We’ve all seen that one person in the gym who has a perfectly coordinated workout outfit, or is covered head to toe in Lulu Lemon. But what if actually wearing stylish athletic clothing, or an outfit that makes you feel attractive instead of old stained shorts and a tee shirt at the gym, positively affected your performance? A 2012 study coined the term, “enclothed cognition” to describe the mental changes that occur when we wear certain day clothes, which can in turn effect behavior (Adam & Galinsky, 2012). Here are a couple of reasons to explain why wearing that cool outfit could actually help you get more out of your workout.
1. Dress for Success
Wearing an outfit (coordinated or not) that you feel good in may increase your confidence, or even motivate you to work harder. Most of the popular exercise apparel brands are also designed to help keep you cool and dry during your workouts, making you more comfortable and even allowing you to perform longer.
2. Mental Boost
Putting on clothes specifically bought for exercising, may incline you to be more active. Think of it as taking on a role, just as an actor puts on a costume for a show. Taking on the persona of someone who is physically fit will allow you to be more mentally prepared for your workout
In the past, I’ve even used buying a new workout outfit as a reward for achieving a certain fitness goal. Also if you’re anything like me, the thought of spending money on something and letting it go to waste is cringe worthy. When I spend money on a new tank top or pair of sneakers, I want to wear it to get my moneys worth! Using a new outfit or accessory as motivation can help me get off my couch, and into the gym.
4. Cheap Finds
Cool workout gear doesn’t have to hurt your wallet. There are plenty of places where you can find something to feel good in at a reasonable price. Some of my favorites include Old Navy, Target, and the Gap. I’ve also had incredible luck in the past finding new or perfect condition items at Goodwill or other thrift shops!
Who knew fitness could be so fashionable?
Written by GUADS staff member Emily with contributions from shape.com