snug, but not so much that you feel like you are having trouble breathing.
- Even though bra sizes are theoretically standardized, they are often just like other clothing and have slight variations across brands. Try on different sizes and go for the appropriate fit vs. just sticking with one because it is supposed to be your size.
- Once again, look for moisture wicking fabrics.”
Be sure to check out Chrissy’s cheeky blog at Snacking in Sneakers for more tips, tricks and recipes!