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Enough already with the societal pressure to look good just to get sweaty! Yes, stylish, often expensive active wear is everywhere (at the grocery store, on vacation, and certainly in the gym). And it’s comfortable. And often pretty flattering, with smart color combos and cuts. But you shouldn’t feel pressured to wear it for anyone but yourself. (And even then it may not be your best choice.) Here are five reasons why we think you shouldn’t feel pressured to dress up for the gym—unless that’s what will get you there and pushing harder in the first place.
It should go without saying, but enough gym accidents lead us to believe that fashion can be regretted! You might want to accessorize like Beyoncé or go for the fun and flashy pair of sneaks without sole or ankle support, but what will that do to your workout? At worst, it could cause serious injury, but it may also mean random aches and slower progress. Focus on what needs to be done and how best to do it safely. Not looking your best or getting compliments.
Speaking of exercise, you’re there to “work” (unless of course, you aren’t; but that’s a whole other post). Apparel can really come into play, and make your experience better—or worse. Many people find fitted clothing is better for yoga and Pilates, so you can see and hold proper form, and feel like you’re preventing flashing anyone or having to constantly readjust something. And a looser shirt can be used as a back-up sweat towel if you’re going on a really long run, or sweating hard another way. Wear what works for you, and keep this in mind as you’re buying gym clothes of any kind. Those super-nice breathable pants with hidden pockets may be worth it. But don’t spend to meet an invisible bar. You’re dressing for yourself, not some panel of outside observers.
If the latest fitness fashion makes you feel confident and comfortable, go for it. Color and pattern naturally attract eyes, and form-fitting clothes certainly show off your shape—and progress. But if you’d rather blend in or rock your ’99 basketball champions t-shirt and sweats, that’s just as good of a choice. Wear whatever helps you raise your head high as you walk into the gym and be just as happy with your choices when you walk out.
Speaking of t-shirts: Remember when there was far less notable fitness fashion and t-shirts were almost the extent of active wear? Ex athletes and students who haven’t purged their closets probably still have stacks of t-shirts marking every year, activity, and tournament. Don’t be afraid to pull them out. If you’re an avid exerciser, you’re faced with seemingly endless laundry already. And a lot of other life obstacles complicating your route the gym. Don’t be afraid to make the easier, faster fashion choice and choose whatever you have around—in bulk.
In the end, if disposable income is a concern, just like living a healthy lifestyle, then you really shouldn’t feel pressured to invest in special workout clothes. If you have the funds, think about what else could be done. Perhaps it’s an investment in some healthier cooking tools, food, or even a service that takes something off your list and allows you to spend a little more “me” time at the gym. We spend time and money every day, so the question is whether we’re spending ours most wisely. If a new outfit gets you to exercise more, than by all means, buy it. But the choice is yours, and we’re just happy you’re choosing a healthy lifestyle! Really, there isn’t a gym uniform that rules—unless you set one for yourself.
This post was previously published on the Anytime Fitness blog. PumpOne and Anytime Fitness are both owned by Self Esteem Brands.
PumpOne’s complete workout guidance, tracking and scheduling tools include more than 1,000 workouts, or you can create your own sessions from 7,000 exercise images and videos. Download it from the App Store or Google Play, or sign up at PumpOne.com.