BlackVoices' 10 workout-wear tips will help you to stay motivated and maybe even turn a few heads the next time you hit the gym.
Make No Excuses
Plus-size women have complained about not finding cute workout clothes in their sizes, but now there's no excuse not to look great at the gym. Brands like Junonia have a variety of styles and sizes that go up to 6X, making it easier to find a look that's just right for you.
If the gym isn't your thing and you're more interested in pounding the pavement, invest in a warm but stylish workout jacket. Just be sure it's not bulky like your normal winter jacket, because you will work up a sweat and need the ability to freely move your upper body. This stylish belted Run Winter Jacket by Stella McCartney ($216, shopadidas.com) is cute and practical for winter runs.
Sweat and odor aren't chic, especially when you're working out in a room full of people. This year, get clothes that come with antibacterial technology, like a workout tank by Alo ($53, alosport.com). The tank's antimicrobial treatment prevents the increase of bacteria and keeps clothes odor free.
Keep track of your running times or yoga class schedules with this funky sports watch ($32, endless.com) by Casio. It's not just cute, but it's also functional, offering features such as a day and month calendar, stopwatch and the ability to go under water. Now, there's no reason to ever miss an aerobic class again.
Shoes are probably the most important thing you will wear at the gym. When looking for workout shoes, don't go with casual styles like Converse, which have very little support or structure. Instead, find a shoe that coordinates with your primary workout, whether it's running, spinning, or a mild aerobics class. A shoe like the New Balance 870 ($100, shopnewbalance.com) is built for a light-impact workout, like the elliptical machine, and even offers side panel ventilation to prevent lingering odors.
Sure, socks aren't glamorous, but they are essential for just about any workout. These days, simple items like socks come packed with tons of technology, ensuring you get the most out of your fitness regimen. If you're in need of new socks, be sure to stock up on K-Swiss Training Socks ($10, kswiss.com). The socks come with pad cushioning to reduce soreness and pressure, an anti-slip wedge, and mesh for ventilation.
Who says your workout has to end at the gym? While adding an additional workout to your life may seem like the last thing you want to do, sleek new footwear is making it stylish and fun to keep up with your fitness goals. FitFlop Footwear's Tall Boots ($225, fitflop.com) are engineered to help tone and tighten your leg muscles while you walk, all with the look of a fashionable winter boot. Styles come in leather or suede and a variety of colors, allowing you to continue the workout long after you leave the gym.
We've all seen that woman in the locker room who brings her workout clothes in a grocery bag or tattered tote. In 2011, step up your game and protect your valuables in a great sports bag that comes with various compartments and features, such as Ful's Sports Duffle Bag ($50, bonton.com).
When you're cleaning out the garage or taking out the trash, sweats and an old T-shirt are just fine. But take pride in your appearance when you workout and ditch the baggy clothes. From yoga to dancing, break a sweat in clothes that hug your curves but allow you to move without restriction. Stock up on a few pairs of these leggings ($16.50, victoriassecret.com) from Victoria's Secret's Pink line. These leggings will allow you to see your workout movements clearly due to its light and stretchy fabric.
Bra shopping is hard enough without adding the prospect of jumping, running or bouncing into the mix. The two keys to finding the perfect sports bra are fit and size. You want a bra that protects each breast separately because this will cut back on excess bouncing and provide more support than a typical sports bra. Also, look for sports bras that come in regular bra sizes, which fit more accurately and securely. Comfort Choice Active Support Bra ($19.99 to $24.99, onestopplus.com) fits those criteria and comes in a range of colors.