Like most people, with the holiday season approaching, one of the things that I look forward to is the amazing array of homemade delicacies that are piled high at every event and party. Of course, this also subsequently means that I will be making more frequent trips to the gym during the month of December to save any chance of a waistline. And if you plan to do the same, it may be about time to upgrade your workout wardrobe.
Why bother looking good while you work out, you ask? What’s wrong with the old college tee shirt with the cutoff sleeves that you wear to the gym? Well, first of all, you should remember that if you are exercising in a public place, other people are sharing the equipment with you. The right clothing, made from an absorbent or moisture-wicking material, will leave less sweat on the gym equipment, and that is just courteous to your fellow gym-goers. Some studies show that wearing the right clothing can actually improve your workout, too. If you wear figure-flattering clothes, such as mid-thigh black mesh shorts and a moisture wicking t-shirt, you look less sloppy, and are therefore likely to perform your workout routine in a less sloppy manner. Remember that most gyms are literally full of mirrors, so how you perceive yourself is important.
It is also a good idea to have a set of clothing that is your designated workout wear. If you throw on the same sweatpants and sweatshirt that you wore when you broke up with your girlfriend and moped on the couch for a whole day, this can automatically drain your energy. Instead, designated workout wear that makes you look and feel good will help you to automatically feel energized and ready to focus when you put it on. Most men tend to gravitate towards black for exercise wear, which is a fine choice because black flatters just about everyone. But if you feel energetic when you put on a bright color, such as red or orange, then look for workout wear in these colors instead. You’ll also find that the right athletic socks and shoes are absolutely worth the investment and can make a tremendous difference in your comfort, and therefore your endurance level.
Just as you would have a specific care routine for clothing that you wear to an interview or out on a date, you should also have a specific care routine for your workout wear. If they get particularly sweaty and grungy, you probably do not want to wash them with your other clothes, anyway. For performance fabrics, it is best to launder them without fabric softener, as this can compromise the fabric fibers. Instead, just use a good, high quality gentle detergent. If your shirts develop sweat stains, pre-treat them before laundering them by dabbing them with white vinegar or a laundry stain treatment. You can also add a cup of white vinegar, which helps to fight both stains and odors, to your wash cycle. Most workout wear, especially if it is elasticized or synthetic material, should be hung to dry rather than put through the dryer. This will help it to maintain its shape and its moisture wicking properties. The same properties in the fabric that allow you to stay dry while working out will also help them to dry quickly after washing.