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Change Your Clothes, Change Your Body

When it’s time to hit the gym, the clothes you wear can have a positive effect on your workout, and may even help with faster muscle recovery. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on gym apparel to see and feel a difference; you just need to pick the right clothes for the right activity.

Your workout clothing should be comfortable, practical, and designed to prevent injuries. If you still exercise in a cotton T-shirt and broken down tennis shoes, you might benefit by updating your workout wardrobe.

Cardiovascular Workout

You break into a sweat on the treadmill, the elliptical machine, and the stationary bicycle, so wear gym apparel that pulls perspiration away from your skin. Moisture-wicking fabrics are made from high tech synthetic blends or natural materials such as bamboo and wool. They allow sweat to escape so your body stays drier and your temperature stabilizes.

To reduce risk of injury during certain activities, such as cycling or spinning, avoid baggy tops and pants that could get caught on moving parts. Your shoes should fit well and offer support for your feet and ankles.

Weight Lifting

Wear comfortable outfits that don’t chafe or rub any part of your body. Clothes should move easily as you work your arms and legs with free weights and machines.

Although you might expect some soreness as your muscles rebuild from a strenuous workout, wearing compression socks and sleeves may help. Studies indicate that compression clothing improves blood flow and speeds muscle recovery during strenuous workouts.

Yoga and Pilates

When you participate in a class such as Pilates or yoga, choose fitted tops and bottoms that stretch easily as you move. If your shirt is too loose, you may find yourself uncovered when you do backbends, inversions, or handstands.

Since you will be working most of your muscle groups, and developing strength, flexibility, and coordination, you want your clothing to be comfortable and fuss-free so you can concentrate on each pose.

Choosing the Right Outfit

Gym apparel doesn’t have to be expensive, and you can be well-prepared for any workout with just a few basic items. When you make your purchases, choose items that you feel good wearing. Research shows that one reason people drop out of exercise programs is due to negative perceptions of their body image. Well-fitting clothes that you love to wear can be a motivator to build up better exercise habits, which can improve your workouts.

Pick out two or three tops that fit well, move with you, and wick moisture away from your skin. Buy a good pair of lightweight workout pants. You can also wear shorts year around for indoor exercise.

Include a sweatband for your head and one for your wrist to help wipe away any perspiration that distracts you from your workout. Women should wear a comfortable, supportive sports bra.

Consult with a reputable running store for the best type of shoes to wear for your gym workouts. Be sure to include a few moisture-wicking sports socks.

These simple suggestions…

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