Clothes for working out

Choosing the Right Workout Clothes

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After a hard workout, you’ll feel exhausted, tired, sore, fantastic — and will probably be covered in sweat. Believe it or not, the clothes you wear for a workout can make a difference in how you feel after exercise. Several factors can affect how comfortable your workout clothes are, including the fabric they’re made of and whether they’re right for the type of exercise you will be doing.

Workout Clothes: Pick “Workhorse” Fabrics

Some fabrics are designed to pull sweat away from your skin during exercise and others absorb it. When it comes to workout clothes, some choices are better than others.

  • Think wicking. There are many breathable synthetic fabrics that “wick” the sweat away from your skin, which can help it to evaporate quickly and keep your body cool. Clothing made out of fabrics containing polypropylene or fabrics such as COOLMAX® and SUPPLEX® are a good choice for exercise and other activities in which you are likely to sweat a lot, as they allow the sweat to be evaporated from the skin but do not soak clothing and leave you feeling sweaty and uncomfortable.
  • Consider cotton. Cotton shirts and pants, on the other hand, absorb the sweat, and they don’t pull it away from the skin or help it to evaporate quickly. That’s why cotton workout clothes can feel heavy and wet as you exercise.
  • Avoid fabrics that don’t breathe. Never wear clothing made out of rubber-based or plastic-based materials, which keep sweat from evaporating and keep your body temperature too high during a workout.

Workout Clothes: Get the Right Fit

To make sure that your workout clothes fit your body and the workout that you have planned, consider these tips:

  • You should wear clothes that are loose and comfortable. But if you are running or biking, avoid wide-leg or loose pants that could get tangled up in the pedals or your feet.
  • For activities such as yoga or Pilates, stretchy, fitted fabrics that wick away sweat are a good choice.
  • In general, keep in mind that you don’t want any clothing that gets in the way of the activity.

Women’s Apparel

Workout Clothes for Women: Match Your Style, Boost Your Performance

Whether you’re a yoga devotee or a die-hard runner, you’ll find a variety of women’s apparel at DICK’S Sporting Goods to help support your training.

Looking for plus size workout clothes? Check out our full collection featuring plus size workout tops for women and other gym essentials.

Polish up your workout wardrobe with the basics, like women’s hoodies, lightweight tees, tanks, shorts and women’s yoga pants. Stretch, flex and sprint in women’s workout pants and capris, designed to fit your curves. Then, gain an edge with the latest sport-inspired technology-performance fabrics that work as hard as you do.

Women’s compression apparel helps support your body with a second-skin fit, engaging your muscles and supporting blood circulation. Gym clothes for women made with microfibers wick sweat from your skin, so you can stay cool and fresh.

The latest workout clothing for women is anything but ordinary. Mix, match and layer with supportive sports bras, surf-inspired dresses and trendy tops. Wrap yourself in breathable warmth with women’s winter coats and jackets, plus other cold-weather gear.

Shop by sport for women’s workout clothing customized for your game. Take to the barre with dancewear and leotards and dive in with performance-cut women’s swimsuits. Get what you need from your favorite brands, like Nike®, Under Armour® and The North Face®.

If you find a lower price on women’s workout clothes somewhere else, we’ll match it with our Best Price Guarantee.

How to Choose and Use Heart Rate Monitors

Heart Rate Monitor Features

Basic HRM models time your workout and give you continuous, average, high and low heart rate data, as well as the high, low and target heart rate reached during your workout. Many models can be partnered with a foot pod that attaches to your shoelaces to track your speed, distance and cadence.

Other models have GPS receiver capabilities to track speed and distance, also providing elevation and navigation functionality. The most advanced (pricey) models have an extensive and ever-growing array of features.

Target zones: Basic models offer up to 3 target zones; advanced models have from 3 to 6 target zones. With the capacity for multiple target zones, you can preprogram your heart rate monitor for a series of different workouts (e.g., endurance, aerobic and anaerobic variations). If your HRM offers only a single aerobic target zone, you’ll need to reprogram it every time you want to change the exercise parameters.

Sport watch: Heart rate monitor watch models include features such as a clock, alarm, countdown timer and calendar.

Stopwatch and lap/split times: After each lap at a track or every mile on a marked-distance race course, hit the “Lap” button to see how your pace has changed throughout your workout or race (a.k.a. your “split”).

Recovery heart rate mode: Tracks the time it takes your heart to return to its normal, resting rate. It’s a good indicator of cardiovascular fitness and especially important if your workouts include sprints or interval training.

Time in target zone: Tracks the time you spend exercising within your target zone. Some zones and goals require more time than others.

Calorie counter: Estimates the calories burned during exercise. This can be especially handy if your workouts are part of a weight-loss program.

Speed and distance monitor: Calculates the speed and measures the distance covered in a particular workout. This is typically done via a GPS receiver for outdoor use or a foot pod for indoor use or use in an outdoor area with limited satellite reception. A foot pod uses an accelerometer to determine the length of each stride.

Digital interface: Connects your heart rate monitor to your home computer or smartphone so you can download training statistics for analysis, sharing and storage. This may be wireless or require a separate computer connection.

Tethering: Wirelessly pairs with your smartphone to allow wrist-top control of phone functions such as text messages, music, push notifications, fitness apps and social media—all without taking your phone out of a pocket or armband.

Fitness trainer: Provides alerts for intensity levels that fall above or below your chosen training zones.

Coded transmitter: Encrypts transmissions from the heart rate monitor chest strap sensor to the wrist unit to prevent crosstalk (signals from the wireless HRMs of others exercising around you).

Sport-specific features: These can include speed and cadence feedback for cyclists or pool-lap counters and stroke recognition for swimmers.

Battery replacement: Some HRM wrist receivers use consumer-replaceable or rechargeable batteries to simplify maintenance.

You know when people say “dress for success”? Yeah, that’s not just about the office. What you wear to the gym 100 percent affects your performance.

That 10-year-old sports bra, or cotton T you’ve had since middle school, can actually make working out feel harder, and even wreak havoc on your body.

Here’s what you should chuck from your workout wardrobe, stat:

1. 100% Cotton Clothes

Sure, research shows that cotton clothes stink less than synthetic fabrics, but “cotton literally absorbs every ounce of sweat, which makes you you feel like you’re wearing a wet towel,” says Chad Moeller, a certified personal trainer.

The more moist clothing is, the more likely bacteria will grow—especially if you’re wearing it for long periods of time, says Navya Mysore, M.D., a physician at One Medical in New York. And “if any open areas of skin are exposed to bacteria-filled workout clothes, it can lead to a fungal infection at the site,” she explains. Instead of cotton, opt for sweat-wicking fabrics made for exercise.

2. Worn-Out Sneakers

There’s a general rule of thumb that you should wear your sneakers for about 300 miles before replacing them. But if you’re not tracking miles, it can be tough to figure out just how much work you’ve put your gym shoes through.

“You know your sneakers are too old when the treads or designs on the bottom start to wear out,” says Jasmine Marcus, a physical therapist in Ithaca, NY.

“If the bottoms are flattening in areas and you can no longer see the design of the tread”—not to mention, if there are holes by the toes, or any other obvious signs of total disrepair—“it’s time to get new sneakers.”

The problem with old shoes? They provide less cushioning and shock absorption, says Marcus, and as the bottoms get worn down, it can throw off the alignment of your feet and, as a result, your knees and hips.

3. Regular Bras or Stretched-Out Sports Bras

For the love of your breasts, do not wear a regular bra to the gym. Saggy old sports bras with stretched-out elastic are a bad idea, too. “If you’re not wearing a sufficiently supportive bra to work out, bounce isn’t the only thing you have to worry about,” says Darria Long Gillespie, M.D., a clinical assistant professor at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine. “If you have a moderate to large chest, the movement can lead to upper back and shoulder pain post-workout.

Not to mention, “it can cause the breast tissue to stretch, damaging it and increasing your chances for sagging in the future,” says Gillespie.

4. Jewelry

If you’re too nervous to leave your jewelry in the locker room, leave it at home—it’s a no-go on the gym floor. Let’s start with necklaces: “If you’re running with a long pendant, I hope you enjoy it beating against your chest and smacking you in the face, or getting tangled with your earbuds or the elliptical arms,” says Angel Stone, a NASM-certified personal trainer.

And you might think rings are fine, but “wearing them while you lift could affect your grip on the weights and pose a serious risk if the weight slips out of your hand,” she says. “Also, the pressure of a weight against your ring can cause deep indentations and even break the skin. And remember, a 25-pound weight can easily dent the metal or scratch the stone.”

5. Too-Tight Clothes

Compression clothing, which is designed to allow movement while compressing the muscles, is fine. But clothing that’s a size too small or too tight in any way? That can do more harm than good.

Find The Perfect Leggings

“Clothing should not be so tight that it restricts movement—like shorts or leggings that make it impossible for you to bend over or descend into a full squat or shirts that keep you from raising the arms overhead,” says Robert Herst, a certified personal trainer and powerlifter.

“Also, clothing should not be so tight that it restricts circulation.” Too-small pants can cause leg cramps, while tight sports bras can actually constrict your breathing, says Mysore. Restrictive shorts can cause chafing on the inner thighs, which can even lead to infection.

6. Super-Baggy Clothes

“You don’t want to hide the body, because your trainer or instructor needs to see it to asses you,” says Conni Ponturo, the founder of Absolute Pilates Upstairs in Woodland Hills, CA. “Is the spine elongated, are the abdominals engaged, are the ribs poking out, are you overworking the wrong muscles?”

She adds: “Exercise clothes today are made to help the body move in a better way,” so find an outfit that actually fits you, and that you feel awesome in—looking good is just a bonus.

7. A Face Full of Makeup

This should really go without saying, but “makeup has its time and place, and the gym is not one of them,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “When you sweat, dirt and oil can build up under makeup, which leads to irritation, and promotes acne breakouts.”

And so begins a vicious cycle, in which you wear more makeup to cover up the blemishes caused by wearing makeup. Ugh. “If your goal is actually work out at the gym, it’s best to go with a freshly washed face wearing nothing besides a light sunscreen,” says Zeichner.

Ashley Mateo Ashley Mateo is a writer, editor, and UESCA-certified running coach who has contributed to Runner’s World, Bicycling, Women’s Health, Health, Shape, Self, and more.

9 gym workout wear do’s and don’ts

Kara Sherrer Vanderbilt University Published 10:55 AM EDT Aug 22, 2014

Schools often lump rec center dues in with other mandatory student activity fees, so you should definitely take advantage of your “free” gym membership to stay healthy in college.

But working out with a bunch of fitness fanatics who know what they’re doing can be intimidating at first.

To take one thing off your mind, read on for a quick primer on what you should — and shouldn’t — wear while exercising in public.

1. DO buy true performance fabrics.
Fabrics that are flexible, moisture-wicking, temperature-specific or otherwise engineered will help keep you dry and comfortable as you exercise. But not all “performance” fabrics are created equal, so make sure you’re getting what you pay for — remember the Lululemon see-through yoga pants debacle?

2. DON’T pick a cotton t-shirt.
It’s tempting to grab one of the ten thousand big cotton t-shirts you got for free during orientation week, but 100% cotton clothing isn’t the best choice for a sweaty workout. Cotton absorbs moisture easily, so you’ll be stuck with a heavy, sticky shirt that can cause irritation and will get cold as soon as you’re done exercising. Plus, baggy clothing is actually a safety risk since it can get caught in a machine.

3. DO test your clothing before its public debut.
Just because a pair of shorts looks good on the rack or a top fits well in the dressing room doesn’t mean it’s cleared for deadlifts in the middle of a public gym. Before you take your new workout duds out on the town — er, mat — do some test exercises in your room to make sure they don’t ride up too high or fall down too low as soon as you bend over in downward dog.

4. DON’T leave your jewelry and/or watch on.
Many people have one accessory that they never take off — whether it’s a class ring, keepsake necklace or family watch. However, you risk damaging jewelry by banging it against a weight or snagging it on a machine, and perspiration can dirty up the metal or cause an allergic reaction, so leave it at home.

5. DO consider your workout.
Different workouts call for different clothes, so think about the kind of exercises you’ll be doing before you change. If you’re headed to a yoga class, grab some leggings or yoga pants (duh), while loose shorts with a compression lining are better for a rigorous cardio routine that involves a lot of jumping.

6. DON’T re-wear your clothes.
Let’s be honest, we’re college students — how often do we do laundry? Not very. It’s tempting to re-wear things to go even longer without washing clothes, but when it comes to workout wear, don’t do it. It probably has your B.O. and sweat thoroughly soaked into it, and nobody wants to smell that.

7. DO choose your socks and shoes wisely.
It’s critical to choose shoes that fit you properly and provide the support you need for different workouts. For example, running shoes are a bad choice for cross-training because they don’t have any lateral support. Ill-fitting socks can also compound the problem by rubbing your feet and causing blisters.

8. DON’T forget to change clothes.
Whether it’s the guy lifting in jeans and flip-flops or the girl in spin class who obviously left her sports bra at home, nothing screams “I don’t know what I’m doing” like wearing everyday clothes to the gym. Since they’re not usually stretchy, you can rip everyday outfits if you wear them while exercising, and even injure yourself if you don’t have the right footwear or supportive clothing.

9. DO keep your clothes on.
This seems obvious, but there’s usually that one guy or girl at the gym who strips down as soon as they get the slightest bit over-heated. Don’t be that person. You might or might not be in the gym to get a great body, but that does not make the gym the place to show off said body as well. Plus, taking off your shirt means you’ll get other people’s germs all over your skin instead of your clothes. Ew.

Kara Sherrer is a junior at Vanderbilt University, double majoring in English and Marketing & Communications. She is also the web editor of The Vanderbilt Hustler and a consultant at the Vanderbilt Writing Studio. She can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter @KaraSherrer.

This article comes from The USA TODAY College Contributor network. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of USA TODAY. You understand that we have no obligation to monitor any discussion forums, blogs, photo- or video-sharing pages, or other areas of the Site through which users can supply information or material. However, we reserve the right at all times, in our sole discretion, to screen content submitted by users and to edit, move, delete, and/or refuse to accept any content that in our judgment violates these Terms of Service or is otherwise unacceptable or inappropriate, whether for legal or other reasons.

This story originally appeared on the USA TODAY College blog, a news source produced for college students by student journalists. The blog closed in September of 2017.

Published 10:55 AM EDT Aug 22, 2014

You’re rushing to the gym.

It’s 6PM…You walk in and it’s packed.

You literally have to wait in line to use the bench press.

The guy working out finally finishes, gets up and leaves, and there it is….

His puddle of back sweat left for you to workout on.

Seriously?…

Of course, a towel would solve this problem.

But one step further?

Proper gym attire.

There’s etiquette that needs to be followed at the gym.

Additionally, you run into people you know.

Possible business opportunities.

Single men, you’re on the alert because gyms are hotspots for attractive women.

The point is – gyms are social hubs and any public space has a code of etiquette.

Nobody wants to use the sweaty machines after you’ve dropped half a kilo of perspiration on the bench press.

The power of a first impression is applicable in the gym too.

Wearing the right clothing, with the right workout gear and practicing good hygiene can make a huge difference between an enjoyable workout and 60 minutes of misery.

What are some of the things you see at the gym which you wish you didn’t see at the gym?

The All Day Every Day (ADED) Pant from Public Rec is designed to maximize comfort and style. I wear them to the gym and they are the perfect workout pants. Not too tight or loose and they are stylish enough to wear everywhere else too.

#1 Wear Moisture-Wicking Clothing

When you’re working up a sweat at the gym, stay cool and comfortable in moisture-wicking clothes.

Workout clothes are designed to keep the perspiration away from your body. Wear a performance t-shirt that is designed to draw sweat away from your body and to the outer surface.

Wicking or performance fabrics are generally made of polyester and Lycra blends. They cost more than your regular cotton t-shirt, but will last longer, dry faster and keep you comfortable throughout your workout.

Don’t make the mistake of wearing heavy-weight cotton t-shirts, they tend to hold on to moisture, making your workouts an uncomfortable experience. Denim shorts will cause chafing, it’s best to avoid them at the gym.

Opt for synthetic materials like lycra and polyester which are designed for comfort during workouts.

Don’t forget to carry a towel.

#2 Wear Clothing That Actually Fits

Believe it or not, workout clothing that is too big is functionally worse to wear to the gym.

Clothes that are too loose will:

  • Constrict your movement
  • Make you look smaller than you are

If you’re a size ‘M’, don’t wear ‘XL’ – you won’t look bigger.

Choose materials (like a nylon-elastane mix) and a fit that gives you freedom of movement. The small percentage of spandex allows for a greater range of motion during exercise and provides a very comfortable fit without being too tight.

Clothing that is a little more fitted will also give you a more aesthetic appeal. Show off those new years resolutions a little bit. Take pride in the fact that you have put in the hours, work, and sweat. Avoid the string tanks though 😉

Self-care is not vanity, it’s sanity!

#3 Stop Wearing Cologne/Fragrance In The Gym

When men wear cologne, it tends to be all or nothing.

5-10 sprays for a workout at the gym? Forget about it! You’re going to a gym, not a nightclub.

It could be really annoying to others if your perfume is strong. Not to mention that you are wasting good cologne as you will have to hit the shower after your workout anyway.

Fragrances tend to linger and carry in closed environments, such as your local gym. Your perfume-marinated sweat is most likely inducing headaches around the gym. It is inconsiderate, especially to women who have a stronger and more sensitive sense of smell.

Ensure your workout clothes are washed daily. That’s enough for good hygiene at the gym.

The only fragrance you should be wearing at the gym is Eau de Sweat.

#4 Don’t Wear Flip Flops

The footwear you choose for a workout should provide proper support and protection to your feet.

Wearing appropriate footwear actually reduces your risk of injury and improves your physical performance.

The only time you should be wearing flip flops or sandals at the gym is after your workout. In the locker room.

Occasionally you’ll see someone running on the treadmill or preparing a heavy set at the squat machine in open-toed sandals or worse, flip flops. That’s just an accident waiting to happen.

I’m not implying that wearing shoes is going to hurt less if you drop a heavy weight on your foot. Wearing proper shoes gives you traction and prevents you from slipping.

Choose shoes that provide the support you need for the workout of your choice. Make sure they fit you properly.

Flip flops are appropriate at the beach, not in a gym.

Slip into proper workout shoes before the management is forced to ask you to leave!

Removing your shoes and working out in your socks is also inexcusable. You will end up with blisters and possibly causing unnecessary discomfort to the other patrons at the gym.

Be considerate to the gym staff and avoid wearing working out in the same shoes you wear outdoors. Don’t bring in the dirt, sand and mud from outside into the gym.

#5 Leave Jewelry At Home

Not only is jewelry unnecessary at the gym – it’s unsafe.

You may have one accessory that you never take off. Mine is a wedding ring.

Whether you’re wearing chains, watches, bracelets or ring, you risk damaging jewelry by banging metal against metal or snagging it on a machine.

You can potentially damage your jewelry by not removing them during a workout.

Wearing rings while lifting heavy weights can result in scratches on the ring, distortion of its shape and discomfort for your fingers.

To top it off, perspiration can react with the metal and cause an allergic reaction.

Get in the habit of taking off your jewelry and storing them in the locker or leaving them at home before a sweat session.

The All Day Every Day (ADED) Pant from Public Rec is designed to maximize comfort and style. I wear them to the gym and they are the perfect workout pant. Not too tight or loose and they are stylish enough to wear everywhere else too.

It’s hard to know how many workout clothes you need. Between yoga, running, pilates—the options are endless. Workout clothes are especially cute today, as “athleisure” is totally in style, and it’s acceptable to wear leggings and a sports bra all day long. Except having the cutest and trendiest workout clothes comes at a price. Instead of stocking your closet with the same Lululemon leggings in eight different colors, here’s a guide on how many sets of workout clothes you actually need.

Bottoms:
It’s hard to admit it to yourself, but you don’t need an endless supply of workout bottoms. About three to five pairs will do the trick. Most people work out a maximum of five times a week and do laundry once a week—so five bottoms are more than enough.

Tops:
Tops can get tricky, as some people wear them out as regular shirts, but there’s still a limit as to how many workout tops you should own. A maximum of five should do the job, and alternate between sleeveless, short, and long-sleeve to hit all your workout needs.

Sports Bras:
Unless you’re someone who prefers to wear a sports bra as a top, follow the same guidelines for tops for the number of sports bras. Every workout top requires a sports bra, so if you have five tops, get five sports bras.

Socks:
Totally optional, but if you prefer separate socks for your workout, limit your amount to three to five pairs as well. And if you find yourself running low, swap in a good ol’ regular pair of socks. They’ll do the trick.

Sneakers:
Sneakers depend on the workouts you do, but at least help yourself to one pair of solid running sneakers. Otherwise, you might need special sneakers for cycling, Pilates, HIIT—whatever your workout routine looks like.

It’s time to be real with yourself and throw out those five-year-old workout leggings and sports bra from high school. Invest in fewer but better quality workout clothes and you—and your closet—will be thankful.

With the early stages of 2016 a new workout routine under your belt (…or not), come the opportunity to shop for a new gym wardrobe! But with all the cute options out there and all at different price points, where do you begin? How much should you really spend on a pair of black leggings? What’s the right kind of sports bra for your workout routine? And how do you even take care of your gym clothes to ensure they last the longest? We did some digging and got all the answers for you:

1. Those leggings are expensive for a good reason

Shopping for workout clothes can put a dent in your wallet. If you’re looking for name brand or designer workout clothes, you’ll definitely have to splurge a little. But why are workout clothes so expensive?

“There are a lot of reasons why some workout clothes are more expensive than others,” says Alexia Clark, a personal trainer. “Sometimes it could just be the ‘brand name’ but there are a lot of workout clothes that are made from special materials that fight against odor and dry fast so you won’t be drenched during your whole workout.” Higher priced workout clothes made with sweat-wicking abilities and UV protection will last longer. If you’re worried about the price tag, keep in mind that the items you’re looking at will likely have better performance than cheaper items. It will be worth it in the long run (pun kind of intended)!

2. Wash the entire outfit after every use

Some people think it’s okay to wear workout clothes more than once before washing them. However, this can cause bacteria and yeast to build up, especially if your gear is tight-fitting.

“Gym clothes should be washed after every workout,” emphasizes Stephanie Alexis, founder & chief stylist at Style Studio. “There are some clothes that can be worn multiple times before washing, such as jeans, but workout clothes are not one of them. After a workout session, you and your clothes are sweaty, stinky and more than ready for a good wash.”

Haley Cahill, a graduate from Appalachian State University, had a negative experience after wearing a sports bra more than once before washing it. “I’ve always tried to get 2 to 3 or even 4 to 5 wears out of a sports bra before tossing it in the laundry,” she says. “I would typically come home from the gym and shower, but I’d let the sports bra air dry and throw it back in my gym bag for the next day.” Haley noticed that she was getting bad acne on her back and chest, and it only cleared up after she wore a clean sports bra every time she worked out. “Even if I had a light workout and didn’t sweat much, I can only imagine the dirt and bacteria that was getting trapped on the sports bra in addition to sweat,” she says. Doing an extra load of laundry is definitely worth avoiding bacteria growth!

Related: A Guide to What Kind of Underwear You Should REALLY Be Wearing to Workout

3. Let each piece dry before putting it in the hamper

If you put sweaty workout clothes into your laundry basket without letting them dry, you’re giving them an environment to grow bacteria in. You may think this doesn’t matter since you’re washing them anyway, but it can give them an unpleasant odor.

“I usually hang my sweaty workout clothes on the side of my hamper so let them dry out a bit before throwing them in with the rest of my clothes,” Clark says. “That way my whole hamper full of regular clothes that are not made from special odor-fighting doesn’t get smelly.”

In addition to making your clothes smell, putting sweaty workout clothes in your hamper can cause bacteria to grow. “If your gear is super sweaty, let it air dry before throwing it in the hamper so it doesn’t grow any mold,” says Jenna Transtrum, owner and founder of Senita Athletics. After spending the money on nice workout clothes, bacteria is the last thing you’ll want!

Jenna Adrian, a sophomore at Drexel University, makes the same point. “You should never toss them in the hamper while they’re still damp and sweaty,” she says. “This can result in a musty odor that is difficult or impossible to get rid of. Instead, hang them up (over the back of a chair, on your drying rack, etc.) to let them dry, then toss them in the hamper.” This simple hack will save you a hassle later on and keep your workout clothes smelling fresh and clean.

4. Avoid fabric softener

Although fabric softener can make your clothes smell good, it’s not ideal for workout clothing.

“Many of the sweat-wicking and compression materials don’t do well with the softener and it will shorten the life of your garments,” says Victor Adam, a health and fitness expert. Transtrum and Kyle Kranz, a running coach and social media coordinator for SKORA, agrees with Adam: avoiding fabric softeners or extra fragrences is your best bet! If you want your clothes to smell good, try a scented laundry detergent instead. If you spend the money on nice workout clothes, you want them to last!

5. Avoid high heat

Hot water and heat can break down the fabric your clothes are made with and lead to shrinkage. When washing your workout clothes, make sure you put them in cold water. When it comes to drying them, air drying is your best option—drying on low heat if it’s a must.

“If it is compression (or generally elastic) it is usually best to dry workout cloths on a medium or medium-low heat,” Adam says. “Again, most workout gear will be sweat-wicking/fast drying, so the lower heat won’t slow the drying process down much.” If you’re worried about the material or possible shrinkage, stick to air drying.

“After washing your workout gear, I think it is best to air dry them either by hanging them to dry or laying them flat,” Transtrum says. “The dryer could shrink your workout gear or affect the stretching fabrics.” If you don’t have the time to air dry, it’s okay to put your clothes in the dryer on the lowest heat setting. As long as you avoid high temperatures as often as you can, your workout clothes should last longer and fit you how they did when you bought them!

6. The best materials are…

When it comes time to buy some new workout clothes, you’ll want to know which materials are the best.

“Cotton workout clothes are not going to dry fast,” Clark says. “I try to stay away from those because I hate the feeling of heavy sweaty clothes. Mesh and nylon/elastane tops are great!”

So what should you wear, if cotton isn’t the way to go? “The best materials to work out in are the technical or performance fabrics,” Alexis says. “They are usually made with polyesters and or/Lycra blends; they are designed to draw sweat away from the body. Try to avoid rough fabrics that could irritate your skin during a workout or repetitive movement.” The most important thing to remember is to wear workout clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident!

7. Wear them with confidence

Wearing workout clothes that make you feel confident is extremely important. If you feel more comfortable in loose clothing, go with that. If you feel like you have more flexibility and range of motion in more form-fitting pieces, go ahead and rock it!

Now that you know the ins and outs of your workout clothes, you should have no problem hitting all your fitness goals! If you’re spending the money on nice workout clothes, be sure to take care of them correctly so they’ll last you as long as possible. You won’t only look great, but you’ll feel great too. Have a fantastic workout, collegiettes!

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