No matter what you do to stay in shape, it will be more comfortable and more enjoyable with the right clothes. Exercising often means pushing yourself to the limit, and the discomfort of clothing that is too cold or too warm, weighted down with sweat or chafing your legs can really prove to be a distraction. The right clothes will perform effortlessly, allowing you to focus completely on your workout.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Think about the activity you are going to do and the environment you're going to do it in. Outdoor sports may require warmer clothes and a lot of layers, depending on the season and local climate. With indoor sports, you can usually get by with only a couple layers. If you're going to do aerobics, yoga or something else that requires a lot of stretching, you'll need stretchable fabrics that will move with you body. If you plan to do jogging or weightlifting, however, having stretchable fabrics is not as much of a factor.
Get a base layer for your lower half. The base layer fits comfortably and snugly against the body, stretching as you move. For indoor sports or warm weather, you may want to get a pair of compression shorts, which prevent your thighs from rubbing together and wick moisture away from your body to keep you comfortable during your workout. If you're going to be in the cold, you may want to wear thermal underwear instead. It provides the benefits of compression shorts but with more warmth.
Get a base layer for your torso. For more vigorous workouts, many men prefer to wear compression shirts, but they are not really necessary for low intensity exercise. For most women, an exercise bra is necessary for comfort, especially with aerobic exercise.
Decide whether you want to get exercise pants or shorts. Exercise pants are nice because they provide a little bit more warmth for outdoor workouts. Exercise shorts are cooler, making them perfect for high-intensity outdoor activities like running or for working out in a gym. If you're not sure, you can always combine the two approaches. There are exercise pants with zippers or snaps at the bottom, so you can undo them and remove them without taking off your shoes during your workout. That way, you can wear a pair of shorts under your exercise pants and quickly change when you get too warm.
Get a top layer. Many casual fitness enthusiasts opt to work out in plain cotton tees. The problem with cotton is that it holds on to moisture, making it wet and uncomfortable during prolonged workouts. You may want to instead use a synthetic material such as capilene or Coolmax. which wicks sweat away and dries faster. If you're going to be outdoors in cold or windy weather, you may also want to invest in a good fleece and windbreaker as well to keep you warm.