4 Ways to Find The Right Athletic Gear
Today marks the first day of summer and the start of bathing suit season. Yikes! If you’re like me, you’ve probably waited until the last second to get started on that resolution to lose 10 pounds. Or, you actually started chipping away at your waistline early. And in that case, lucky you.
Either way, you’re working on it now and that’s what’s important! Whether you’re a regular at the gym or just starting out, there’s different types of workout clothes that are made just for you. Below are my favorites and what you need to know:
1 - FOCUS ON THE BASICS
Ok, let’s start with a little truth time. Like most office/computer-based people, my work has me attached to a desk for most of the day, and the last thing I want to do is hit the gym when I get out. But, once I actually get moving, even if it's just a light walk around the block, I feel better already.
When you’re just starting to work out, it’s best to go for the cheaper clothing options until you find the sport, class and machine you like best. You don’t want to spend $200 on cute tennis outfits just to find out two weeks later that you hate the sport. Embrace the opportunity to try new things and spare your wallet by focusing on lightweight versatile shorts, normal to loose-fitting cotton tanks and maybe two pairs of stretchy capris/leggings. This way, no matter your body type, you have options for yoga, running and every activity in between.
Old Navy and Kohl’s are my favorite spots to grab these because of their decent quality fabrics, continuous sales and piles of coupons for combined savings. In fact, Old Navy has 30% off clearance with the code *JACKPOT* plus up to 50 percent off everything else and $5 performance tanks right now!
2. GIVE YOURSELF SOME SUPPORT
It’s always good to celebrate a successful workout, but this time, I’m talking about physical support. Wearing a sports bra without underwire or padding will feel like you aren't wearing anything at all. Been there, done that. Do yourself a favor and head over to Victoria’s Secret semi-annual clearance sale for two or three good pairs in a mesh or other “breathing” material.
If you have a larger bust/back size, get thicker straps and/or at least one-cup worth of padding. Believe me, I bought the cheap ones. They do the same thing for you as they do on the hanger - NOTHING.
Have a more petite frame? You can get away with thinner straps and lighter fabric, but I still recommend slight padding. You don’t want to sweat through your bra.
3. WHEN YOU’RE READY, GO PRO WITH PREMIUM FABRICS
Now, only you know what sport you like the best and exactly what gear works well for it! (For me, it’s shorts, a super loose tank and sports bra for Zumba!)
Once you get to the point where you’re working out three or more times a week, the price of replacing cheap workout clothes can start to add up. Since you plan on continuing this routine, it’s worth upgrading to better sportswear that can withstand multiple months, or at least a year of workouts. The transition can help save you money in the long run.
But...Don’t worry about sticker shock!
Minus Lululemon, all of those names I just mentioned have outlet stores where the prices are significantly reduced. Just look up your local Tanger, Simon or Chelsea outlet locations and I’m pretty sure you’ll find at least one.
FYI - most of those centers have a “saving’s passport” or coupon book filled with added discounts at guest services. A $5 bill can get you one or, if you have a AAA card, the associates will usually give you a copy for free.
Planning to go in the near future? Sports Authority is closing its doors. If the location near you isn’t already shut down, take advantage of the 10-70 percent off sales and raid the racks for great brands at lower prices.
4. DON’T FORGET YOUR FEET
I always say fashion and function are not mutually exclusive. However, in this case, the function is most important! Weight lifting calls for special shoes just like tennis, soccer, and long-distance running. If you have flat feet, you may also need a special set of kicks just to be comfortable during those longer workout sessions.
Next time you go to a place like Reebok or Dick’s Sporting Goods, check out the labels above each shoe style to ensure you grab the right one for your sport. Then, talk to a sales rep. They should be able help you find exactly what you need and may provide some added insight. If they show you something too expensive, check the clearance section or run a quick Google shopping search to find something similar that fits your budget. This way, at least you’ll know exactly what to look for at the right price.
Workout clothes aren't hard to come by, just follow these tips so you can quickly navigate any athletic section and stick to your budget at the same time.