I was just on Amazon.com and cruised away depressed. I love Heidi Klum and she has a fantastic new line of workout wear for New Balance. (It's so cute!) Yet there are two problems - the average piece runs about $100 and the model wearing the clothes was so skinny I wanted to FedEx her a sandwich. And it's moments like these that I am reminded why people stumble as they start to workout - a price tag that would scare almost anyone and a model that puts forth an unreasonable expectation. Today we set the record straight.
If you choose the right gym, no one will care what you are wearing - people are just there to workout like you and we all sweat like a sinner in church. Okay, you need clothes on and no giant holes and if you have a breasts or male genitalia, you should control them. But otherwise, no fashionistas need to apply. This is not the component of your workout you should invest either the most money or time in - money is better spent on a great trainer, mp3 player or swimming lessons and time should be spent in the gym. :)
That being said, jeans are a poor workout choice - rashes and chaffing await. Ladies, you will need an actual sports bra, your everyday bra holds the same charms of sweating in jeans. Loafers aren't going to cut it in the shoe department, instead invest wisely in a great pair of workout shoes with guidance from a pro who has been at it for a while - locally I go to Fitness Sports, but every town has the place all the sports teams shop, that's your cue.
All right, so what do you wear? First and foremost, something comfortable. If you are uncomfortable because something is cutting into you or you feel everyone is staring, you will cut your gym time short and that's no good. When starting out, I suggest people grab two pairs of either cheap workout shorts or pants and the cheapest t-shirts you can find - the latter has likely accumulated in your closet from every event you have attended the last ten years.
Ladies, I mentioned before that you will need a sports bra - if you have smaller breasts the inexpensive ones that you find at Target will be fine. If, like me, your are genetically endowed on a more pronounced level - spend the money on something that will keep you from knocking yourself out with the 'girls'. I use Moving Comfort, Oprah uses Enell, there are others as well - I admit they are $50-$70, but they will take away your inhibitions and let you really rock the gym.
For the boys - jocks please. Or at least shorts with gauze or other materials to rein in the your boys. If I had a dollar for every time I have caught an accidental peek at someone at the gym, well I would have entirely too many dollars for my taste.
As for socks - if you are running, thinner is better. But if you are just getting started any sports oriented socks will do - the woolies that keep you warm in the winter are a 'no'.
Hats and headbands? Baseball caps can be good on a long run purely for sun protection. However, your body is trying to put out heat through your head, so it might effect your ability to cool down. As for headbands, unless you sweat profusely, skip it - those are back with Jane Fonda circa 1985 and that's where they belong.
Total financial output - (approximate)
Men: shoes ($75-$100), jock ($15), shorts ($30), t-shirts (free) = $145.
Women: shoes ($75-$100), bra ($15-$70), shorts ($30), t-shirts (free) = $200
Both of those totals are maximums. If you find great sales, you can do it for much less. Please don't let the price tag scare you - it is much more expensive to be overweight (doctors, prescriptions, etc.) and your health is worth every penny.
Tomorrow: You Need a Day of Rest
Yours in Health,