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Exercise for Beginners - What to Wear


Updated May 16, 2014

Caucasian woman working out on exercise mat
Blend Images - JGI/Jamie Grill/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Choosing the right fitness clothing and equipment is important to stay comfortable and avoid embarrassing fashion disasters at the gym. Below are a few guidelines for choosing the best fitness clothes:
  • Think comfort. Shorts, tee shirts, tights...wear whatever feels good to you. Test your clothes before you go to the gym (or wherever you're exercising) to make sure your clothes don't chafe, ride up, slide down or show more than you want.
  • Protect yourself. Wear light-colored clothes, a hat, plenty of sunscreen and sunglasses if you're exercising outdoors during hot weather. You may also want to invest in clothes made of special wicking material such as CoolMax. This stuff keeps you cool and dry in the summer and warm in the winter...you don't need fancy fabrics, but it does make workouts more comfortable.
  • Invest in quality, sports specific shoes. For weight training and low impact activities consider cross-training, running or walking shoes. If you're going to be running, you'll want a running shoe so your feet will have plenty of support. Similarly, if you're participating in a sport such as basketball, football, etc. you'll want a sport-specific shoe so you don't hurt yourself.
  • Be safe. Make sure your clothes and shoes have reflective material on them if you're out and about at night.
  • Be picky about your workout socks. If they're too thick or thin you could get blisters which can ruin a good workout. Learn more about the best socks for exercise.
  • Choose clothes to fit your activity. If you're running or walking, a simple pair of shorts and tee shirt might be fine. If you're doing yoga or Pilates, you might choose more fitted clothing so you can move freely but stay covered. You can also find clothes for every size, including plus size exercisers.

There's no right and wrong when it comes to exercise clothes. It's whatever makes you feel good and keeps your comfortable.

For more information check out these resources:

Back to Exercise for Beginners

More About Getting Started with Exercise

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