An important part of working out is dressing appropriately. The shorts you wear to soccer probably aren’t right for yoga. The thick pants that sound like a good idea for fall running will probably make you too warm at the gym.

The cape was a nice pre-race blanket.
The cape was a nice pre-race blanket.

I ran my first 5K a couple years ago at Halloween time. I panicked because I’d been training outside all summer. Suddenly the mornings were frosty. I was afraid I’d freeze, so I bought hardcore outdoor running pants and a similar shirt with monkey grips. When I got to the race, I was handed a t-shirt, which I put on. I was also wearing a costume. Let’s just say it didn’t take long before I was roasting in my layers. Be OK with being cold to start and take advantage of race gear checks.

My favorite and most versatile pieces are cropped running tights (I’m partial to Under Armor) and tank tops with built-in bras, but double up for high-impact activities.

Here are my guidelines:

Dressed all wrong for aerial yoga.
Dressed all wrong for aerial yoga.

Yoga
1.Tighter is generally better. Google down dog split and see if you want to do that in booty shorts.
2.Loose shirts are no bueno. The person behind you is going to get a look up your shirt every time you go into down dog. And that’s often.
3.Jumping is pretty minimal, so low-impact sports bras are fine.
4.I like to wear cropped pants with tank tops. If you’re doing aerial yoga, make sure you wear sleeves and cropped pants or full-length. The fabric will rub against your skin.
5.If you’re changing at the gym, remember that you have to walk from the locker room to the studio. Consider bringing flip flops for that walk. There’s usually someone who walks down in their work heels or boots with their yoga clothes.
6.Even the stickiest mats are less grippy when they’re covered in sweat. Bring a towel or get a cover, so you don’t lose your down dog. Bringing your own mat is never the wrong decision.

Treadmill
1.You will get warm. Shorts and tanks are good choices.
2.The bras in running tops are not supportive enough. Double up with a high-impact.
3.If you’re planning to run more than once this year, go to a running store for proper shoes. Don’t buy them off the clearance rack at JC Penney. Proper shoes are the difference between aching the next three days and looking forward to your next run.

Outdoor workouts
1.If you’re working out in the park, you have to arrive dressed appropriately. Remember, you’ll get get warm if you work hard, so go lighter than you think you need.
2.Check your pants for hidden pockets for keys or cards. Most have them. You can also get waist packs or wrist pouches for your necessities. I usually tuck my keys in my iPhone armband.
3.For boot camps, I bring a towel along for core work. A yoga mat also works, but that’s more to carry. Most boot camps run and you carry what you bring, so I recommend packing light in a small running backpack.
4.Remember, if you keep your head warm and dry, you’ll be find. Find a breathable hat or ear warmers made for running. Other models will slip off.
5.Reflective markings are never a bad idea.

Gym classes
1. Even classes that sound silly or easy will leave you dripping sweat. Dress light.
2.Consider a separate bag to carry your dirty clothes home in.
3.For aerobic or dance-type classes, short shorts are fine. For stretching and strength classes, I’d wear the cropped running tights.

SUP or kayaking
1.Something that dries fast. Board shorts and surf tops are my favorites.
2.Water shoes or no shoes. I go without.
3.Swimsuits are perfect on warm days as long as they’re the kind that stay put.
4.Wet suits are great for early or late-season play.

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