Poll: Do New Workout Clothes Motivate You to Exercise?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Spring is officially here! Are you as excited as I am? I loathe the dark Ohio winters, so if you ask me, spring can never come soon enough! I love waking up to the sun shining through my windows, leaving work when there are still a few hours of daylight left to enjoy, tending to my vegetable garden, riding my scooter, planning the next 5K I want to run, and of course, rotating my wardrobe to put away those stuffy winter clothes and bring my warm-weather clothes front and center.

Speaking of clothes, I'm a bit of a clothing junkie—but not in the way you might think. Really, I don't have a lot of clothes and I rarely go shopping. I look for bargains and rarely buy anything that's not on sale. But when it comes to workout clothes…that's another story! I recently realized that about half of my wardrobe is exercise clothing—shorts, performance wear, sports bras, sweat-wicking tops and capri pants—you name it, I probably have it (in at least 3 colors, thank you). I have more pairs of workout pants than I do regular pants! I have more sports bras than I do regular ones! That's just the beginning.

I realized that I had a problem when I was shopping for a new pair of jeans recently. I found a perfect pair (which is so rare, am I right?). It fit well and made me feel great. And even though I'd wear these jeans multiple times per week for months on end, I couldn't justify their $60 price tag. However, just a week prior, I had spent $50 (yes, $50!) on a new pair of Nike workout pants—something I'll wear for an hour once a week. Am I nuts? (Don't answer that.)

So I started to wonder: Are you like me? Do new, cute, or cool workout clothes motivate you to exercise?

Workout clothes DO motivate me. I am much more excited to go for a run when I'm sporting my great-fitting, sweat-wicking exercise pants that make me feel comfortable and confident than if I threw on any old thing. You will never see me working out in a random oversized T-shirt or anything made of cotton (it retains moisture and keeps you soggy). I can't really explain it—I mean, I'm definitely not that into my appearance. For me, buying and wearing nice workout clothes is not about what others think when they see me exercising. It's about how the clothes make me feel about myself. I like to have the right gear for the job so to speak. Just as a new fitness gadget, like a pedometer, heart rate monitor, or even a bodybugg, can motivate other people to get moving, that's what workout clothes do for me. They don't have to be expensive or fancy—they just have to have the right fit, fabric, and style. If that makes me a clothing snob, so be it! (At least it helps motivate me to exercise 5-6 days a week and feel good while doing it.)

How about you: Do you care what clothes you wear when working out? Do new workout clothes motivate you, or do you think these "outfits" are silly?

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Love new workout clothes. What I really need to do is learn how to SEW them! (YES, I know how to sew.) : ) Report
I have used new workout clothing as my treat whenever I meet a goal. So when I lost 5 lbs or when I made healthy eating choices for a month, increased my workout time by 10 minutes or increased the size of the hand weights, I rewarded myself with new workout clothes (or new workout DVDs.) This has definitely been a great motivator and I feel great in new (and smaller!) workout clothes! Report
just bought some new gym gear.... i love looking good and working out... it motivates me. Report
I get motivated if I think I look cute in my work out clothes. I need to buy something new because I have been a total slacker lately. Report
Yes new workout clothes motivate me - at least for a little while! Report
I never bought work out clothes before. I would just exercise in a cotton tee shirt and sweat pants, and maybe that is why I lost all my motivation after awhile. It is true. Nice fitting, new workout clothes do help to inspire and encourage you to get moving. And without motivation, people would never exercise. I'm buying workout clothes! Report
I've always been of the opinion that whatever motivates you is fine. Even if it seems weird, if it gets you to work harder or to push a little more, than it's worth it. Whatever it is. I like to buy new stuff. I like to tape my wrists. I like to look like I'm still playing football, even though I haven't played in almost 20 years. It gets me motivated. And that's all that counts. Report
Although I'm a bargain shopper- new workout clothes do help keep me moving!! Report
Right now, I feel fat in everything that I wear, but I have to admit that buying workout clothes does help my "want to" attitude :) Report
I have a hard time finding workout clothing that fits well, is reasonably priced and available in appealing colors, nor do I really enjoy shopping so my workout wardrobe is very limited. I'd like some new pieces but right now I find I'm more motivated by a new DVD than new workout clothes. Report
I often work out and don't change. Im just not into changing my clothes several times a day. As far as motivation, I get much more motivation from a new DVD or a new goal/ challenge. Report
A couple months ago, I'd have said no they don't motivate me. However, now that I've shrunk quite a bit and some of my tops hang and droop while I'm running, I find it uncomfortable and annoying. I broke down and spent some money at Ross on an Adidas tek top and some capris. Wow. I don't even care if I looked good and with my thighs the capris couldn't look good, but Holy Crap, I FELT good. The clothes fit and weren't drooping and dragging and rubbing. So, looking cute doesn't motivate me, but knowing I'll be comfortable does motivate me. Report
workout clothes in general that feels and looks great on me...motivates me to get my sweat on. Report
I defenatelly think they are motivating... I just bought myself a new Nike Top and Matching Nike Capri pants, and my husband looked at me (he is my workout partner) and said "wow, hunny your suit looks GREAT!!" ...how can I not love work out gear!!..LOL Report
This is a great article. I am the same way... I work harder when I feel i'm lookin cute. Target is a great place for workout stuff & so is JCP!! Thanks for sharin...
Absolutely! Report
i love buying new workout clothes.....and i love a bargain. I do well at Kohls but reading these post makes me want to check out target soon :) My next new outfit wont be for another month (just got new fila capris and a tek gear top) My next outfit will be when i can buy med bottoms, i am at a comfy large from a tight xl so progess is showing in my clothes. I am also down from a 2x top to a just fitting large. I look forward to that being a loose large!! Report
After I saw my tiny daughter in a work out outfit (I in my very loose sweat pants and three times too large shirt), I decided to get a couple of sets for myself.
They for some reason made me want to get to the gym more often. They're absolutely adorable, fit well, and I do believe I look good working out on the treadmill! Report
Yes and every time I go into Target, it seems like I purchase a new sports bra. Report
Pretty, well fitting workout clothes are a must! I feel so much better about myself and that is always a motivator! Report
Definitely - I'm loving my Lulu Lemon - I know I will even more when I hit my next goal and can buy a smaller size Report
I love buying and wearing my new and comfortable workout gear. It makes me feel so much better when material is not hanging around and getting in your way and it's my way of treating myself when I lose weight. Report
yes, good workout clothes matter to me. Maybe that is shallow, but you will never see me in sweats and a tee. I find that when I look good I am more confident and when I am more confident, I workout stronger. Report
I am definitely more motivated to workout when I feel like I look good in my workout clothing. I just recently lost about 30 lbs and it has been much easier to find apparel to fit now that I am thinner. I like the stuff at http://www.impactfitnesswear.com because even when I was 180 lbs I could wear their stuff. It is good quality and stylish. Report
Yes! Yes! Yes! I love good workout clothing. I find that whenever I'm back in the US or in Europe one of the first stores I visit is a sporting goods store to purchase workout clothing. If it fits good and looks good I'm encouraged to workout during the week. Report
I used to exercise in oversized cotton tees and shorts or sweats, then I read a few of your blogs since I was clueless to what was considered good quality clothing for workout clothes. When I lost my first 10 lbs. I started feeling better about myself and saw the results of my hard consistent work. I started looking in the stores for those workout clothes especially after reading the blog about not going broke doing so. Yes, my new workout tops and shorts inspire me to continue working out. I wear the clothes for myself. Those tops and shorts make me keep proper form when out walking or working out here at home. It makes me feel good about myself and to see myself in some more form fitting clothes where I can see the results of my cardio and strength workouts. I still look for the workout clothes to be on sale or clearance to help keep costs down. With fall coming along soon, I will be keeping my eye out for longer workout pants and long sleeve tees. I know I can get them here at the SparkStore and they are actually on my rewards list. I wear my workout clothes for me, and not for anyone else- I will take motivation any where I can get it. Keep writting these blogs I thoroughly enjoy them and it educates me. THANKS, once again Coach Nicole! Report
Well I dislike posers. People need to be who they are on the inside and not try to be someone they are not. To answer the question, yes, work out clothing makes me work harder. The reason is if I purchase some form fitting work out clothes and all you can see is fat underneath then I will look like a fake! People will see me in those clothes and say "yeah sure...you work out. whatever!" Sounds lame I know but it is the truth. I see the clothes like a uniform. You shouldn't wear the uniform if you don't belong in the group! Report
I love how I feel when I buy a new pair of workout pants. It makes me feel slimmer, which in turn, motivates me to go workout! Go ahead, buy those tight workout capris... and go run! Report
I joined a gym on April 15 for the first time in my decades-long life! Then I went shopping. I was able to find two mix-'n-match outfits in my price range which I really love. Every time I go to the gym I'm so proud to put these on. I feel like I belong in the gym as I go through those doors. Yes, completely true for me, workout clothes help me exercise and help me feel good about me as I exercise! I know that soon these clothes will fit me looser (thank God for elastic) and I'm gonna keep looking better and better in them. That's an added plus, to be sure. I love my tops and shorts, and I have my eye out for more. Report
A new coordinated outfit is the reward for achieving a goal. A lot of 'hard-core' exercisers sneer at the outfits, as they think that being coordinated means you are not 'serious'. They usually change their minds when they see how many push-ups, etc. that I do in a workout.

I know it's a good week when the workout clothes outnumber the work clothes in my laundry basket. Report
Exercise clothes feel better than the average tee shirt and sweats. Report
New workout clothes absolutely motivate me!! Particularly when I get a great deal on something. I just bought a new pair of Nike professional shorts for $15. As soon as I bought them i ran home to workout in them!! Report
i actually giggled a little at this post :) my husband often jokes about how he believes i'd be addicted to buying shoes & workout clothes if we could afford it. he's right, i totally would! since i can only buy clothes once a year (those lovely tax returns), i plan and budget and make sure i KNOW what i'm gettting before that money even shows up in our account. mostly so i know i only spend $20 on those $50 workout pants (or buy 2-3 pairs for that $50)! Report
Though I don't have many work out clothes, I do find that I enjoy the workout more and do it with more energy/strength than when I work out in a tee shirt and shorts. I love to wear a sports bra with matching sports shorts with (longer legged) Under Armour underneath!! I'm very much looking forward to buying a new pair of running shoes today or tomorrow!! :o) Report
most definitely. Report
I have to say, when I was working, the first thing I did when I came home was to put on my workout clothes. 1. This habit psyched me up to workout. So I think I purposely wore work out clothes for this purpose. 2. How comfortable are they? Now that I am not working, it's what I wear 75% of the time. So, when the mood strikes, I can jump in the car and go to the gym cause I am already dressed. With most of us having working out on our minds so much, it just makes sense that we reach for the work out clothes. When I shop, I seem to gravitate toward the sportswear section even if I am shopping for other clothing...so, between comfort and working out in the back of our minds, I think that is why we gravitate toward wearing/buying work out gear..it's cute and comfy. Report
I am a huge fan of Under Armour compression gear - it shows off every muscle, or where the muscle should be. Seeing that in the mirror is a huge boost to my confidence and motivation! I want to look even better in the new gear!

I love to hit up the outlets and find a great new top or pair of running tights. I'm now in the process of switching from working out in t-shirts to HeatGear and AllSeasonGear. Getting new workout clothes is almost as exciting as getting new running shoes. Not quite, but almost. :) Report
i too eat more at home than away and i also drink a lot of green tea but it does just make you thirstier and hungrier and my dr. said sometimes when you drink all day long bit it lowers your sodium level and removes electrolytes from you that you need to keep in your system. jshoes 9/10/09 Report
Definitely...attractive workout clothes make me feel better, and thus, motivate me, if you will. I realize that it's not the clothes, but the person, yet, I do like looking my best. Ross's has some of the cutest, least expensive workout items I've found. Report
I like looking nice while I exercise. It boosts my confidence. Report
I definitely find that a new pair of running shorts or a new kind of socks makes me want to get out and try them right away. Like you I'm not overly fussed about my appearance but there's something so great about stepping out the door and looking - and feeling - the business!

"I'm running 5K - AND I'm looking good doing it!" Report
I absolutely love to buy new workout clothes! I usually get them at Target because they are cute and affordable. Lately I've been buying running skirts (instead of shorts), and I love them! I only use them to race. When I run around town, I wear shorts. Report
Just this morning before work I stopped at Wal-mart and picked up some Danskin workout pants and a matching top! I'm hooked on new workout clothes.
I recently "took over" another drawer in the bureau for my outfits. Love 'em! Report
I do enjoy buying new workout clothes. I will spend more on them if they are comfortable and make a difference in my workouts. Report
I love having new workout gear! Clothes, toys, whatever. Anything having to do with exercise or sports (and I am far from an athlete). I've noticed that if I wear any plane old tshirt or shorts to the gym, I'm self conscious the whole time but if I wear a cute pair of pants and a matching top (usually fitted because I don't like baggy clothes), it makes it easier for me to work out. I don't even think about what I'm wearing or if anyone is looking. Also, I love buying new gym clothes and then I look forward to wearing them. It definitely gets me moving more!
~Ang Report
Any t-shiret and shorts or sweats will do. But when I buy a new work out outfit I can't wait to try them on to see how I look on them and it pushes me to work out. Report
work out gear gets me motivated because i felt so fat before that i would never wear it ! God is so good !!!! Report
It's nice to read about someone who had a similar experience. I've never been athletic, and a local female pediatrician who lost a LOT of weight by leaving her house one day and, incrementally, running further and further started a "Running for Women" group. It's safe and doable, because she teaches Jeff Galloway's run-walk method. Suffice it to say, I've been a "runner" for 8 years now (I just turned 50), and it's been the best thing I've done in my life. I started giving away more and more "regular" clothes, and even work many workout outfits to work. They are so comfortable, and wash and wear to boot. I enjoyed your article! I think it's time to go "shopping" again. Report
These Items are to spread the Spark. They may seem pricey to some but remember SparkPeople is Free & this is a Good way to help it stay that way! Report
New clothes do not motiviate me but I do love these items, they feel good, look good and you can move around very comfortable in these items. I usually just work out in light clothing in the summer and sweats in the winter. Report
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