Before you stop reading because this seems like it will be a materialistic post – I’m writing about this because I think it’s important to be aware of what influences your willingness or desire to workout, your activity of choice and your workout intensity. What you wear might just be one of those influences for you.
This question of what people wear while working out popped in my mind recently, while observing some men working out at the gym. And yes, they were all men (so that might tell you something right there).
Man Group #1 – lifting weights and doing some cardio while wearing jeans. It struck me as an odd workout clothing choice. To me, jeans are restrictive and hot – not ideal for moving around, working up a sweat, etc.
Man #2 – lifting weights and doing core work dressed as follows: white t-shirt tucked into tight black bike shorts, black dress socks, and fancy brown loafers. Yet another odd choice – fancy loafers to exercise!?
I’m not here to judge or criticize. Bottom line – if you need to wear jeans or loafers to exercise, go for it. To each their own.
Then I started reflecting on myself, and how what I wear influences my workout.
Let’s begin with the bra choice. I need to feel supported while working out. I don’t like to feel the girls bounce and jiggle. A few of my sports bras don’t support me during high intensity exercise. So, if I’m wearing one of those less supportive bras, I won’t do high intensity exercise. I’ve been in situations before when I could have increased the intensity (i.e. running or jumping exercises) but didn’t because I wasn’t wearing one of my more supportive bras.
Then the hair. I have long hair and I don’t like it down, touching my neck or bouncing around when I’m exercising. If I’m running, my hair has to be put up in a specific way so that it doesn’t impact my running experience. My hair doesn’t always cooperate and not all of my hair bands allow for this specific style. So if the hair isn’t just right, I will do something other than running.
Onto the bottoms. Running and spinning in shorts and long pants makes me uncomfortable. It’s just a thing for me I guess. So when I go running or spinning, I need to wear tight/fitted capri length pants. Long pants are okay for walking (as long as it’s not too hot outside) and yoga. Can’t do yoga in shorts. Shorts are okay for walking and hiking. Whenever I lift weights, do other types of resistance exercises, or core work, I need to wear tight/fitted capri length pants. Clearly what I wear on the bottom has a lot to do with the activity that I choose.
Everyone has their quirks. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. Figure out what helps you stay active and what prevents you from being active. Embrace your influences and quirks so you can live an active, healthy life.
What’s your workout clothing quirk?
Most people now-a-days are busy. All moms are busy. Exercise often gets the boot early on when moms try to figure out how to balance the demands coming at them from all directions.
Sound familiar? Probably, because it’s pretty common. Too common in my opinion.
So I’m on a mission to help moms fit exercise into their busy lives. Why? Because being active, and more generally, taking care of yourself, makes you a better woman, mom, spouse, partner, daughter, employee and friend.
Here are five tips to fit in fitness:
- Something is better than nothing. It really is. Incorporate exercises throughout your day: pick up the baby and start squatting, walk around while on a call at work, take the stairs, do bicep curls with the laundry detergent after you put the clothes in the washer.
- Find a gym with a childcare center or find a class that you can do with your baby/child.
- Schedule active family activities – bike riding, swimming, hiking, kick ball, frisbee.
- Take a walk while waiting for your child to finish ballet class or soccer practice.
- Start and end the day with exercise. All you need is five minutes on both ends. In the morning do energizing exercises like squats, planks, push-ups, jogging in place, or stair climbing if you have stairs in your house. In the evening, try calming yoga poses and stretches to unwind from the day.
How do you fit in fitness?