So, you are an older adult, and you have made up your mind that you want to start exercising but you have no idea what you should wear…
The good news is that there is so much exercise wear of such variety now offered in so many stores that it is easily accessible to everyone at every income level. You do not have to buy the $100 plus exercise pants from Lululemon to exercise or the most expensive running shoes on the market. So what do you need?
Firstly and most importantly, you need a good pair of runners (which, I am using to refer to all kinds of athletic shoes). I stress this the most because a good pair of running shoes will not only last longer, but really matter to the health of your feet, joints, and back. Your feet carry your body weight all day long and strong healthy feet allow us to walk with ease which is important in every aspect of our daily lives. We owe it to our feet to look after them! Most stores specializing in athletic wear, many of which operate in malls, offer a good variety of athletic shoes at different price points. There are also stores that offer more expertise for exactly the type of shoe you are looking for, if you are interested in a specific activity such as hiking, cycling or indoor walking. You will generally pay more for this type of service and quality of shoe though – but personally I feel it’s important to support independent stores!
There are a lot of technical opinions and expert advice on when to replace your running shoes but this varies a lot, depending on how much you use them and what you are using them for. Most of us are not marathon runners, but especially as we age, we want to be even more cautious in looking after our joints and putting high impact on them. So how often should you replace your running shoes? The general consensus among most experts is that after 500 miles of running, most shoes are dead and need to be recycled or saved for non-exercise purposes. There are signs to look for when your running shoes will need replacing such as, sole tread pattern worn down, heel worn more on one side than the other, wrinkles worn in the side or bottom of the sole, or the uppers broken down around the ankle. What are some dangers of wearing worn out dead shoes? You can get shin splints, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures and more! It is definitely worth it to invest around $60 to $100 in a new pair of shoes, as opposed ot taking the risk of wearing running shoes that are worn out. Plus, there are so many fun options and variety to choose from now when picking a running shoe.
Aside from a good pair of runners, what else do you need for exercise wear? The right clothes will also make a difference to your quality and enjoyment of exercise. You will need athletic pants and a shirt. Whether you need other items such as jackets will depend on what type of activity you are doing, such as hiking or cycling that have specific demands, at all price points. There are so many different types of active wear clothing on the market now, such as high end performance wear that is moisture wicking for when you work up a sweat when exercising. Even if you do not the moisture wicking active wear, you do need to wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely without constricting your movements at all. Jeans, fitted cotton pants, blouses, bulky clothing, all of these options are not good for exercise clothing. There are all types of styles, fabrics and fits now available so you have many options for what you want to wear and feel comfortable in. You do not have to wear what a 20 year old would wear to exercise in – but maybe you want to!
That being said, even if you don’t have a matching exercise outfit, don’t let that stop you from taking that first step towards fitness by enrolling in a group exercise class!
In closing, there has never been a better time with more options, accessibility, variety, price points and availability for exercise wear. Plus, it is fun to pick out a few new pieces to help get you motivated to exercise! As long as you feel comfortable and good it what you are wearing, that is the most important thing.