My friend, Kent, sent this list to me yesterday and I had to laugh because I wear 3 out of the 5 things they say not to. I added comments to the ones I am in violation of.
I thought of a bonus one too that wasn’t included that I thought would and should be. I am in violation of this one too!
Whether in shirt, pant, or sock form, cotton is your worst enemy at the gym. Cotton absorbs your sweat and doesn’t dry very quickly, which means you’ll be soaking wet and seemingly a couple pounds heavier by the end of your workout. Super sweaty clothes can lead to skin irritation, and can also give you chills when your heart rate returns to resting. Try synthetic materials like lycra and polyester instead. These fabrics will wick away sweat and dry quickly.
(Karen’s comments: I wear cotton all the time. T-shirts, shorts, underwear…. Since it is getting warmer I just started wearing Lycra and poly. It does seem cooler than the cotton t-shirts I was wearing in the winter. My cotton shirts got wet and stayed wet the whole workout.)
2. Casual Sneakers
I love my Converse Chuck Taylors as much as the next person, but they’re no good for working out. Flat is bad because the shoes have zero arch support, and Converse are as flat as it gets. Converse are a low-cut style that practically screams ankle sprain, particularly when running and jumping. Instead, look for cross training sneakers that are lightweight, breathable, and give your foot a little cushion.
3. A Regular Bra
Ouch. This one hurts just thinking about it. A properly fitting sports bra is an absolute must for working out. There are a million different styles on the market for every possible size. Take an afternoon and hit several sporting goods stores. You may have to try on more styles than you’d like, but once you’ve found the perfect fit it’s well worth it. Other advice? I suggest buying several of the winning style when you find it so you don’t wear one out from overuse. Another way to extend the life of your sports bras: Don’t put them in the dryer. Let them air dry.
(Karen’s comments: I just don’t have enough upstairs to worry about a sports bra. For me personally, a regular bra works fine. I can see if you were larger chested but for my smaller sized chest I haven’t had an issue with this.)
Jewelry isn’t only unnecessary at the gym, it’s unsafe. Rings, dangling earrings, and bracelets can easily be caught in machines or even in your own workout clothing while lifting weights or doing cardio. Plus, working out while wearing it is also bad for your jewelry. Do you really want dried sweat caked on your diamond studs? Stick a little case in your gym bag for your accessories, and de-jewel before you get moving. (And don’t forget to use a lock.)
It’s tempting to put lotion on dry skin when changing into your gym shorts or a tank, but don’t do it! Lotion + sweat = a slippery, greasy mess. While it’s mainly just annoying and clammy feeling on your legs, slippery hands will definitely kill your upper body workout—particularly with free weights and machines.
(Karen’s comments: I have been putting on lotion lately because I have had a sunburn. I did notice when Steve was stretching me out his hand kept sliding off my knee because of the lotion and sweat. I didn’t find that hand lotion on my hands made me slip off the weights but I can see how that would happen if you had too much on or you applied it right before working out.)
6. Karen’s Bonus. Perfume
Sometimes I wear perfume to the gym or the Trainers. I feel gross sweating with my hair all frizzy and disheveled. Somehow in my brain I feel I may look bad but I smell good! This seems to somehow give me a false sense of security. However, when I was at Steve’s one time a lady not only noticed my perfume, but actually could tell me what kind it was. That’s not good. I asked Steve and he said although he could detect it it wasn’t over powering the room. Although, I wear perfume, I do believe you probably shouldn’t.
Question of the day: Any other thoughts on what shouldn’t be worn to the gym?