Gym clothes. For many, the concept of clothing specifically designed for the gym sounds crazy. “Why would I buy clothing that I’m going to sweat in, ruin the material, and eventually no longer be able to fit” are concerns often voiced by people who just don’t see the point in buying clothing for the gym. Well, believe it or not, gym clothing isn’t made just to look good in. There is actually a science behind items like shapewear leggings, sweat proof t-shirts, and those super thin tank tops that you are afraid will tear with one push up.

For starters, you should know that the clothing you choose to wear to the gym will affect your performance greatly. Imagine trying to walk on the treadmill for miles in jeans. You may be fine in the beginning, but after a while, you’ll start to become uncomfortable, feel weighed down, and possibly cut your workout short. Now, imagine that same workout in gym shorts or compression leggings. These workout designed items make you feel comfortable and improve your range of mobility; therefore, allowing you to be able to fully devote your attention to performing well and completing your workout.

In addition to performance improvement, the right clothing can help prevent injuries and adds protection. Ill-fitting clothing, especially sneakers, is a major cause of sports-related injuries. Shin splints, rolled ankles, and foot related injuries are often caused by people who aren’t wearing properly fitted shoes while working out or playing sports. You need to wear clothing that protects you from injuries. Furthermore, you need to wear clothing that protects you from the elements. You may hate wearing long sleeve shirts, but if you plan on going for a run in the cold weather, you should consider changing that opinion.

Finally, let’s be honest. The right clothing can be a confidence booster. “If you look great, you’ll feel great”. Though cliché, the statement is true. From something as subtle as capri shapewear to new sneakers, if you feel good in the clothing that you’re wearing, you’ll more than likely exhibit a behavior that makes you want to show it off, i.e. go to the gym. The right clothes, the right tools, it all adds to the right attitude.

Though your go-to oversized cotton t-shirt and sweatpants may be comfortable, it’s not necessarily the right fit for the gym. Make the investment in good workout clothes and watch how your opinion about the gym and your performance change. Save the oversized comfy clothing for after the gym when you’re relaxing at home thinking about the great workout you just had!