Exercising can be a real minefield, especially when you’re just starting out. If you’re new to running, the gym, cycling or any other exciting physical pursuits, the first thing you’ll want to get right is the outfit. We’re not just talking about style and fashion – the most important thing is that you are comfortable and suitably dressed for the exercise and the external conditions.
Your footwear is arguably the most important part of your exercise kit, particularly if you’re going to be running. Running trainers will support you effectively and provide cushioning that not only helps to protect your feet but also assists you in your stride and in turn, protects your legs and hips.
The style of trainer you use is heavily dependent on exercise but you should aim for a snug fit that isn’t too tight, to prevent blisters. Running-specific trainers will allow your feet to breathe, maintaining comfort over prolonged use. Wearing casual trainers is a bad idea as you’ll certainly ruin them, and perhaps even your feet.
Cotton should be eliminated from the outset. As a material, cotton soaks up any moisture and stores it, which will make you damp, uncomfortable and generally miserable. Instead, you want to go for synthetic and wicking options for underwear that will evaporate moisture, dry quickly and keep you comfortable.
A sports bra is essential to maintaining comfort and support while exercising for any length of time and will fit comfortably under several layers. Pants and boxer shorts should be synthetic and snug-fitting. Baggier styles will prove very uncomfortable and shift in position, so you won’t be able to focus on exercise without distraction.
Shorts are the ideal choice for exercise as they allow air to flow freely, keeping you cool and preventing over-perspiration. A pair of close-fitting active tights will wick away moisture, and you can easily pair some lightweight shorts on top for a little extra warmth and comfort.
In colder conditions, layer base layers with some joggers to balance warmth, moisture control and comfort. If you’re at the gym, you shouldn’t have to mix up your wardrobe much, but for outdoor running or cycling, you’ll want to have layering options to provide warmth.
When it comes to clothing for your upper body, go for those synthetic fibres again. A quick-drying T-shirt absorbs excess sweat and evaporate it on the surface of the top. This helps keep you cool and dry and will work in tandem with an active hoodie on top.
In the winter months, you can choose a Trespass base layer top followed by a fleece and Trespass running jacket to beat the extreme cold. If it’s raining, opt for a packaway jacket that offers waterproof protection without sacrificing on breathability. You’ll still be sweating and you want that moisture to be able to escape.
Whether the sun is shining or it’s the middle of winter, you’ll find there are several accessories that will compliment your outfit for exercising. In warmer climates, you’ll find that running hats or sunglasses are very helpful for keeping the sun out of your eyes, and will also ensure you can see where you’re going. In winter, a woolly hat will help stop the cold getting to you and a neck warmer will provide warmth without getting in the way.
Gloves are ideal for the cold and if you’re cycling, they come in handy to protect your hands from callouses and cuts. You should also carry a water bottle for any heavy exercise to keep yourself hydrated, which is essential for effective performance.
You might want to have your phone with you for some music or wear a watch to keep track of your workout.
We mentioned that comfort and practicality should be the main focus when choosing your workout gear, but there is a purpose to wearing particular styles and colours. If you’re exercising in the evening when light is low, you need to make yourself visible to drivers and others you may come across. As a result, it’s a smart idea to wear reflective and bright colours that will grab passers-by’s attention and ensure they’re aware of your presence. You can do this with reflective strips, armbands and lights.
One other benefit of wearing different colours is the way they react to the weather. Wearing light colours will reflect the sun and help keep you cool, which is ideal for sunny days when overheating can be a major problem. Darker clothing will absorb the warmth of the sun and keep you warmer in winter.