The wrong outfit can sabotage a workout. And after you’ve mustered the motivation to get to the gym, get on a machine and get going, and the last thing you need is a wardrobe malfunction that gives you an excuse to phone it in. Leave the following eight items out of your gym bag:
An unsupportive bra
Any way you cut it, working out without proper support is just way too uncomfortable. A good sports bra is a must for comfort and also for protecting the skin and ligaments around your chest – which can stretch and eventually break down over time. Opt for a bra with wide straps, which will disperse weight evenly and won’t dig into your shoulders, separate cups and underwire support or a thick support band, depending on your size and activity level. (FYI – knowing your measurements totally applies to finding the right sports bra, too.)
Heading to the gym post-office requires some quick makeup removal tactics. Stash some makeup remover cloths in your gym bag so you’re not sweating bullets of black mascara and liquid eyeliner.
Working out in deteriorating sneakers may mean your workout is doing your body more harm than good – without healthy soles to help provide correct alignment during exercise, you could be increasing your risk of injury every time you run. Replace your running shoes about every 500 miles you run. So if you run two days a week, a new pair once a year is OK. If you run six to seven days a week, you should replace them more like every three months.
100% cotton shirts (in other words, the old t-shirts you collect for the very purpose of the gym and maybe sleeping), absorb moisture slow and take a long time to dry, so the sweat will stick with you, literally weighing you down and causing uncomfortable chills when you cool down and increase friction in chafe-prone areas. Bleck. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics like polypropelene (think: yoga pant material).
Take it all off – rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc. Aside form being uncomfortable and distracting, you don’t want anything to get caught in a machine or lost in the abyss of a Downtown Goodlife.
Untested tank tops
Buying a dedicated workout tank may be motivating – but make sure you test drive that puppy before you go to the gym. A form fitting workout tank with a built-in-bra may appear to hold your best workout ever in its design, but can totally land you in an unexpectedly x-rated position in actual practice. At home, bend and move as you would at the gym, do some jumping jacks to assess movement.
Baggy sweat pants
Aside from the obvious safety risk (drawstrings and excess material getting caught in machines) baggy sweat pants make it harder to see your body and form when you’re working out. If you’re stretching our doing yoga poses, these won’t do you any good. Too much fabric draping off your body can also just slow you down and your workout feel more difficult.
The ideal headphones for working out are ear buds that stick in your ears securely. Nothing’s more annoying than trying to pump up the jams and having an ill-fitting pair of headphones slipping and sliding around.
Aside from making your workout less of a hassle, having the right gym gear at the ready can be motivating! Some cute workout apparel can spark your desire to hit the gym and stick with it. Whatever gets you moving, we say.