I was recently asked on instagram, what workout clothes someone should wear if their gym is mixed. This is not something I have had to worry about myself in recent years because I only train in female only establishments. Though, there was a time when this was not always the case. It can be really tricky to find the balance between modest clothes that are comfortable enough to exercise in. This can be off putting for many sisters who opt to not exercise at all. It is a completely personal choice where you decide to workout; nevertheless, our modesty should be our concern wherever we are.
While the gym is a great place to exercise, there are many ways you can get a good workout in even at home. This removes the issue of not feeling comfortable in gym establishments. Alternatively, looking for classes around your area is another way to get active. Gyms are not the only places where trainers hold fitness classes so have a look around local community centres and online. Workout clothes become less of an issue in classes and gyms where it is female only.
That being said, female only gyms are not available for everyone. I have put together some tips on workout clothes for those who do decide to train in areas that may also have men.
For those who wear hijab, finding one that is thin is key. There are some one piece slip on hijabs, specially designed for sports (like this one here) that can be purchased. However, these can sometimes thick in material so opting for a light fabric may be an option. Additionally how you wrap it is also something to consider. Avoid wrapping it around your head more than once, ensuring it is loose wrapped to allow air into the area around your neck.
This is by far one of the most crucial tips. Wearing a top that is short or tight can make you feel extremely uncomfortable when exercising with men around. There are plenty of places that sell knee length shirts however these may not always have full sleeved arms. One way to overcome with is to buy a thin long sleeved top to wear underneath. Buying these items during the summer or looking through sale items, which would currently be a good bet, would be a good idea as you would find plenty with a material that is not too thick. In the worse case, buying clothing from the men section may be an idea as this would automatically be larger in size and less figure hugging.
Here are some shirts I have found:
When thinking about workout clothes, the bottoms you wear are just as crucial as the top you wear. Not only are they readily available in shops, they are loose and comfortable. These coupled with a long shirt would be give you a great amount of coverage. Again the material is important, as well as colour, as you do not want something so thick you feel too warm or something so thin it is see through.
Aiming to go at times that the gym is less busy is another tip to bare in mind. This may not always be practical but early mornings and during the daytime are probably the best times to avoid a busy gym. This may not take away the issue if men being in the establishment but it will mean there are less around.
In many gyms there are small spaces that are away from the main gym hall, such as the studios. If you are allowed, try to do as much of your workout in these spaces as they are away from the views of others. This can be handy when wanting to do exercises that may extenuate areas such as the chest and buttocks.
What workout clothes do you wear? What other tips and tricks do you use in the gym to feel comfortable? Drop a comment below!