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Clothes to Wear When You Exercise

author image Kathy Gleason
Kathy Gleason is a freelance writer living in rural northern New Jersey who has been writing professionally since 2010. She is a graduate of The Institute for Therapeutic Massage in Pompton Lakes, N.J. Before leaving her massage therapy career to start a family, Gleason specialized in Swedish style, pregnancy and sports massage.
Clothes to Wear When You Exercise
Choose lightweight clothes for exercising indoors.

The kind of clothes you wear when working out depends a good deal on what type of exercise you are doing, the weather and if you are exercising indoors or out. Your personal preferences and budget will also determine what kind of clothes you wear when working out. If you are working out playing a sport, you will probably be given the right clothes for your needs.

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Choose sneakers for exercise that are specific for the type of exercise you will be doing. For example, wear running or walking shoes for those activities and basketball shoes if that's your sport. If you're not sure what type of exercise you will be doing or you plan to do several kinds of work outs, wear cross-training sneakers. Go to a shoe store or sporting goods store to be professionally fitted for work out shoes, as it's important to wear well-fitting shoes when exercising.


Wear cotton socks for exercise or choose socks made for working out; these socks are usually made of a cotton and nylon blend. If possible, wear socks that are seamless, as seams can rub and irritate your feet during a work out. Some socks have a bit of extra padding in the heel and toe area, where irritation is likely to occur.

Shirts and Pants

Loose fitting or stretchy clothes are best for working out. Wear light-colored clothing in summer to keep cool and darker-colored clothes for working out in the winter to stay warm. Stretchy long pants or shorts work well for exercise, as well as T-shirts, tank tops or sweatshirts. Choose clothes that allow your skin to breathe.

Cold Weather Exercise

If the weather is cold, layer clothes to stay warm. When working out in the winter outdoors, wear a hat, gloves and neck warmer to retain body heat. Wear sunglasses to keep the sun out of your eyes, if practical.


Keep safety in mind. Wear reflective clothing if you are running or walking outdoors at night. If your workout involves playing a sport, wear a helmet and knee pads if the sport calls for it. When hiking, wear bright clothing during hunting season to make sure you are easily visible.

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