What To Wear While Working Out

Let’s face it, your 9 to 5 uniform isn’t always the most functional. Those five-inch heels aren’t the best for hauling ass to flag a cab or catch the 5:30 train, but they’re making a killer impression on your colleagues and superiors. But when it comes to working with your #fitfam, the dress code calls for functional pieces that will keep you comfortable, injury-free and yes, stylish, while you chase after your goals.

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Activewear is in, and so is barre image: barre-tique fitness

Activewear is in, and so is barre. image: barre-tique fitness

“Activewear is in right now,” said Donna Spadaro, the founder and master trainer of Barre-Tique Fitness. Barre is trending, too. Spadaro recently expanded her staff and opened a larger studio in Port Jefferson to accommodate her growing clientele.

Dress to impress at your first barre class by rocking gear that makes you feel comfortable and confident. Spadaro loves Under Armour’s HeatGear® Capri, which is made of polyster/elastane rather than cotton. “The fabric is awesome when we use the back of our knees to grip playground balls and work the back of the hamstring.”

Spadaro is a huge fan of leg warmers, and not just to help keep you warm as you go to and from the studio. “They help slide easily when stretching on the barre.” You’ll also need a bra that’s breathable and keeps everything in place as you plié your way to a bikini bod. “The Under Armour Eclipse has adjustable cross straps that are key for all types, and the compression feels like a second skin.” Barre can be done barefoot, but Spadaro and many of her students swear by the Capezio Full Body Foot Undies. “They have the perfect fit and grip for all your barre work and make the feet look super sexy.”


Wear an outerlayer that protects you from the elements image: aj watt

Wear an outerlayer that protects you from the elements. image: aj watt

Hard-core runners have long been unafraid to run in freezing temperatures, but with the mild weather we’ve been having, forget the gym membership and chase the sunrise. “The most important part of your outdoor training outfit is the base layer, the one closest to your skin,” said Jimmy Minardi of Minardi Training in East Hampton and NYC. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way from the days of baggy, cotton tees that soak up sweat. Instead, pick pieces made of moisture-wicking fabrics for a base layer to prevent your body from being exposed to water, which can lead to hypothermia. Thermax, Under Armour and Burton have good options. In the winter, wear outer layers that repel wind and moisture.

Choose a shoe that will tackle tough elements and terrain and provide foot support to prevent unnecessary slips and soreness. Minardi suggested the Xodus 6.0 GTX® and GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort. Fight blisters by wearing the right socks. “Blisters are caused by friction and moisture. Moisture-wicking fabrics help absorb and disperse moisture in your shoe.” He’s a fan of New Balance Technical Elite NBx, which may even help you PR. “The small diamond-shaped cushions in the forefoot and heel of the ultra-thin mesh ventilation model soften your landing without any of the added weight or bulk of thicker socks, making these an ideal choice for going fast. The arch wraps tighter than most to keep the sock from slipping, even at a quick pace.” In cooler months, stay bundled up with gloves, a hat and scarf.


Steer clear of baggy clothes at yoga, which won't stay put as you switch poses image: evelyn o'doherty

Steer clear of baggy clothes at yoga, which won’t stay put as you switch poses. image: evelyn o’doherty

Aim to wear comfortable clothes that aren’t too loose because honestly, how are you going to get into zen mode if your shirt feels like it’s falling off every time you get into a downward facing dog? Evelyn O’Doherty of The Heart of SUP, Surf & Yoga in East Hampton loves Wunder Under Crops by lululemon for the winter. “They are soft and seamless, perfect for diving into a deeper yoga practice,” she said. In the summer, she switches to lululemon Pace Rival Crops and Vent It Out Crops. “They offer ventilation through the back, which can help dial down the heat index.” A close-fit tank will stay put regardless of your pose. During the cooler months, layer up with a jacket that keeps you cozy during warm-ups, cool-downs and as you go to and from the studio. “I wear the lululemon Daily Practice Jacket everywhere. I love how it fits, the high collar and hood to keep out the wind, the boucle texture and of course the thumbholes for an added inch of warmth wherever I go.”


The right layers will let you cycle year round image: jimmy minardi

The right layers will let you cycle year round. image: jimmy minardi

In terms of tops, bottoms and layering, the same rules that apply for running apply for cycling. “What’s most critical when you’re in a head wind on a bike is that you’re wearing clothing that will keep the water away from your chest, lungs and heart,” Minardi said. Like runners, cyclists need to layer up and choose moisture-wicking fabrics for base layers. Minardi rides in a Louis Garneau Minardi jersey. “It’s very breathable, GORE-TEX® and waterproof.”

There are tons of fancy footwear options for cyclists, but the most important rule is simple: it’s about fit. “Pro cyclists often wear cheap shoes simply because it’s the best fit for their specific foot.” If only the same could be said about our 9 to 5 choices. In colder weather, wear a thicker sock.

Keep those hands warm, too. “Rukka 3-Finger GORE-TEX® Gloves with Thermax liners are the best on the market. If it’s too cold for those gloves it’s too cold to be outside.”

Thin beanies work on the head, “they fit under a helmet without compromising the fit.” You can find them at any sporting goods stores.


Paddle through the seasons image: evelyn o'doherty

Paddle through the seasons. image: evelyn o’doherty

We live where others vacation. Long Islanders have the privilege of living within arm’s reach of the sand and sea year round, and with the right layering, you can continue to do your favorite water sports long after the big thaw out. First, invest in a wet suit to keep you warm and dry. O’Doherty, who paddles 12 months a year, has been sporting the Starboard All-Star SUP Suit this winter, which is made specifically for paddling and keeps her cozy even in 20-degree weather. “It is incredibly functional, with added room through the shoulders and side seams for the stretch and reach of paddling, well insulated to trap body heat and sealed through the seams and cuffs.” she said. As with running and cycling, wear moisture-wicking fabrics underneath to keep sweat at bay. When the temps rise, O’Doherty switches to running wear, think shorts and crops with wicking abilities and four-way stretch material like lululemon’s Luxtreme Bottoms. “I usually have my favorite Patagonia bikini top on and cover with a light rashguard. I love the bamboo ones coming out now for their breathability.” Protect your head from the elements with a hat.

beth ann clyde

beth ann clyde

Beth Ann Clyde is a social strategist of Long Island Pulse. Have a story idea or just want to say hello? Email bethann@lipulse.com or reach out on Twitter @BAClyde.