Wednesday, July 15, 2009

XI Healthy U - If The Clothes Make the Man...Do They Make the Workout Too?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009
This one is perfect for XI readers because it combines fashion with great is that?


The answer is no of course not, but you can't go working out in cut off jeans and boots. Some grunting lifter at my gym would probably disagree...or Simon Pegg in Run, Fat Boy, Run!
but that's another story...

This isn't the most comfortable outfit for a run... can we say chafe?

(Ok, pause for a second...Why does the man even make running look dead sexy?)

Annnd, I'm back. Sure Rob's outfit works for this scene in a movie, or when he needs to run quickly from some twi-hards, but what's wrong with it for a real work out?

Wear clothes that allow you to move.

Comfort is key when it comes to work out clothes. My biggest problem starting out was finding work out clothes that looked nice and fit well but didn't cling and make me feel self conscious about my size. I went to my local sports authority and looked around the racks, feeling more and more self conscious at the size selection the big name brands had to offer. Adidas, Nike and Under Armour obviously weren't concerned with making clothes to fit bigger women. When I was about to give up hope and return home to my old ugly sweat pants, I walked further back in the store and success! Russel Athletic Apparel. They had a larger cut XL-2XL bottoms. All the other brands ran smaller for what was considered an XL.

Another bonus, I didn't break the bank buying their products. Here's a Price comparison of 3 brands of moisture-wicking capri pants:

Women's UA Form Loose Capri $54.99 (whoah there! over priced much?)
- Armour®Stretch improves mobility and accelerates dry time with lightweight fabrics built in a 4-way stretch.
- Strategic vent zones built into key points where the body dumps heat, keeping you cool, dry, and comfortable.
- Loose fit that flows with your body movement.

Women's Core Power Capris $45 (that's a little better)
Fitted workout capris made for comfort and performance. The adidas Core Power Capris feature a wide waistband that won't bind as you move, and mesh inserts to boost breathability. The soft CLIMALITE® fabric sweeps perspiration away as you work out.

Russel Athletic Dri Power Transport Capri $24.99 (ding ding ding!! we have a winner!)
Ideal for the gym, outdoor training, and athletic activies, the Russell Athletic® women's TranSport Capri features Dri-Power® fabric, lightweight and breathable polyester with moisture management and a wicking finish. The covered elastic waistband with outside drawcord provides a comfortable, custom fit.

And if you think the cheaper brand won't last as long, trust me, my gym clothes get PLENTY of use and I have yet to wear a hole in a single pair of the "cheap" brand pants. If you're losing weight you'll be spending plenty of money replacing all your regular clothes so you don't need to break the bank of your work out clothes.

Here's some more tips that I found on for shopping for the right work out clothes:

You don't want to choose loose-fitting or short shorts, and then not be able to use the machines or do floor exercises that require a straddle position...Long shirts with loose sleeves will also get in the way, and could even be dangerous if they get caught in the equipment. Loose-fitting tops are also not appropriate for yoga or Pilates because they can ride up during some of the moves

High-impact activities require more form-fitting tops -- especially for larger-breasted women -- to minimize movement and promote comfort and support.

Look for clothing that moves moisture away from the body as quickly as possible, a 100% cotton T-shirt will get soaking wet quickly and will stay wet... As a result, you'll be uncomfortable and may be tempted to cut your workout short.

Take care not to overdress. A good rule of thumb is to keep cool by wearing as little clothing as you feel comfortable in (and is appropriate to the setting) because people exercise more vigorously when they are not overheated.

For the Ladies (I know I have this problem)...
Larger-breasted women can carry as much as five pounds per breast, making participating in high-impact activities like running difficult because of severe breast discomfort, says Elizabeth Goeke, executive vice president of Moving Comfort.

These women should look for workout bras made specifically for their figures, with such features as adjustable straps for a custom fit and breathable fabrics to minimize chafing. Smaller-busted women will benefit from sports bras in their sizes.

Wear proper shoes.
Sure Rob's shoes are hip, but they're NOT right for an extensive work out.

When I got serious about working out I decided I needed new tennis shoes. My worn out pumas (that had no tread left) probably weren't the best for me to exercise in. So I went to a sports store that was a little more knowledgeable about shoes than say customer service folks at a dicks (not knocking them, but know how is important for finding the right shoe).

There are shoes made for every type of sport out there, and there are also shoes for every type of foot!

The folks at the store didn't tell me anything new or ground breaking about my foot that I didn't already know. I have a high arch, a wide foot, and I walk on the outside of my feet, but they saw that when they watched me walk barefoot. So, what they were able to do was match me with a shoe that will support my arch, was wide enough for my toes, and helped correct the outward rotation by having extra support on that side of the shoe. And it wasn't a pair of pumas. Once they convinced me that I needed to give up the labels and get the best shoe I was very happy with my purchase.

I walked out with a pair of brooks (a brand I have never heard of before) but I have worn them down and they are in serious need of replacement. So I'll go back to the same place for my next pair.

If you don't have a store in the area that can give you the same advice, remember these tips from

Measure your foot frequently. "It's a myth that foot size doesn't change in adults," says Steven Raiken, MD. "It does change as we get older, so have your feet measured twice a year. Sizes also vary between brands, so go by what fits, not by what size the shoe is." Raiken is director of the foot and ankle service at the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Shop toward the end of the day. Feet swell over the course of the day; they also expand while you run or walk, so shoes should fit your feet when they're at their largest.

Bring your own socks -- the ones you wear while running or walking. If you wear orthotics, bring those, too. Shoes need to fit with the orthotic inside.

Don't believe in breaking in. Running and walking shoes should feel comfortable right away, Raiken tells WebMD. Walk or run around the store a bit to make sure they feel good in action.

Use the rule of thumb. There should be about 3/8-1/2 inch between the front of your big toe and the end of the shoe -- about a thumb's width. The heel should fit relatively tightly; your heel should not slip out when you walk. The upper part of the shoe -- which goes over the top of your foot -- should be snug and secure, and not too tight anywhere. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons writes that when fitting in to an athletic shoe you should be able to freely wiggly all of your toes when the shoe is on.

Understand the bells and whistles. Some models of running shoes look better suited to a space mission than a run in the park, but some of those groovy-looking features actually serve a purpose. Clear inserts, filled with gel, Freon, or air, provide extra shock absorption, as do those springy-looking things. These features are especially good for people who tend to get heel pain, says Raiken, and not so good for people whose ankles twist easily, as shoes with extra cushioning tend to provide less traction.

Some shoes allow you to pump up the tongue, which lets people with difficult-to-fit feet achieve a more customized fit.

Don't over- or underpay. Good-quality running and walking shoes are fairly pricey -- and usually worth it. "A $15-shoe will not be as good as an $80-shoe," says Raiken. But you'll pay a premium for super-fashionable styles or those associated with a celebrity -- and they won't be any better for your feet.

Know when to replace them. The average pair of running shoes should be replaced after about 350-400 miles of use, says Clifford Jeng, MD, a foot and ankle surgeon at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Md. Better yet, go by how your shoes look and feel. Once the back of the sole is worn out or the shoe feels uncomfortable or less supportive, it's time to take those tootsies shopping again.

And here's another tip that really helped me several months ago:

You don't have to wait until you're fit to look good while working out. In fact, experts say, what you wear to the gym can go a long way toward helping you stay motivated and confident -- and can even improve your workout performance.

"Putting on a flattering outfit motivates people to actually go to the gym or to exercise outdoors in public," says performance coach Larina Kase, PsyD, MBA, president of Performance and Success Coaching LLC in Philadelphia.

This, of course, raises the question: Just what is flattering? That depends on your individual body shape and size, says Kase.

As a general rule, though, she suggests that black shorts, a sports bra, and a colored top -- lime green, soft pink, and shades of blue are in style right now -- are a flattering choice for most women.

When I first started working out I had some new gym clothes, but then I started shedding weight and I looked just as shabby as ever. Every time I looked in the mirror at the gym there was one word that I said in my head "fat". I know I was being self defeating, but my ulta baggy clothes weren't doing me any favors in the self esteem department.

I went out and bought new tops, bottoms, and sports bras that fit better (because guess what, your boobs will shrink...) I added a few colors as well. Suddenly I felt 100 times better when I looked in the mirror because my clothes weren't hiding my weight loss results!

So make sure you update your work out wardrobe every once in a while with some better fitting clothes, you'll be glad you did! Since I'm all stocked up on work out clothes that fit better, I recently got some accessories instead new water bottles and a new gym bag:

He shoots he scores!!!

My old gym bag was a worn out canvas beach bag. I actually found sand in one of the pockets when I went to take everything out of it. Selling point for me was the mesh compartment on the side could fit a soccer ball... or my dirty shoes :)

Check out more articles from Team SixPack on her blog Twilighter 4 Fitness!


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