Find the Workout Gear that is Right for You
My fitness journey started about a year ago. After having two children and never having the chance to put myself first, I knew this needed to change because my self-confidence and general health was not where it should have been.
Signing up for gym classes and having the motivation to go for a run after school drop off was not a problem, but what did bother me is what I looked like. I am not a vain person- most days I leave the house without any make-up on, but for some reason, the thought of my wobbly bits on show when I exercised made me feel really self-conscious! Having the right workout clothes was so important, but at the start it was hard finding the balance between choosing the “right” workout gear that I also felt comfortable in.
My friend is a fitness freak- she was the one that tried to educate me about what I should be thinking about when I was looking to buy clothes to exercise in. Some things were really useful to know…
Whether a beginner or a pro, you will sweat when you exercise! Choose the right fabric:
Wicking is good.
Yep, it meant nothing to me either! Apparently good workout gear is composed of breathable stretchy fabrics that have moisture wicking in them. The idea is that such fabric “wicks” the moisture (aka sweat) away from the skin which helps it evaporate more quickly and cools you down. Nice idea, but this is the gear that sticks to you- so if you’re body conscious, not the best starter!
If you’re on a budget then these Tu Active black leggings could be a good start, and as they have moisture wicking, are great for beginners or regular sweaty gym goers alike! I also ended up buying these Tu Active Sunrise Print Leggings, mainly because I liked the pattern!
Cotton isn’t the best!
Cotton tops and bottoms aren’t the best material for exercise, because they tend to absorb sweat rather than release it. This means during your workout it can make you feel a bit wet and uncomfortable.
I did start out wearing a baggy cotton t-shirt that I found in the bottom of my wardrobe. I loved that the top was oversized and not clingy, but soon after I started to exercise, I definitely felt uncomfortable. I ended up treating myself to an Tu Active Grey Key Hole Back Top. This made a big difference- with the viscose and polyester composition, it felt much more breathable, and it was loose and covered my bum in leggings which was also lovely. The key hole back was a nice feminine touch and made me feel a bit more confident when I exercised.
Baggy stuff won’t work all the time!
Seems obvious, but the first time I went for a run around the lake I wore my jogging bottoms. Big mistake- it was uncomfortable and they got in the way. Now I will wear my Activewear leggings and (normally) my looser fitting top.
When I go to Pilates with my friend, I find my top doesn’t allow me to get the best workout, so I will wear a tighter fitting top like the Tu Active Purple Cross Back Long Sleeve Top. I am not a fan of showing off my arms which is why I like this, but some ladies will go for a vest instead.
Think about the weather.
It is likely your gym gear will need to change by season. In the summer months you will get hot quickly so those breathable “wicking” fabrics are really important. I went for some Tu multicoloured cropped leggings which I wear when it’s warmer rather than the full length leggings.
I always find the colder months a bit trickier, as even though it’s colder, I tend to warm up pretty quickly when I start exercising! If I go for a quick run, I often wear a lightweight raincoat- this Tu Active shower resistant raincoat has a waistband so isn’t loose, and is very good at keeping the rain off you!
Support yourself properly.
Us ladies need good support- especially if like me, you’ve had children! There is nothing worse than exercising and not feeling like you’re secure- that’s why you need a really good sports bra.
This pack of two Tu High impact sports bras are my favourite. I like the patterns and more importantly, I feel secure- whether running or dancing these give me the full protection I need. The underwiring gives added support and the fact you can order exact bra sizes and use the adjustable back straps to get the perfect fit, is another reason these are a definite fave of mine!
Be comfortable and confident!
Not everything my friend told me sunk in. Even though I’ve managed to shed a few pounds, I still don’t feel comfortable in a tight top and my leggings. I go to a dance lesson every Wednesday and wear these Tu Grey cuff joggers– they are super comfy, and because I enjoy the activity so much (and feel more confident), I will sometimes wear a vest top too!
Exercise clothes don’t have to cost the Earth.
I have an Argos that stocks TU clothing down the road from me, so that’s where I ended up getting the majority of my workout gear from. It’s especially good value for money. It’s also free collection from the store which is handy.
The good thing is that most Argos and Sainsburys stores now stock good workout gear at affordable prices, so getting fit and feeling confident in your exercise gear doesn’t have to break the bank. After all, who wants to spend loads on clothes you sweat in? I’d prefer to use my money to buy a nice outfit that will show off my newly toned curves (hopefully!).
Don’t give up!
It’s taken a while, but I am starting to work out the best exercise gear that is right for me. As my confidence grows, I am learning to care less about what I look like in my gym gear and focus more on getting the most out of my activity and feeling healthier. It’s so nice to get a bit of “me” back, rather than just being labelled a mum. Long may it continue!
Good luck on your fitness journey and finding what works for you…