There’s no denying that most of us need to muster a lot of motivation to exercise regularly. And when you’re sweating, chafing, and generally suffering from massive discomfort because you don’t have appropriate apparel, it can make working out even harder. So if you’re really interested in getting in shape, it might be time to shop for some targeted gear. Here are a few factors to consider in the process.

  1. Type of exercise. The apparel you choose for jogging might not be the best choice for other activities like cycling or yoga, just for example. Although there are plenty of generic options when it comes to activewear, you’ll also find exercise apparel that is designed with specific properties needed for a particular type of physical activity. Cycling shorts and tops, for example, are fitted to cut down on wind resistance and made from certain textiles to keep a rider cool or warm as needed. Tops also have pockets in the back for personal items in some cases. But you don’t need these features if you’re doing yoga – you need soft, comfortable, flexible fabric that will move with you and not bunch up.
  2. There are two ways you can go with fit for workout clothes – tight or loose. And the fit you choose will depend on your activities and your personal preference. Cycling, for example, pretty much calls for tight fit across the board. Jogging, on the other hand, could go either way. Some people prefer fitted leggings and tops while others like loose shorts and tees. Many weight lifters prefer roomy clothes that don’t strain when their muscles bunch. So you’ll just have to try some different options, consider the type of exercise you’ll undertake, and make a decision based on your preferences.
  3. These days, you hardly have to resign yourself to the cumbersome cotton sweats Rocky Balboa famously wore when jogging around Philadelphia. Sweats still have their place when the weather is chilly, but these days there are a slew of new exercise-specific fabrics designed to stretch, wick away moisture, keep you warm, keep you cool, and perform a variety of other functions that are useful for active exercise fanatics. Just look for the extra tag that explains the features included for a particular garment.
  4. You can definitely drop some cash on exercise clothing, especially if you shop with a high-end retailer like Columbia, Patagonia, or Lululemon. These brands may or may not produce the best garments, but they certainly sport some high price tags. If you’re looking to cut costs on outfitting yourself for exercise, check out the goods at places like Target, Old Navy, and Kohl’s, just for example. You’ll find similar items at a lower price point to get started, and if you really get into a particular sport, you can always splurge a little more on higher-end gear.
  5. Custom options. Many people like to exercise with others, and whether you’re meeting your pals for pickup games at the park or you’ve joined a local jogging club, you can have some fun by wearing matching workout clothes, like customized team tees from Broken Arrow.