Can we just talk about what folk wear for gym, because finding clothes to wear for working out is probably one of the most difficult challenges facing people on the Healthy Weight Programme. There are so many excuses to keep you from going to gym… you are too tired, you have had a bad day, its too cold, its too hot, and I can’t find anything to wear. That last one is a genuine problem, and not actually an excuse. It is all very well to say that to work out you need comfortable well fitting clothing. Turns out that comfortable and well fitting may be wishful thinking, and I won’t even dig deeper and talk about affordable.
1. Take the first step and worry about your gym kit later: We think we need all the gear; to get off the couch without it we cannot run, we cannot swim and we definitely can’t get through a gym workout. In fact, we are made to believe that without all the gear we probably shouldn’t go to gym. If you just want to get moving… take the first step and worry about your gym kit later. Of course you need comfortable shoes, to walk miles everyday and run every other day, but to just start, right here, right now… you can probably walk up and down the corridor, or even around the block, just as you are. Even so, wherever you workout, whatever magazines you read, whatever stores you are shopping in… you will be surrounded by the best athletes, in ALL the best gear and in photographs that are much larger than life. The thing is, it really isn’t their gear so much as their hearts (and genetics) that gets them to be the super athletes that they are. Chances are they have been on a life long exercise journey and they did not take twenty years off to have a couple of kids either.
3. Real People Work Out: The thing is just a quick glance across the gym floor on any given day will tell you that real live people workout out, not just Olympic athletes, and not just super models that manufacturers appear to make clothing for. I might feel like an ultra athlete after every workout, the reality check of the change-room mirror… means that I need real hard working clothes. These are clothes that I am going to wash and wear over and over again, until I change shape or lose a few more cm’s, I will wear them at least every other day.
5. Shop Assistants Are There for the Brand, Not Necessarily the Customer: The fact is shop assistants look at you like, well you are the one with the problem, you are overweight. It can certainly feel like punishment when a shop assistant says, “We have nothing YOU can wear for gym here.” Honestly, it is intimidating trying on gym gear, whatever size you are, in a cubicle. I can’t be the only wanna-be-athlete that has nearly gotten whiplash trying on a sports bra in a change room… can we call that a sports’ related injury? Probably not.
7. What About Shopping Online: There is the problem of trying things on… I bought myself leggings online and they were really pricey. The largest possible size (because… plus size mindset), and when I received them, they didn’t actually go over my knees. Patience and weeks later they fitted and they are now my absolute favourites. But one pair of leggings does not dress an athlete, and I am not prepared to pay a fortune for clothes I am only going to wear for a short season.
There are a lot of people working out, and a lot more people would be out there, if they could just find comfortable clothes to wear. Apparently only people that fit on the recommended Height/Weight charts can shop for sports gear. This is so crazy, it is a complete mystery to know where real people actually do their shopping. But statistically speaking vast numbers of South Africans are overweight, it is part of a global health crisis and the only way that we can get our nation to overcome the problem is if we start sleeping better, eating better and of course exercising. Our apparel companies should be taking heed… there is a vast market out there and they are just not providing for it.