What not to wear
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 17:09
If you’re the type to wear sandals to the gym, it’s time for a major upgrade, my friend. Not saying you need to be sponsored by Nike to look good in the University Sports Complex, but for goodness sake, please leave the Crocs and jean cutoffs at home. This isn’t a fashion column and frankly, I could care less if your shirt clashes with your shorts. My only suggestion is that your workout clothes are functional. The clothes you wear can make or break you. If you want to get the most out of your workout routine, then start with what’s in your closet.
You know that really comfortable cotton t-shirt that you love so much? Chances are, it’s weighing you down and making you more tired. The cotton absorbs sweat and keeps it from evaporating. The shirt ends up adding more weight to you, which makes it much harder to move around. It doesn’t breathe as well as wicking fabrics, which grab the moisture from your skin and cause it to evaporate much quicker. Wicking fabrics, such as Under Amour or Dry-Fit, all contain polypropylene rather than cotton. This stuff is like a gift straight from the heavens. No matter how much you sweat, you feel as if you just stepped into an air-conditioned room.
Dress for the weather! This is New Orleans, where the sun beats down with a vengeance. I am especially guilty of wearing the wrong clothes in hot weather (yoga pants are just so tempting), but it’s best to wear clothes that fit the season. Loose shorts are far better than tight sweatpants, and a tank top trumps a long sleeved shirt. That said, make sure to lather on the sunscreen if you’ve got a lot of exposed skin. No point in having bulging biceps when your back is red and tender from sunburn.
The most crucial piece of any gym wardrobe is the shoes. If you plan to put in a lot of miles, then it may be worth it to invest in a pair of pricey shoes that will last you a while. Otherwise a cheap pair will do the job, but only if you know what to look for.
Make sure the shoes are big enough for you to slide a bit without smashing your toes into the front. It’s also important that they aren’t too heavy, your feet can breathe, and there’s plenty of ankle support.
If you aren’t quite sure how to look for a good pair of workout shoes, then go consult a professional. Varsity Sports or Southern Runner Sports on
Magazine Street are two places in particular that could give you a hand.
There’s no need to spend an hour in front of the mirror debating what to wear to the gym (unless you’re trying to impress a good-looking personal trainer). No one is going to judge you if you’re not wearing brand new, top-of-the-line exercise gear. What’s important is that you’re comfortable and safe.
Cami Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.