At the age of 6, I was put into sports. I even went to college on a small athletic soccer scholarship and before then had probably never been inside a real gym. It wasn’t until the off-season when I was pushed into lifting weights and getting fit for the fall when my eyes were opened to a whole new world of athletes. After I graduated and attended a gym on my own (ahem, that was years ago, whoops) I realized that not only are they intimidating, but there are some real faux pas happening at places of fitness. With the help of a good friend who frequents these kinds of places, we hope this steers you in the right direction.
We understand that gyms can be scary with all the large machines and awkward staring (it can be meat market, if you catch my drift), but there are ways to dress appropriately for an intense workout, or even a light one.
Find A Good Fit
Even if you feel uncomfortable and think baggy clothes are hiding your body, it’s not a good idea to wear them to the gym for a couple reasons. First, they can get caught on equipment (especially pants) and possibly do harm to you, and second, they don’t provide the best silhouettes for overall athletic performance. Baggy clothes can get in the way, and once sweating, get even heavier on your body.
Let Others Stay Focused
There are plenty of things a woman can do at the gym to be a distraction, but how tight or revealing her clothes are, should not be one of them.
– Wear a sports bra. In fact, for some of the more voluptuous women out there, you might want to wear two. Just don’t leave home without one, no matter how big or small you are up top. And it’s wise not to wear JUST a sports bra. That’s only asking for attention that you might not want.
– Test out your tank tops or low cut t-shirts beforehand. Even though they may not look flashy, bend over and do some stretches at home to make sure you won’t be exposing anything extra once you get to that Pilates class. This goes for shorts as well.
– No denim. It’s uncomfortable and inappropriate for any kind of exercise. Even denim printed leggings are a no-no.
– No bathing suit tops. These are for the beach, and anywhere with water. If your gym has a pool (lucky you!) that should be the only place where your swimsuit is seen. Triangle bikini tops under a tank top is not proper workout attire.
Try a Techie Fabric
Yes, cotton is comfortable, but it also holds moisture longer than we want. If you plan on sweating (and we hope you do), consider looking into technologically advanced fabrics such as Dri-FIT and CoolMax.
Own Suitable Shoes
Keep your Converse and Vans at home. Wear qualified athletic shoes that will support your posture while moving, and also maintain your ability to go further in your athletic goals.
Hygiene Is Everything
To stay as ladylike as possible in these types of situations but still feel fit and healthy, we want to ensure hygiene is a large focus.
– It’s completely natural to have an odor during or after working out, but don’t try and mask it with perfume or fragrance, as others around you could be ultra sensitive to strong scents. However, always wear a deodorant to keep odors at bay.
– Hair should always be pulled up in a ponytail (or pulled back by a headband for those with shorter hair), otherwise, sweat can get trapped in the hair around the face and cause breakouts.
– Another way to prevent breakouts is by not wearing heavy make-up. It’s best to wear none at all, but if you feel you need some, just a little under eye concealer and waterproof mascara should be just fine.
Know Gym Ettiquette
Even if you’re a first timer, these are a couple things that should be followed:
– Take off chunky jewelry. It can be complicated and loud.
– Use your cell phone for music, not for having your weekly hour conversation with your mom on your blue tooth. Nobody wants to hear about how your sister got food poisoning at the new restaurant in downtown.
Being active is always a great thing, but if you feel like going to the gym is not your thing, try other alternatives like finding an all women’s gym, or even try just going to classes you enjoy. Anything to keep your body healthy year round is fabulous, just make sure you aren’t turning heads for the wrong reason!
Image via Pinterest